When our bodies start giving us painful symptoms, most of us fear the worst. One woman began to experience agonizing stomach pain, so she decided to go to the doctors. She was immediately rushed into surgery, but her problems would only increase a few weeks later when she looked down at her stomach to see something horrifying.
Chloe Meade, a woman from Caldicot, South Wales, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was a child. Growing up with the disease, she learned to expect certain problems and how to overcome the hurdles that were thrown at her. When she started experiencing agonizing stomach pains, she took an immediate trip to the doctors.
Unfortunately, her doctors would inform her that her stomach discomfort was the result of an abscess on her bowel that was life threatening. They didn’t hesitate to suggest that she needed an immediate operation to ensure her survival.
“When I woke up and saw the 20cm scar running down my stomach, I felt relieved that my ordeal was over,” Chloe explained, according to Mirror. “I thought after the operation the worst was over.”
During her recovery, her nearly 8 inch long wound on her stomach took a turn for the worst and became infected, but that’s not the worst part. Chloe would eventually look down to see that her incision had burst open.
“It was like something out of a horror film — my scar opened up completely,” she explained. “I could see straight through my scar into my stomach, and it needed months of packing with bandages before it started to heal.”
The unfortunate circumstance required Chloe to have a drain fitted into her stomach for three weeks. During that time she was tube fed until her body began to heal. Doctors believed that she had a reaction to the medication she was taking that caused her stomach to swell with water, eventually causing her scar to “explode” open.
“I started on a course of steroids to help reduce the swelling and infection, but that made me gain weight really quickly,” Chloe recalled. “My whole body was full of water and that’s why doctors think my scar split open.”
Chloe is thankful for her family, especially for her mom, Karen, who supported her throughout the entire ordeal. “I was in hospital for three months before I could come home,” Chloe said. “It was such a relief when the wound started to heal and I overcame the infection.”
The opening has begun to heal, leaving only a small opening left to close before she is considered fully recovered. Luckily, Chloe has a good sense of humor to assist in overcoming such a difficult ordeal. “But after everything in the past nine-months all I can do it laugh about it all,” Chloe explained.
The occurrence Chloe experienced is an emergency complication known as wound dehiscence. According to Modern Medicine, wound dehiscence is “the partial or complete separation of the outer layers of the joined incision.” The occurrence isn’t all too common, but it does happen in a significant number of surgeries. It’s important to know that in most cases it will occur within the first week after surgery and can commonly be predicted if the wound isn’t healing properly.
As a result of her endeavor, Chloe wants to spread awareness about Crohn’s disease. She joined the Get Your Belly Out campaign and shared her scar to do her part to get people to realize what the disease entails. Not only does her story spread awareness for Crohn’s disease, but it can also open the eyes of uninformed people about the risk of wound dehiscence after a surgery.
It may be scary if you or someone you love is informed that they must undergo surgery to survive. It’s important to remember that doctors and nurses are trained to take care of you, and they know what symptoms to look out for to protect you from further harm. Chloe’s medical professionals missed the red flags being given to them by her body, so it’s important to trust your own instincts. If you feel like something is wrong, it’s a good idea to say something.