Brian R. Haverland

I only remember when this all started. After the first couple of days I can't remember what happen. My wife took notes through all of this and posted entries on Facebook so friends and family knew what was going on. I have read the most of the notes and Facebook post. It all started at the begining of April 2011. I noticed I had a pimple on my right butt cheek, but didn't think much of it. By the third week of April I still had the pimple (which was starting to hurt) and I was vomiting and running a 104 degree fever. I went to my family doctor on April 29th, but didn't tell him about the pimple (I thought the pain was from being in bed all week), but he still sent me to the hospital because of the fever and how bad I looked. He wouldn't let me drive, even though the hospital was only a mile or so away, so I waited for my wife to pick me up. At the hospital they asked me alot of questions, one of them being if I had any open wounds or sores. That's when I mentioned the pimple. Dr. Hingsbergen came in and said they were going to lance open the pimple (simple 30 minute operation). When I woke up a few hours later they told me they discovered I had Necrotizing Fasciites. He told me it looked like a big honeycomb that was making its way to my testicles. They removed a soft ball size portion of my butt check down to the bone.He said I was only the second case he had seen. He said had I waited a few more hours for treatment I would have died. I was operated on a Friday, by Tuesday they wanted me to go home, but I knew something was wrong. I didn't feel right, couldn't eat or sleep (I was up for a week straight) and was getting sicker by the minute. I was in so much pain that they gave me morphine, which I was allergic to, but we didn't know that till I started to hallucinate. I was seeing things and screaming at my dogs and kids but my dogs and kids we not there. I would sit up and think I was opening a straw or plugging things in that didn't exist. After about 10 days there I was very sick, but they didn't know what was wrong. My wife begged them to put me in ICU and finally they did, but I wasn't getting any better. I was still getting worse. My wife was getting so mad at them and ended up getting me transferred to UC Hospital in Cincinnati. At UC they didn't know what's was wrong so they started a long list of tests. My lungs were filling up with water, I couldn't lay down long enough for them to get me in a CAT scan due to the fact I couldn't breath. There is nothing worse than not being able to breath.Your mind and body go into panic mode. All the test they ran came back negative. I gained 60 pounds of water weight. My arms were so swollen they wanted to operate to see if the infection was hiding in there. They said if they didn't find anything in my right arm, they would have to go into my left arm. But if they found something in one arm, they would operate on the other. As a musician (guitarist) my wife didn't want them to go into my arms, she knew I would be devastated. Finally she signed off for them to operate on my arms to save my life. Lucky for me on the day the operation was scheduled, the swelling started going down. So they didn't need to operate, but still didn't know what was wrong. They told my wife to prepare for the worst. My priests came down on a few occasions and read me my Last Rites. My kidneys were shutting down and I was in heart failure. I couldn't breathe and eventually quit breathing in the middle of the night (I believe that was the night I saw the "THE LIGHT" with my deceased grandparents in it telling me to go back) and went on a ventilator. Then they put me in a medically induced coma for a week or so. During that time I bit down on the tubes in my mouth and cracked the tubes. So they had to wake me up and put new tubes in and put me back in the coma. During that time some results came back positive for a blood stream fungus. So they began treatment on that. I had sepsis, became insulin dependant, had a yeast infection, pneumonia, my testicles were the size of grapefruits (pretty scary for a guy), my heart was racing so fast (like 200 beats a minute) and had the worse case of heartburn ever. I remember telling myself "I'm not eating that again" but couldn't remember what I ate, that went on for what seemed like days. As it turned out I was on a feeding tube. When I woke up in June I thought a couple of days had passed, but was shocked to find out it was six weeks later. I was my 4 year olds T-Ball manager, but didn't get to manage any of his games or see his preschool graduation. My 11 year old had the voice of a child before I got sick, but when I woke up he had a mans voice. I missed all of that. I also missed my 16th wedding anniversary. One of the hardest things was not seeing my boys. Through all of this my wife was by my side. I was still in heart failure. My heart was operating at 20%. 65% is good. My heart was damaged from being sick for all those weeks. Around the second week of June I was released to a nursing home to learn how to walk, eat and do normal daily things again. I had no muscles left. I couldn't pick up a 3 pound barbell. The nursing home to me was the worse part of it. My mind was somewhat normal, but my body wasn't. I would lay in bed all day for 2 half hour sessions of therapy. I would lay there and wait for someone to visit me. I cried alot during those days. It was so hard being there alone. I did have a wound vac on my butt check and it hurt so bad when they would change it that I had to get drugged up just to change it. I was pretty clean cut but I hadn't taken a shower in weeks (I was given baths in bed) due to the wound vac. I looked like Tom Hanks from Castaway from not shaving. My youngest boy was terrified of me because I didn't look like daddy and still had a feeding tube in. My normal weight was around 165, but had dropped down to 118 after shooting up 220 pounds. After they took the feeding tube out, I still wasn't able to eat. Nursing home food isn't very good anyway. So after about 3 weeks in the nursing home (the end of June) they released me to go home.What a feeling that was. At home I had a nurse that would come 3 days a week to change my would vac. I was having dizzy spells and fainting from the blood pressure medicine. After a few weeks we got the dosage right and the fainting spells have stopped. I still get dizzy though. The front of my left thigh has a constant tingling that's due to nerves being pinched from laying in bed all those weeks. The tingling they say wont go away, but I can live with that. It's now the second week of November, I get to go back to work in a few days. It's been a long road. The physical wounds have almost healed. I'm still considered in heart failure. I will take medicine for the rest of my life for that. But the mental wounds I think are Forever. I want to thank all my doctors, nurses and the hospitals for taking such good care of me. My friends, family co-workers and employers who never gave up on me and for all the prayers love and support that everyone showed for me. Words can't describe how much that means to me. I love all of you. As bad as things were, there was soo much good that came from it. I was able to experience something few get to. That's the love, support and kindness everyone showed. It was a team effort and I thank everyone for that. The other thing is it has change my outlook on life. I know now more than ever what matters. And what matters to me is my friends and family. And I want to thank my courageous wife and boys. I couldn't have got through this without you. My wife would spend the whole day at the hospital then post updates on Facebook for our friends and family at 2 in the morning. You are my world and you'll never know how much I love you. Thank You for letting me share my story.