Sunday, 16 June 2013

Hospitalised with Eczema Herpeticum and Periorbital Cellulitis

Hello lovelies!

You may or may not have seen on my Facebook or Twitter that I got out of hospital on late Friday afternoon so I thought it was about time I told you all on here of my adventures!

Saturday Morning

So you'll know by my other half's posts that I was in a really bad way and from my initial post about it last Saturday where it rapidly spread in a very short space of time. I was given a high dosage of Aciclovir tablets to take in the hope that it would clear up as it usually would but waking up on Sunday morning was just something I never hope to experience again. My right eye had swollen shut completely but the swelling was so incredible that I nearly had a break down when I saw myself in the mirror. The herpeticum had spread all over my face and I looked a right old mess. It was then that I knew I needed a higher level of medical help. I had only taken 4 Aciclovir tablets but the condition showed no means of halting or slowing down.

Sunday Morning

When getting to A&E once again, I was fast-tracked to the outpatient GP who couldn't quite believe what he saw. In fact his report was so, so detailed that he even included diagrams and drawings to refer back to in the future. He also asked if he may take a picture on his phone (!) which after having explained that it was entirely for medical teaching purposes and would not be published in any books or articles I agreed to. He even made up a contract for me to sign to say that it would solely only be used for teaching purposes.

But in all honesty, even if it does get published in a book or article I'm not really bothered. If it helps to show people the severity of a condition then so be it. People need to learn about these often unseen and infrequent, debilitating and sometimes life-threatening conditions as I found out when I eventually got onto a ward. No one really had much of a clue what had happened. They saw the word "eczema" in my notes and figured I'd have an allergic reaction.

Monday Evening

What I actually had however was a bit of a shock. Yes, it was a crazy bout of Eczema Herpeticum that had originated in my eyes, but I also had a secondary infection of Periorbital Cellulitis! I was absolutely terrified. Especially when it seemed to be taking ages to settle the swelling. You can see in Shane's photographs that there was a distinct difference each day that he came to see me, but when you're physically living and breathing the condition it literally feels no different so it became hard for me to gauge if I was getting better.

Tuesday Evening

I was administered Aciclovir and Antibiotics via IV treatment which was horrendous enough. During the 6 days of my stay 6 cannulas were put in different places on my arms. My body really just didn't like them. I know I end up having trouble with blood tests but this was just ridiculous. Each one is supposed to last up to a fortnight, with me it was literally 24 hours, if that. If my veins weren't blowing up due to treatment then the cannula was physically falling out of my arm, even with a bandage holding it in place! They also had trouble even getting it into a vein a lot of the time. I'm now covered in stab wounds and have horribly bruised veins that will take blooming ages to heal. I would make a rubbish junkie, that's for sure!

Wednesday Evening

I finally saw the dermatologist late Friday morning for a review of how I was healing and was told I could stop the IV treatment and swap to tablets which as you can assume I was more than happy to hear. My poor old veins needed a rest! She has given me an incredibly high dosage of Aciclovir to take for 1 month to stop it from reoccurring as this was the 7th time I have have now contracted it since April 2012. Mental. I'm also continuing the antibiotics as cellulitis can take months to properly heal.

When I was first admitted they told me to stop the Ciclosporin in case that was part of the reason that my body was taking so long to heal. I still haven't restarted it just yet as I'm not sure if that could even be part of the reason that this ordeal occurred. I wasn't stressed when it came on and I was really happy as my skin had finally taken a turn for the better so I have no idea where this all came from as I usually get herpeticum when I'm run down, which I certainly wasn't. The derm told me to resume taking it on Saturday but my skin isn't actually too bad, or certainly not greatly unmanageable so I think I'll give it a while longer before making the switch back.

Thursday Evening

I'd love to thank all of the nurses who looked after me whilst I was hospitalised. I was actually kept in the Medical Emergency Assessment Unit for the entire duration of my stay which isn't usual as you're only usually kept there for 24-48 hours. The nurses were really good and understanding of my needs, which from what I've heard isn't typical of Lincoln County Hospital. So I'm pleased I was in good hands!

Just as I was about to be discharged however, I came to a realisation that my eye sight wasn't up to par which frightened me somewhat. The vision in my right eye had deteriorated a little so they didn't want me to leave without having had an assessment just to ensure no damage had occurred. Thankfully she couldn't find anything and it was probably just down to the Aciclovir eye drops I'd had to administer. Luckily my eyes have now returned to normal and it's my left eye that is slightly worse, which it was before. Phew.

Friday Evening

I'm now under strict orders to rest and get better. I'm seeing the derm tomorrow for a review and blood test (noooo!) and hopefully they'll be pleased that I'm getting better.

