Its now almost 4 months on.
I have experienced pain on a scale that I never knew existed.
I lost all of my independence and I felt so ill that I did not realize just how ill I had been.
Now I am beginning to feel that I am getting my life back. I have been very lucky to have had such understanding bosses and colleagues and have been able to work from home which has kept my sanity.
I have recently swapped my manual car for an automatic and whilst I am limited on how far I can go, I can at least go out.
I have a lot of things that need to be done now, simple things like dentists and opticians.
The next few months will be another challenge. I have the ability to get around more now but I also need to keep it real. I keep thinking I am back to normal as I have adapted to my disability by instinctively raising my foot when it starts to swell and sitting down when it starts to burn. It is when I do more than usual that I start to pay – mainly in the early evening.
Its now the end of June and nearly six months since contracting cellulitis. I am still working from home because the 45 minute drive to work is still a long time in terms of comfort. Especially the drive back! Thankfully my boss is understanding and would rather me get better than rush back early at the risk of making things worse.
The trouble with working from home is that you are in your own comfort zone, you don’t need to wear shoes, you can walk around in shorts if it gets too hot and can switch on the heater if its too cold. This flexibility also extends to the weekend, when you don’t have the demands you can cope. In most cases you don’t need to go somewhere or if you do you can do it in your own time or your own way.
In the last two weeks I have gone from feeling frustrated that I can’t mow our tiny lawn without having to sit down half way through to feeling on top of the world, thinking that I am now better.
The stark reality is yes, I am better, much better than I was 1..2..3 months ago but as I found out last night when I went to buy some shoes, this is a long term recovery and things you used to take for granted have become a challenge. As long as I keep looking back to remind myself how much better I am, I will over come it.
I am hoping to start back at work within the next month, probably once a week.
End of July
I have been working once a week for the last 3 weeks and although I have been fine to work at home, the extra pressure of the 2 x hour drive takes its toll. By the time I get home my foot is red and sore and I am tired, it usually takes a day to return back to ‘normal’. Sometimes I feel sad that I cannot do what I used to do but I have to keep remembering that 6 months ago they were threatening to remove my leg so although I cant play football with the kids, I do have a leg and things ARE improving.
Two weeks leave :-). I took the decision to stop taking the felodopine at the start of my holiday, the weather was warm and we were out and about for the next two weeks so I assumed that my circulation would be better. It was, I managed to go on my first proper ‘walk’ in the countryside. The kids were into geocaching and there were a few located nearby so we went for a wander. My leg behaved and although it was uncomfortable at times in general I managed to get about well. Over the fortnight we had several days out and as long as I did not over do thing I got on fine. Near the end of the last week we went out to the coast, stopping off part way there was perfect, it was just the journey home that caused me problems because it took over an hour and a half. After that I suffered from what I call ‘nails and needles’ for a few days. All in all a good couple of weeks.
Back to work only been back at the desk for a few hours and already my fingertips are cold and my feet are like ice. Something must have affected my circulation. Off to the consultant on Wednesday so will ask what can be done (if anything).
August 18th 2011
The consultant visit was basically a case of being told:
We don’t know what caused it, we don’t know why it was so bad but it may be an immune deficiency and could occur again. The swelling in the leg and foot is probably caused by damage to the lymph nodes and the Raynauds (cold fingers/toes) is probably down to spasms in the blood vessels which could be caused by the immune deficiency. Getting support stockings may help with the swelling in the leg and foot but basically there is nothing else that can be done.
To be honest, I was hoping to get some answers and was hoping that there would be something that I could take to help the recovery but I didn’t get anything useful from the appointment.
Unfortunately I had to move my pages to another host for a while so have lost a few posts so apologies if you have posted and have returned to find it has gone. Here is a summary of how things went.
Support Stockings – for me were a complete nightmare to wear, it just made the burning sensation in my leg worse.
