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C Section 'Recovery'- cant see light at end of tunnel :(

Hi ladies,

Im feeling so sorry for myself today & cant talk to family as I dont want to worry them any more. Gave birth to DS by c-section on 5th August (just under 6 weeks ago).I was discharged from hospital after 3 days to the care of community midwives. Initially wound seemed to be healing well but after a week started oozing at ends where dissolvable stitches were protuding & irritating skin. A swab was taken which confimed that I had two kinds of infection & commenced two different antibiotics.

Midwives then discharged me after almost 3 weeks saying that I was healing well- at this time my wound was still oozing & stitches still visible. After 5 days I decided to contact midwives to express concerns re. my wound not healing- they explained that as they had discharged me I was to contact my GP.Saw GP who stated that wound was still infected & prescribed another course of antibiotics. A few days after this I was in that much pain & discomfort that I went to walk in centre as it was bank holiday weekend. They pulled out stitches & stated that my wound was starting to open up in the middle- this was packed & dressing placed on. I was advised to see practice nurse at GP's that week. Saw nurse who stated that a further swab confirmed I still had infection & have been taking yet nother course of antibioticis. I went today for another dressing & she stated that there is still a hole in my wound & still oozing.

I am just so sore & feel so squeamish. I have been crying all afternoon as I feel that nobody seems to give a damn!! Im supposed to be seeing my GP for 6 week check on Weds for the all clear to drive again but I cant see that happening. Just feel so helpless.

Not expecting any replies- just wanted to get it all out of my head as it is getting me so down. I keep feeling that DS would be so much better off without me image



  • this is terrible though unfortunately does not surprise me. I had a terrible infection to the point that it was dripping on the floor (tmi) and ended up in hospital for a week on iv antibiotics. My friend had very similar to you and i have to say it did finally close about 10 weeks post op.

    It wil be ok hunny - it must be so frustrating but you will get there in the end. Stress your concerns with your gp and really push for better antibiotics/treatment.

    Good luck x
  • That sounds dreadful, no wonder you are feeling sorry for yourself! so you should! I had my c-section in december and healed really quickley but if i were you i would demand to see a midwife again as they should never have discharged you while you still had an infection-thats just silly! Sounds like you could do with a daily visit to have it redressed to knock the infection on the head,

    Im afraid i dont have any other advice other than it might be time to get stroppy with them so you can start to feel better and get your freedom back!
    x x x
  • Can you call the hospital where you had your baby? I would ask them, as this is major surgery and it should heal properly. If there is a problem, I think I would want to speak to the consultant who carried out the operation. Hope you get it sorted hun. xxx
  • hello there,

    what an awful time you are going through, my wound reopened 10 days after my section, i looked like i had been masacred, i acctually went back to the labour ward and got seen by the docs there and then refered back to the community midwives who forgot about me! luckily my practice nurse was lovely,

    i would ask the doc what the swabs are showing and what antibiotices the micro have suggested, if you have had all the same antibiotics i would ask the gp to rethink as not all antibiotics work for all infections so it may be that you need a different type, are they still packing it? its not easy and you will need all the support you can get, i would urge you to talk to your family about how you feel, also arrange to see your health visitor to talk about how things are going, it doesn help to get it off your chest face to face,

    it does feel like it will never end but it does get better, its just not a quick fix,

  • Poor you! that sounds horrible! Sometimes I think that going to casualty is the best way to see the appropriate doctors and bypassing ineffective and unmotivated GPs. I know thats what my sister has had to do with her daughter on several occassions. She has problems with her kidneys and her GP won't believe my sister when she tells them she has a UTI but casualty always refers her to the renal ward straight away. Maybe if you went to casualty they would refer you to a surgeon or give you iv antibiotics and arrange for a community nurse to come out every day to pack your wound.
  • I have no advice but just wanted to say you poor thing!!! I really hope your wound heals up quickly for you!!!!!! xxxx
  • I also had a pretty horrible section infection. It took 3 midwifes telling me I was fine before I was eventually sent back to hospital, to be told by ANOTHER midwife that it was fine, but she'd get the Dr to check before she released me. Dr demanded iv antibiotics and a 4 night stay (fist 2 nights I was on the wrong antibiotics until the swabs came back)

    Go up to the maternity hospital/casualty. Insist your not leaving until someone looks properly. Your ds does need you! He also needs you to get better.

    You honestly have my full sympathy, it is bad enough having to have an operation without having a long and drawn out recovery. Don't worry about being squemish either, I still (16 months on) can't look at my scar!

