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Author Topic: Awash In Cellulitis  (Read 755 times)
PrimeTimer
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« on: April 05, 2019, 10:33:21 PM »

I have Cellulitis in both lower legs. There was a lot of redness, swelling and pain. Can't walk or bend right. Did a 10-day round of Bactrim and have been applying a strong prescription topical steroid ointment. Good, seemed to be working. Until I blistered. Now I've got leaky legs dripping clear droplets. Wet, wet, wet. When does it stop? Or does it? Will call my doc on Monday and see if I need another round of antibiotics. I thought blisters should be kept dry and uncovered but have read conflicting stories. Which is it? If you cover them, what do you use? Never had a fever but the swelling is ridiculous. Doc also put me on furosemide. And just for good measure, they scheduled me for an echocardiogram next week. And all the while I've got a brother who I have not seen or heard from in 20 years in hospice dying from heart and liver failure caused by drug abuse. I nearly died from asthma last week so now I am doing breath treatments on a nebulizer machine at home every 4-6 hours. Do I rush to be by my long lost brother's side or stay close to home and prepare for my own possible stay at a hospital? Drip, drip, drip....no, not a leaking faucet. Just my legs. Need to go put on a dry pair of socks, stuff them with tissue and get to bed. Tomorrow is a new day.
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
Kathymac2
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2019, 08:19:25 AM »

You've got a really full plate Prime Timer. I say take care of yourself first, then your immediate family. Maybe you could FaceTime with your brother until your health is better.

Is there no one who covers for your doctor over the weekend?  It sounds like you need additional medical care now rather than waiting for Monday.

I hope you are feeling better soon.

Kathy
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MooseMom
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2019, 09:30:47 AM »

OMG, PT!  I agree with Kathymac...is there no one on call at your doctor's office?  Is there one of those "urgent care" facilities near you where you can just walk in and get medical attention?

I don't know what to suggest about going to see your brother.  That's quite a conundrum.

I look forward to hearing more about what your doctor is going to do for you.  What a nightmare!
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"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
cassandra
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When all else fails run in circles, shout loudly

« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2019, 02:27:10 PM »

All of the above PT!


   :flower;
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I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left

1983 high proteinloss in urine, chemo, stroke,coma, dialysis
1984 double nephrectomy
1985 transplant from dad
1998 lost dads kidney, start PD
2003 peritineum burst, back to hemo
2012 start Nxstage home hemo
       still on waitinglist, still ok I think
kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2019, 03:26:43 PM »

Best of luck, PT, with your own issues and your family pressures.  Sounds like a lousy situation.  I'm sorry.
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Diagnosed with Stage 2 ESRD 2009
Pneumonia 11/15
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Began PD 1/16 (manual)
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UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2019, 11:40:48 AM »

 :grouphug;  :cuddle; PrimeTimer, may you get some relief soon and a suitable compromise for the situation with your brother. Please take care of yourself first!
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Charlie B53
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 05:49:34 PM »


I've a long history of leaking legs until I finally started Dialysis and lost all that water.

Infection control is Critical.

Even though you already have cellulitis you MUST treat your legs as open wounds and acceptable to further types of infection.

I don't remember the ratio, but vinegar/water  used to wash the wouonds/legs is a great natural antiseptic/antibacterial

One of my Nurses kept telling me to lay the soaked cloth on and leave it a few minutes on those areas of particularly nasty sores.

Sorry I don't take this puter with me on the weekends, Wife's Nursing Home is just now finally starting to wire the facility foro wifi.  I'm not holding my breath.  It may still be a while before it is working.
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PrimeTimer
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2019, 04:20:18 PM »

Thanks for the well wishes everyone. I'm not out of the woods yet but am on the mend. I think. Someone (I think it was Ukrainian Tracksuit) said cellulitis is brutal. I would add "wicked mean" to that. And exhausting. It's being treated now like a second degree burn with moist wet dressings which I have become an expert at. Until I got it I never knew what cellulitis was. It sure goes from bad to worse very fast. Do not delay treatment!
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
MooseMom
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 06:48:48 PM »

I'm thrilled to hear you are making progress.  Thanks very much for letting us know, PT! 
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"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
Michael Murphy
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 07:37:14 PM »