Raynauds – Luckily we had a very mild autumn so I have managed to deal with the raynauds by wearing finger-less gloves when the temperature drops. I find it worse at work because the air conditioning is constantly blowing hot and cold so I find the need to wear the gloves a lot. (much to the amusement of my colleagues).
Physically I am still finding it difficult to travel long distances and am sure that stress doesn’t help the situation.
Happy New Year to all. Best wishes to those of you who have been affected by a similar ailment, be it you personally or a loved one lets hope 2012 is a good one!
One year on…
So here I am one year on, I have reached the stage where things are not improving much. I still find it difficult to drive long distances or sit/stand in the same place for more than 20 mins. My leg is still slightly swollen and is very uncomfortable at times. Stress makes it worse as does over doing it as I found out after trying to fix the felt back on the shed this weekend.
Seeing 2011 out was phsycologically “difficult” it had been a year that I wont forget in a hurry and a poignant reminder of the events that started a year ago.
The weather has turned cold and I am really feeling the effects. It seems that I need to keep my toes warm but mustn’t get my foot and leg too warm. I made the mistake of wearing thermal socks, I was convinced that the sudden worsening of the burning sensation in my foot was phsycological but by the end of the day I found it difficult to stand for long. It wasn’t until I removed the socks that I could see that my bad foot was bright red and warm. For the next half hour or so I was on tenterhooks but luckily the redness went down and was almost gone within the hour.
Not sure what is happening – as I blogged last weekend, I went for a short walk, when I cam back my foot was very red, the next day it was uncomfortable to walk on and by Thursday it was burning and uncomfortable to stand for more than a few minutes.
The side of my foot was particularly sore and over night I started to get a smarting pain near my little toe. A couple of patches of red were evident on my toe and foot – like a squashed spider.
I went back to the doctor on Friday and whilst there is no obvious sign of a break in the skin, the doctor has erred on the side of caution and given me antibiotics. By friday night my leg felt full and tender in the calf and thigh. Saturday I just felt lethargic and when I walked it felt that there was no padding under my foot. Sunday was slightly better but the burning pain is still there all the time the leg is down.
Today its easier to walk, doesn’t feel like bone on bone but its like someone has put my foot in the freezer, its a cold burning sensation.
Tomorrow I see the doctor. I need to know what is happening really – if it is an infection then I would know the signs – if its not then why has it suddenly got worse?
I have also contacted a homeopath and am also due to have MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage) when things have cleared up.
The antibiotics seem to have worked, the foot has calmed down but its not back to its pre-blip self. The has put be back on felodopine as she is thinks the burning/freezing sensation is down to the circulation.
I have also seen a homeopath and have been given some remedies to try.
So far its early days, only been taking the remedies for 2 days. There has been no change so far.
The initial MLD session was a bit of an eye opener, interesting theory. From what I understand, the lymph system is a one way circuit, it is a bit like a hoover, where the heart is the motor and the lymphs are the pipes. The theory behind MLD is that everything end up at the heart and so they stimulate the lymphs starting at the neck and working down, the idea is that this makes space for the ‘rubbish’ in the affected part (in my case the foot).
The first session concentrated on the top half of the system, the next session will work on the foot.
As far as the homeopathic side is concerned, I am due to go back next week but after a month I am not sure what effect it has had.
Update 1st May 2012
Its been a while since I have updated my blog, my recovery from Cellulitis is a long and slow process – the doctors just say its vascular and will take time so over the past 3 months I have been trying the alternative methods alongside the prescribed felodopine.
For details see my new Alternative Approach pages.
Update May 2013
Since last posting my leg is still healing, the rate of recovery is now much slower than it was before. I have to look back several months in order to compare how much things have moved on. I still have problems with my lower leg and foot being painful and red especially at night and especially when I have been driving and sitting at a desk all day.
I am still under the homeopath because I feel that the sessions are good for the mind, I cant say that the remedies are not effective as the whole principal is based on gradual improvement rather than instant cure.
I am also taking 300mg of (lyrica) Pregabalin a day which has reduced the burning sensation in the side of the foot, it has also had a positive effect in other areas.