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Possible Blood Clot is Cellulitis, but it Won't Go Away!!



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I've looked through some other past posts, mostly 3-5+ years ago, and Googled to my fingers were numb, so I'm going to post this here and see if anyone has thoughts/suggestions. I'm just about 6-weeks post op, great weight loss, and was cruising right along until last Tuesday 9/7/21. I ended up in the ER for what I thought was a blood clot in my right leg. After a sonar, they assured me I had no clot, but I did have moderate cellulitis. The doctor put me on generic Bactrim 800 2x/day, and Cefalexin 500 x4/day, for 7 days.

I have had cellulitis once before pre-op, in the opposite leg, and was on a much smaller treatment of antibiotics (just the Bactrim), and within 3 days (out of the 7 day treatment) it was practically gone! So, when this past Friday rolls around and my right leg isn't better at all I start to freak out b/c it's been 4 days of double the amount of antibiotics I've had for the same issue in the past, and when I put my sock on it still cause me to "yelp" in pain, not to mention the entire shin/left calf in hot and swollen. I call my PCP and he graciously humors me and puts me on the Oral liquid version of Bactrim, for 10 days b/c I think the tablets aren't being absorbed. So, I've now had 6 doses of the Bactrim Liquid antibiotic, and I'm on my last day of Cefalexin, but really only feel like the leg is maybe, 10-15% better than it was a week ago? I will say that I do not have a fever, so I don't think I'm septic or anything, but it's getting in the way of my exercise and weight loss during the peak period of time when I should be working towards losing as much as possible.

Should it still be this bad? Has anyone else had this issue? Any suggestions or things I should talk to my PCP or bariatric surgeon about? Do you think it will just take longer and I should hold my horses and take a chill pill? 😅

Thanks for your time and thoughts everyone.

-Josh

Edited by boogie2dope

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You need to go to the hospital especially as your current medication hasn’t worked so far. Cellulitis has the potential to become a very serious infection. You may need to go on intravenous antibiotics. Your body is already stressed from your surgery & the reduced calorie diet & may be struggling to cope with the infection. Better to be safe.

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Definitely follow up. For all the reasons mentioned. Also..stay off it. You might be making things worse by pushing exercise. Talk to your doctor and take this seriously.

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I was hospitalized for three weeks for a bout of cellulitis and had to go through a long course of "nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" antibiotics. If it is hot and swollen, go to the ER.

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Thanks everyone for the replies and concern. I actually have a doctor's appointment today and will hopefully have labs and a better idea of what they think is going on. I am not one to put off going to the ER, I do play it safe, which is why I was there last Tuesday. I've talked to a few other people since my post yesterday and they said once switching to the oral liquid Bactrim it took about 5-6 days to see improvements. I will take all of your advice into consideration to determine what the next steps should be after talking with the doctor today (if he doesn't advise the same as you all have.)

Thanks again for your time and consideration, it is much appreciated.

-Josh

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I reached out to my bariatric care team, who was made aware of my visit to the ER last Tuesday and said the normal oral tablet medication would be fine. Here is my communication to them today, and their reply. Me:

Quote

Me: I wanted to follow up on this issue as my last ER prescribed antibiotic was yesterday (7-day course), and the right leg cellulitis hasn't resolved yet. It is still red/hot to the touch/and painful, although I'd say it's about 10-15% better than when I showed up at the ER last Tuesday 9/7/21. I contacted my PCP, and he has extended the Bactrim 10-days, and switched it to the oral liquid version for better absorption. I'm concerned b/c this seems an unusually long time for healing for what was diagnosed as mild cellulitis. Is there a chance my body is competing to continue healing from surgery, cope with a 800 calorie diet, and this infection all at once and the oral antibiotics just aren't cutting it? On top of that, I've stalled at the same weight for 7 days now. Is there a possibility that IV antibiotics might be required to clear this up? I've always been hypervigilant about my health, and now more than ever I want to get better so I can get back to exercising/cardio, and hitting my nutrient goals (not to mention I just want the leg to stop hurting.)
Thank you for your time, as always, I appreciate the thought and consideration that you all put into my care.
My Care Team's Response: Cellulitis at times can take A few rounds of antibiotics. It is nothing that you did. And Iv usually is not indicated unless it gets worse.

So, the response was lacking, since a number of my concerns (medication absorption, weight stall, not being able to hit my nutrient goals) were not addressed. I will assume positive intent and say they have probably dealt with dozens upon dozens of people with concerns/fears/complaints post-op that do not amount to anything, so perhaps I've been lumped in that category. We'll see what the doctor says today (he's a rheumatologist) although he may just refer me back to my PCP or the ER (in which case you all have permission to say "I told you so!") I'm going to ask for blood work too just to ensure I'm not septic, and to see where my WBC is.

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