Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Those who do not learn from history...

Go back with me about 5 years. I'd just given birth to Rianne via C-section and we were planning for her baby blessing. Friends were coming in from out of town, my niece lived with us but was planning to go back to her mom's, and everything was going pretty well.

Then Bryan called me into our bedroom to show me his lower leg. The skin was angry, red and inflamed. He confessed it had been like this for a few weeks; he had no idea what it was but now areas up his leg had started to get sore. It hurt to walk. We called his doctor and made an appointment for him that day.

At the doctor's office, he was examined briefly before the doctor looked up at him and said, "The good news is I can save your life. But you have to go to the hospital right now. We'll fax the order over and it will be waiting for you when you get there."

What followed was two weeks of trial and difficulty. Bryan spent 7 days in the hospital; he missed Rianne's blessing which was performed by my oldest brother in Bryan's absence. After he was released from the hospital, Bryan was put on 7 days of bed rest with a nurse who came in once a day to give him an IV antibiotic. He developed a reaction to the antibiotic and had to be switched to a different one after a few days at home.

He did recover. Parts of his leg will always be discolored from the ordeal, but he survived. At the time that's what was important.

A few years later it happened again. We'd moved here to Tooele and had a different doctor, and Bryan caught the infection early and did not have to go to the hospital. Though it disturbed me that the infection happened again, I wasn't sure what to do about it. The first time we attributed the infection to the poor condition of Bryan's feet. He has like a perpetual athlete's foot condition where his feet are dry, flaky and calloused. There was a cut on the bottom of his foot at the time and we figured that's how the infection got into his blood stream. There is a cream that helps heal his feet, but only to a point and it requires constant application--we all know how good men are at maintaining their meds. :( If he stops using the cream his feet just go back to the way they were. It doesn't seem like it will ever go away forever.

Last night, Bryan saw the doctor again for the same condition. He got antibiotics and a cream and went to work. He ended up coming home early because the pain was too much and now has a doctor's appointment in about an hour.

This is information I got off the Mayo Clinic's website about the condition: Cellulitis (sel-u-LI-tis) is a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection. Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender, and it may spread rapidly.

Skin on lower legs is most commonly affected, though cellulitis can occur anywhere on your body or face. Infections on the face are more common in children and older adults. Cellulitis may affect only your skin's surface — or, cellulitis may also affect tissues underlying your skin and can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream.

Left untreated, the spreading infection may rapidly turn life-threatening. That's why it's important to seek immediate medical attention if cellulitis symptoms occur. (that's where we were the first time; it was almost too late to save him)

This is why it's so scary to me. This can kill him. And it keeps happening. He's had this infection 3 times in the last 5 years. That's too often in my opinion. But I can't make him maintain the foot cream. I can't make him remember all the things the doctors have told him to prevent it. I was so panicked yesterday I could hardly function. And I can't say I'm doing much better today.

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