|Ron Acosta's Survivor Story|
I went in for a vasectomy on 3/19/04. The doctor said everything had gone perfect. Now that I know what I know about the disease, I know it had not gone perfect. As he was closing up the one side of my vasectomy he kept asking me if I could feel anything, I said yeah I feel a little pain and he stated I am almost done. At that point I felt a great pain like someone actually grabbed my testicles and squeezed and yanked on them.
Now knowing what I know about Necrotizing Fasciitis, and Strep A being caused by trauma, I have no doubt that that was the point of the trauma that caused the bacteria. He gave me another shot of local anesthesia and finished. I went home from the doctor's office and did exactly what I was told to do. Stay off my feet and rest. On Sunday night I was beginning to feel a lot of pain and had gotten the chills during the day. Not knowing any better I continued to think it was part of the recovery process. My girlfriend insisted I call the doctor's office 24 hour on-call physician. I told them how I was feeling etc. and her comment to me was hey if they are no bigger than a orange/apple then it's probably just normal swelling. If the pain got too great, go to ER.
Well for the next 24 hrs the pain level stayed about the same. I cannot see down below so I had no idea what was taking place. By Tuesday evening, 03/23/04, I was beginning to feel really bad and weak, the pain was getting unbearable, and the pain pills were no longer taking the edge off. So I called the doctors office again told the receptionist what was happening she said well I can't get you in till tomorrow morning. I entered the doctors office at 10:00 am or so. The doctor who saw me noticed my discomfort right away. As he asked me to pull down my shorts he was taking my temperature and asked if I had any fever etc. I said yesterday I had a temperature of about 100. As he looked at my scrotum he looked rather concerned and immediately started asking more questions as he was measuring etc. He said I needed to get checked into hospital NOW. I asked what's wrong he stated I am not sure but you have a severe swelling and we need to get it taken care of.
Well it was only a few hours later that they knew I had Necrotizing Fasciitis. But I had not been informed a urologist was called in. He told me that I would be going into surgery in the AM. He offered no explanation of surgeries etc. I was on a morphine drip by now and different kinds of pain killers as well as IV's of antibiotics and saline. I was awoken at 6 am on the 25th and a surgery team was around me. I was very confused I had no idea what was about to take place.....I kept thinking why so many people all they have to do is drain the infection right??. The last thing I remembered was the anethesiologist saying Ron this will help take the edge off and calm you down. I watched the needle go into an empty hole where once an IV had been.
I found out 5 hours later what had happened when they went to do the first dressing change. A whole roll of gauze was pulled out of what once was my scrotum and another pushed in to replace it. I had no idea the extent of debridement they had done till two weeks later while at home I got the nerve to look and take pictures with my digital camera. I almost cried when I brought them up on my computer screen. All there was left of my scrotum was two flaps of skin and my now bare naked testicles hung in between. Today, 05/12/04, I turned 45 and the healing is still going on. I still have a hole about the size of a quarter on my scrotum. The wound closed fairly fast but the scar tissue left is horrendous. They are now talking skin grafts which I know nothing about.
The psychological effect was over whelming through all of this and we are not finished. The mental pain and anguish was unbearable at times and of course the first four weeks the physical pain can not be described. I do not know how it will all turn out but I do know that it looks nothing like it did before.
All of this because I had a Vasectomy as simple as a they come nowadays. The strep A combined with a staff infection as well almost cost me my life. Had it not been for my girlfriend (I love your Rhonda Phillips) I would have probably died as the doctors told me had you waited 2-3 more days, it would have progressed up my urinary tract to stomach etc. There were so many more things I can tell you about the dressing changes at home, the humiliation, etc., the missing parts of my life that I couldn't do for a month etc., but I just wanted to let you know about me and I did survive at least physically.
Please note: The following linked images are very graphic and may be upsetting.
Ojai, CA USA
Copyright © 1997-2003 National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation (NNFF)
All Rights Reserved.
May 14, 2004