Hospital stay for cellulitis

Friday, June 19, 2015

I ended up with another hospital stay this week, this time, it was a due to a cellulitis infection.

It started out with a mild rash on my right upper arm that I first noticed on Saturday or Sunday; at first I thought maybe it was a side effect from the Femera I had just started last Friday. It was not itchy, and I did not have any pain, or fever, so I was not that worried about it; I figured I would keep an eye on it and if it was still there when I had to get my next Halotestin injection at the cancer center, I would ask the nurse about it.

Tuesday morning, when I woke up, my lower arm was really hurting; at first, I thought maybe I had just slept on it wrong, but when I got up for the day, I noticed my lower arm was a little pink too, and a little more swollen. I took my temp too and it was at 99F at that time. Still, I pushed on through my day, hoping that nothing would get any worse, and had my weekly CBC done and a friend took me grocery shopping.

After I got home, I was able to get my lab report online; hemoglobin was 10.5, which was good, but the WBC was 4.6; which for most people, is a normal count, but mine is always low because of all the stuff related to the cancer; just the week before my WBC was 2.4, so the fact that it went up that much in a week made me more suspicious that something was going on with my arm.

Around 3:30pm, that same day, the swelling had gotten worse, and the rash on both my upper and lower arm was getting redder and spreading. I checked my temp again and it was 101.2. I called the cancer center and talked to a oncology nurse, and she told me to go right to the ER, especially since I had had lymph nodes removed from that side and it was also the same arm I've had lymphedema in before.

I got to the ER around 4pm; as I had suspected, it was a cellutis infection. I expected they would probably keep me overnight, so I had a bag with me with my some of my essentials in it (including my Kindle, of course!). I was hoping to go home the next day, but my doctor didn't want to send me home until my arm looked at least 90% better. They started me on IV antibiotics while I was still in the ER; they made the decision to admit me to the hospital within the first hour I was there, but I didn't get moved into a room until around 10pm that night.

By yesterday morning, my arm looked a lot better, and my doctor (my internist) said I could go home around 5-6 pm, after one more round of the IV antibiotics. I also had to have a blood transfusion yesterday; in the morning, when they did another CBC, my hemoglobin was down to 8.6. He said some of that might be from all the fluids, but that infections can also cause hemoglobin to go down. It ended up taking longer than he thought though with the IVs for the antibiotics, and the 2 units of blood, so it was after 7:30pm before I was discharged last night, then there was another 10-15 delay when the nurse was just starting my discharge process because they had a fire drill for the staff right then, but I finally made it home by 8pm.

I went to the cancer center this morning to get my Halotestin injection, then picked up my prescription for the oral antibiotics which I will be on for 7 days. My doctor did not want me to start them until this afternoon, which is why I waited to pick them up today; last night, all I wanted to do once I got out of the hospital was just go home.

I'm still feeling worn out, but I think that is because that infection hit my body pretty hard, and I've had diarrhea also from the IV antibiotics, and of course, it's hard to get good sleep in a hospital. But the swelling is gradually going down in my hand and my arm, and the redness is not nearly as bad. My doctor also gave me his cell phone number, and he wants me to call him if I have any problems this weekend.

Since I just had the transfusion yesterday, I can skip my CBC standing order for this coming Monday and go on Thursday instead, then I see my internist in the office for a follow up appointment on July 2nd.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hope you are feeling better. I am leaving Spark for the summer, we go to the Adirondacks and live off the grid. I just wanted you to know that I will continue to keep you in my prayers. emoticon
    1840 days ago
    I am late reading your blog, Shari, & very sorry that you had another hospital stay, I am thankful on your behalf that you called the nurse & that the situation seems to have gotten ironed out relatively quickly. Thankful, too, that you were able to go home the following day.

    God bless your sweet self!

    1843 days ago
    1843 days ago
    Dear Shari,
    I am sorry you had the cellulitis to deal with on top of everything else, though I am relieved that they were able to treat you at the hospital and take care of your haemoglobin at the same time. You are such an inspiration in the way you cope with all that comes your way. I'm glad your arm is improving and hope all goes well with the oral antibiotics. It is no wonder you are worn out after all this. Take good care of yourself and I am praying that you get some good rest.
    Love, hugs, blessings and warm thoughts are being sent your way.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1844 days ago
    Glad you got the cellulitis checked and hopefully it is under control by now. I am sure the transfusions helped. Have a blessed and comfortable weekend. And yes I had a good week in Austin, but back really bothered me. So now I will be PT for awhile and scheduled for epidural injections in my back. But otherwise had a great time. Hugs Pat
    1844 days ago
    Cellulitis is nothing to ignore. Glad you are back home.
    1844 days ago
    I'm so glad you kept on top of it and went to the ER. GLAD YOU ARE FEELING BETTER
    1845 days ago
  • JANET552
    I'm glad you are feeling better from the cellulitis. My husband has that periodically and the last time he developed a rash from the antibiotic they put him on. That made it so much harder to know what was cellulitis and what was rash. I'm glad you took yourself into the ER and glad you didn't have to stay any longer than you did.

