March 1, 2019 I thought I was getting the flu. I headed home at 3pm and I laid down on the couch hoping the fever would go away soon. But after my husband Steve came home he took my temperature at 7pm and I had a 104 fever. I was feeling weaker and weaker and had Steve help me get to the bathroom. With Steve’s help I headed back to the couch 20 feet away I told him I needed to sit at the dining room table and please get me some aspirin. While getting the aspirin I passed out and hit the floor. When I came to I said, “I think I need to go to the hospital.” Steve had already called 911 and In 12 minutes the paramedics loaded me in the ambulance and off to Kaiser ER we went. I felt a lot better after passing out as the fever seemed like it went away. I sat in the ER hall for 2 hours waiting for a spot for the doctors / nurses to start evaluating me as there was a lot of people worse off than me at that time.
While in the ER treatment room the medical team asked what happened and starting taking my vitals etc. We were all on the flu path when I asked Steve, “Hey does my left leg look red to you?” The light bulb went off and I told him, when they come back be sure to tell them I probably have cellulitis (a bacterial infection common occurrence for lymphedema patients). The team agreed it was cellulitis but I was headed towards sepsis as I had a temperature, elevated heart rate, and a high white blood count. See more about sepis at this link https://www.mdcalc.com/sirs-sepsis-septic-shock-criteria
My blood pressure was very low - 80/50 most of Fri. night and my heart rate was in the 80s when it is normally in the 50s. The ER doctor said if I didn’t respond to the fluids and antibiotics that they could put in a central venous catheter in my neck to mainline the fluids and drugs even faster. Sepsis is serious stuff and can kill you. Read more at this link https://www.sepsis.org/sepsis/treatment/
I was in the ER for 21 hours as they were full in the direct response floor where I was supposed to go. As they continued with the treatment I started to respond and was upgraded to going to the medical observation floor, finally I got a room, and I got some much needed rest. The plan was for me to stay for 48 hours to get the blood work and the cultures done to see what type of bacteria they were fighting.
I had texted my lymphedema surgeon Dr. Jay Granzow (whom had done my two SAPL surgeries in 2014/2015). www.LymphedemaSurgeon.com . He recommended that I be sure to get my leg in compression as soon as possible. I had some CircAids in my stash of compression gear and had Steve bring it to me Sunday morning. I also had my Incrediwear leggings that have shown positive results for lymphedema patients - www.Incrediwear.com
I put on the Incrediwear leggings at 8am and the CircAid over my left leg and waited for the doctor to check in. When I took off the compression the doctor was quite impressed how well I was doing and much better my leg looked. It was a lot less red but still not the normal color. The swelling was down quite a bit and I asked for an early release. Even though I only had the compression on for a few hours it helped my leg feel better. Plus I had my legs elevated since 7pm Sat. night when I got checked into my room. She said I could finish the 11am IV and not do the one scheduled after that so I got to go home at 1pm instead of 11pm that night. I put the CircAid and Incrediwear back on while I finished up the IV drugs.
I also take a reservatrol product which I sell – Equine Resvantage – a super anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. I think that also helped my cells recover quickly. www.RidingMedia.com/Resvantage/
Photos below: my leg after several hours of IV drugs in the ER; CircAid and Incrediwear on my legs to help reduce the inflammation/swelling hoping for an early discharge. Got out after 40 hours instead of the predicted 48 hours. My doctors note for diagnosis of sepsis.
I live to fight lymphedema for another day!