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The pain & swelling in my LEFT foot started on 10/2, I did not head to the ER until 10/5, at which point I had a gigantic, puss-filled “sore” on my left butt cheek (which I had been draining myself – from which it drained pink/orange puss with little black dots) and 6-7 white/translucent sores inside my mouth. Keep in mind I was using meth/heroin via IV at this point.
ER on 10/5 immediately diagnosed me with cellulitis of the LEFT foot, as well as blood pressure greater than 120/80 mmHg, temporary due to drug use.
During ER visit, I was given:
Benadryl 50mg IV injection (apparently I had an allergic reaction to an IV antibiotic that I was not informed of; all I remember is becoming unbearably itchy).
Piperacillin-Tazobactam (Zosyn) 3.375 g/30 mL IV injection (penicillin antibiotic)
Potassium chloride tablet (that I spit out)
Sodium chloride IV
Vancomycin 1g/250mL (antibiotic)
They discharged me 10/5 (same day) & sent me home with sulfa-trimethoprim 800/160mg, as well as Amoxicillin 875mg (probably because I have had a history of MRSA, ironically in my feet).
IV drug use continued.
Infection worsened significantly & spread from my LEFT foot, to my RIGHT foot & RIGHT LEG, but my LEFT foot remained significantly worse than the right foot/leg.
I returned to the ER on 10/7 & was hospitalized on IV antibiotics until 10/11.
IV drug use discontinued on 10/7 & I detoxed in the hospital. I was discharged on 10/11.
During the hospitalization 10/7-10/11, I was also diagnosed with:
Sinus Tachycardia: a sinus rhythm with an elevated rate of impulses, defined as a rate greater than 100 beats/min (bpm) in an average adult. The normal resting heart rate in the average adult ranges from 60–100 beats/min.
Hyponatremia: A condition that occurs when the level of sodium in the blood is too low.
Hypokalemia: deficiency of potassium in the bloodstream.
All three of these things due to IV drug use & I am assuming are resolved since the IV drug use stopped.
The cellulitis, however, is not.
Upon discharge on 10/11, I was sent home with Cephalexin 500mg.
Cephalexin treatment ended 10/18. At this point, I had tightness in my RIGHT leg. Walking was moderately difficult but became extremely tight & if overly exercised & the pain became unbearable (to the point of tears).
I headed to inpatient treatment for my previous drug abuse on 10/19 & was sent home the next day because they did not feel comfortable with medically clearing me.
I went to see my primary care physician 10/21 & she had no clue what to do, she put me back on the Cephalexin & called infectious disease, who suggested an MRI of the LEFT foot, which is purple & the veins & peeling skin make it look like it belongs to a vampire, however it is in no pain what so ever.
My RIGHT foot & leg (up to my knee & particularly in my calf) is in unbearable & overwhelming pain. Interestingly enough, I actually told my doctor that I felt as if there was fluid in my leg & upon doing my own research, I discovered that cellulitis is actually stagnant fluid that settles in the lower limbs – something I was never medically informed of.
Where, exactly, it hurts depends on what position my leg is in. When I put my leg up, there is a considerable difference in the size of my calves – something my primary care physician, and the walk-in physician I saw a day later, on 10/22, due to the pain becoming unbearable, fail to recognize.
On 10/21, my primary care physician spoke with infectious disease & ordered an MRI of my LEFT foot, which is not yet authorized by my insurance.
On 10/22, a walk-in physician requested an x-ray of my RIGHT ankle & an ultrasound of my RIGHT leg. Ultrasound confirmed no blood clots in my right leg. The results of my right ankle’s x-ray remain unknown (he was actually concerned about a fracture in my right ankle & completely ignored the probability of cellulitis).
I ended up calling infectious disease today on my own, who informed me that it is very odd that the hospital did not have an infectious disease specialist evaluate me while I was hospitalized nor did they request a follow up with a specialist after I was discharged. There were actually very few notes about cellulitis despite my hospitalization and despite the discharge packets that I have that mention it time and time again.
I am feeling very defeated & I am in a lot of pain. I will not take narcotics due to my past drug use. I am currently taking a pain medication called Toradol, which dulls the pain minimally.
Anyone else have experience with this? I feel extremely alone.
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