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Eww-lbow
August 23, 2012 7:42 PM   Subscribe

So... over the course of the day my elbow has gone weird looking - it's red and swollen and sort of squooshy feeling. The skin feels warm to the touch and it is tender. Doctor Google tells me it's probably Bursitis. So... I should probably go get it checked out. But is it a rush to the docs tonight thing or a wait to tomorrow thing?
posted by Artw to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is there any possibility that you were bitten by a spider?
posted by miss lynnster at 7:44 PM on August 23, 2012


My insurance has a 24 hour nurse hotline - in this type of situation, I usually give them a call - they know exactly what questions to ask, and then they make a recommendation of what to do.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:45 PM on August 23, 2012


Is there any possibility that you were bitten by a spider?

I'm in Seattle - not sure there's a spider here that would do that. If so it's a first.
posted by Artw at 7:47 PM on August 23, 2012


Bursitis is not an emergency, but cellulitis is, and I'm not sure that I would trust you and Dr. Google to tell the difference... I think you should get it looked at sooner than later.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:48 PM on August 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


Artw - I live in L.A. and found out the hard way that I was bitten by a spider I was allergic to. It looked just like that.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:51 PM on August 23, 2012


I would probably go in. I had an infected mosquito bite that started rapidly growing like that and I ended up needing two rounds of antibiotics to kick it. You don't want to mess around with that stuff.
posted by something something at 7:54 PM on August 23, 2012


Go to the ER.

Swelling and redness like that over the course of a single day is much too fast to mess around about.
posted by jamjam at 7:55 PM on August 23, 2012


Yeah, go in to emerg asap. That looks like an infection.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:56 PM on August 23, 2012


OK, that pretty much settles it...

If anything gross happens I will be back with updates.
posted by Artw at 7:58 PM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Dude, make a line around the EDGE of the swelling and redness with a marker so you'll be able to see if it spreads, and if so, how far.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:00 PM on August 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


I mean, totally go to urgent care or the ER, too, but ALSO it ain't a bad idea to mark where the swelling/redness is now.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:02 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yup, my dad had a very similar-looking start to his cellulitis. He waited several days to see a doc about it and ended up having problems for over a year.

You're making the right choice to go to the ER tonight, even if it turns out to be nothing.

Good luck!
posted by phunniemee at 8:05 PM on August 23, 2012


Does it have a white head or any pimple like mark? Not to worry you, but MRSA has a lot of the same symptoms.
posted by Sweetmag at 8:33 PM on August 23, 2012


Waiting on the doc but the nurse is suspecting cellulitis.
posted by Artw at 9:09 PM on August 23, 2012


Yeah, that is not what bursitis looks like.
posted by jennyjenny at 9:11 PM on August 23, 2012


On an antibiotic IV now.
posted by Artw at 9:50 PM on August 23, 2012


I normally don't recommend specific brands, but Aureus is the brand name for a new tricycle antihistamine that doesn't cross the blood-brain-barrier = non drowsy without being doped with caffeine or other stimulants.

A dose of that, EXTENSIVE icing (either a bag of ice wrapped 'round with a wet towel, or an icecube wrapped around a paper towel), and keeping it higher than where my heart is really helps a lot of "major reactions" that I get every so often.

Used to suffer a lot until I went and asked a school clinic doctor about a reaction I had earlier this summer. When I get a bite that I expect to blow up after 24 hours and persist for >96, I'll take an Aureus. Has worked so far this summer to prevent anything that lasts >36 hours or peaks anywhere more than 24.
posted by porpoise at 9:53 PM on August 23, 2012


So... I'm out of the hospital and I have prescriptions for treatments for infected bursitis, cellulitis, *and* MRSA, just in case. I guess they don't mess around with that.
posted by Artw at 10:22 PM on August 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


Glad you went in! And I second drawing a line around it.
posted by something something at 4:49 AM on August 24, 2012


No line but here is before and after antibiotics.
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM on August 24, 2012


> *and* MRSA, just in case. I guess they don't mess around with that.

No you absolutely don't. Father-in-law died of it after surgery for something unrelated. Also I work in a hospital where we're constantly indoctrinated washyourhands-washyourhands-washyourhands. (Which I do. Though I'm IT and not clinical I still touch door handles, railings, and other stuff that doctors, nurses, and other caregivers also touch.) It is serious business. Best of luck, Artw.
posted by jfuller at 2:31 PM on August 24, 2012


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