Questions and Answer

Q.  How did it start?

A.  The infection I had shocked the medical staff because it was so aggressive and I didn’t have any underlying illnesses such as Diabetes which are known to make things worse. What we do know is that I had an infected toenail and had been bitten by fleas the day before the infection took hold.

Q. What were the symptoms?

A. A sharp stabbing pain in the top of my foot. Followed by swelling and a defined red area around the site of the pain.

Q. How long did it take before you knew there was something seriously wrong.

A. Within 6 hours I started to become delerious. The redness started to spread up my leg and the pain was getting worse. It was at this point I knew I would have to go to hospital.
It wasn’t until I was in A&E and I saw the reaction of the staff that I realised things were bad.

Q. How long did it take to get the infection under control.

A. It took almost 4 days before the infection stopped spreading. I am convinced that it was linezoid that saved my life as within hours of taking it the swelling and redness stopped advancing.

Q. How painful was it?

A. Everyone’s pain is different but for me it was a constant pain on a par with bad tooth ache when I was laying down but when I sat up and put my foot down the pain was indescribable. I need paracetamol, codine and tramadol to keep the pain under control. I was given morphine but it made me feel sick.

Q. How long did the pain and swelling last.

A. The swelling in my leg went down rapidly and by the time I left hospital (2 1/2 weeks) it was limited to below my knee.
During this time the pain shifted from my leg to my whole body and although extremely painful I was able to get to the toilet using crutches (as opposed to a wheelchair).

It took a month before I had the strength to walk more than a few steps. I couldnt stand for more than a couple of minutes.

After two months I developed chillblains which set me back but I could stand up for about 10 mins.

After three months I started to become more mobile I managed to walk about 50m. I could stand up for about 20 mins before starting to feel it.

Four months on, the foot still swells up. I could probably walk 200m without having to sit down, sometimes more sometimes less. I can stand up for about 30 mins as long as I keep moving but that is depending on the time and heat of the day.

Six months on, the foot is still swollen, I can stand up for longer now although I do still get pins and needs in the top of my foot. Driving even an automatic car is not the most comfortable, mainly because my ankle spills over my shoes.

Nearly seven months on.  I think I am at the stage where the rate of improvement has appeared to have slowed down. Things are getting easier but are less obvious. Working full time leaves little time to stretch myself. I know that travelling to work is a challenge so am only doing that once a week, over the past 3 weeks I cannot say that the last visit was easier than the first. At home I have been able to do more DIY but most jobs require you to stand around so I don’t achieve much.

Twelve months on. I am still travelling into the office once a week and although things have improved since August the after effects of my cellulitis are never far from my mind. Some days are worse than others and apparently the damage to the lymph drainage is usually permanent  and is probably why my leg is still ‘full’ and slightly swollen.  I hope to find out more in 2012.

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