    Rest well!
    1845 days ago
    So sorry you had to stay in the hospital but definitely glad you got the cellulitis taken care of. My thoughts and prayers are with you daily. Hope you can enjoy your weekend.
    Prayers, blessings, love and hugs,
    1845 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    I'm glad you called the nurse to ask.
    Sorry you have the infection.
    Feel better soon. Hugs for your weekend too.
    1845 days ago
    Shari, I'm so happy you are feeling better, but what a nightmare!
    1845 days ago
    God bless you, my friend!!! I'm glad you're doing a little better, and I know that our Lord has his arms wrapped around you! Have a wonderful weekend!

    1845 days ago
    Hugs emoticon
    1845 days ago
  • KERRYG155
    Really glad you got that taken care of quickly.
    1845 days ago
    That's rough, Shari - my husband had a issue with cellulitis about two weeks ago - came on quite suddenly (shaking and feeling lethargic, no appetite - and this came on while we were at dinner away from home) - I noticed a large, red, angry rash on his lower left leg when trying to move him to the car - and it was *such* a struggle to get him home.......

    After an hour or so of monitoring him, decided to get him checked out - ended up in hospital for three days (I SOOOOOO hate hospitals and ERs!) - he just finished his antibiotics last weekend. Haven't heard anything back on his follow-up blood tests......

    That stuff is nothing to fool around with when one is in tip-top health, and he's had some issues with allergies/asthma - that kind of thing............and for your situation, this is certainly a rough thing to deal with........I wish you the best!

    1845 days ago
    Dear Shari, I am so sorry you had another issue to deal with on top of everything else. Glad you're back home now. emoticon
    1845 days ago
    Shari, I'm sorry you had to deal with cellulitis on top of everything else. I had it on my leg nce and I too was in hospital with it. Yo continue to take things in stride dnd teach us to do the same.All the best to you emoticon
    1845 days ago
    You certainly have a caring Dr.which is awesome!Praying you will get some
    rest this weekend!Hugs,prayers and blessings! emoticon emoticon
    1845 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15505658
    Hope you can get some rest and have some better days real soon. emoticon
    1845 days ago
    I am glad that you went to the hospital and got treated for both the cellulitis and the low hemoglobin.You have a good doctor caring for you too!Take good care and snuggle up with the kitties and a good book this weekend...
    My thoughts are with you Shari. emoticon
    Marianne. emoticon
    1845 days ago
  • UNICORN212
    I am glad you went in, and even more glad that you are feeling better!
    1845 days ago
  • JUDITH316
    Shari, I'm so emoticon you have gone through all this with a hospital stay but happy they got it taken care of and you are on the mend, I was wondering why I hadn't seen any prompts in my e-mail of a new post from you but surely wasn't expecting to hear you had such a painful infection and you had been in hospital...

    Please take good care of you now getting the rest you need so your strength comes back, my prayers are with you that these next 7 days of oral antibiotics will do their work and you won't have any further side affects from them.

    Sending you heaps of BIG HUGS emoticon emoticon emoticon and my Love & Prayers.... emoticon emoticon
    1845 days ago
    Shari when it rains, it pours! Glad to her you are home and feeling so much better! Have a good weekend!

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    1845 days ago
    Shari, I was missing you...So I prayed constantly. I am glad you finally went to the ER. I am sure you try not to over react to a 'little' rash.... My friend I am glad you are home & in the recovery phase.
    Now.... behave yourself & have a good weekend. emoticon
    Love, Hugs & Prayers emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1845 days ago
    OMG!! You don't need one more thing!! So glad you're home and doing better! Take it easy this weekend!
    1845 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    You really have ho it this week, haven't you? Bless your heart, you just know what to do though.. I like how you always err on the pro-active side instead of hemming and hawing until you are barely dragging yourself for help. Monitoring our body is essential if we want to learn and maintain.

    Now you get a slight reprieve from another blood draw...

    Smart cookie packed a bag!! You are so wise.
    1845 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5707126
    I am so glad that you have such good health care. Take it easy and enjoy your reading. My thoughts and prayers are with you. emoticon
    1845 days ago
    Yikes, Shari, you've been through the mill. When I don't hear from you via blogs, I suspect something is up. Wonder what caused the infection. Take care and you're in my thoughts and prayers, as usual.
    1845 days ago
    I had cellulitis once on my lower leg. It came on so suddenly. Was fortunate that the oral meds worked but am sure that in part I reacted so quickly at onset. Glad you were proactive. It seems your treatment team are on point wrapping around you. They care for you as well as your medical issues.

    Enjoy your fur babies this weekend. Take care. Snuggle up with a good read.
    1845 days ago
    Oh Shari,
    I am so sorry you had one more thing to deal with, my friend! My husband had cellulitis in his leg...I think he was in the hospital almost a week! I am so glad you're seeing improvement and will pray it continues and your numbers are good next week.
    Take care!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1845 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4212235
    Sorry to hear about your infection and having to stay in the hospital. It sounds like they were on top of things at the hospital.

    Glad you are home and hope you are able to get a good nights sleep and have a good restful weekend. Please don't overdo it this weekend and rest up.

    Take care and pray you feel better soon.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon


    1845 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    1845 days ago
    1845 days ago
    I am glad you were able to get into the hospital. It's too bad things weren't quicker for you there, but at least you had your Kindle. Now, you take care of yourself. I hope to hear about your arm healing soon! emoticon emoticon
    1845 days ago
    I am so sorry for what you have been through. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care of yourself and good luck in your recovery. emoticon
    1845 days ago
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