Discussions By Condition: Infectious diseases

Life after Alpha Strep/Strep Viridans

Posted In: Infectious diseases 21 Replies
  • Posted By: Gretchen
  • December 5, 2006
  • 08:45 PM

Hi - I am a 39 year old healthy female who spent a week in the hospital 2 years ago due to an alpha strep/strep viridans infection. Diagnosis took several days before hospital admittance and during it because of my age and good health. Sepsis had set in and I had to have a shoulder operated on to remove the infection that was in it. After the hospital stay I had an IV port in my arm for 6 weeks to continue intraveneous antibiotics.

As soon as I could I started exercising again regularly but I find that I am very lethargic and have an energy level that is nothing like it was before the strep infection. I am a very positive upbeat person with a great job and very happy life. I exercise regularly and do what I can to minimize stress in my life. I just don't feel as healthy and energetic as I did before that illness. Has anyone had a similar experience or know that this is a common aftereffect? I have spent a lot of time trying to research this on the internet but can't find anything.

Thank you for any thoughts, comments, etc. you may have.

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21 Replies:

  • Hi,I also had a bout with a strep viridian last Dec. went into hospital before Christmas and was discharged 3 wks later, post surgery.My illness is called Osteomyelitis which is an infectious disease with a strep viridian, I was very much in pain and need to have my collar bone removed a rib removed and my sternum was scrapped due to the strep invading the bones, also had a large abcess in my chest due to the infection was placed on antibiotics during the time while test were done to find exactly what was wrong and was on 10 days when discharged. At this time I;m still in quite a bit of pain and recently was put on Neurontin which is used for nerve pain,but normaly it is used for epiletics seizures.Cannot use Vicadin or percacet or any of that stuff as it makes me feel sick...my options are limited is what my doctor says.Good luck
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 21, 2006
    • 09:53 PM
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  • Pichuu123- I know Im busting in on your post BUT I was wondering how it"s going with your OSTEOMYELITIS or bone infection. I'm on the long road and would love any advice.Take care- Hollyb
    hollyb 8 Replies
    • February 11, 2007
    • 00:26 AM
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  • hollyb,Thank- you for asking,I notice that theres not too much on the health boards about osteomyelitis ? My doc says it's rare,but....So far this year 2007, I had an MRI and all good news for me right now, however I know it can change like the weather here in Maine.I will see a new bone doc the end of this month and will also see a new pain management doc as well, things move very slow when it comes to appt.s with these kind of doc.s , they are VERY BUSY and takes for ever to get an appt. So glad my appt is coming up soon!I do still have on going pain all the time never a day with-out it, yet, I'm so hoping that'll be old news soon.Did you have Osteomyelitis? If so what type;staph or strep? My type was a strep viridian which is rare,I've read alot about MRSA or the staph but not much at all about the strep?Let me know, Thanks Pichuu
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 15, 2007
    • 01:31 PM
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  • Pichuu- Sorry to hear about your pain. It is awful. I know. I wish there was more on the www. about osteomyelitis or bone cavitation ( it's other name ). It's good that your MRI is clear....BUT - my story will possibly complicate the idea of trusting imaging. I have had ostemyelitis since 1989. After years of constant pain and every imaging I could squeeze out of my insurance ( x-rays, bone scan, MRI, ct scan and many gallons of blood removed for testing ). Still- they sent me to mental health---I was told to let this imaginary bone pain "idea" go. But being the +person who had to lay in bed every night and cry my self to sleep with heating pads placed on my sore little bones...I never could come to terms with the idea that it was just some mental illness manifesting . Lucky for me. In 2005 I walked in to a dentist office of a dentist I hadn't ever seen and asked him to check out my jaw ( he didn't know i was "crazy", so it seemed like a good idea). He did a small dental x-ray...the ones they slide between your check, then came back with a very concerned look on his face. "So, see that little dark gray shaded area? There is some thing in your jaw bone where one of you wisdom teeth has been