2.5 days in Hospital, some docs are such idiots!

By Armourer Latest Reply 2012-09-03 17:26:53 -0500
Started 2012-08-21 01:39:32 -0500

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."

28 replies

Type1Lou 2012-09-03 17:26:53 -0500 Report

What an ordeal! Glad you made it through and stuck to your guns about treating your diabetes…we are our own best advocates and must be vocal in our concerns…whose life is it anyways! Thanks for sharing with us.

MrsCDogg 2012-09-03 16:35:18 -0500 Report

I can attest to the fact that most hospitals do not know how to take care of diabetics properly. I spent only one night in the hospital a year ago for my bloodpressure. They brought me a "heart healthy" breakfast. French toast, regular syrup, oatmean with sugar, skim milk, orange juice and coffee. I NEBER eat that kind of breakfast!
I'm glad you are doing better now.

lisagq926 2012-08-26 06:19:40 -0500 Report

Yes you have to be careful, I had it on my stomach first and went to the ER, where they cut and drained and packed and let it heal inside to out. Second time, about a year and a half later, it reappeared on my arm. This time I went to the ER and they admitted me. I was on Vancomycin IV for 4 days which is not fun because it's so harsh they had to change the iv once a day and finally the 5 th day they shrunk the infection and cut and drain and packed so it can heal inside out! Definitly not a fun experience! Not to mention that both times I tested positive for MRSA so when I was in the hospital i was quarantined.

Armourer 2012-08-27 12:43:56 -0500 Report

Ouch! I'm still on vancomycin IV, today is suppose to be the last day. Still have infection inside but it has dramatically gone down. The MRSA stuff scares me. Thanks for your story.

annesmith 2012-08-25 03:17:58 -0500 Report

Oh, my gosh…I am glad you are doing better. I am shocked that some of the doctors and nurses knew so little—I am very shocked. The main thing is that you are recovering now. I knew someone that had celluities and it landed him in the hospital, too—he was there for 2 weeks—we were all getting real worried about him. He had it in both his legs, below both knees, and it was serious. He was given a lot of antibiotics, and then went home with antibiotics, too. He is diabetic, too. Sincerely, Anne

Tamra Hodge
Tamra Hodge 2012-08-24 16:43:59 -0500 Report

My daughter is recovering from that now. Hers was on her stomach.She had to go to the E.R. The doctor made an incision and squeezed most of the infection out. The doctor left the incision open, so it can heal from the inside out. She was put on antibiotics and is doing good. So I know what you went through, and glad you are doing better.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-08-22 21:22:34 -0500 Report

I am so glad you're doing better, this sounds scary all the way around. It's a shame when medical staff that supposed to be taking care of you doesn't seem to understand exactly how they're supposed to do that! Thank goodness you were coherent and able to recognize what need to be done with your injections!

Armourer 2012-08-22 21:43:19 -0500 Report

HMO diabetic nurse called today to checkup on me. She told me that the current trend in treating diabetes is to abandon sliding scale and carb-count because so many hand trouble figuring it out. But…if one does understand it and has success at it by all means don't quit.

pixsidust 2012-08-22 11:32:42 -0500 Report

Wow, How scary and awful for you to go through! There are some lethal bacteria's out there. My uncle used to work at MIT college. They had a lab for germ warfare there, creating lethal germs/bacteria and I always wonder what has gotten into the world unintended or perhaps intended

I am thankful you are doing better. How amazing they did not understand
your diabetic needs.

DeanaG 2012-08-21 22:26:32 -0500 Report

Glad you are doing better.
My sister-in-law is fighting her second battle with cellulitis in the last 2 months. She had recovered and was doing good and all of a sudden in was back and resisting the meds that worked the first time.
Take care and I hope you don't have any reoccurrences. ;-)

Armourer 2012-08-22 21:33:29 -0500 Report

Thanks so much! It is my understanding that cellulitis once contracted is 50% easier to get again. I was told to have at hand a tube of nerosporan.

annesmith 2012-08-25 03:23:02 -0500 Report

Yeah..the guy I know that had it, he got it again a year later, and landed back in the hospital for almost 2 weeks again. He said the doctors told him it is easier to get it a second and third time once a person gets it once. I good friend of mine who is also diabetic, he got gout—he was shocked when he found out it was gout—it started off as a small cut in his toe, and he got up one day out of bed and it swelled way way way up. It got worse and worse. He went to the doctor and the emergency room both. They said it was gout—they gave him I think antibiotics for it—he said it was very very stubborn—it took I think 3 weeks for him to get rid of it, maybe a month. Anne

