For the last two or three days, I’ve noticed a slight ruddiness on my legs. It was barely visible, but present enough so that I’ve been keeping a close eye on my health.
Man, am I glad I was watching.
This morning I woke up with painful inflammation in a spot that should never be painful or inflamed. I felt feverish and overwhelmingly achy, and the splotchy redness was spreading outwards from my groin.
I’ve had another recurrence of cellulitis. Boooooo! I’ve been hospitalized numerous times for this skin infection – with my inguinal (groin area) lymph nodes surgically removed, my thighs lack an effective first-line immune response. My battles with cellulitis have damn near killed me – I’ve spiked fevers as high as 106 degrees (I’ve never seen a nurse run so fast after she measured my dangerously high temp reading – I ended up sleeping on a bed of ice to try and cool my body down).
So, this morning, once I had a better sense that I was indeed getting sick, I immediately emailed my infectious diseases specialist, and within 30 seconds of hitting send, she called me up. It’s crucial that we move fast as soon as the initial warning signs are present. I’ve started a round of horse-pill antibiotics, and now I just have to wait and see if we managed to catch the infection before it becomes life-threatening. Right now my temp is hovering around 100 degrees; if it hits 102, I’ll have to head to the emergency room.
This is nothing new, but the situation is made vastly more complicated due to the fact that Kathryn and I are in Nashville until Monday morning. Luckily there’s a top-notch hospital and cancer center nearby at Vanderbilt – of course, I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I don’t end up in a hospital bed. And, as my dedicated readers will know, once I check in to a hospital, I usually end up stuck there for four or five days. That would *not* be good. Or fun.
I’m so, so, so tired of my body interrupting my life. We have a lot of work to do this weekend, and now I’m on doctors’ orders to avoid any labor, as the movement and strain might very well worsen and spread the infection. This is the second time my cellulitis has shut me down while I’m traveling – last time, in Portland, I was within half a degree of finding myself in the emergency room. Instead of hiking in the Oregonian woods and exploring one of my favorite cities, I ended up confined to bed. Now I’m in the same situation – the fall foliage is at a glorious peak down here, and we have a huge (and emotional) task ahead of us in clearing out Kathryn’s childhood home. Instead of helping, I’m stuck in bed and feeling awfully angry with my own body. Just when it seems like I’m turning a corner and diving into my new post-cancer life, my body disagrees and sabotages my efforts.
Sigh. Such is the life of all those who struggle with compromised immune systems.
I’m exhausted and have to crash – I’ll be sure to post updates as things progress; I hope to god my posting isn’t a way to pass the many hours involved in a visit to the ER.