Reocurring cellulitis and viral meningitis

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This is my first ever post on a forum so hi????????????????????

Hoping someone will be able to relate to me out there, any advice is welcome.

My first bout of cellulitis was during my GCSE year. I was on a film set (my dad is a film director) and one of the paramedics noticed a red line going up my arm, I went to hospital and was given antibiotics.

20 years later- I have had 7 bouts all in the last 9 months, all getting worse and worse. They seem to be either on my feet from a blister or on my hands from a random splinter, a mosquito bite, or a simple graze. One was so sever I needed local anaesthetic to release the poison in the wound.

The last infection, while I was in Ibiza, was severe and symptoms came on very quickly. I was treated and flew home after the holiday feeling tired and washed out from the infection. I then flew to New York and thought it was jet lag, but in hind sight I think I now know why I had no energy to see my friends who live there who I so wanted to see. When I got back to London I couldn't stay awake and 4 days later I fell very very ill. I had a temperature, hideous head ache- vomitting for 2 days and I couldn't move my body it was so sore and stiff.

Two whole weeks later I dragged myself to work - it was fashion week and as I have a critical role in the industry , I couldn't miss it. I pushed myself and 5 days later I was back in bed being sick and unable to move,

Doctors think it's viral meningitis -I'm over the worst but still ache and feel rotten.

Can anyone please shed some light on whether there is a link between cellulitis and this virus I now have. I feel so upset as I'm missing out on so much in my life, it's been 4 weeks and today I was meant to go to Geneva to see my boyfriend and I am unable to travel.


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  • Posted

    Hi Emma,

    Really sorry to hear about this. Since you seem to get the illness from a bite/splinter etc it may be worth always carrying around anti-bacterial hand-gel. I hear that stuff is rather strong. Also, it seems like maybe the infection isn't completely removed so perhaps find an anti-biotic that works for you and go on it for quite a while? The intravenous ones (where they drip it through a cannula in your hand) are meant to be faster at working. Perhaps you should just stay in hospital for a few days and let them do the intravenous one there?

    Anyway, I'm certainly not a doctor so probably worth keeping that in mind.

    Having said that, Doctors seem to have made quite a few silly mistakes recently, at least in my life.

    Warm wishes for you to get well.

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  • Posted

    emma i am no expert but i have recurring cellulitus   i would from your discription get to the docs or if your well enough get him to you DO NOT MESS WITH IT   there are some very good online sites that will explain better than me sounds to me that you need a lot of care     if you feel realy ill phone 111 nhs out of hours or get yourslf to a/e   a lot nasties with this so dont put up with any fobbing off by anyone    sos can put any link in not allowed
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  • Posted

    Hello Emma,

    It sounds like you've been in the wars there!!

    I had never heard of it before, but apparently facial cellulitis (especially around the eye) can lead to rare further complications like meningitis - the bacteria make the short jump into your central nervous system. There is a page on it on this site:

    It is also worth keeping in mind, however, that after sepsis (which I've got with my cellulitis) you can be exhausted for weeks (I'm still not sure if it was my red or white blood cell count was down - they told me the former but my release notes said the latter, both can occur with sepsis). I came out of hospital with all sorts of ideas and a mental list of things to do and rapidly ran into a wall and couldn't do much for weeks after. So it might be that, if you also had sepsis, but it does sound worse than that. But if you didn't have facial cellulitis and you did have sepsis, it might be an explanation. You can ask your doctor about your blood cell count.

    Luckily, it doesn't seem that your cellulitis reoccurs in the face (or if you've had it on your face at all), so you probably won't suffer from this again unless it happens in the face in which case it is a real emergency case to head off meningitis. I know I'm going to be extra alert, as I have had it in my ear before.

    You'll want to talk to your GP or consultant about measures to head off future outbreaks. Some people are put on a regular antibiotic which is designed to stop the infection before it takes hold. I have a prescription for Dermol 500 antibacterial liquid soap and I'd recommend that to anyone who gets celullitis from external bacteria coming in from scratches and insect bites. If you reduce the amount of bacteria on your skin then it can help stop it from getting through any weaknesses in the epidermis. If you wanted to go the whole hog you could carry a few antibacterial wipes, some Savlon (I'm a fan of the healing gel) and some plasters or tape, so you can sort out any cuts and grazes. Of course, you could drive yourself a bit mad doing this but I know the dread of recurring outbreaks - you're only just picking yourself up from one bout and you get hit again, so it can be worth being extra careful for a while to get out of that cycle. I've not had an outbreak in over a year now and it is a great relief.

    Also don't be shy about asking for help over any negative feelings you may have. I am still a bit anxious and I found out that sepsis can give people PTSD:

    And this is an issue for a lot of people who end up in the ICU:

    So, it can be frustrating having your life regularly disrupted and it is tempting to rush back into everything, but you need to look after yourself physically and emotionally. You've been very seriously ill and you have to take time to recover.

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  • Posted

    Did you go to hospital and get bloods checked? I keep getting a cellulitis like infection same place. - a lymph node comes up, pain and a yucky fever(vomiting and headache also) it's really horrible. I haven't been for a year but now ill again! It's a mystery

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone. Get checked for staphacolas (Msra) inside your nose. I tested positive and have antibiotics since. Apparently if you carry this bacteria you are prone to cellulitus. I'm hoping I've nailed it! I've meanwhile been diagnosed with glandular fever as my immune system has been so low. Hope to be back to work in January.

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    • Posted

      Are you on long term antibiotics like me? Immunology treat this problem with this penicillin V as preventive. Have to take them all the time rolleyes

      My blood work came back normal except white blood up 12 something but not alarming and my rash is pale pink blotchy. Fever down now.

      I guess I shouldn't forget to take my tablets or run out of them in future, as this is why I'm suffering now, my own fault rolleyes

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    • Posted

      Hi Sharron, gosh so sorry to hear this. Good to hear you have preventitive penicillin. I used to smoke 3-4 a day and enjoy big weekends and have since really started to be sensible; I've stopped smoking and now just enjoy a glass of very good red wine, this has really helped. My immune system feels better. Good luck in healing- you'll get there!

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