Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cellulitis

It has often been said that nurses make the worst patients.  Well I have news for all of you out there. . . it is absolutely, positively, completely true.

Yesterday I was snapping this photo


of my adorable Toddler Elli Bear frolicking outside with the Sophie Princess Puppy.  I got bitten or stung.  I think bitten.  I felt it.  I looked down.  Nothing.  A Texas Fire Ant, perhaps?  Or a mosquito?

Whatever it was my body decided it was evil and decided to go into full defense mode.  I was bitten between my left big toe on the one next it.  You know, the flip flop part.  It got a little puffy and red like this.

30 minutes after bite  (it is the foot on the left)
Good thing I had a pedicure or these pictures would be even interesting.

It was very very itchy.  Nothing of great excitement so I popped some benadryl, raised my foot, and hydrocortisone the crap out of the bite.  After all, scratching introduces bacteria.

I am used to having odd reactions to things.  I can scrub myself with poison ivy and never get the pustular rash, but wash with a gentle hypoallergenic soap, that is a whole other story.

The problem with us nurse, or at least me, is that we tend to treat ourselves and ignore the problem.  I brushed it all off and continued with my Benadryl regime.  I almost wait too late.

Less than 24 hours later, I wake up and my foot looks like this

<24 hours later
Yes, I now that these are very lovely pictures, but I want to make sure that everyone know what to look for.  To not let it get this bad.

Uh, that is not just an allergic reaction.  That is an infection!  Most likely staph as in staphylococcus or Group A streptococcus.  These bugs like to hang out on the skin flora. A nice irritated opening from a bug bit is the perfect entry into the inner layers of the skin.

Needless to say, I high-tailed it to the Easy Care clinic with Ellie Bear and Andrew.   Andrew got a prescription for a sinus infection and some excellent cough syrup that pretty much makes you sleep through the coughing.

Then the doctor took one look at my:

  • swollen
  • red
  • warm
  • painful
  • red streaking
  • sharp borders to the rash
  • did I mention painful and really really swollen?
foot and immediately ordered strong antibiotics for cellulitis and steroids for the allergic reaction. 

2.5 hours later and just after taking my first dose of Bactrim & steroids

 
I have a follow-up appointment tomorrow.  The problem with cellulitis is that if it is not treated promptly, it can go into the bone or the blood stream and cause serious complications like osteomyelitis (bone infection), meningitis (i.e. if your eye region has cellulitis), amputation (my poor toe!), sepsis (blood poisoning), or even death.  All of those things are rare, but I like to be dramatic.  Sorry, it is true.  Drama! 

Fortunately, for me and everyone else, most cases of cellulitis can be safely managed with oral antibiotics, warm soaks, and elevating the affect region.  Even the cases of MRSA (methicillin-resistant staph aureus) can be managed with a few nasty IV antibiotics.

After 3 doses of Bactrim /  steroids.  (48 hours after bite)

The moral of the story is this: 

Bugs in Texas are evil and nothing is so small that it becomes insignificant.  After all, I was taken down by an ant bite.




*The marker is used to draw around the red swelling.  It is good way to tell if things are getting worse or better.
**Thanks for bearing with my nasty foot pictures.

Thought that I should end with a happy picture


Photobucket

9 comments:

  1. ooooo and ouch! how bizarre we both have pics of our toes on our blogs this week! my toes are much less attractive, they are like sink plungers and were standing on weighing scales with a painful and shameful number in the weight window!!! hope its better soon x

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  2. Sooo scary. This happened to my c-section incision 5 weeks after I had Jojo. After a night in the ER, 1 bag of IV antibiotics, 2 weeks of 2 oral antibiotics (one was Bactrim), and lots of rest, I was A-OK (or... as A-OK as you can be with a 2-month-old, anyway). Hang in there!

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  3. Oh Wow, the size your foot swelled to is CRAZY! That looks like it must have been soooo itchy too! Glad the antibiotics are taking care of things :-)

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  4. That is crazy!! Hope you and your foot are better soon. Thanks for ending with an Ellie picture. :)

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  5. So glad you are treating it. After looking at all of your foot photos, it was funny to end the post with those beautiful blue eyes. A nice distraction from the pain, I'm sure.

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  6. I am sorry Anna!! That looks awful. I will pray it heals completely fast. I am glad you got in.

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  7. HOLY COW!!!! That is one heck of a bug!! Glad you are on the mend though, and thanks also for that LOVELY photo of Ellie xo

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  8. What is Cellulitis Symptoms. when the spreading bacterial infection happens just below the skin surface. It is commonly caused by Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus. The bacteria cause the issue basically it is the inflammation of the skin cells.

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  9. I believe you had a Large Local Reaction, rather than cellulitis.

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