Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sucky sunburn

This week has totally sucked for me. I got a bad sunburn last Sunday which I thought was no big deal.

<----------my legs slathered in aloe

But after one shift at work my legs swelled badly and a couple of days later, even after I had tried very hard to treat them at home appropriately, they got infected with cellulitis. Cellulitis is basically a Staph infection that gets into your deep skin. ARGH, pain, swelling, burning, I couldn't even stand-couldn't even put my legs vertical! I had my husband drive me to the ER on Friday night of Easter weekend after it had gone from bad sunburn to infected in just a few hours. My legs swelled so badly that my toes were cold and turning purple. Not a happy camper.

Needless to say I didn't get much sleep this week but after 24 hours of Bactrium-antibiotic-and silver sulfadiazine cream, I already starting seeing improvement. The swelling reversed almost immediately and my legs got super hot and painful- all the blood rushing back to the tissues hurts!

So it's been 3.5 days on antibiotics and I can walk under my own power again. Not for long distances and it's difficult to stand very long but YES, I can walk!

I've always been sympathetic to my patients with similar leg infections; they always looked so awful and painful. But I have a whole new level of empathy for them now. My husband asked me what it felt like to have cellulitis-

Wrap your lower legs tightly in packing tape, just tight enough so that you almost cut of all circulation. Then every time you stand or take a step have someone quickly rip a piece of tape of with your hair and some skin and that's sort of what it feels like. Yeah, super fun.


  1. OOOWWWWW! My husband had cellulitis from a tiny scratch on a job site..he almost lost his leg...it took months to get better..i feel for what you are going through! but he had months of iv anitbiotics,i had to pack the wound 2 times a day for those months...you are blesssed to be getting better so quickly, and i am glad your patients will now have a more compassionate helper with them..My prayers are with you. We are all so anxious for sun, this is a great warning to be careful!!

  2. Kim/Stacy- wow! He's fortunate to still have his leg! The dr told me that if I didn't see improvement in 24 hrs to come back and I'd be admitted for IV antibiotics. I know I'm very blessed to have such a fast response. Normally my immune system is cast iron but it's weakened from the last 2 years which is why I got cellulitis at all. But my immune system is still stronger than average so that with antibiotics it's able to fight back very quickly. There's definitely no sun tanning for me this summer! Thanks!

  3. t is good that you are on time (and time is as soon as) began to treat cellulitis. Minimum treatment for this form you 7-14 days with antibiotics. Only in this way continue and it will become ok.
    Here is a link for cellulitis treatment tips:
    treatment for cellulitis


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