View Full Version : I had to have surgery again! STAFF Infection!
06-08-2004, 06:03 PM
This is Tara Ward, you might remember me from "I need someone to help" I havent written in a while because out of no where with no symptoms what so ever for the exception of an itchy part on my incision that was healing started to feel a little funny, nothing that i thought i should really be too concerned about but i called the doctor on memorial day and he told me to go to the emergency room back at the hospital. ( you all could imagine what i was feeling at that time) But i bared it and went, found out that the itchy part on my back on the incision was infected. I had no signs of fever or chills....nothing. My surgon came up to the hospital and declared that we had to have surgery yet again, and that he had to flush out the whole 16 inch incision back down to the bone with 6 liters of antibiotics..........great huh!:confused: I was so freaked out and let me tell you the second stay was just as long as the first and even more painful than the first time, i don't know why. They ran 2 cultures on the stuff on the skin and one on the fluid surounding my spine. The one on the skin grew in less than a day pronouncing that i had a STAFF Infection. All i had to do was wait to see if it had gone down to the bone. I was so scared. 3 days later the culture they took on the fluid surrounding the bone grew. It had gone down to the bone. They had to put in a 'PICC Line' which is a tube that goes in through your forearm and goes into your heart. They also had 2 tubes comeing out of my back where they had to drain infection so it felt like i was layingon a damn garden hose but when it came time to take them out it hurt sooooooo bad! I screamed. Couldent help it. But the reasion for the PICC line was so that i could administer IV antibiotics twice a day at home by an 'at home' nurse for a month solid. Only at the end of this month will i know if i beat the infection. I need all your prayers you guys because if the infection doesent go away, i have to go in again and have the rods taken out be on antibiotics for months then i have to go in again and have the rods put back in.........pray for me. I need all the support i can get. Have any of you ever had something like this happen to you?
Tara, I'm so sorry to hear about your complications. I will add you to my prayer list tonight. Take care of yourself as much as possible, eat right and drink plenty of fluids to help flush the infection out. When was your original surgery? How long or where did they fuse to?
06-08-2004, 10:48 PM
I'm really sorry about what you are going through! I hope all ends up well!! Feel Better Soon!!!!!
06-08-2004, 11:57 PM
While I didn't get an infection from my scoliosis surgery, I did experience a PICC line and giving myself IV antibiotics. All I can say is that I got used to the routine pretty quickly. Just don't forget to eat yoghurt and/or take acidolphilus regularly.
I know quite a few people who have gotten staph infections during surgery. Since staph is everywhere on our bodies, it's a miracle that we don't all end up with infections. I hope that the antibiotics do their job well, and you get on with your recovery.
06-09-2004, 01:37 AM
You poor thing, something like that should not have happen to you or anybody..it's bad enough going thru one surgery but two back to back is more than one person can take...I give you credit for being strong and reaching out to us for support...we are here for you and I will think about you in my prays...
Whats so amazing is that what was the big deal a little iching by the incision?..heck all stiches itch how do you know which is normal and which is a problem...it was good that you called your doctor..The doctors should warn us of what is normal and what isn't maybe it wouldn't have gotten to the bone/......
My doctor said he was going to put in a central line because I have very bad vein and than a Picc line also....I decided I was going to stop worring because it gets me nowhere..so all my question are answered and its just a wait....time will go by and Tara you will heal...most important don't get depressed ...look forward...monitor your advancement in recovery so you can see a difference...call friends to come visit you....and keep posting your progress...
06-09-2004, 12:29 PM
Hi, my name is Sandy, and I also had a Staph infection and PICC lines. I understand how really scary this is for you. Not just the idea of more surgery, but "do it yourself IV's". After a couple of times you'll get the hang of giving your antibiotics yourself. Also here is a hint about keeping your PICC line dry while trying to bath. I used a large baggy, the kind that is non-zip. I opened the closed end, so I could put my arm thru it. I then used old fashioned medical adhisive tape to seal both ends around my line. Don't use paper tape, it will leak and/or just come off in the shower. Also plastic wrap leaks.
Also, I found that after a while I "liked" my PICC line...just because the home health nurse didn't have to poke me with a needle to get blood. She just took it from the line. Also when it comes time to take out the PICC, it doesn't hurt any more than taking out a regular IV.
Wishing you well
06-09-2004, 12:41 PM
Oh thank you so much for reassuring me on this, yeah i really like the picc line, seeing as though in the hosp. they pretty much blew every vein i had so now i have these nots and bumps where the IV was where the inside of my elbow is and on my wrist. Couldnt take another needle to save my life. At first i was ready to just give up, i had the drains in my back which hurt so bad i cant even begin, but i just hope so bad that the antibiotics help so i dont have to go back there again......oh God i hope i dont have to go back, i am totally terrified of the hospital now, I swear if i see another hospital again in my life ittle be too soon. I figured out the paper tape thing last night lol...abd i got that new gladlock press and seal thing and it works so good, but i cant bend my arm and trying to wash my hair....aghhhh!!!!:o SO HARD! but i got through it, dont know how i cant take this for a month solid, but ........anything but the hospital again. Hope all is well with you and thank you SO MUCH for the help, email me anytime!!!:D
06-09-2004, 12:45 PM
If you're going to have the PICC line for any length of time, you might want to get them to move it. Mine was in my left arm, below the shoulder. It allowed me to do everything I needed to do without assistance.