Also hilariously when I was first getting my cannula put in Shane was holding my hand, the next minute he'd dropped his (thankfully unopened) can of Relentless on the floor and after I looked at him to see why he'd been so stupid I realised he looked as if he was about to faint. Sure enough Shane's roots upended and in slow motion he sank to the ground. Cue both our embarrassed faces... The nurses had a lot to talk about that day anyway. The silly sod!


  1. Glad to hear you're doing better Jenny!

  2. Looking much better! Hugs. X

  3. OH happy to hear you are better and out of the hospital!!! Looking forward to more posts with more good news! Hopefully you can put this whole TSW behind you soon. Keep resting!!

    1. Aww thanks lovely :D I hope I can get back into the swing of writing up positive posts too! Off to the docs in a mo to grab a sick note for work so I can stop stressing about that issue!x

  4. Aw Jenny what a nice thing to see your pretty smile in the last picture. So glad to see that things got better!!

    1. I wouldn't call that particular face a "pretty smile" but thank you :D your comment sure brought a smile to my face :) xx

  5. hi there . glad to see that you are feeling and looking a lot better . i had real bad eye problems around this time last year , they swelled up just like yours . its realy scary and very uncomftable so i pleased you are on the mend . ps .. im from cleethorpes on the lincolnshire coast which isnt too far from lincoln . anyway . hope the recovery continues and hang on in there .

  6. Hi Jenny. I'm so pleased things are looking up, your skin looks so much better. I think you're so brave blogging and taking photos during such a hard time. Thanks for the inspiration. Glad you're doing well.
    Jess x

  7. So good to see you much improved! Eczema herpeticum is scary stuff, hope you're having a calm skin day :)


  8. Hi Jenny,

    I am also a sufferer of chronic eczema and I was interested to here that you have found an open-minded dermatologist with regards to steroid withdrawal, something I have yet to find. Would it be possible for you to pass details of her practice to me if I contact you by email?

    many thanks,


    1. Hi Angela, thanks for your comment. I'm not entirely sure if she will be everything I need her to be or not as I've only been seeing her during my hospital admittance. She also isn't in a practice; she is a specialist within the hospital which I have had referral from through my GP.

      I'll let you know how I get on with her before I give you her details as I wouldn't want to create any sense of false hope.

      Hope you understand.


  9. Jenny,

    I feel for you. I had a herpes breakout in college all over my face (luckily not in my eyes) but didn't get hospitalized for it but kept me hidden from sight for a good month. Since then I've had random outbreaks on the side of my face from time to time but not as bad as the first breakout. I am taking acyclovir daily to battle these small breakouts. So crazy that an infection that just gives a normal person a cold sore becomes a huge burden for us eczematics. Doing TSW as well. Best of luck to you!


    1. Glad to see I'm not alone in the daily aciclovir treatment! Thought I must have been the only one who got it so frequently. Just seen your blog and looks like we withdrew at around the same time. Will be good to see how you get on :)


  10. Hi Jenny,
    I'm so glad I've found your blog! my boyfriend is going through the same thing as you. He's had a rash on his face for more than a month now (we first thought it was because of an allergic reaction to aloe vera), the GP prescribed him some steroids, creams etc but it didn't help much and the rash spread all over his body. A couple of days ago he woke up with his right eye completely swollen we went to A&E, they gave him an antibiotic and another cream, said it's eczema and said that he needs to get a referral from his gp to a dermatologist however the gp stated that with the referral it will probably take him a month or more to see one, so we're trying to see a private one. Can I ask you, have you had an allergy to fur bearing animals since birth or have you acquired it later on in life? I'm scared that it is because of our dog which we got about 8 months ago (but he was never allergic to animals) or maybe it's because of the aloe vera cream(he did use the cream for a while until the eczema appeared on his face gradually and when he was younger he had a bad reaction to it) or maybe he's allergic to something completely different?
    I do feel for you and hope your eczema is better :)
    Take care

  11. Are you tired at all with this condition? Enlarged lymph nodes? I have a very similar thing where my eyes swell shut. And my rash looks very similar to yours. No one is really that concerned about it, but the don't know what is causing it either. My white counts are sometimes low and my liver counts are a bit high, but all other tests are normal.

    1. Yes and yes to everything you said. Ditto on the low white counts, but my gp told me that was typical to people who suffer with auto-immune / inflammatory conditions (I also have asthma and many many allergies)

  12. I'm writing here today to thank you for posting this article. This exact exact same thing has happened to me a total of three times and it had been a complete mystery every time. As I'd never gone to A&E, by the time I had gotten in to see any doctors, my face was doing much better. As it might be interesting for you to know, especially if you are trying to cut down on medications, each time that this has happened to me, I take high strength antihistamines, and leave cold compressses on my face for about a week, and the condition usually takes a week to a week and a half to go away. Another thing I do is to use organic raw pressed sesame oil. Unless of course you are allergic to sesame, id recommend patch testing it on some place like your arm. When I was young, I would combine it half and half with my topical steroid creams and it would do wonders. Thanks for sharing.