Leslie Montoya

I dont even know where to begin, Today is my birthday Sep 13, from the doctors opinion I shouldn't be alive, today I turned 29, today I showed those doctors that if your believe in your patients and listen to them and not give up, between them and God there will be numerous birthdays in their future...Well, unlike most of the stories I have read on here mine started out a little differently. It begins like this... It was a cold night in Southern California for March, its was a Saturday night March 4 2006, and I was up online waiting for my husband to get home from work as usual. He gets off at 2:30am, at this time I feel fine, a little tired since we do have a 4 year old ( now 5 ) and chasing him around will wear out the fittest of people, he came in, in his usual cheery way, with a kiss and a smile.... heck he even brought me a Pepsi :-) I remember commenting when he came in "BURRRrrrr its cold out tonight" and that was it. I remaind on the computer for about another hour or so and finally went to bed. I told my husband I still felt cold if he could get me another blanket.... time now is 3:30am.....5 blankets, the heater pushed up to 90 and a cup of hot tea, and and hour later I'm still chattering with bitter fridgid chills....time now 4:30am....my husband grew increasingly more concerned for me as I laid there still with almost convulsion like movements through out my whole body.....I was completely oblivious to these motions as I had finally fallen asleep...... time 6am. Sunday March 5, 2006. I was awaken by a sudden uncomfortable pain in my left leg, like I had been hit with a baseball bat in the leg and still feeling just as chilled as I had when I went to bed.....time 10:30am....I woke my husband and told him Im still very very cold and now my leg hurts, it was a small localized pain located about the shin area and a little to the right of my left leg. My husband said thats it your calling the nurse advise line and see what they say.... so he did. The nurse advice unit thought it might be a "blood clot" due to the fact I have sever edema in my legs and feet and I should go to the urgent care facility for my medical group and get checked out.....time 11:00am..... I didnt want to get out of bed I was so cold, but finally I worked up the courage to and ran to the shower had the water on as hot as it would go, got dressed in sweats and a jacket .... remember Im in Southern California it was like 65 degrees at this time but to me it might as well been -20 ! I got in the the car and off we went to the urgent care..... time 12:30pm.....I arrived in 15 min and checked in, the look on the face of the person who checked me in was enought to convince me something was vitally wrong, I was immediately called back and triaged....Blood Pressure was 100/60 and temp was 104.4.... the rushed me to a room and sat me on the table I think I sat there about 2 min and literaly fainted .... my husband caught me just as about fell of the table , he called the nurses immediately and the came with the smelling packet of amonia and shook me awake......by this time I actually started to feel weak and almost "sick". I was then moved to another bed and they placed ice bags all over me....time 1pm.....my son was with us this whole time so I told my husband that things are ok they are taking care of me and to take our son to McDonalds while I waited for the doctor to come in, my husband was gone 10 min when the head RN came in and said we cant treat you, you have to go to the emergency room and ambulance will be here in 5 min "Where is your husband?"....Oh My God!!!!! Im freaking out not realizing something was so wrong THEY couldnt help me. I said he took our son to McD's call his cell, no sooner than that the ambulance showed up.... time 1:45pm I entered the ambulance and was made very comfortable by the paramedics, I still remember it was Jonny Cash's 'I Walk The Line' playing in the ambulance....little did I know the signifigance of the song or that it would be the last good memeory I'd have... At this time I wasnt in pain, hadnt recieved any medication nothing other than a tylenol suppository at the urgent care for my fever, when I arrived at the hospital...I remember being shown a room that I shared with 3 other ppl, an older gentelman suffering from problems with diabetes, a young woman who was having a miscarriage, and me...and I remember thinking I wish at that moment I was one of them at least Id know what was wrong with me......time 2:30pm.... I remember while I was still in the ER I desperately needed to go to the bath room the suppository was pushing the urge the nurse said I wasnt allowed out of my bed yet. I had no catheder or bed pan nothing I begged and pleaded that while I must be sick and look a wreck please let me hold on to a little dignity since I have to share a room with 3 ppl and their families and let me use the bathroom, still she said no....I waited for her to leave disconnected myself from the entanglement of wires and tubing and scooted of the end of the bed, still having not recieved any medication aside from IV fluids, and made my way to the bathroom 20 feet away. I didnt make and lost what was left of my humility