Not long ago, while out of town, a spider or some sort of bug decided to decorate my face. I noticed a few pinprick type bites that at the time did not bother me much. I have been bit countless times, so besides the itch, I just ignored the discomfort.

After several days the footprint of the bites grew in size so by the time I made my way to the emergency room, I had a wound that looked like a cigarette burn near my eye and my eyelid was swollen like a bag of water, with my face so swollen I looked quite goulash indeed.

As I awaited in the room for the doctors examination I read a big sign that read, “Not everyone leaves with antibiotics.” I was so happy to read this because I take an antibiotic for chronic  bladder infection daily and will do so for the rest of my life, so in my mind the last thing I needed was more antibiotics.

After the examination, I was told  I should not use ice, but only heat on my face and to hang in there, because I was going to get shot in my bum (some sort of antibiotic) and a prescription of two other antibiotics. SO by the end of the day I picked up the pills and felt a little freaked out because I was given three new types of antibiotics. Three types.  What about the hospital sign? Evidently it did not apply to me.

The big concern I had was the two oral antibiotics prescribed. They were the same types I had taken before, but grew resistant to when I was fighting bladder infections on a regular basis. I worried that they could not help me.

I  filled my prescription and felt weirded out, but obediently took the brew because I was afraid of what the infection would do to my face. Yes even  at my age I am still a bit vain.

Two years ago it was suggested that I regularly see an infectious disease doctor. Added to my medical team, he would oversee my medications. His purpose was to oversee my antibiotics. I now need for the infection in my kidneys and bladder.

As soon as I got home I called the doctor on call because I worried about:

1. Taking four types antibiotics at the same time.

2.  Two of the antibiotics I had formally developed resistance to so they       no longer helped cure my bladder infections, so how could they possible help me with my puffy face/Cellulitis.

The infectious disease doctor on-call reassured me that just because I had grown resistant to the antibiotics prescribed with regard to my bladder that the infection, my cellulitis, would most likely respond to them because now I was treating a skin infection.

I am happy to report, after two weeks, other than a whopper scab near my eye, I look normal again.

I was so very thankful I was connected to an infectious disease doctor. Sometimes we are so busy enjoying life and dealing with our chronic issues we forget that acute tidbits crop up now and then.

As a side note, the doctor told me that when one gets a bite, one should always wash it with soap because the opening in the skin can become infected.  Well that was a lesson-learned for me, for sure.

How reassuring to have a doctor on my team who helps me understand this part of my life. He is on hand, of course, for the day that might come, when I grow resistant to the antibiotic I am taking to fight chronic bladder infections.  He also cautions me to look for a rare side effect, which is a build-up in my lungs that can cause pulmonary fibrosis.

How do you handle acute situations while living with a chronic illness?

Do you see an infectious disease doctor as well?