removed." YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!Seems like a done deal right..........my insurance should now be kissing my butt and get me treated a.sap????? Not quite- even after two bone cultures out of two different spots in my jaw came back from the lab positive for chronic osteomyelitis. By the way I live in N. California and have KAISER ( they stink). Last summer my darling husband had a melt down and canceled our insurance ( for a noble, but dumb reason). I am now sort of screwed. We aren't financially in a good place at all and so I am just sitting and waiting. Bone pain and all.I am not sure if my ostomyelitis is staph or strep......I just know that the labs came back "chronic osteomyelitis and that it has spreed over the years to other injured bones (left ankle, left foot, left shoulder and sternum. ).I am trying to find a teaching bone clinic that will let me be there guinea pig. That seems like the only way I will get the correct treatment. How long have you have osteomyelitis? Where did you finally get diagnosed at..a bone clinic or regular MD.? Is there any muscle weakness or tendon pain with your osteomyelitis? Do regular NSAIDS work for your pain control? What is the origin of your osteo? When do you believe you injured the original bone? Thank you so much for re-posting. hollyb
    hollyb 8 Replies
    • February 15, 2007
    • 05:40 PM
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  • How my infection was found is I was in extreme pain with pain traveling up my left arm and into the neck area a constant pain that wouldn't let up so after three days of it I went to my p.m. doc who thought I had a torn muscle in my left arm...so was put on steroids for two days along with a muscle relaxer, nothing seemed to help so my p.m. doc admitted me to his hospital to rule out other stuff by doing a few x-rays and some blood work and again nothing showed up and the pain was so bad the doc gave me a morphine drip and a butten to push when I needed it, which was alot! After three days he transferred me to a larger hospital where again a ton of procedures were done and after all the scans ,x-rays an MRI picked up a huge abcess was deep into the left side of my chest and it also showed that the left collar bone was infected as well as the sternum and a rib , I still have some of my sternum as it was scrapped but the doc did remove all the other bones that was infected. Not sure how/where the infection came from only that my infectious doc said to look into my teeth since the lab work stated it was a strep viridian and thats from the mouth, I have gone to the dentist and so far nothing has shed any light on this.I've had osteomyelitis since Dec.22, 2005 and it was a fast acting infection which in dr.s words is ;acute, however since I'm still in major pain and cannot use my left arm to sweep the floor or many basic chores it is now called chronic pain, I've noticed that the right collar bone wil start aching for no reason and if I use my right all day then it is very hard to do anything since it's the right arm that I use 24/7, yes there is very much tenderness near the scar site to touch it sends needles through the chest area and directly on and slightly around the surgery site it is still numb in that area the doc says it may or may not come back to feeling. No I can't take NSAIDS as they all make me very ill, the only thing that works for me is morphine and methadone at least it did when this infection first started, At the moment I'm not on anything and yes, I'm in pain, will be seeing a bone doc this wk. and a new pain management doc next wk. also wanted to mention is my incision (scar) has" Keloided" it has become very raised and very redish/pinkish and has gotten bigger all on it's own, one pain doc told me to see my surgen and have him take care of the Keloid, however the surgen says to see a plastic surgon for that kind of fixing , the only reason I can see to do anything about the Keloid is bacause of the pain and I'll ask my new bone doc on Friday about how to go about getting it done.Keep me posted on the events of your illness.Thank-you for posting Pichuu
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 17, 2007
    • 11:49 PM
    • 0
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  • To all with chronic pain / infections. Another reason for antibiotic resistance, and for the infections themselves, could be that they are secondary infections, to a systemic fungal infection. Read up on Candida, and other fungal types, and see if you may also have some of the other symptoms. I do, and there are very many seemingly unrelated symptoms that you, and possibly your family members could have.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 18, 2007
    • 02:21 AM
