Those of you who know me know that I am not a fan of hospitals. I am not anti-medicine, nor am I anti-medical science. I think the medical profession is a necessary and noble art that has great potential to advance the quality life and overall health of mankind.
But the medical establishment in industrial America? It’s less about medicine and more about business. In my opinion, hospitals are becoming increasingly dangerous places to visit. From the rapid increase in hospital acquired illnesses, to the slew of unnecessary drugs and their understudied side-effects, to the frightening increase in medical kidnappings when parents and individuals decide to NOT be medical lab rats to vaccines or unnecessary procedures – I basically try to stay the hell away from hospitals and doctors when I can.
All of that said, a lot of my friends and family were shocked to learn that I didn’t want to have a home birth with Tessa or Thyme.
I chose to give birth in the hospital because, as I said before, I’m not anti-medical science, and in some instances – like birth, where any number of complications can arise – I feel that being in close proximity to life saving equipment in the event of a worst case scenario is the safest bet for my child.
So for the sake of my child, I intentionally chose to brave the hospital environment. I readied myself to risk the chance of a knife happy doctor increasing my odds of having a cesarean, and I steeled myself to beat back the vaccine happy nurses. (Luckily, Thyme being a girl, I didn’t have to worry about protecting my child from forced genital mutilation.)
Anyway, as many of you know, I had my beautiful daughter Thyme just four weeks ago in the hospital down the road from my house. Her birth was fast, relatively painless (all things considered!), with zero complications. In hindsight, there was really no need to spend two days and two sleepless nights in the hospital with nosy doctors and stammering interns interrupting us every 15 minutes.
Since I can’t tell the future, and had no way of knowing that I would have a complication free birth, I’m still content with my choice to surround myself with life-saving equipment and personnel.
But was my apprehension for my personal well-being in placing myself in a hospital warranted? Turns out, hell yeah.
Because when I brought my baby home from the hospital four weeks ago, I also brought home the deadly hospital superbug MRSA.
…And Then I Caught MRSA
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (aka, MRSA for short) is known as the “flesh eating staph infection”. It is a man-made superbug that has become resistant to almost all antibiotics, likes to hang out in hospitals where it thrives, and curing it is extremely difficult. It’s highly contagious. Oh yeah! And it’s deadly.
In the U.S., more people die from hospital-acquired staph infection MRSA than from AIDS. (MRSA is responsible for an estimated 94,000 life-threatening infections and 18,650 deaths a year.)
Being jumpy about hospital superbugs, I caught my infection fairly quickly. Most infections occur from hospital equipment, with infections sites starting wherever a piece of equipment came in contact with your skin. At one point during my pointless two day stay at the hospital (they insisted we stick around for two days, despite the completely healthy delivery) the doctor had listened to my heart with a stethoscope. Guess where my MRSA infection is? That’s right.. my chest, where the stethoscope touched me.
When I noticed the itchy, red, inflamed sore starting on my chest, accompanied by fever chills and body aches, I went to the emergency walk in clinic attached to the hospital, where they confirmed I contracted MRSA.
JUST FRIKKIN’ LOVELY.
Seriously, this has been just a joy to deal with while recovering from childbirth. This flesh eating bacterial sore has effectively eliminated my chance of sharing skin to skin time with my newborn, and the added bonus of being contagious to my entire family is just.. well, it’s just swell. And while it’s rare, there’s always the chance that the infection can get into my bloodstream and kill me. Woohoo!
The hospital started me on a ten day treatment of two different antibiotics, and I have been keeping myself and my hands as clean and sanitized as I can in the meantime.
My antibiotic treatment ended last week, and guess what? IT’S COMING BACK. So now I’m looking at starting another round of stronger antibiotics. While this is enough to anger and upset anyone, as a hospital weary, FDA hating medical industry skeptic, I’m downright furious.