We don't understand how this happened, but I have cellulitis again!
It started on Shabbat (Saturday) morning. There is a spot on a corner of my skin graft which was sore that morning. I looked, and didn't see anything specific, but it was very sore and became quite inflexible. Over the course of the day, it got more sore and less flexible. Every time I moved, every step, I felt my sore skin stretch. It has been a *long* time since I felt that; basically since the graft was originally healing. It feels similar to that.
Today (Sunday), the soreness-pain- got worse. I found it hard to stand up from sitting and wait for the painful folded graft to stretch so I can straighten my leg. I get up and walk with my back bent over at first because of the pain at stretching the graft to walk upright, because there is an infection there.
Over the course of today it only got worse. Late in the evening, I checked on it. It had gotten red and swollen and angry looking. That was when I decided to go to the doctor.
She took a look, and each time she touched it I yelped- it is extremely painful to the touch.
She said it was on it's way to cellulitis, and gave me antibiotics. That, actually, is not an easy thing to do because of all of them that I am allergic to. She sent me home with strict instructions to draw a dotted circle around the redness so we can see if it spreads. Take the antibiotics, take my temperature twice a day, and go to urgent care if there is a drastic change (quick spreading, fever).
I drew the dotted line, but by the time I got to do this, it had already spread an inch from where it had started. Blotchy red was spreading from the graft onto the healthy skin. This is the sign of full-blown cellulitis. I drew a dotted line around the whole thing.
An hour ago I saw one smaller patch spread a little outside the line. Still no fever, and I generally feel pretty strong. Scared, but strong. Cellulitis can be an infection caused by staph, or strep, and if left untreated, can turn into NF (my NF and cellulitis five years ago were both strep). I had it once 10 months after I had NF. This is how it started. I was in hospital for two weeks then, getting strong antibiotics in an IV. We caught it in time (actually Robert caught it in time) and saved it from progressing, thank Gd. That site, from the first bout of cellulitis, is riddled with nerve pain now. The lower layers of skin got damaged. Cellulitis is an infection of the deeper layers of skin, but not as deep as NF.
One of the issues is that the skin graft, where this infection is starting, doesn't have many layers of skin to it, it is just a graft, not like thick, regular skin.
We'll keep you posted. Let's all pray that the oral antibiotics will do the job, and I won't need the hospital for IV antibiotics.
It is shocking to me to have a skin infection again, you know?
There is an interesting issue that has to do with the homeopathy I am taking. My homeopath said that this actually *may* be my body trying to push out toxins because the homeopathy has started. She said this may be positive if we can get it under control. I am, of course, to continue the antibiotics, but also take the homeopathy with a different sort of formula. She feels also that it may have something to do with my tremors getting more intense.
I am interested to see how this all plays out.
What I do know is that I am safe. However it gets stopped, I am confident that this infection will not progress. We caught it early, and many options are open to us to arrest it from spreading.
It still is scary, though.
Memories are being dusted off and showing themselves. No way to avoid that, you know? I am just staying strong.
- Be'er Sheva, Israel
- Being a doula, I regularly witness miracles. I see blood, sweat and tears, and at the same time, euphoric joy and awe. I help birth babies. I'm also an established orchestra musician, and a religious Zionist. In May 2007 I almost died. I had hernia surgery, and developed an infection 4 days later. It progressed to Necrotizing Faciitis (NF) and I landed in the ICU on a respirator. I woke up from the coma, slowly understanding that I had serious body damage, but everyone was glad to see me alive. Slowly the implications sunk in. While in hospital, my SIL started a website hosted by CaringBridge.org to inform friends and family of progress. When I came home, I took over writing. The posts were filled with blood, sweat, fears, and many tears. It started to feel like I was blogging, rather than simply disseminating information on my well being. This blog was born, about the next phase of healing. The original illness is over, but in the aftermath, I am fighting more rare diseases, and needing more surgeries. There are elements of illness-induced loneliness and pain, as well as plenty of faith and hope. I invite you to join me on my journey!