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  • I had osteomyelitis too, but it was from staph. I had a staph infection a year ago, did the picc line antibiotics for 8 weeks and it seemed to go away. Almost a year later, I had similar pain to what you had and a fever--went into the ER and they did bloodwork. They admitted me that night and the infectious disease doc came in and said they were removing my clavicle the next morning. They had also given me vancomycin in the ER and that caused my kidneys to fail and I also lost hearing in my left ear.The clavicle surgery went well, but I still don't really understand how I am supposed to function normally without a collarbone. I am a barber and use both arms for my job, and can't raise my left arm at all yet. Does clavicle removal cause a disability? If so, I was never told about that part. It just seems odd to not have had a plate or pin put in to take the place of the missing bone. How long have you been healing and what is your prognosis?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • This is the first time of actually talking to someone with Osteomyelitis and someone who also had their clavical removed.Can you tell me more about why you ended up seeking medical help and were you in pain, just need to hear someone elses story other than my own.To answer about the disability part of not having a collar bone in my case yes it is a handycap,and the remaining bone will often move in such a way as to cause extreme pain and it's not getting any better as time goes.I recently had sharp pain in my left shoudler and saw a bone dr. and he found two large calcium deposits on the bone and decided to give me a steroid injection, that was two wks ago and now it's still hurting couldn't do much before with my left arm and now can do even less, I start p.t today and hope like h^#@ that this will be the cure all, I'm still hoping and not giving up that someday I'll be pain free
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you for replying...you are the only one I know of who had their clavicle removed from a staph infection too!I had the worst pain in my life in my left shoulder and chest and that caused my trip to the ER. The first time I had staph last year, it sounded very much like your situation. I had arm pain but they kept mis-diagnosing me. One doctor even said it was arthritis! That was until I got a huge red mass on my clavicle and they did a CT scan and saw it was infection. They didn't take my clavicle out last time, which I think was a mistake because the staph came back to that same spot. I just got my stitches out and haven't started PT yet, but I am a barber and unable to raise my arm to cut hair. I will be on my IV Antibiotics until the end of this month.So you are a bit ahead of me as far as healing goes! Make sure you advocate for your own health when you see your Dr.'s--this experience has left me really feeling like doctors are more concerned about themselves than with me.
    jimmyvq 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • It's interesting that you had stiches, I didn't have any and the incision was left open where it drained for almost two wks. it healed very slowly and I thought it felt forever, but it finally closed and the draining stopped on it's own.I owe my thanks to my husband who never batted an eye when he had to clean the area around the incision from the excess fluid.How are you feeling these days?I can so feel your pain...nothing has worked as far as pain meds. I'm still hoping someday.....My infection was a strep viridian not a staph, not sure if one is better(doubt it) After the hospitalization I was on pill form antibiotic for ten days.Keep me informed please,
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks for posting on the Osteomyelytis. I have been searching what has been wrong since having back surgery and then a emergency debrisment in Dec. for staph, MRSA, and a spinal tear. After 7 weeks of antibiotics I have been in so much pain in my lower back. After reading your symptoms and looking up the definition, I was nervous because it seemed so similiar, but in my back. I saw my infectious doctor today and he is confirming that osteomyelitis is the reason for the pain and infection, but I have to have an MRI tomorrow and looks like surgery again next week. They just need to find if it's in the bone, tissue, or muscle from the MRI. I would like to know how long recovery has been from this and what I might be possibly looking at? Thanks, Julie
