M.R.S.A. – a lonely journey

May 31, 2007

In writing this story about my own personal experience of MRSA infection, I am not looking for sympathy – simply understanding of where I’m coming from and of what has helped to form my views. I welcome comments.

Part 1: Medical History

MRSA – Multiple Reasons to Shout Aloud. They say you never forget ‘the day’ you were told you had cancer. Well, I’ll never forget the day I was told I had MRSA. The news came like a bolt out of the blue. It has had a major impact on my life and continues to this day to be an unknown entity.

I have a long history of chronic sinus infection with multiple admissions to hospital for surgery and intravenous antibiotic treatment over a period of 20 years. I also have an inherited genetic condition, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which is basically a connective tissue disorder that affects different people in different ways. In my case, it’s manifested itself in the connective tissue of my joints leaving me with a tendency to dislocate joints/to tear ligaments easily and in some instances, this has required surgical repair. It also caused me a lot of problems during pregnancy, both with pregnancy loss and as a result of two full-term deliveries (lucky old me!) with numerous admissions to hospital for gynaecological surgery. I’ve had at least 40 admissions to hospital so far with all the various medical problems over the years. Another side effect of EDS is a tendency to form abnormal scar tissue following injury/surgery. It took many years of failed surgery before my diagnosis of EDS was made but by then, it was too late. The damage had already been done. With my history of acute frontal sinus infection requiring repeat surgery to manage it, scar tissue now blocked the natural drainage channels and severe infection (abscess in the bone of the skull) had become a reality. My life was in real danger at times because of the possibility of rupture of the thin wall of bone between the abscess and my brain, and with an associated risk of developing septic meningitis.

Read Part 2 tomorrow.