I Came Home From the Hospital Yesterday

For apparent cellulitis of my right lower calf (though one of the doctors in my team insisted till the end that he thought it was some vascular issue). I do have Type 2 Diabetes, which certainly wouldn’t help matters.

They apparently gave me a hefty dose of antibiotics in the hospital. And they sent me home with a ten day supply of Cefadroxil. (I spent about a day and a half to two days in the hospital.)

I don’t think that the treatment is really helping. But I will simply follow all the doctor’s instructions for now. I will see the hospital doctor in a couple of weeks. My general practitioner I will see a week from Monday. What bad could happen in that time?

BTW I brought a Xeroxed copy of my medications (along with my COVID vaccine card) in the hospital with me. Semper Paratus. That’s my motto.

Also I wanted to ask. They gave me all my meds (or what they assured me was their nearest equivalent) in the hospital. But they refused to give me my Metformin, giving me insulin instead. Why couldn’t they give me Metformin? Drug interaction?

Thank you in advance for your kindly and helpful replies :slight_smile:

WAG? given the sparseness of info?

To foster cellulitis healing, they wanted tighter and more precise control of your blood sugar than metformin gives.

Next time (hopefully there won’t be a next time), ask the nurses bringing your meds why one of them is different or not being given. If they can’t answer to your satisfaction, ask the doctor who prescribed the change. Every hospital also has pharmacists on staff who can provide detailed drug information to patient. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t understand why a med is new, gone or different, don’t take the new or different one until you do understand.

Sixty plus days hospitalized in the last almost four years.
Never was given Metformin, and I’m on 1,000mg twice a day.
AIUI, because they can test you as often as they need to, in my case four or more times a day, Insulin gives them more control, as you said. It wasn’t uncommon for me to get four or more injections depending on how high my glucose levels were.
(I’m on Prednisone which makes glucose control a minor nightmare!)

My late spouse had Type 2 diabetes and used metformin, but in the hospital would get insulin. In addition to the above reasons, at least in his case (and quite likely others) infection usually elevated his blood sugar so his regular metformin dose wouldn’t be doing the job of keeping his blood sugar under control anyway, so his meds would have needed to be changed anyway. I guess the insulin was easier for the hospital to use, they tested him all the time (the word “pin cushion” was used at one point), and it seems to have worked.

Does seem to be a standard practice.

Make sure you have guidance from your doctor about what symptoms look for to call them before your appointment. What dangerous side effects or signs of the infection worsening. Don’t wait until your follow up to call them if you’re worried.

What chaps my arse is I normally use one of the constant read glucose monitor things [freestyle libre] and they refused to use it, instead slamming an ice pick into my fingers multiple times a day [I have neuropathy in my hands and feet from the damned chemo that makes sticks immensely painful] Properly calibrated, I can literally check my glucose every 15 minutes 24 hours a day for 14 days … WTF guys.

If a doctor thought you had vascular issues did they test your oxygen level in your feet?

“Properly calibrated” is probably the issue. They have a glucometer they’re expected to use with all patients, it’s calibrated and gives known results. They don’t know anything about what results your glucometer provides.

I had a bad case of either cellulitis or phlebitis after my bypass surgery. It took two courses of antibiotics to bring the swelling down, and that was after they aborted an earlier course that wasn’t working.

Unfortunately, I think you need to give it more time. Wait at least for the full ten days of the Cefadroxil, and maybe request a second course.

@Magiver They did an ultrasound of my leg. I don’t remember them checking my oxygen levels. But it’s all kind of a nightmarish blur now. The redness stopped at my sock line, which is rather odd. But that’s because I have a rare bacteria (the other doctor said). :slight_smile:

I only ask this because I had a massive blood clot that was mis-diagnosed. Most blood clots are venous and they did an ultrasound on the veins. It turns out I had an arterial blood clot and that was missed until they did a scan of the arteries. This could be in addition to bacterial issues.

An easy test is to put an oximeter on your toe to see what it reads. An even easier test is to see if your affected leg is colder to the touch than the other.

I literally had no measurable pulse in my leg so I had to squeeze my foot to mimic a pulse because the oximeter I used wouldn’t register oxygen level until it saw 5 pulses. When I told my family doctor she immediately had another ultrasound done that day. I went straight to the hospital after the results. They told me in the hospital I was a day away from losing the use of my leg.

Probably not your problem but it’s something you can check yourself.

I would add that arterial blood clots often come from the heart. If you have one in your leg they will then check your heart and lungs for the origin of the clot.

Please recover well, and stay safe.

I have both the slap it into my skin sensor and the classic lancet stick strips that can be used for blood or for glucose solution for callibration. I can demonstrate accurate callibration at any time. [I actually check callibration every time I start a new sensor.]

Doesn’t matter to a hospital, it not their equipment so they cannot show a chain of custody of the readings and calibration in case they audited or get into a lawsuit. That and they can bill you out the ying Yang for taking the reading. They don’t let you bring your own meds either.

They let me use my own CPAP machine for 2 weeks and that was between 2 different hospitals. Never even asked me about it.

While I have no doubt they have a stated policy of using their own equipment it’s not carved in stone.

And I also had a bit of a row over one of their medications. I’m not highly motivated in being tortured when I already don’t feel well.

Finally, I have nerve damage in my feet so I know how painful it would be to poke me with a needle. I would have thrown a fit if they didn’t allow a medically certified alternative. I got pissed off at all the blood samples they were taking and had them put in a separate line just for that. It really got rediculous when they had to call in a specialist every time to find a vein. It was like the shower scene in psycho only with needles. I had to ask for a separate “tap” that allowed blood draws without sticking me every time. Not sure why this isn’t standard practice if there is going to be a lot of samples taken each day.

It’s not standard practice because it’s invasive, even if a relatively minor example, and is a possible route for infection to get started.

It’s far less invasive than being jabbed 5 times a day. and it gets flushed.regularly. Also, that logic defies other lines that stay in for the purpose of adding various medicines and fluids. They don’t constantly change out the insertion points for this.

I don’t know what your medical background is but your opinion is in conflict with my actual experience.

I just relayed what was told to me when I once asked that question. I make no assertion that it is consistent or true.

+1 to this.

I have a PROFOUND mistrust of hospitals and their (mis)handling of medications. When I had my gallbladder yanked 11 years back, I brought a printed list of all my medications. They did not have orders for all of them, when I asked the nurse. I wound up telling her “thanks but no thanks - I have my own” and refused the meds. One was a substitute (Nexium or something instead of Prilosec) which I later heard was common; others they had forgotten entirely, and the doctor had written instructions for antinausea medication if needed, which I had EXPLICITLY told everyone was contraindicated for me.

Similar errors / omissions were made the only other time I was hospitalized for nonchildbirth-related reasons.

Both times, I was on top of it and caught their errors.

To be fair, there may well be medical reasons to use insulin versus Metformin, given the very different mode of action - but as someone who had never used insulin, how the hell did they know what dosage you required?

I was borderline T2DM when the gallbladder incident happened - had a really high fasting blood sugar during the active gallbladder attack - and the doctor did tell me they might want to manage my blood sugar with a small amount of insulin during the procedure. As it dropped to near-normal levels in the interim, this turned out to not be a problem.