    juliet_keller 3 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Hi Julie,I'm not sure about back osteomyelitis as far as healing, only from my own pain and surgery, it's still a problem and it's been since Jan. 2006 that I had surgery for strep infection on my collar bone and sternum, collar bone was removed as my surgeon told me aggresive removel of infected areas is the answer for this type infection, the infection caused a big abcess in my chest,which the doc.s had to scrap out.I was on antibiotics during my hospital stay of about three wks. and was on pill form antibiotic for ten days after going home.I hope this helps you out with your own ordeal and wish you the best of luck.As for being out of pain I don't know, I have alot of pain everyday and I'm limited as far as taking pain med.s I'm on Tramadol for pain at the moment the other pain med.s make me sick and dizzy, I'm seeing a new pain doc. next wk, and also seeing a bone doc as he just discovered two large calcium deposits & gave me a shot of steroid a month ago and it's still hurting me, bone doc set me up for p.t. but p.t says she doesn't know what she can do for me. ????That's one reason why I seek the forums in hopes of finding some answers from other people here and possibly finding stories like yours and going from there.Keep me up to date on your medical ordeals.Thanks, Pichuu123
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • HI, i need some help to deal with the bed news that my family has come to know my not even 2 months old niece was diagnose with osteomyelitis on her left shoulder. Doctors say she may have gotten it from the air, but after my online research I found out that the bacteria is anaerobic andthe ways that you could get it is after surgery or penetrating trauma? Can anyone get me out of the doubt?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have a question for Pichuu123 or anyone else out there that can help: I live in northern cal and have some ongoing medical problems since I had a root canal that was abcessed when they went in to clean it out. I have been through all kinds of blood test, MRI's or brain and neck, x-rays and lumbar puncture. They are not finding anything, but my collar bone area,neck, sternum and breast bone hurt and it's getting worse day by day. I feel this burning and painful pressure, I also have a hard time breathing. Just doing a few things around the house I feel out of breath. When I bend down or do an activity like sweeping, it makes the pain worse. I am a 41 year old female that used to play tennis 3 times per week and run and had lots of energy. I barely leave my house anymore. No idea what doctor to see next or where to go for help. I had a upper GI endoscopy, but that looked pretty good, he said a little acid reflux, gave me prevacid, but I have had nothing but bland babyfood and I puree all my veggies and meat and things are getting worse. HELP!
    tam1234 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Gretcheni would like to talk to you about how you have been doing since having Alpha Strep. Also how did you get it? i got it in early jan 2007 --about 6 months ago ---after having a hystermormy. i really do think i got it in the hospital.........maybe from the operation-------dirty tools. i don't know---but all i do know it that i never had it before................the infection setup in my stomach area and it made me so very very sick.my white blood count was up to 25,000. i was throwing up and had diarrhea like running water. i stayed in the hospital for 19 days. those 19 days were the worst days of my life. i was so very sick!!!! after 19 days i was sent home with the iv port for 14 days. 1 week after the iv port was removed the infection returned.........worst than before. i then had to have another operation to remove the infection from my stomach area. i was told they got all the infection---------but i really have not been the same since. please tell me about your ordeal.thanks! Charlesette in atlanta Hi - I am a 39 year old healthy female who spent a week in the hospital 2 years ago due to an alpha strep/strep viridans infection. Diagnosis took several days before hospital admittance and during it because of my age and good health. Sepsis had set in and I had to have a shoulder operated on to remove the infection that was in it. After the hospital stay I had an IV port in my arm for 6 weeks to continue intraveneous antibiotics. As soon as I could I started exercising again regularly but I find that I am very lethargic and have an energy level that is nothing like it was before the strep infection. I am a very positive upbeat person with a great job and very happy life. I exercise regularly and do what I can to minimize stress in my life. I just don't feel as healthy and energetic as I did before that illness. Has anyone had a similar experience or know that this is a common aftereffect? I have spent a lot of time trying to research this on the internet but can't find anything. Thank you for any thoughts, comments, etc. you may have.