Over the years I have had cellulitis in my legs about every other year at firs the out breaks were serious heavy antibiotics and bed rest. But over the years I have gotten better in identifying a outbreak in its early stages.  A rash combined with redness and flushed (warm) patches send me immediately to the urgent care for antibiotic treatment.  Early treatment seems to make the occurrence more manageable.  I believe I get a rash that causes me to scratch my lower legs with the side of my shoe, causing breaks in the skin leading to infection.  Good luck.
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jambo101
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 09:54:49 PM »

I was using a steroid cream on my legs until a major portion of the skin came off which necessitated twice a week visits to the local clinic to bandage my legs. IMO you might want to stop using the steroid cream and seek professional help for the problem as its prone to infection.
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Jim
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2019, 11:12:11 PM »

I was using a steroid cream on my legs until a major portion of the skin came off which necessitated twice a week visits to the local clinic to bandage my legs. IMO you might want to stop using the steroid cream and seek professional help for the problem as its prone to infection.

Yes, a couple of weeks of steroid ointment can make the skin angry. I've switched to Neosporin now. The skin is sloughing off so is red and raw. Keeping it moist with ointment and covered with gauze and lightly wound Ace bandage. Waiting for new skin to grow, could take a few weeks. I keep it washed by squeezing a wet washcloth over it saturated with anti-bacterial foaming soap and lukewarm water -no scrubbing or rubbing. Such an ordeal! Painful and scary.   
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
Cupcake
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2019, 07:39:00 AM »

PT- does your area have a wound clinic? I was referred to one after my transplant as I had a wound infection. Those people have access to lots of different topical treatments that I had never even heard of, even working in the medical field my entire life. They have special membranes that promote skin growth, etc. they even have hyperbaric oxygen tanks that you hang out in that makes wounds heal. Just a thought, covered by Medicare. They debrided my wound and fixed me up with a wound vac (that was a real PIA but did the trick.) Saw other folks in the waiting room with leg bandages, so I think its right up their alley. Best of luck to you
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UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2019, 06:59:46 AM »

Thanks for the update. You're right on: cellulitis is a total royal bitch. So happy things are progressing in the right direction.  :cuddle;
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PrimeTimer
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« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2019, 07:39:15 PM »

Cupcake: There are several wound clinics near me so that is on the back of my mind. Hopefully I won't need to go. If things do get worse tho I'd rather go to a wound clinic than a hospital, especially an ER. I have had the same Internal Medicine doctor for my primary care for more than 20 years. He's terrific. He was pretty upset that I didn't go in sooner. I honestly thought I just had a rash or mild skin condition, never heard of cellulitis. Now I know. My gosh, it is something terrible. And now to add to my misery I am battling hives from being on so many meds (for asthma and the cellulitis). My sweet husband went out and got me some cupcakes from the bakery. Sweet, just like you! I appreciate your suggestions.


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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
PrimeTimer
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2019, 10:19:53 PM »

Waiting and wanting the weeping to stop. It's running clear so that's good, just want it to stop. Seems to be never ending...the ointment, the dressing, the wrapping, the weeping...But I do finally have one small patch of new skin. My leg looks like someone took a piece of a puzzle out from a finished puzzle and left a raw area in it's place. The missing skin is about the same thickness as a puzzle piece. They compare it to the wounds of a 2nd degree burn. Uuuugly, raw and painful. And it weeps forever. When will the weeping stop? I'm tired of changing the dressing all day, 2 to 3 times, sometime more. Amazing how tiring something like turns out to be. Mostly due to lack of sleep.
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
MooseMom
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2019, 07:42:33 AM »

That sounds dreadful, PT.  I'm glad you are seeing a bit of new skin, but I'm sure it's not enough to make you feel that much better.  You must be exhausted.  What are you doing for the pain?
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"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
Cupcake
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2019, 08:49:09 AM »

I think you are a perfect candidate for a wound vac! I started with a big one that was awful to carry around 24/7 but as I healed it became a little device called a Pico--they use a special membrane/bandage that comes in many sizes that is silicone, can stay on up to a week, is water resistant so you can quick shower not soak; it attaches to a small little pump about as big as a deck of cards-I just shoved it into the front of my bra but for a leg wound it probably would reach to your pants pocket.Since I was dealing with infection they changed it twice a week-if yours is weeping a lot they may change it 3 times per week.