CJ55 2012-08-21 21:22:42 -0500 Report

Wow Armourer, I am very glad you are home safely and getting better. I have no idea what cellulitius is so I am going to research this. You will be included in my prayers my friend. Fell better.. \U+127803\U+127803\U+127803\U+127803 CJ

GabbyPA 2012-08-22 20:51:27 -0500 Report

Alliance Health has a new site called Medify that allows you to research these kinds of things in medical studies. It is a bit over my head unless I use the Abstract feature that kind of puts it in terms I can understand. Here is what I found on it. https://www.medify.com/insights/article/22838089/an-atypical-presentation-of-a-pasteurella-multocida-infection-following-a-cat-bite-a-case-report

Cellulitis is a diffuse inflammation of connective tissue with severe inflammation of dermal and subcutaneous layers of the skin. Cellulitis can be caused by normal skin flora or by exogenous bacteria, and often occurs where the skin has previously been broken: cracks in the skin, cuts, blisters, burns, insect bites, surgical wounds, intravenous drug injection or sites of intravenous catheter insertion. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

GabbyPA 2012-08-21 21:00:22 -0500 Report

I am so glad you lived to tell the tale. This is what happened to my husband two years ago this October. It started with an open sore on his toe and a foot bath that should have been cleaned better. WAM! in less than 24 hours he went from fine to death's door.

I hope that they also explained to you that once you have had this, it is more prone to return. So keep that Neosporin close by for any cuts, no matter how small. Specially being diabetic, that can rage for way too long.

You are so fortunate to have had the sense to at least get the ball rolling. That is most likely what saved your life.

annesmith 2012-08-25 03:28:03 -0500 Report

Oh, my gosh—in 24 hours, he was knocking on death's door. That is very scary. I have read about different cases over the years of people that got bacteria in even a small open cut or sore, and they landed in the hospital, in intensive care 24 hours later, gravely ill from an intensely high fever, etc…thank you for the reminder of Neosporin for cuts. I for years have had old wounds reopen . Sincerely, Anne

Lizardfan 2012-08-21 13:00:01 -0500 Report

Wow was that scary for you! So glad to hear you are feeling better, that was nothing to fool around with. My hubby is a stubborn mule about seeing the doc and it worries me sometimes. Glad you have a good doc!

ConnieMarie 2012-08-21 09:22:53 -0500 Report

its scarey when you realize Doctors really just play a guessing game…been there done that…a few years ago i got a virus that caused multi system failure…it was from black mold growing in the walls of my apartment! it actually took a RN from USSR to tell them what to look for - she'd seen in it before moving to the US…

annesmith 2012-08-25 03:33:46 -0500 Report

Oh, my gosh—I got really sick 7 years ago from mold in my basement—I got gravely ill, and was in the hospital for a day and a half—at several points, my fever got SO high, I was hallucinating, then my blood sugar dropped terribly, as, I lost all my appetite, and did not eat. Next thing you know, my heart started to pound terribly. The heart monitor they had me hooked up to started beeping like crazy , I had a light heart attack—they gave me nitro. OH, it was scary—-I can kind of relate to what happened to you, but, being you had multi system failure, it sounds like you were worse off than me. I am glad you recovered. I have never been the same fully since my incident. Anne

Nick1962 2012-08-21 08:24:58 -0500 Report

Holy crap Armourer, glad you're OK. Considering the complete lack of diabetes education those "professionals" had, I'd say the macho part was simply staying at that hospital.
If I wasn't sufficiently freaked out by your story enough, we just got into snorkeling. I think I'll be throwing an anti-bac spray in our gear bags from now on (we've been gashed by coral a few times). Thanks for sharing this possibly life saving info!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-08-21 04:31:13 -0500 Report

So very glad you didn't try macho much longer. Yes, cellulitis hurts like h…well more than a 10. Also glad it is just cellulitis. I tried to tough it out, then MRSA found me as well.
Trying to convince nurses you just might know something can be a real struggle at times, but well worth the fight.
Hope you heal fast.

Armourer 2012-08-22 21:47:00 -0500 Report

How horrible to get MRSA. I'm now afraid that I may contract this disease too. Glad you made it.

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