    charlesette 1 Replies
    • October 19, 2007
    • 06:45 PM
    • 0
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  • All,My mother has been in the hospital for about three weeks. She received the Osteomyelitis diagnosis caused by MRSA. It is in her clavicle, sturnum, and two top ribs. She has been on Vanco and her doctors are recommending major surgery. However, none of the doctors treating her have performed this surgery. Does anyone, espececially those wwho have had the surgery in the clavicle area, have any advice? Thanks!Gretcheni would like to talk to you about how you have been doing since having Alpha Strep. Also how did you get it? i got it in early jan 2007 --about 6 months ago ---after having a hystermormy. i really do think i got it in the hospital.........maybe from the operation-------dirty tools. i don't know---but all i do know it that i never had it before................the infection setup in my stomach area and it made me so very very sick.my white blood count was up to 25,000. i was throwing up and had diarrhea like running water. i stayed in the hospital for 19 days. those 19 days were the worst days of my life. i was so very sick!!!! after 19 days i was sent home with the iv port for 14 days. 1 week after the iv port was removed the infection returned.........worst than before. i then had to have another operation to remove the infection from my stomach area. i was told they got all the infection---------but i really have not been the same since. please tell me about your ordeal.thanks! Charlesette in atlanta
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have cultured positive to Strep Group G orally and viridans strep in urine. I'm presumed positive for sepsis. I have a history of Sarcoidosis and failed treatment for that which caused my immune system to lower my white blood cell count which resulted in this round of infection. Due to the degree of pain I have I suspect I may have osteomyelitis as well as infectious arthritis. Those diagnoses should be confirmed in a few weeks.I have found that white willow bark (beta salasillic acid, or salix alba, a cousin to aspirin) is very effective for the pain in the joints and bones. The long muscle pain, fatigue and exhaustion are due to anemia. The problem is that the bacteria feeds on iron stores so replenishing iron reduces pain but complicates treatment for infection. Viridans strep is normally found in the mouth so I suspect my infection came as the result of a crown I had on a rear molar over two years ago. That was the last oral surgery. I have a couple of dogs that have been colonized for staph but not strep. My husband contracted MRSA during a hip replacement and has been on IV antibiotics, oral antibiotics, and went through multiple operations. He was positive for infection in June. His MRI shows osteomyelitis of the pelvis. He's going back in for surgery in August and neither of us is optimistic, but his physician is quite optimistic. Our two dalmations contracted his MRSA from soiled bandages left on the couch when he went to the hospital. They took a month to recover but are doing fine now. They had multiple courses of antibiotics, nasal gentamiacin and finally intra-nasal ionized silver. They finally cultured negative for MRSA. Strep group G can also include the dog based strep so it's possible I have the Group G infection from them.I never found any of the opiate medications particularly helpful with the pain. I use caffeine to help with the fatigue.Best wishes to all of you dealing with this infection.
    donohuema 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • hi i just turned 24 and have just recently gone through both a strep infection and osteomyelitis in my arm, between my sholder and elbow. I started having pain in my arm about 2 months ago and the Dr.'s kept putting it off as either tennis elbow or a pinched nerve. Finally, after a month and lots of pain, my arm began to swell and turn red. After this the Dr.'s thought i needed surgery to clean out whatever was in my arm. So the next day I had surgery and they said it was strep and after 4 days in the hospital they sent me home on augmenten/amoxicillin tables. I thought I was healed about 10 days later I was back to work. I had surgery on Feb.13 2009, and on Mar.1, 2009 my arm broke under the weight of my arm. I went back to the hospital and they said that I had bone cancer and needed at least 3 surgerys to repair the bone. The next day I went to Emory and they said all I had was a poorly treated infection and a broke arm that would heal on its own. As of today Im on iv antibiotics and im doing a lot better. After all this the only thing I know to say is that the Lord works in Mysterious ways and if You dont make your Dr.'s take care of you no one else will. Good luck to anyone who has this.
    buck229 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you all for your posts. I had Alpha Strep V & Coagulase Neg. Staph from either my surgical porcedure for my back a year ago (2008) or subsequent pain clinic shots. My surgeon went in to repair some more damage to my back and found both of these bugs.I had IV treatment with Vanco for 7 weeks. Does it come back, do you know?How did you feel after your IV was over. I am still in pain - which could be soft tissue, and I am tired and lethargic. PT totally flared up the pain. Tomorrow I see my Infectious Disease doctor, and Saturday I am having acupuncture to see if that helps the pain. It did years ago with first back surgery.You are all wonderful to share your stories. These bugs are out there - so many people have had them. SCARY !!judi
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • [I too have suffered an enormous amount of pain as a resullt of having a tooth removed after an anaphylactic shoch and have had 6 months of excruiciating pain in my gums. i then had another healthy toothe removed and pain persisted. after countless visits to dentists doctors physiscians etc i was thought to be depressed and told to take antidepressants. i eventually went to another doctor who with tests confirmed my streptocooccuc viridans and after 20 antibiotics gave me the right one. i am on dalacin C which is alreadyt helping. my advice is to follow up with blood tests FBC ESR go for lots of massages, yoga, and have right treatment . at last i have been correctly diagnosed. im from south africa
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 11, 2010
    • 06:32 AM
    • 0
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