    It will get better, promise :\)

    (sorry to G/C!)
  • Thanks for replies. I've been too scared to go back to hospital encased they keep me in. Would baby be able to come with me if that was the case? Hubby has only just gone back work so doubt he'd get time off. Im seeing gp tomorrow and Im going to tell them what a load of rubbish my aftercare has been. Don't know what id do without u ladies x
  • i dont know wether you would be able to take the baby with you depends if you are admitted and what ward you would be put on, if it wasnt a maternity ward they they wouldnt due to infection risk to the baby, they can give IVs in the community though and i have had patients come in for IVs as certain times if well enough to stay at home
  • Are you breastfeeding? If so I believe they are legally obliged to find an inpatient setup that would allow you to bring baby with you. Probably a private room on the postnatal ward. However, it sounds like something that should be able to be managed as an outpatient.

    Do you know what kind of dressings are being used? Personally I would request a topical silver dressing, which will be antiseptic without transferring anything into your body. It will also promote faster healing.

    I had an infected incision with my DD, 4 years ago. It was painful and depressing and I'm not surprised you're feeling down. The two things that helped me were washing gently with a clorhexidine solution - you can get a product called HibiScrub from boots pharmacy which i sthe pink stuff they use for presurgical handwashing in hospitals - and manuka honey. Go to Holland and Barratt and but the highest 'UMF Factor' honey you can afford. Decant half into a clean lidded jar or pot, and put aside. Use the rest on toast, take a few spoonfuls daily, put it in drinks.

    When your open wound has closed, you can use the other pot of honey directly on the scar. pop a dry dressing over to stop your knickers getting sticky! Wash the would once or twice daily with the hibiscrub then reapply your honey.

    With DS I started the hibiscrub and honey routine as soon as the pressure dressing came off, and I was back driving after 13 days. Totally different story to my recovery from DD.

    You do sound very down but you mustn't think things like "my son doesn't need me". he needs you more than he needs anyone else in the world. Being in pain can be so depressing and miserable, but it might be a good idea to chat your feelings through with your HV. SHe is there to support, not judge, and she may be able to help. Don't soldier on pretending everything is fine when you feel miserable inside. People will want to be there for you. Keep talking to us, anyhow.
  • I think even if you're not breast feeding they will still let you bring baby in should you need to be admitted. You probably won't need to stay in, I was 5 days post natal so quite a different time period from yourself.

    I had mine packed with Aquacel, I didn't know you could request certain types of dressing. Good to know.

    I hope you feel better soon.xx
  • You poor thing. With an infection rushing through your body its little wonder you are feeling miserable. Like Maenad said your baby needs you more than anyone else in the World so dont think for a second he doesnt... your just feeling really down and I am not suprised.

    You have been let down by your care providers and I hope your GP took it more seriously. an open wound is at danger of been infected with all sorts of nasties.

    I had nasty wound (not c section) and I was dressed with sorbsan. it was fab stuff. I nearly died from the infection I had (it was a bit like MRSA but called necrotising faceitus (sp) ) I was in hosp for a month and on IV anti b's.

    I think you should have a HV visit every day to redress you and you should be on the strongest antibiotics known to man to get rid of it once and for all.

    Its not your fault so dont blame yourself.

    I have never heard of the honey treatment but good to know! Maenad may well be slated at times for having a point of view we dont all like but when it comes to the nittygritty she is always there with sound advice. (just edited to say that there is a dressing that has that honey in it already...clever you!!!! )

    hope you get well soon

    d xx

    [Modified by: dee dee on September 14, 2010 01:13 PM]

  • I have never heard of the honey treatment but good to know! Maenad may well be slated at times for having a point of view we dont all like but when it comes to the nittygritty she is always there with sound advice. (just edited to say that there is a dressing that has that honey in it already...clever you!!!! )

    Heh, I like it. She's a bitch, but sometimes she's a useful bitch! ;\)

    Manuka honey is the absolute schizzle. In this house we fix pretty much everything with manuka honey and breastmilk. I've been known to stand over my conjunctivitis-riddled husband dripping breastmilk in his eye!
  • Heh, I like it. She's a bitch, but sometimes she's a useful bitch!

    Ha ha ha ... harsh!!!!!!!!!!! You are not a bitch. Just a bit opionated at times. Nothing wrong with that unless you are disagreeing with me... lol

  • They have been packing it with with Inodine & Aquacel & then placing a dressing on top. She said I needed daily dressings but as I cannot drive to our walk in centre I have had to compromise on going to GP's Mon, Weds, Fri. She left me from Thurs-Mon last week which was far too long- the stench was unbearable!! When I went yesterday she said that it was looking angry & decided not to use inodine- not sure why.

    Nobody has mentioned home visits which tbh would make life much easier. Am currently depending on family members to attend appointments with me as I have been told not to push pram whilst Im healing up!!

    Today my stomach has been quite sore- not just the wound area but higher up- it actually hurt when I went for a wee earlier. Not sure if this is linked to it all. I have been prescribed Metrozidine & Flucoxacillin- i have taken 2 courses of both. Would I be able to get IV antibiotics at GP surgery?

    Sorry for all these questions. Im just getting so desperate now! And Maenad- thanks for the tip on the honey. Am sending my mum out to get me some tomorrow!!

