Cellulitis and the Red Leg Diaries

mend_3925cThis is just a little self-reflection about my battle with cellulitis.

Other than being overweight I’m grateful to enjoy relatively good health. But every once in a while this thing called cellulitis attacks. I’m entering into a time of healing from my most recent bout with Cellulitis (Mayo Clinic Articleworst case scenario – warning, disturbing photos!)…what my friend Danny calls the ‘red leg’. That’s appropriate because that’s what it looks like.

I’ve written about this before because it is a recurring issue. It appears, by a search of this blog, that I have fought this war with the red leg for a while.

  • The earliest mention on my blog was in October of 2006.
  • In March 2007 I preached through the nausea hoping not to be the first person to throw up on our new carpet in the Central church building post-Katrina.
  • I had a quick relapse in June 2007 on our way home from the Smoky Mountains. That was a LONG trip home.
  • September 29, 2007 was my next experience.
  • The next bout was a few years later in February of 2009. We had already moved to Monroe the previous year.
  • This was followed by another attack in July of 2009. This was a very stressful time as Maggy’s mom and dad were in ill health. They are now both with the Lord.
  • The last entry in my blog where I reported having cellulitis was in late October of 2014. I am sure I had cases of cellulitis between July of 2009 and October of 2014, but I can’t find a record of writing about them on my blog. 
  • In a Facebook search, I noted cellulitis in March of 2016.
  •  August 2017. This is the mildest attack I’ve ever had, but it is a genuine occurrence. The leg is red and hot but in a smaller location. No quick runs to the bathroom as it set in, which has always happened. So I’m thankful for that.
  • March 29, 2018. The leg is red, I feel some chills coming and am sure I have a fever. I hope it is as mild as the last account. Doc has called in some Keflex.
  • May 7, 2019. The symptoms are mild. No chills, no weakness. Just a feverish red splotch above the left inside ankle. I noticed that area was sensitive a few days ago, just didn’t realize cellulitis beginning to flare up.
  • October 17, 2019 – a similar episode to the one in May. In fact, I have no symptoms other than the red spot on my left inside ankle. I’m really grateful that these episodes aren’t as dramatic as they used to be. I have a description of what they used to feel like in the next paragraph.

***Unnecessarily Graphic Symptom Description Next…Skip if you like!***

I always know when cellulitis has come my way. It usually begins in the night with severe shivers that seem to come from inside out … It’s not because I’m cold. These tremors have my teeth chattering. At that point, I’m praying for God to send quick healing because I know what’s ahead. The next step is severe vomiting and diarrhea – often at the same time. This can last for a couple of hours and when it stops I look down at my lower left leg and it is beginning to glow red and swell. This continues usually until from the knee to the ankle is one swollen, sore, hot-to-the-touch, red splotch. After this, I’m totally washed out, exhausted, feverish, and out of it for a few days. The strategy is to keep the leg elevated (which over several days is misery). When I’ve been laying down a while and have to get up it feels like knives going into my leg as the blood makes its way down.

***The Unnecessarily Graphic part is over!***

I’m posting this here to help me keep up with the occurrences … and maybe someone else is interested. Maybe some one else suffers from this and can offer some insight. Right now my only strategy is to put some lotion on that leg every day that has some anti-biotic properties (Natures Gate Tea Tree Oil Lotion and Tea Treatment Oil Ointment). That didn’t prevent this attack, but maybe it helps make them not so common? It’s just a guess in the dark.

Note: I do not use that tea tree oil lotion any longer. I do keep that leg hydrated with some Gold Bond Men’s Lotion just so that the skin doesn’t get dry and cracked to allow germs in. I do not know if it would …. it’s just one of those things I’ve done for so long that I just keep doing it.

If you read all this, thanks. If you have insights or experience, share your insights! I wish I knew if there was something I could do to keep it from happening!

Have a good day. Appreciate you reading. JD

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