06-09-2004, 01:00 PM
I will have my picc in for just under a month it's in my right arm, why move it/ is there problems with the picc? are problems common?
06-09-2004, 01:02 PM
thank you for your support and if you need anything just let me know and i will just love to help!
06-09-2004, 01:03 PM
thank you ellie, you are very sweet, let me know if you have any questions or need anything, i'm here for all of you too!:D ;)
06-09-2004, 01:40 PM
I'm saying that if they move it, then you would be able to move your arms freely, and you'd still be able to administer the antibiotics.
You guys scared me! :-(
I have decided to have surgery after years of putting it off. My curve is close to 100 degrees, so i really have no choice. I spoke with my doctor the other day and told him i've decided to have surgery, which will probably schedule for sometime in Sept. (3 months prep time). Now reading this scares me stiff ... i am sick to my stomach now.
06-10-2004, 07:13 PM
I'm really sorry that this has upset you. I totally understand how scary it is. You should ask your own doctor what percentage of his cases end up with an infection. It appears that the national average is about 1.9% (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11052352).
Unfortunately, there are lots of complications you might experience. Your doctor can go over all of them. The good news (if you're young), is that the risks of complication are significantly lower.
Good luck with your surgery. I know that it's much easier for me to tell you not to worry than it will be for you to make that happen. My only advice would be to keep your mind on the potential benefits of surgery.
06-10-2004, 07:25 PM
Tara . . I will keep you in my thoughts and in my prayers. Complications and secondary infections are hopefully rare occurrences, not that it makes it any easier for you, being in that unlucky minority!
It does sound like your doctor is on top of the infection and is checking and rechecking.
I hope it all clears fast and you are on the mend soon. Be strong.
Thank you for your words of encourage.
06-13-2004, 09:42 PM
I'm thinking about you ..how are you feeling?
06-14-2004, 03:37 PM
This is Theresa. It was great talking to you the other day. I'l try to give you a call this evening to see how you are doing. Hope everything is fine. Theresa
06-14-2004, 03:49 PM
Thank you so much for your support your so nice. I need all the help i can get, let me know if you ever need anything ok. Thanks again.;) -Tara
06-16-2004, 08:13 PM
I am sorry that it has taken me so long to post this for you but I have been so busy for the past couple of weeks with My Mom here to attend a wedding and also to have a small surgery done. Anyhow I am back to normal and such and I am so sorry to hear about your infection hun - I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and hopefully the next time we all hear from you everything will be healed and staph free. Keep positive hun
06-17-2004, 09:24 PM
that is horrible! I will keep you in my prayers also. I can't even imagine what you are going through. Stay strong, one day it will be just a memory.
06-19-2004, 04:00 PM
Thank you, all of you!!! You guys are so wonderful and supportive!!! I just love you all!!! I get my PICC Line out on the 30th, gonna take a LONG bath and FINALLY have a glass of wine to celebrate oooooooh it's gonna be so nice to be NORMAL again!!!! :rolleyes:
That is so awesome. So glad to hear it. I wish you all the best.
06-20-2004, 09:43 PM
So glad to hear that things are on the mend - thinking of you and wishing your removal date hurries up.
Let's hope this nasty infection is gone forever and things are now full steam ahead for your complete recovery.
06-21-2004, 12:51 AM
I've been thinking about you and trying to follow your progress...so far so good...keep it up!!!soon you'll be up and running
05-04-2005, 05:47 AM
you are not alone. i broke my arm and after surgery it got infected. they have gone back in three times to clean it and tomorrow will make five as they are going to replace the hardware. it's hard, it hurts, i just hope that we are able to get clean of our gift from the hospital.
i'm just resigned to the process. i'm not happy about it i just pray that you and i can get past this.
05-04-2005, 09:59 PM
I just had surgery 4 weeks ago on an infection at the top of my back incision. Although mine was not as severe as yours, we weren't sure until I was in the operating room and the doctor was able to open it up and look at it. I had a few very scary days of thinking of all of the what if's, including IV antibiotics. My infection did not spread and was very localized, but the possibility of a larger infection was there and I was terrified until I woke up and got the news.
I will definitely pray for you and hope that you are doing ok.
05-04-2005, 11:23 PM
Keep up your spirits! As someone who is facing surgery in the future (Jan. 06) hearing about getting infections etc is not promising, but the good part is that you will recover and everyone is pulling for you.
I'm giving you a toast with wine now.
05-05-2005, 07:06 PM
You are so brave! You have gone through hell, I'm sure. I have a question
someone can answer I'm sure. If you have staph, the staph makes your
fusion take immediately. ( I had staph in 1982 with a fusion at L4/5. I wore no
brace post-op as the doctor said the fusion would take because of the infection. Why would you need to put all that metal back in your body if you
are fused? Kathleens rose
05-05-2005, 07:26 PM
That's odd. I'd love to get a clarification from an M.D. My understanding is that the infection will actually eat away at the bone.
05-06-2005, 09:10 AM
When was your last surgery? Where or how do thee doctors think you
were infected with staph? Are we surgery patients doomed to live in fear of someday having staph show up?
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