Cellulitis :-(

  1. Well, so much for my three-month winning streak: on top of everything else I've had this year, I just came down with cellulitis.

    During our whirlwind visit to Seattle this past weekend, I was wondering vaguely why my right leg had this persistent, burning ache but I was so busy seeing all the sights I didn't really notice it that much. It never even occurred to me to LOOK at it until last night, when dh was getting ready to give me a leg-and-foot massage and said "Honey, you need to get this checked out".

    Sure enough, the lower leg was hot, swollen, and definitely painful to the touch.......and my heart sank. I've certainly seen enough cellulitis to know what it looks like, and having had it once many years ago when I was bitten by a brown recluse spider, I've always feared getting it again because it was a miserable experience. I developed blood poisoning and was sicker than a dog; I still have the scar on top of my foot as a souvenir. But of course, I'M the NURSE, and I don't go to the doctor unless I'm dying, so I reassured my hubby that I'd be fine, and if it wasn't better in a couple of days I'd get it checked.

    This morning it had spread, but it was a little less achy and swollen from having been elevated all night in bed, so I went to work without thinking much of it. An hour of being on my feet, though, and my leg was on fire and throbbing ferociously........plus the redness had spread around the back of it and was turning a fiery deep crimson.:stone I had a co-worker look at it; she took one glance and went "Holy smoke, how did you get cellulitis?" Then I asked one of our hospitalists to check it, and he said "You need to be seen TODAY---you've got to get some antibiotics going".

    So I let the higher-ups know what was going on, headed down to the ER and wound up with a bottle full of high-dose Clindamycin, instructions to elevate and put warm moist packs on the leg, and of course to report any worsening immediately. Then I'm going to be taking high doses of this stuff for a week, so I've got to watch for diarrhea which is something we're seeing a LOT of at work lately........yep, that's all I need to finish off the year, a raging case of C. diff.

    I'm just thankful I had enough sense not to try to tough it out this time, and that I didn't have to be admitted for IV antibiotics......it could have been much worse had I chosen to ignore it, the way I tend to do. As it is now, the leg is really ugly, and I have to wonder why the heck it's infected---several people asked if I was diabetic, and I'm not (at least, not that I know of), and then they wanted to know what bit me (there's no bite, only a wound that's been there for a month or so, which admittedly LOOKS like a spider bite but has never itched or hurt....it's just never healed either).

    I also don't understand how something like this could happen literally overnight---I'm not prone to developing infections, in fact I almost NEVER get even minor redness around wounds, and I heal up fast ordinarily. After my lap chole in August, my four little incisions healed so quickly and so well that I barely can tell I even had the surgery. So what's going on here??:uhoh21:

    Anyway, that's my story, and as much as I'd rather not, I'm sticking to it. Phooey.:stone
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    About VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN Guide

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    RN and blogger extraordinaire; from OR , US
    Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych


  3. by   Spidey's mom
    Sheesh Marla - what a run of dumb luck!!

    I've never had cellulitis but taken care of many folks and I do realize it is painful. Are you going to be able to be off from work?? Because some folks can start oral antibiotics and still end up on IV. Please take care of yourself.

    As an aside . . . . your husband gives you foot and leg massages!!!!!

    Wow, you are one lucky gal in that respect. I can't stand for anyone to rub my feet. I'd have to be under general anesthesia for a pedicure.

  4. by   prmenrs
    Marla! How awful! You've had waaay too much going on lately. Take veyr good care of your leg, and you!

    Stock up on yogurt! Now! Try to eat at least 3 cartons/day. It will help w/the overgrowth issues-diarrhea and other stuff. Make sure you're getting all the vitamins, fruits and vegs you need, and lots of fluids.

    I hope you feel better real soon!
  5. by   Tweety
    Cellulitius spreads fast.

    Eat yogurt so your friendly bacteria isn't wiped out and you get that c.diff.

    Good luck.
  6. by   Jessy_RN
    Everytime I go to Puerto Rico and get bitten by those mosquitos I end up with cellulitis. Very awful thing. Bless you Marla.