Brian L. Schnirel

My name is Brian L. Schnirel and I have Necrotizing Fasciitis. I received a scratch outdoors about two inches long in Southern Florida on my left arm. The scratch proceeded to heal normally at first then a couple of days later, a circular red area appeared to form. The area was cleaned and sterilized but with no raised area and being all red, there seemed nothing to lance. The next day, I could feel extreme sensitivity to the area when it rubbed against my clothing. The day after that, the area enlarged rapidly and became puscular and oozing. As fast as it could be lanced and drained, it refilled. My skin and tissue began dissolving. Tightness and redness spread through my forearm. Nerve sensations along my two smaller fingers and up to my shoulder commenced as my nerves were affected. I developed a sour throat and fever. My arm became sensitive to the slightest touch. A light breeze against it was agony. My forearm started to look like Popeye's. I was put on Cephalexin which I have been taking every six hours. My swelling, redness, and sensitivity has abated although a slight sour throat remains. In the dissolved area, it is a different story. Although the disease has not spread and is not oozing as much, it is still fighting for a foot hold and/or the toxins produced by the bacteria are keeping any healing to begin. I have an outer circular bright red ring the jagged inner gaping hole about a nickel in diameter goes straight down over a half inch into my arm where bone appears to be visible. I keep the area cleaned, with antibiotics applied, and bandaged. I change the bandage 2-3 times a day. Although I see that there are other cases which took an even faster course than mine, this has been a rude awakening on how dangerous a bacterial infection can be. In my 45 years, I always thought an infection once lanced, drained. cleaned and medicated with antibiotic cream would be that. Nothing prepared me for the virulent, rapid pace of Necrotizing fasciitis.