Contrena Potter

Here is my story. I share it hoping to bring awareness to this terrible disease and more awareness to hand washing. On Monday January 6th, I had noticed a small place in the area between my vaginal area and the anus. It was like a little pimple. I thought it was an in grown hair or something so I kind of just looked over it. Well, on about Wednesday nothing had really changed about the little pimple except it seemed a little bigger and more tender so I thought hmmmm it must be an in grown hair maybe I should try to pop it ....that's what we home docs do huh?? Anyway, nothing really came out of it so I just went about my business. I had a doc appt that day earlier to change my blood pressure meds, but didn't think to mention it because it was just one of those kinds of embarrassing things you figure you will fix yourself eventually. Anyway, Thursday I kind of started feeling tired and noticed a couple of welts under my arms but figured it was just me and maybe Fibromyalgia and went to bed. Friday, I still wasn't feeling real perky and I noticed more welts under my arms and that place in my vaginal area had gotten bigger under the skin so I thought it was a cyst and once again the home doc tried to pop it....a little more stuff came out of it so I thought well it will go away now. Went to bed early still felt tired. Woke up Saturday morning and the welts were bigger and more of them and my lip and eye were swollen and I felt bad all over. I told my husband that I thought we should go to the ER in Pikeville. Went to the ER they thought it was an allergic reaction. The only thing that I had changed was the blood pressure med about 5 days before so they gave me a big ole steroid shot and some benadryl and some prednisone(a steroid) to bring home and said see your regular doc on Monday. Well, Saturday eve through Monday morning, I got worse with aching, chilling, welts, and that place swelled so big and hard on my right side of my vaginal/groin area that I couldn't sit or walk, I don't ever remember feeling this bad. Monday morning bright and early I went to my regular doctor in Pikeville. They too thought it was a cyst and had a surgeon come in the room to look at it. The surgeon said oh yeah bad cyst need surgery here today and so off to surgery I went. Well when the surgeon opened up the area thinking it was a cyst he could smell a distinct bacteria...and he knew he had to do more in depth surgery than he thought it is called Necrotizing Fasciitis...or what people know as "flesh eating bacteria". So, when he opened it up and realized what it was he had to cut out all of the affected skin inside and outside so I have a large wound in my groin. I was transferred to the University of Kentucky Medical Center the next day and had two more surgeries three altogether in 6 days for debridement. I came home a week later but I have to have my dressing / packing changed twice a day by home health. It is a rare disease but at the same time it is very easy to get. All you have to do is have an open cut, bruise or even a blister on you somewhere and touch the bacteria somewhere. I just got it by touching the bacteria that you can't see...could have been anywhere and I had that small area in my groin that I must have wiped and it got in there. Well, the three surgeries were done so they could cut out all of the diseased or deadened tissue and leave the wound open to make sure it heals from the inside out. So I have a large open wound on the right side of my vaginal area going down towards my anal area and up a little on my buttocks. It is 15 inches long, 4 inches wide and 4 inches deep at the deepest spot. I went to UK today and said it looked good and to come back in 2 weeks. I am very lucky and very thankful for answered prayers. Things that I have learned from this experience: -It can happen to anyone (whatever IT is) -WASH....WASH...WASH....YOUR HANDS -Don't put off seeking medical treatment...you know your own body. -Treat all open places on your skin with proper wound care (disinfect, antibiotic creme, cover)