My children are now in their twenties, but at the time of my pregnancies, I encountered rare strep related problems during the months following each pregnancy. Although I did (and still do) follow a healthy lifestyle that includes moderate exercise and a non-meat diet supplemented by vitamins, each pregnancy seemed to reduce my immune system to a level that could not balance the strep bacteria that normally reside in and on the human body. As a result, I developed persistent strep throat and skin infections that required repeated antibiotic treatment.
The strep throat appeared after birth of my first child. I had never had strep throat previously. The infection was treated with normal course of antibiotic, but within 48 hours of taking the last pill, the sore throat and white spots came back. I'd had to wait a couple days to get another appointment with the doctor. By then, the infection was raging ahead. This same cycle repeated itself for about four months, with each occurrence much worse than the previous, leaving me totally exhausted. I realized the prescription wasn't fully killing off the bacteria .... that I either needed a different, stronger antibiotic OR a longer cycle of taking it. Finally I was able to receive the requested longer prescription, which kept me on the antibiotic for 4 cycles. That DID succeed! Thus, by the time my child was a year old, I did finally beat strep throat.
Skin infections occurred during the six-months nursing period that followed each pregnancy. My pores seemed to become inflamed for no apparent reason, advancing within a day or two into oozing enlarged cysts with pore openings of 1/4-1/2 inch, surrounded by pealing, inflamed skin. The infection traveled very quickly. One day I'd notice a small painful bump on my leg, or under my arm. The next day it would be worse, with pore opening at 1/4 in wide. By the following day, it would be unbelievably painful, with visible sight of the infection travel line as it advanced forward in my body.
It was very painful and frightening. Doctors didn't know what it was, so they simply prescribed antibiotic treatment. One actually accused me of creating the wounds myself, which beyond being absurd, was heartbreaking, for what chance did I have of finding a cure if the doctor erroneously believed it to be self-inflicted! In one case, the infection happened on a weekend, when doctor's offices were closed. The infection spread so quickly that I could not wait until Monday. The over-crowded hospital emergency room had a three hour wait time. I waited for a while, but the inflamed leg was much too sore, so I attempted to go home where I could lay down. As I exited, the emergency room nurse ran out the door after me, telling me the leg was turning gangrene and I could not leave. I explained that I could not stand on it any longer. She asked me to wait. She ran back into the emergency room, and emerged a few minutes later with a script for an antibiotic, instructing that I begin taking it right away, and get to a doctor on Monday.
The antibiotics did help, but I was unhappy taking so many antibiotics, which throw off the normal flora of one's healthy body. Rather than treat the symptom, I wanted to find someone who would diagnose the problem, which would allow a solution without need of antibiotics. With that in mind, I saw many different doctors during the many reoccurances, including my GYN, dermatologists, general practitioners, emergency room specialists, etc. No one knew what it was. It was a very frustrating time period; the constant illness and pain drained my energy, which ruined ability to enjoy being a new mother period.
Years later, while waiting in line at a grocery store, I picked up a magazine to fill time. An article was titled "What they don't tell you about pregnancy". The article was only half page, but described discovery of a strep related auto-immune syndrome that occurs after pregnancy in some (not all) women. The syndrome causes strep related infections ranging from skin disturbances, to strep throat, to rapid tooth decay, etc. All are caused by overgrowth of strep A and B bacteria. That overgrowth does occurs during and after pregnancy. For some women, pregnancy, delivery, and nursing cause enough stress to lower the immune system, which opens the door to the strep related problems.
I now realize I was very lucky. My experience was not pleasant, but at least the bacteria DID respond to antibiotic treatment. In recent years, research has revealed overuse of antibiotics has caused infectious mutations, with new strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. That includes the strep based necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease), which does not respond to antibiotic treatment.
Pregnant women and women who have recently given birth are more susceptible to necrotizing fasciitis. Although it is still rare, it is a condition that has emerged as a new and growing problem following childbirth.
That is why your client's doctor did not want to see her. No doubt, the doctor knew of these developments and feared her symptoms might be necrotizing fasciitis. (See links below, which show medical reports on this condition for over a decade!) He obviously feared contact with the contagious bacteria, or perhaps feared litigation if things went bad with treatment of it.
The disease does not actually consume flesh. It separates the connecting layers that underlie human skin, which cuts off blood flow and causes tissue to die. It spreads very quickly.
More information is provided in the links below. The links cover information on both A and B types.
Strep bacteria - http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/groupastreptococcal_g.htm
Necrotizing Fasciitis -
Necrotizing Fasciitis in Pregnant Women - http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/infections-necrotizing-fasciitis
2003 - Higher Risk Groups for Necrotizing Fasciitis - http://www.nnff.org/nnff_higherrisk.htm
1997 - Incidents of Necrotizing Fasciitis - http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/1997/03000/Necrotizing_Fasciitis_After_Cesarean_Delivery.18.aspx
JAMA medical journal - March 1988 - Note the statement that says it occurs most often in diabetics, pregnant women, and infants.
B streptococcal infections occur disproportionately in diabetics and
pregnant women. Although fasciitis secondary to group B streptococcus
has been described in infants and adult women in the postpartum period,
we report the first case, to our knowledge, of group B streptococcal
necrotizing fasciitis in an adult diabetic unrelated to obstetric
Multiple people - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47513691/ns/local_news-houston_tx/t/what-causes-flesh-eating-bacteria-cases/#.T8gHNb-Rk3Y
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