On Wednesday, March 12th I will be returning to Madison to seek treatment for my recurring cellulitis infection (from this summer) as it seems to be progressing to a dangerous stage.
The decision has been made with a lot of consultation and all is well here in Rome regarding what has to happen. I will return to Rome in September and continue my course of study in the normal cycle.
I will be living at a local parish rectory with one of my best friends, for which I am very grateful. As of this moment I am doing well – the short-term prognosis is good but the long-term is quite negative. I will be pretty normal until I begin treatment and, at this time, I can’t quite know when that will be.
Last July was the first time this infection sprang up. It was (and always preceded) by about twenty-four hours of fever & chills and intense pain my lower joints as well as tremendous fatigue. Roughly at the end of this twenty-four hour period the infection appears – in the middle toe of my left foot. The infection re-occurred again in late September and again in late December.
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that occurs underneath the skin – there is none of the usual manifestations associated with infection, i.e. no pus or open wound. The infected area becomes bright red, swollen, hot and very painful to touch or pressure. Untreated, the infection will spread quickly and the immediate danger is if it should enter the blood-stream and cause blood-infection = sepsis.
Last week I was struck with the same symptoms only this time the redness and swelling were not after the fever & chills, but at the same time and the redness was not only in the middle toe of my left foot but also there was a red-line in the middle of my foot. This was a bad sign.
Since that day I have been in a great deal of contact with doctors and nurses both in Italy and in the U.S. There is general agreement on the following points:
- Recurring cellulitis in the same area of the body is extremely rare in someone who is not elderly, is not diabetic and has never had a surgery.
- The infection is obviously not weakening but spreading.
- There is a danger that the infection is/will become resistant to oral antibiotics
- There is a greater danger of osteomyelitis= bone infection, which can lead to a number of bad things.
- I should seek special treatment as soon as I can and especially before another flare-up of the infection.
Because of all of this I will return to the United States to seek extended treatment. In the U.S. I can obtain treatment in out-patient care, which I cannot do in Italy. Therefore, to return home is also a greater aid to my course of study.
When I get home the first object will be to see if there is bone-infection or not and go from there.
Your prayers are appreciated and know that I will pray for you.