Cellulitis take 4
I should rename this website “the cellulitis blog” because, guess what? Yep, that's correct: I have it once again. There are a few differences this time from what usually happens, the main one being that it started in my right leg for the first time.
I woke up feeling rough and with a high temperature and heart rate on the morning of Saturday 29th January, so I asked the nurse for an LFT test; it was negative. As the carers started my personal care, they immediately noticed the redness on my right leg; this is also different from the usual timeline of my having cellulitis in that the redness doesn't normally appear for a few days after the high temperature. The nurse rang the GP around midday and I had my first antibiotic, clindamycin, in the early afternoon.
Things progressed as normal for a few days until Thursday evening when I started feeling rather unwell and my temperature went up again, reaching 40.1°C. The nurse on duty was convinced that I had COVID-19 and insisted I take another LFT (negative) and then a PCR (also negative). On Friday morning, the carers noticed that the redness had now spread to my left leg, which looked worse than the right.
When I saw the GP he said that, because I had had it so often in a short period, I had become resistant to the clindamycin. He called Rapid Response who came that afternoon to give me IV antibiotics instead. The lady who came was concerned that I was showing signs of sepsis and discussed with me the possibility of my going into hospital; we agreed that I would do so if my temperature didn't drop within an hour of me receiving paracetamol and the antibiotics. My temperature was 39.2°C when I received the dose; half an hour later it was 39.1° and half an hour after that it was 37.2°. Phew!
Four doses of the IV antibiotics later and the infection markers in my blood had gone, or at least lessened, so the cannula was removed. Despite my questions, I am back on the clindamycin and waiting to see the GP again so he can explain why I am on an antibiotic that seemingly doesn't work. I somehow missed seeing him on Tuesday, I was in a meeting on Wednesday, but the nurse here had no explanation why I didn't get to see him today. I have insisted that I see him tomorrow so I can get some answers.
Incidentally, chatting to the members of the Rapid Response team, and doing some reading online, gave me a few answers as to why I seem to be getting cellulitis so often: the bacteria that causes it is present on your body naturally and, should you get a break in the skin and sufficient bacteria enters your body, then you will have cellulitis. Obviously, antibiotics can help clear up the infection, but it never actually goes away; you will always have cellulitis but it will show up whenever your immune system is sufficiently low. That's how I understand it, anyway.
UPDATE: The doctor informed me that it isn't really possible to test if one is resistant to a particular antibiotic, but it can be inferred from the infection not easing as expected. He inspected my leg and felt confident it had cleared enough for me to stop taking the clindamycin, and I was satisfied with that.