Complications Related to Chronic Weeping Edema of the Lower Extremities

Edema of the lower legs and definition.
Edema of the lower legs and definition.

What is Edema?

The simplest way to explain edema is to say that edema is the left over fluid from the blood your heart pumps every day. This is erroneous because heart failure is just one diagnosis that can have the additional effect of swollen legs. Edema is more than just swelling of the legs. Often, the patient has legs that are painful, often weep fluid, are itching (pruritus) as well as burning and the legs become so severely compromised the patient is at risk of a severe infection. It is also incorrect because even with the heart pumping blood the patient may also have a diagnosis of venous stasis, where the fluid in the lower extremities is not properly balanced.

Balance? What Does that Have to do with Anything?

Your vessels, venous as well as arterial, maintain a balance by exchanging oxygen and nutrients through their vessel walls into the surrounding tissues. This keeps your tissue alive and functioning. However, if your circulatory system is unable to meet the demands of that exchange then your vessels cannot shift or move the proper amount of fluid, and the circulatory system becomes unbalanced. When that occurs, often the first sign is swelling in the legs or ankles, visible in the evening after you have been up for most of the day.

Why Would my Heart do This to Me?

Your heart is very selfish! It takes care of itself and the area surrounding it and that is it! Nothing else! Unfortunately, your legs are not in "its surrounding area," so it behooves you to keep your skin clean, dry and free of any open areas. Broken skin increases the risk of infection exponentially.

Worst case scenarios include:

  • Infection
  • Cellulitis with staph or pseudomonas
  • Open sores that will not heal
  • Constant painful itching
  • Constantly weeping fluid
  • Odor
  • A systemic (whole-body) infection that will inevitably lead to hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics

Signs of Edema

  • The first sign is that the ankles and sometimes tops of the feet are swollen.
  • If you take your finger and push gently on the skin, it should be like bread dough. The skin indents but is slow to come back to the surface.
  • The legs and feet remain swollen most of the day and night.
  • Pain. Remember, pain is your body's number one way to communicate trouble. If something is wrong in your body, you hear it loud and clear from your nerve endings!
  • You have difficulty walking. This is obvious; your legs resemble tree trunks and you can only stumble from bed to chair.
  • Your legs turn reddish-blue.
  • Eventually, clear, pink or yellow fluid will seep from every available open pore on your lower legs. This is when; finally, you must make an appointment to see your physician.

"Pitting" is a unique sign of edema.
"Pitting" is a unique sign of edema.

What Do I Have?

Some diseases that have edema of the legs as a "trait" or "symptom" are:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Liver failure
  • Renal kidney failure
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Malnutrition

Don't let the condition get out of hand! Your physician will take care of the disease, whatever it turns out to be. Your job will be to keep your legs as healthy as possible.

What to Do

  • When the fluid starts building up, remember to keep your legs elevated as much as possible to help bring the fluid back to the upper torso.
  • On the other hand, be sure that you do not just go to bed. While the majority of fluid overload may well be in your legs, it may also be in and around your lungs and heart. This makes it difficult to breathe, causes fatigue, respiratory distress, cough (especially at night). Your physician will be the one to best decide your course of treatment, which may include diuretics, potassium, and perhaps heart medication to help your heart pump the blood around your body as efficiently as possible.
  • You physician may wish to test your lung capacity or assess your lab values, such as a basic metabolic panel that checks the overall function of your heart, lungs, and liver.
  • You may or may not have oxygen added to your medication list and, of course, wound care or skin care for both lower extremities if there are open, weeping sores.

Basic Wound Care

Before any orders are given to you, concerning your skin care, it is imperative that you understand how vital it is that you use care and cleanliness at all times, not just with skin or wound care but for the rest of your life. Depending on the number of open sores on your legs, you may be unable to care for yourself at home. If so, your physician and or nurse will be the person to instruct you on skin care. They will stress the importance of strict hygiene, hand washing and the importance of using supplies that are sterile or at least very clean.

The easiest thing to remember is hand washing. If you have to think to yourself, "Should I wash my hands now?" it is already too late. Wash them! You will be glad you did!

While you wash your hands, if you sing the ABC song or the Happy Birthday song to yourself, you have washed your hands for fifteen to twenty seconds. This is exactly the amount of time it takes to kill any bacteria present on your hands.

As far as wound care is ocncerned, the following factors need to be considered:

  1. How much fluid is there? If there is an exorbitant amount of fluid, then a dressing that will wick the fluid away would be best. Be careful that you do not make the dressing so big that filling with drainage will cause it to slide down your leg, causing further harm. If the dressing becomes saturated, the action of sliding could well take several layers of skin with it.
  2. How many open sores? If there are less than half a dozen it will be manageable and should heal well and quickly. If there are more than six open sores, the risk for cellulitis increases and additional steps must be taken to keep you and your legs as healthy as possible.
  3. How deep are the sores and what color are their wound beds? If the areas are dry and red, without any heat around them then help them stay this way with a dry dressing, a skin protectant on your open areas, and then wrap your legs with rolled gauze. If the areas are draining fluid and the wound bed is pink, your physician may order an antibiotic ointment such as bactroban, then a non-adherent dressing such as a telfa pad and then a rolled gauze such as kerlix.
  4. Is there pain associated with skin care, cleaning, or walking? While your wound care may be uncomfortable it should not cause pain. Discomfort, yes, but hopefully not pain.Pain is actually your body's first sign of infection. Not redness, temperature, or even a foul odor. These signs usually come later. Pay attention to pain and inform your physician so an evaluation can be done and proper steps can then be taken to address the issue.
  5. Any surrounding redness? Again, this is a sign of infection. Call your doctor!
  6. Any odor? Odor is caused by bacteria, and possibly infection. All bacteria has odor; odor is what is produced when bacteria and oxygen meet for the first time. However, after cleaning the affected area, there should not be that much odor. A noticeable odor after cleansing is a sign of an infection or a complication that could slow or stop your healing process. Again, call your physician.

