Anger / Arguing With Smarter People / Science / This Filipino Life

Adventures With Periorbital Cellulitis Pt. 2: Relentless Burning the Invader To Death (Prime Suspect: Staphyloccocus aureus)


pt. 1 here

alternative title: Why I’ve Been Such a Huge Goddamn Bitch Lately

alternative title 2: Why Many Doctors Are Full of Shit

Exhibit A, two days ago immediately after release from the ER: 


Exhibit B, just a few minutes ago, immediately after application of a compress full of scalding hot water: 


Exhibit C, my med cert from that night. Details obscured because even though I hate the people who did this to me, I don’t know what people online might take it into their heads to do if this post were taken out of context. 



Roughly the following conversation occurred between me and my mom (a doctor) this morning (it’s very long, with many asides about school so I cut a lot out):

MD: How’s your vision on the right eye? Can you try looking at things while covering the left? 

Me: Vision is all right. It’s just the painful abscess that wouldn’t let me open it. It was so big and the swelling went down so fast that the skin there is now wrinkled oddly if you look closely. 

MD: So it’s small already? If it doesn’t go away by Saturday we need to see Dr. G. 

Me: It goes down fast with the hot compress but flares up again without it. That’s why it’s all I’ve been doing for the past 2 days. With breaks only for sleeping and eating and when my hands get tired. 

Very scary bacteria, this one. Causes lots of diseases all over the body. Something carditis in the heart, osteomyelitis in the bone, sepsis in the blood. Abscesses in the brain if a preseptal infection progresses to orbital. 

MD: I’ll text Dr. G. if what you’re doing is okay

Me: Tell him I check my vision twice a day when I change the dressing and it’s good. And there’s no redness in the surrounding area, so the skin hasn’t been burned. No tenderness also except on the abscess. 

Hm maybe I should email a pic? 

MD: Yes send me the pic. I also talked to Dr. U. He said to use a warm compress only. 

Me: Uh huh. I thought he would say that. But if I don’t do this, I’ll have to be admitted with antibiotic IV because otherwise the abscess grows again very fast. 

MD: It’s not the hot compress that would bring down the swelling completely. It’s the antibiotics. I would really strongly advise you to see Dr. U ASAP. 

Me: I don’t think you’re listening to me. I am taking the antibiotics regularly but unless I put on the compress repeatedly, the abscess grows again. Last night before I slept it had reduced enough that it looked like a stye. This morning when I woke it had grown so much that my eyelid was drooping a bit again. 

MD: That is why you should see Dr. U. Because that is not the expected response. It comes and goes – weird. 

Me: I told you it’s weird. That’s why I got scared. Not responsive to ointments or lacto or anything, only the hot compress

MD: But you are putting the Tobradex and taking Augmentin diba?

Me: Yes I am. Both of those as prescribed. Not responsive. It’s so strong. It should be cultured if possible I am very curious about it. 

It grows extremely fast. In a matter of hours. If I hadn’t gone to the hospital that night I’m sure it would have burst my septum and went to orbital cellulitis then brain abscess after that. 

It’s best if I can be examined at [redacted] because it’s nearest. I think you should get me a referral to a doctor of internal medicine. Ophthas seem to have no knowledge of bacterial infection. They just keep talking about my vision and there’s nothing at all wrong with my vision. 

It was a Dr. Q. who let slip that I should be admitted right before she immediately referred me to the awful ophtha. Her label on the med cert is Emergency Doctor. So that or internal med doctor is what I need. 

MD: Dr. U. is very knowledgeable. He mentioned to me the possibility of you being admitted to give you IV antibiotics. 

Me: Yeah I can tell he is but he’s quite far to see personally. 

MD: If you want pasundo na lang kita tomorrow AM but bring your important stuff in case he advises admission. 

Me: I’ve been eating so many vegetables that I’ve become really grumpy because I don’t like the way they taste. My appetite is much different, I have to force myself to eat. And some things smell much stronger to me now. I suspect there may be a mold or bacteria infestation in our bathroom because it always smells like poop even though no one just pooped and it’s very clean. 

My major symptom right now is grumpiness. 

MD: Your dad will fetch you tomorrow at 7Am and you will go straight to Dr. U. Bring your things in case he advises admission. The side effects of appetite and smell sensitivity are antibiotic side effects. 



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