  • Inadine (iodine) is a controversial choice, I'm glad they've stopped using it. There have been studies to show that it can actually retard wound healing. I'm having barneys with my dad's GP right now for giving it to him, actually, as he's diabetic and doesn't need any more interference on the wound healing front!

    Can I ask if you are breastfeeding, btw? It is relevant, I swear!

    Ring your GP and say it is not feasible for you to attend clinic as you cannot drive, and that you will need a daily home visit from a community nurse to dress your wound. If they refuse, come back to me, I will draft you a stinking letter to send to your PCT. We got daily CN visits for my great aunt to administer insulin after I politely reamed them a new one. Expecting you to attend surgery in your condition is completely unacceptable.

    Don't put honey on the wound whilst it's still being packed but definitely eat some - a spoon before each meal will be brill.

    Metronidazole is a kick ass antibiotic, I had a uterine infection and it sorted it within days. I would give it a chance to work before you think about IV antibiotics. If it came down to it, there should be a way to give you IV infusions at home, my friend is a nurse who works for a private agency and that's what she does - go to people's houses to give IV drugs, though it's normally chemo and whatnot. I wouldn't worry about that for now, though.
  • I don't have any advice to offer, as I think Maenad has just about covered it all. From the silver dressings, to the honey & Hibbiscrub (this is actually used to treat MRSA in hospitals so it's great stuff!). I have also had metronidazole for a uterine infection, and it worked wonders.

    I feel the way you have been treated is appalling. I hope that someone looks after you properly and you get sorted soon. I would think about complaining about the way you have been treated so far too. To be left with an infected surgical wound is unacceptable. xx
  • I was breatfeeding for first few weeks but then was told not to whilst taking antibiotics. Because it has gone on so long I gave up expressing as he has settled onto FF. Its just all been one big mess.

    Im due to finish penicliin on Fri- have not been prescribed Metronidazole this time. No signs of improvement up to now but we'll see. Its scary to hear that Inadine can actually make things worse!ill bear that in mind tomorrow when I see GP.

  • I wanted to check because Iodine is contraindicated in breastfeeding mums.

    I'm trying to get hold of the full copy of this study but this is the precis:

    You might want to print it off and take it with you to the appointment.
  • I could write your post exactly and i did a while ago (deleted now) My wound opened up in the same way yours did after not being checked properly on few occasions. At the start i had 8cm width by 4 cm gap IYGWIM. (I haven't had time to read all the replies so sorry if repeating them).
    I actually cried reading your post as i can't believe there are so many of us that are treated this way by people we trust. I fought tooth and nail to get the home visits from District Nurses and was even branded time waster before they saw my wound.(quickly retracted when they came out to asses me to shut me up) I then had themtry to cancel after a week due to me 'not being important enough'. When i tried to explain i couldn't get in they agreed to intermitent visits. I went from being told i had to have daily visits for infection control to to every 3 days as they were short staffed and daily visits wouldn't help control infection, WTF? Their criteria to visit is for you to be house bound, which essentially you are. Tell them you can no longer drive and your not able to get lifts. I struggled like you up to docs for weeks, before this, and made myself so much worse.
    When i eventually got the inodene my recovery was so much quicker, yet they hadn't thought to ask specialist in wound care for way too long, so i was left in pain. I would say that everyone is different. I found that i was allergic to lots of dressing and the wipes used to take glue off too, go figure?????? I eventually ended up on Tegaderm adhesive bandages, which thankfully were confortable. Please don't be afraid to let them hear what you want, as you know your body best, even of they get narky your what matters they aren't the one's bringing up a baby with an open wound. I honestly believe a lot of them forgot to stop and think half the time. I must say there were some who helped and i'll be forever grateful to them.
    I had repeated infections (10 in total) and was never taken seriously by most of the HCP.I had the same problem with antibiotics and was left sometimes for 3 weeks with wrong one's. Metronidazol (sp?) was the only thing that really worked for me yet i was given Fluclox so many times and they even dropped my dose sometimes! On one occasaion Doctor told me my swab was clean and when i asked why i felt so ill, she told me 'oh there was strep in it' . (was not happy) Another day i spent 5 hours sat in assesment unit at hospital only for surgeon to get pissed of i had been sent by GP,they had none of my dressings in the hospital and sent me home with gauze! i could tell you so much more but not enough space on BE.
    It came down to me putting my foot down every time and telling them i knew i had infections. I was so sick from their incompetence. I honestly never felt like i would be able to be a good mum and do all the things i planned with LO. Your frustration is completelty understandable and i know exactly how low you feel. A C-section is a hard enough op to get over and to have this happen is so crushing when you have just had a baby. I can tell you it really does get better and i can happily say that as of last Tuesday i finally closedimage i am more than happy to talk on email any questions you may have or advice i could pass on. Im no expert but i will do my best. Im just so sorry this has happened to you too but we really are not alone.
    Sending you huge hugs Lilbean.x

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