Late Saturday night I was released from hospital after 2.5 days. Started last Sunday evening when a small area just below left elbow was acting bruised. Monday morning my arm was swollen and spiking sharp pain to #10. Didn't see doc, had to be macho. Tuesday was the same but, swilling continued to wrist. On Wednesday decided to see my doc. He was very concerned and wasn't confident in his diagnoses & sent me to an Orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion. This new doc agreed that it was cellulitius & added some antibiotic pills to my doc's bum shot. This I liked for my doc wasn't so egotistic to think he knew it all. Thursday pain was decreased to moments of spiking to eight, but then I'd figured out how to position my arm. Swelling down to wrist. Asked my daughter-in-law to drive. While traveling I suddenly noticed that my vision was slightly out of focus, a thin film over my eyes. Hearing plugged & when going into doc's office had to have her support me for my strength was near nil. Worried over the new head side affect, doc sent me to the ER hoping that culture would have answers.
ER admitted me and the race was on. The race was hoping the infection hadn't entered my blood stream or my bones. By evening the swelling had increased into my hand. Pain the same. Arm felt as if it was wrapped in ace-bandage, difficult to bend. Family came with spouses and that was a very special moment! Didn't sleep for the entire night! I then learned that hospital had an evening doc & a daytime doc, to see the patients for the various local docs. I knew house calls went out decades ago, but hospital too. Oh how times have changed.
On Friday the swelling increased to now three times normal. My arm felt like it was going to split wide open if I bent it. I had the most lovely sunburn and very warm to the touch. Later learned that this was the infection. Had MRI on arm, then a pick IV installed in other arm for long term IV use. Blood culture was still growing. Race now included preventing advance to upper arm and into shoulder, which was now happening.
All day Friday I fought with various nurses and the CNAs over my diabetes injections. End point is the hospital docs didn't understand sliding-scale or carb counting, some of the nurses either. Finally had one charge nurse state to the staff that I knew what I was doing, but that helped only one duty staff. Next day another nurse let me give myself my own injections because "I was one of the few diabetics she had met that understood what they were doing."
Finally on Saturday my BG was down to the normal range. It never spiked to above 200, but the highest was 167, most of the time from 133-148. Suddenly by Saturday afternoon my swelling was going down. The cultures showed nothing meaning it hadn't entered the bloodstream or my bones. Their approach to a shotgun blast of antibiotics, over & over again proved to have effect. So I'm home with a week worth of antibiotic IVs, and several more weeks of pills. First full day home, BG's under 100 all day.
Celluities is no fun! What the name means in 'small tissue infection.'For me the docs had know idea how I contracted it. It is very common. If a person has a nick or small open wound the bacteria can enter the body. Say one has a small scab and your dog licks your arm. The dog's tongue can remove the scab and bacteria from his mouth enter the open wound. One doc told me of a patient who shaved her legs with no nicks or cuts, then played softball. The dust of the ball field covered her legs and the bacteria, being in the dust entered through the skin having no dead cells to protect. One of my nurse's stated she had gotten it while scuba-diving off Hawaii cut her foot on the coral.
Guess I needed a wake-up call, I was getting a bad attitude again, feeling down. But…"I'm feeling much better now."
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