Could It Be Cellulitis?

Ever been stung by a flying insect?
Ever had the affected limb swell?

One of our colleagues recently heard a friend’s story that almost turned into a nightmare.
Here’s the story:

She was feeding her many animals (dogs, cats, horses, goats, etc.) when she felt a sting on her calf.
Although she initially thought it was a bee, it turned out to be a hornet.
When she returned to her house, her leg was already swollen.
She took a double dose of Benadryl, iced the wound and went to bed.
The next morning, her leg was even more swollen and soar so she looked up “hornet sting”
online and saw that swelling is normal. She put on a skirt (so the wound could breath),
and the requisite high heeled shoes (she is an entertainment attorney) and went to work.

Her young (in her 20s) assistant noticed her swollen leg and limp and asked for details.  Leg-Cellulitis-Picture
When the attorney explained, her assistant countered with something akin to:
“They mean swelling around the wound, not your entire leg!”
The attorney’s leg was now also red and quite sore so she dutifully followed her assistant’s insistence and went to the closest ER.

The intake nurse, of course, asked her what brought her to the ER and the attorney explained that the wound in question was on her leg, that she was wearing a skirt, and couldn’t possibly elevate the limb high enough for the nurse to see behind the counter.
Luckily, the nurse stepped out and walked around and exclaimed something to the effect of:

“That is not an allergic reaction to a sting, that’s cellulitis!
You must come back here right away!”

They immediately put her on 2 IV antibiotics, then sent her home with 2 oral versions
and told her to make an appointment to see her regular physician right away.

According to the attorney, she had no intention of actually taking all of those antibiotics
until she returned to work (yup, she left the ER and went back to work, not home as instructed),
read up on cellulitis, then called her doctor, and took the antibiotics as prescribed.

Luckily, 2 weeks later, she is feeling better and is grateful that the universe provided
such a valuable and caring assistant that would push her to care for herself even when she
was not inclined to care for herself properly.

So, we share this story with you so that you and those you care about learn what to look
for since more of our skin is exposed to the elements during this hot weather season.

While we usually advocate for your primary care physician or urgent care, there are
times when the ER is a perfectly valid option. In the case of cellulitis:
“Without treatment with an antibiotic, cellulitis can be life-threatening.”

We’d like to hear your stories too!
Please share them in the comments section below.
Or, if you have questions about your health insurance coverage, please call us at 877.789.5831.
We look forward to helping you on to even better health!

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