OK, yesterday afternoon Clare had to go back into hospital with cellulitis. I’ve been in with her today.
When she had this before three years ago, the first antibiotics she was given were useless, and by the time she got into hospital, several days after first showing symptoms, her lower left leg resembled third degree burns. It’s an infection of the lymph nodes; the doctor claimed that left another 24 hours, they’d have had to amputate her leg to save her life – left another 24 hours, she’d have died. She has permanent heavy scarring on her leg from last time, because she left it too late – she doesn’t like needles or hospitals. Yes, she was 48 hours from death because she didn’t get proper treatment because we didn’t know it was a life-threatening illness. Was in hospital for ten days before and I had to bathe, treat and wrap her leg for a couple of months afterwards.
This time I got her in the moment she started – Sunday morning she was fine, by midday she was shivering and sweating, couldn’t stand, was spaced out and her heart was racing. Took two hours to convince her to go in, two hours wait to see the emergency doctor, and two hours more to get her into hospital. They marked it with a pen, and this time it hasn’t spread any further up her leg (before it went up another six inches in a couple of hours). So I think it’s been caught early and it won’t be anywhere near as bad – hopefully even no lasting damage. Was distressing seeing lapse in and out of conciousness whilst three nurses tried to get a vein line in to give her painkillers/antibiotics etc – she has very fragile veins – took several attempts to get even a blood sample out of her.
Didn’t get back till late last night, I took today off work, planning to go to work as normal from now on and visit her in the evenings – she spends much of her time asleep. This has scared the shit out of me – even bought her flowers (something I don’t usually do) and the ward has banned them due to MRSA. I’m the only person she’s got – her parents are in France at their second home and their reaction was “oh,right, OK, bit bloody stupid of her, we won’t come back, keep us posted”. Amazing. Cancelled a job interview she said tomorrow – at least she didn’t have a job starting when this happened. Apparently I have gained the nickname of “Mr Calm” in the office – until I came in to tell them this morning!
OK will stop rambling now, hopefully by tomorrow evening have more of an idea how long it’ll take.