Michael Holmes

December 2, 2003 is when I came down with NF. I know how I got it, even though the doctors will not agree with my suggestion that I got it from my 7 year old son. On that day, my little boy had complained of blisters on his fingers. I inspected them for him, and he even felt like he wanted to drain them. So I helped him do that. At the time I did not know that he was a carrier of Strep A. He has never had Strep even though my 20 year old daughter has had strep 25 times in her life, even episodes occurring after the removal of her massive tonsils. The next day, I noticed pain in my left armpit that got worse through the day. I made a trip to my Dr. in the afternoon, and remarkably I was given a big shot of Demerol and told to go home and sleep! I do not know what they were hoping to correct with this shot, or what they were diagnosing, but it had no affect on me whatsoever; the shot did nothing...it did not relieve any pain and I did not go to sleep, which is probably a good thing. Instead, by 5-6 PM my pain was excruciating and I knew something was terribly wrong. My family drove me to the emergency room, where I was in absolutely unbearable pain. An emergency room Dr. tried to diagnose it as a possible torn muscle, but I knew that was not the case. Morphine was being pumped into me, but barely provided any relief. I was admitted to Lutheran Hospital in Denver, and seen by an infectious disease specialist at 01:00 AM that night. Somehow she made a diagnosis of NF, and I began to receive a cocktail of IV antibiotics. This is the person who saved my life, and all my flesh. A procedure was performed immediately to remove lymph nodes from my armpit, and a drain tube was inserted with one end in my armpit, and the other end about 8-10 inches down my side. I spent 8 days in the hospital, but the first 3 days were the worst days I have ever spent in my life. My entire upper body was an absolute glowing red mass which seemed to turn almost purple as it centered in on my armpit. I was lethargic and as sick as you can imagine. My friends came to visit, but I don't remember any of that. After about the 5th day, the redness slowly started to fade, and I began to realize I was going to be ok. The Dr. told me that she couldn't confirm that I got it from my son's Strep A blisters, but I am convinced that is where it came from .. I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this. The infectious disease Dr. told me she was amazed at my recovery, having no idea why I did not loose flesh. Thanks for reading my story.