After surgical debridement (i.e. a huge hole about 3 inches deep and 4-5 inches diameter) 6 weeks after my transplant, the wound clinic said it would take 5 months to heal up; but with the wound vac I was sealed up by 9 weeks. I am still amazed.

Google Pico wound vac and you can see. I can't encourage you enough. You should not have to suffer! Good luck
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PrimeTimer
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2019, 11:33:01 PM »

MooseMom: What am I doing for the pain? I broke down and took some Ibuprofen. Of course it didn't do much but helped to relax me a little. Pain pills and I don't get along so well (they make me sick). Not being able to sleep is catching up to me tho. Perhaps I should try a nice glass of Irish Crème. Cassandra's lemon brandy also sounds soothing. lol Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement. There is no better medicine than that!

Cupcake: You're right, maybe I should have my doctor look into a wound vac for me. I've seen them before on people at the hospital, would be nice to manage one yourself at home. And IV's with antibiotics too. The weeping is only coming from the wound, not the rest of the leg, which is a relief. And last nite and today it weeped less. Things appear to be in line for new skin to grow but the weeping seems to interfere and cause a mess of things. Come to find out, they want it wet and moist. I just don't want to have to keep going thru this whole routine off washing the wound, debridement, ointment, dressing and wrapping to go on forever. So yeah, a wound vac may be in my future! I would not be opposed to using one. Thanks so much for telling me about your experience with it. Let's me know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I will google that wound vac right now! Thanks!
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
MooseMom
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2019, 08:45:20 AM »

PT, I'm concerned about your pain.  I'm just the same as you; I don't like pain meds, they don't like me and so on.  I don't know how bad your pain is, but my concern is that it may be sapping you of energy and may be disturbing your sleep.  Chronic pain is just so enervating, and with what you are going through, you need all of the energy you can muster.

So, is this something you can discuss with your doctor?  I am the last one to encourage the use of relaxants or pain meds (I tend to a bit of a martyr in this regard), but there is no honor in suffering if said suffering serves no purpose.  Does that make sense? 

I had a look at the Pico thingy...that looks really interesting.  I never knew what a wound vac actually was, but today I learned something.  I'll be interested to know if this is something that might help you.
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"Eggs are so inadequate, don't you think?  I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken.  Or a duck.  Or whatever they're programmed to be.  You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of last week."
PrimeTimer
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« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2019, 06:57:35 PM »

I am finally healing. Just very slowly. They say Cellulitis can have a long recovery time so I am not going thru anything unusual. But it is sure wicked. Moosemom, you asked about pain meds. I don't take them because they usually make me sick and I'm not up to taking chances right now. But also, because my asthma is out of control again my doctor didn't even want me taking my usual Ambien because I could stop breathing in my sleep and not feel it or wake up in time to take my asthma med. So, I am keeping Ibuprofen in my system 24/7 and that helps a little. Better than nothing.

Next, apparently a wound vac is not needed as there is a lot less weeping from my leg wound. Wow, Cupcake, your ordeal sounds a lot worse than mine. I totally sympathize with you and am glad you got thru it. This has really become quite the battle. It's not only very painful but exhausting. I don't even care what kind of scar this is going to leave, I just want my skin (life) back. Now when I see the dancing banana I think of new skin growing...my wound is only about 3-4 inches long as it is wide but missing the thickness of a banana peel. Going to take more time but it is slowly growing back. And I do mean slowly.

Here's to new skin and bananas!   :wine; :bandance;
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
Michael Murphy
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« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2019, 05:58:24 AM »

I have suffered repeated bouts of cellulitis in the last 20 years,  it occurs because I am highly allergic to the world. I will occasionally develop a rash from my allergies that itch’s.  When this happens I as a habit rub the itch with the edge of my shoe.  Now I watch for the symptoms, redness and the are is warmer then the surrounding skin.  I don’t screw around with it I go right to urgent care for antibiotics to knock it down.  The last bunch of times it is over in about a week.  And it’s a minor problem.  I used to ignore it and would end up in bed for a week.
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