Need Advice Please regarding Edema caused by Cellulitis
Hello. First off I would like to apologize for the very long post but I am quite desperate for help. In August, the basement of the home we rented flooded. My mother and I spent hours wading thru the mess to try and salvage what we could. About a week later my mother's feet began to swell. She didn't panic at first because she bartends and figured it was from being on her feet too much. Over a period of 4 weeks, her feet and legs became increasingly worse and I was finally able to convince her to see the doctor.
We went to see the family doctor and told him that her legs and feet were extremely swollen and that she was short of breath. He looked her over, found that her blood pressure was very high and stated that she was retaining 15-20 pounds of fluid in her legs. He told her that she was on her feet too much and to go home and take it easy. He prescribed a diurectic and potassium and sent us home and told her to come back in 3 weeks.
10 days later, she was not feeling good and her legs hadn't gotten any better. Around 6p.m. she got up to go to the bathroom and she collapsed. The ambulance came and rushed her to the er. In the er, she started suffocating, so they sent me out of the room and by the time I came back from signing the papers they had her on life support. She had gone into respiratory failure.
The doctors told me that her body was filled over 90% with fluid and that they estimated that she would have had 2 hours to live if we hadn't come to the hospital when we did. She spent the next 5 days on life support. On the 6th day, they were able to get her off and breathing on her own.
The doctors assumed that she had congestive heart failure but after doing a cardic cath, they found that her heart was in great shape. Her lungs were also pretty good as well. On the 10th day, she was able to come home.
Apparently what caused the whole ordeal according to the doctor was when we flooded. The basement was filled with sewer water which got into her system thru pores in her legs and toenails. It ended up causing cellulitis which went untreated and caused a toxic infection in her system thus bringing on the edema.
She is now on several medications, a diurectic, potassium and another pill as well for blood pressure. The doctor says she will need to take this for the rest of her life. The problem is that her feet keep swelling on and off. Somedays they are fine and others they look horrible. Is there anything at all we can do to try and prevent the feet from swelling? I am so worried that she will end up back in the hospital again.
The doctors really haven't given much advice. I would appreciate any comments you have to offer. Thanks so much for your time.
Since cellulitis is an infection of the legs or any extremity she should be on antibiotics to clear this up. She may also benefit from having her legs wrapped in ace bandages and she needs to get her feet elevated at all times until this clears up. She should only be on her feet to get a drink or use the bathroom etc until this clears up. Since cellulitis requires an antibiotic to take care of it she will need to see the doc again. Hope this info helps.
I was diagnosed with Lymphodemia in 1994 which had was accompanied with cellulitis which came to a head one day when my leg started hurting so bad I could not stand and started squirting puss. The swelling originally started after treating a viral infection with a prescription of cough medicine, (the doctor claims this was entirely coincidental) which I think was bunk. Nevertheless, I was put on bed rest for three months which shut down my metabolism, and I had to use a pump on my legs to force the circulation. This resulted recently in having a tumor removed from the inside of my thigh which was found to be cancerous. Please don't misinterpret this to mean that this is your exact problem, however, I went through a lot of doctors, and never found one of them I was satisfied with. BE VERY CAREFUL IN ACCEPTING THE DIAGNOSIS OF JUST ONE DOCTOR. GET AS MANY OPINIONS AS YOU CAN AND NEVER STOP EVALUATING THE SITUATION.