HELP: Recent Cellulitis Attacks
41 year old male with Ankylosing Spondilitis and IgA Neuropathy. Even with these two, very healthy, very active. X Rays are always fine. Kidney functions barely above the 'concern' level.
I have had ear problems for about 10 years. Always digging in them with my fingers, especially when sleeping. Had many, many, many ear infections, but nothing ever serious.
3 weeks ago I went to bed one night with the chills. Woke up 4 hours later with a 105 degree fever. Was just hot. Then, I looked at my left ear, and it looked like califlouer. Just massive.
Went to immediate care and got an antibiotic. Did not touch it. Next day the swelling was going the neck and onto the face, so I went to the ER.
Withing 4 hours I was diagnosed, given a CT to make certain it had not invaded a bone behind the ear, then put on a strong antibiotic via IV. Went home with a pill version of the antibiotic as well.
Came back next day, and the swelling was shrinking. 3 days later, back to normal ear.
Diagnosis was cellultis. Again, best guess we have is how I always dig at my ears and probably cut it open, allowing bacteria to enter.
Thought I was done with this...........................until today. Go back to this past Friday night. My wife said I was sleeping and digging into both ears most of the night. I do not recall doing it. Anyway, was digging so hard that both ears were full of crusties, and both ear canals hurt. Been there, done that.
Today my RIGHT ear lobe was a tad swollen. Thought it was a basic ear infection and wanted to go to Immediate Care, but there was a 3 hour wait. Called a cousin (doctor), and he prescribed drops for the ear. Was also given instructions that if the ear lobe swelled any bit more, I needed to go to the ER.
Ended up at the ER. This time, just the ear lobe swelled up, but it is MUCH bigger on the ear lobe this time than last.
Since the ER was busy, probably took 2 1/2 hours from my arrival to finally get an IV drip. New antibiotic this time. At the end of the drip, got my first fever. And of course, waiting that long means that the ear lobe got as big as it did.
As I was leaving, I did notice that the left ear was swollen just a tad. Here we are 4 hours later, and both ears are still swollen. Doctor said it may take time for the swelling to go down, but she told me that the swelling should NOT increase. If it does, back to the ER.
For any experts out there, does this sound like Cellulitis? Last time they did a blood culture, and they said that I definitely had some bad bacteria in me (Side note, last time, whenever I would urinate, my urine looked like Coke. Not having that issue this time).
I am a tad concerned this time because it is certainly in both ears, albeit, the left ear is barely noticeable. Just seems odd that it would be attacking both ears.
Finally, still have a low grade fever (100.7). Just hot. Don't feel sick. Also, ear does not hurt.
Since the antibiotics worked last time, I am certainly incluined to think that this is a bacterial thing. But is it really? Seems odd I would get it again 3 weeks later.
Could it be someting autoimmune?
I am planning on getting in with an infectious disease doctor soon.
Any other thoughts/suggestions?