Paronychia: Finger Infection and Allergic Reaction To Antibiotics

FRIDAY 10th NOVEMBER 2017:  Within the past couple of days I bit a small hang-nail from a finger. I’ve done this before and never had any problems. Yesterday there was a little redness and soreness with it. I thought it would clear up after a day. Unfortunately when I woke up the redness and swelling were worse.

SATURDAY 11TH NOVEMBER 2017: The swelling was worse again this morning. There was a pocket of pus visible on the left side, curving around to where the nail grows. The swelling was very red. I thought I needed to see a doctor as redness was tracking down the side of my finger. After a shower and getting dressed I noticed there was some draining from the infection. I was pleased about this because we had arranged to go out to drop Chris’ Mum’s birthday gift off. I felt if I hadn’t gone because of my finger, the reason wouldn’t have been believed. This is still difficult to deal with, from over fourteen years of living with several invisible illnesses. That when you can’t do something because of illness, the reason is seen as you not wanting to go, not because you actually can’t. I have a long way to go with processing this and moving on. Many things were said to me, to point out that other people ‘really were ill‘, and that I wasn’t. I know that the problem isn’t mine, but I am still irritated/angered/niggled by it. I shouldn’t have to justify my decisions to others. If people respect me my decisions should be accepted.

Anyway, I showed Chris my finger when we finally returned home, after stopping on the way back to buy some ingredients for dinner. Chris said we ought to go to A&E straight away due to the redness still tracking along my finger. He was concerned if it wasn’t treated soon it could lead to septicemia. There was no-one waiting at A&E so I was seen quickly. Fortunately I was seen by a Nurse Practitioner who was able to prescribe antibiotics. My temperature was 37.3 and my pulse 107 (I have a follow up with the Cardiologist in December) My resting pulse is still 80-100 after being treated for Hyperaldosteronism. (Before the treatment it would go up to 155 plus with hoovering one room.) I was advised to go to A&E if the redness tracked down onto my hand, if I became feverish or if my heart noticeably started racing. Because oral antibiotics take 48 hours to start working, there was a chance that it would track down to my hand before the treatment started working.

Saturday 11th (slightly blurred)


SUNDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2017:  The redness wasn’t as bad when I woke up. The redness tracking along my finger had decreased, which was good to see. Not so good was the nausea and heartburn caused by the antibiotics. By this evening the pus has decreased but has moved to a lower part of my nail. I am feeling very sick and haven’t managed to eat much today. I have a sick bowl by the bed just in-case.

MONDAY 13th NOVEMBER 2017: The infection has started to clear up. There is no sign of the infection tracking along my finger today. I have to take the Flucloxacillin with food as the heartburn and sickness are not nice to deal with. I felt so ill last night. I’m not good at being or feeling sick (vomiting). Probably due to a hospital stay with each pregnancy with hyperemesis. When I woke up my arms were going red. I didn’t really think anything of this and carried on with the day.  I popped out this morning and took the second antibiotic for the day when I came home at around five thirty. Not long after this my face started to feel hot on the right hand side, along with my upper chest. The burning pain I experience in my head (with infection and with food sensitivity) had returned. It was (and still is) quite severe pain. When I looked in the mirror the redness on my cheek continued down my neck to my chest, it wasn’t two separate areas of redness. I hadn’t eaten enough food to give me food sensitivity symptoms. I called the medical centre and had a call back from the duty doctor. He agreed that it sounded like an allergic reaction (as you can have delayed allergic reactions). He told me to take an anti-histamine and to stop taking the antibiotics. He has prescribed another antibiotic which will be ready tomorrow.

TUESDAY 14th NOVEMBER 2017: I started the second antibiotic, Clarithromycin, at lunch time today (after waiting an hour at the local pharmacy). Straight away a pinky/red rash appeared on both arms, but no other symptoms were apparent. I took the next dose at 8pm. This gave me a small, itchy rash above my chest. I had weird chest pain, although I feel this was more muscle-skeletal due to activity over the past couple of days than cardiac. By 10-11pm I became short of breath. I could still move around and speak, it wasn’t severe. I took a dose of Cetirizine which cleared the symptoms up. My finger is clearing up, the skin has started to loosen and lift where the pus drained from.

Tuesday 15th

WEDNESDAY 15th 2017: I felt sick this morning when I woke up. Eating breakfast made it worse. My arms were still pink/red and the rash on my chest had resolved, as had the shortness of breath. I had a telephone appointment with one of the GP’s from the surgery I attend. As the infection is clearing up he advised to stop taking antibiotics. If the infection returns I need to see a GP.


FRIDAY 17th NOVEMBER 2017: My finger is just about healed up now. The area exposed from the skin peeling is a lot less red. There is no sign of infection returning. My finger no longer hurts to write and type.

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