in the hallway.....I threw the clothes away in the bathroom trash and pulled the cord for the nurse to bring me a robe, I changed and made my way back to my bed.... time 3:48 pm.... I hopped back into my bed and began to fix my sheets, and notice my leg becoming black, they had drawn on my leg to indicate the times they checked on me and the infection moving up the leg along with swelling , I dont remember anyone doing these things or telling me " hey!, by the way your leg is turning black, would you like a pillow??" nothing. Sometime during this my husband came, since we have no family here he brought our son, I said Im sure everything is fine, I did show him the black blotches that were appearing on my leg, we both looked at each other puzzled then was quickly distracted by our son trying to play with all the monitors , so I told him I will probably be here a little while ( knowing the pace that ER's move ) and told him to take Josh (our son ) to the park for a bit, no since in staying around the doctor hadnt even come in yet, so reluctantly he left..... time 4:23pm. I have no memory after that, the occasion spuratic conscious moments in the ICU when one doctor woke me to tell me that I would feel a prick (numbing medicine to insert a central line and that he was cutting in the groin to thread it through) and once when I guess I came too and my husband was there.... he told me I was in the ICU, and that I had restraints cause I kept pulling off my oxygen mask, that they cut and inserted a monitor in my wrist because my blood pressure had dipped so low they couldnt get a reading ( one reading was like 52/28 ) and I was having organ failure, and that I was in septic shock...( I still dont remember this, this is his account, I remember seeing him but I dont remember talking I believe I was intubated at this time )...I spent 7 days in ICU before I was moved to the DOU room ( Direct Observation Unit ) there I go the first glimpse of my leg, it was still in tact, largely swollen to at least 3x its usuall size and discollored like I had been beaten or something. The blackness now resembled more like bruising and it was cracked and draining nonstop. It felt very heavy and had no feeling in it....March 12, 2006 Well to kinda shorten this story my time spent at the hospital was 3 months, from March 5, 2006 till June 5, 2006. I had 4 major debreedment surgeries and a skin graft ( they did threaten at one point to amputate if the last debreedment didnt work...... thank God it did !!! ) so I had the last surgery for the skin graft on May 26, 2006 and it took 100% !!! I do have to say the lengthy hospital stay did a number on me.. I contracted C-dif, a pic line infection resulting in the contraction of MRSA of the blood, numerous psuedemonous infections ( I think steaming from there insistance of using a "whirlpool therapy" on my leg before the surgeries, MRSA in the wound itself and VRE in my bladder. But after all this Im still greatful since I do remember ( when Im not sure ) but my husband said that I wasnt going to make it and if I did I wouldnt have my leg.....Ha beat the odds didnt I !!!!!! I try now to have a positive attitude about it " cause it could have been worse " but I still cry at times, and wonder why me what did I do??? How did this happen to a otherwise heathly person?? I mourn the loss of this huge chunk gone out of my leg, Im so self conscious about it and im only a little over 3 months since I've been home. But we try to keep it positive or at least up beat and my husband says if anyone asks we will tell them something exotic happened like a shark bite or I was hiking and a bear got me ( it looks like a hug bite out of my leg) and we laugh but we both secretly know deep down it was nothing to laugh about and that at best we are lucky to still have one another. I wanted to share this story cause like others Im sure feeling kind of alone, but because this is such a common affliction, not common enough for me anyway I never heard of it. But like most people, I guess I was one of those that if you dont know about or it hasnt happen to you then dont worry about it or it doesnt matter.......... well my lesson in this trying time is this......Ignorance Is NOT Bliss!!!!!! I must note that while I was in the hospital my plastic surgeon was treating 3 others with the same thing..... its out there, its common and people need to know and be aware of signs and symptoms.......it could mean yours or someone you love's life. Thank you NNFF for being here it does comfort me some knowing others are out there and that contact can be made with others who have suffered this, its hard for someone ( ie. my husband ) to understand what I am feeling, while he can be conjoling and sympothetic to me and we both agree that Im greatful to be alive and still have my limbs in tact he doesnt understand the mental effects of such an ordeal or the depression for being away from home for months on end or that feeling of never being "normal". Thank you for letting me share, this has helped me a great deal. My thought and prayers are with everyone who is touch or moved with this affliction. God Bless You All......Feel free to contact me if you want to talk!