Follow-Up Care

After two weeks your physician I'll more than likely want you to come back to the office for a follow up visit. If that appointment is not made on your first visit, call and make one yourself in 10-14 days, even if your legs look and feel better.

Unfortunately, edema and chronic weeping legs will probably not just go away by themselves. That is the hardest thing to accept. But, once you do, then you know you can handle it; because the condition will come and go, and now you have the information you need to take care of it any time it raises its ugly little head!


What is written here should not replace your physician’s advice and services. Consult your physician every time for all things medically related. If you feel you have any of the signs or symptoms above, contact your physician for a consultation as soon as possible.

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Comments 332 comments

Army Infantry Mom profile image

Army Infantry Mom 7 years ago

Oh wow,..This article really helped me understand better, I was diganosed with a rare neru spine disease and I have had Edema in my feet all the way to my knees, at one point it lasted for 12 days straight. Swelling has been under control somewhat but the last month I have had sharp pain in my left side, doc still trying to figure out what's going on. Anyways,..Thanks for the info !!!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

not Pagets Disease? Any weeping with the swelling?kyphosis or spondylosis of the vertebrae? trauma? remember that old game of hlding a heavy object at arms length to see who can do it the longest?the 1st place that hurts is your arm and especially your shoulder but later its the lower back...any of that type of repeated movement perhaps at work? arthritis? spinal stenosis? any history of really bad infection like brucelliosis or staph or TB? a long history of chiropractic manipulation? just wondering...nurses are horrible/we are NEVER to diagnose I'm just asking if any of these questins were asked by your MD LOL

and I know it is not funny/pain and I do not speak to each other...I can give the lecture/convincingly/but I am a total wimp!

remember no salt added to your cooked food!! remember elevate walk elevate and repeat :)and never ever miss your neurology appointments and always always take all your meds/in their bottles/with you to all and I do mean ALL your MD appointments! mean ole nurse kratchet aint I :)

probyte2u profile image

probyte2u 7 years ago

Good hub, very informative.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thak you probyte2u

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you probyte2u/oops posted twice/'scuse me

AntoineAllen profile image

AntoineAllen 7 years ago from New York City

This was an Amazing article.

alexchia01 profile image

alexchia01 6 years ago

You mentioned that Edema is a trait of some illness. Could it occurs on a healthy elderly person? Thanks.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

well, before I automatically answer yes/there are a few things about normal aging persons...we are slower, we get tired, we don't drink enough water,we rarely sit with legs elevated/especially women! especially women born in the '20's and early 30's/nice ladies sit in a straight chair, feet on the see, if this is happening? that can cause edema just from being dependant position/ but if there is nothing you can put your finger on? take her to the physician! take her anyway/will not hurt!

Atlas Medical 6 years ago

Is this the same type of edema you get when mountain climbing when you get fluid in the lungs?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Atlas that is specifically related to altitude the bends in reverse/I thinkthat will may make a good article :) thanks Atlas!! and thank you misstikal1 for the nice comment I will check out your writing as well and I apologize to you both for not writing back earlier...holidays and sadness why do they get worse?...another hub that, eh?

astranama 6 years ago

Your article was so very helpful.. I've been battling this problem for 7 + years. I've learned so much reading this, I feel less crazy now... chronic pain takes so much out of you day after day.. thank you so much for posting this article

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

astrananman my blessings and hopes for less pain are with you...I am only a nurse/I cannot diagnose/all this means nothing within your physiciian so be sure that you you keep all your appointments!!! ugh I know hard enough to walk to the bathroom much less go to the MD but do it anyway/take ALL your med BOTTLES with you every time and if you like, copy and take this article with you. ANy mistakes I may have made the cardiologist will be able to straighen out (I hope its all correct!!)

much love to you astranama

ashakhan profile image

ashakhan 6 years ago from india


whatafooliam 6 years ago

I am overweight i have high blood pressure and swollen legs and feet.One of the tablets i take to help with the pressure is a diuretic(Bendrofumethiazide)I have had a cut/sore (about the size of 2 £5 coins)on my shin for a couple of weeks!!This wound wont heal and now gets very hot with a yellowish discharge which runs down my leg.No great pain until recently where the wound feels like its burning and i can feel a sharp pain where the 'discharge appears' to originate from.There is also an odour from the wound like a slight rotten smell.I will be visiting my GP but on reading i can self diagnose cellulitis

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

yes if not worse...that yellow pus worries me...cellulitis is usually intact reddenend skin...but a frankly open wound with a foul odor is probably staph infection...MD will clean it out and then you will have to take care of it yourself at home/MD will show you how plus it absolutely must be elevated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! your flexyx ( Bendrofumethiazide) is also a potassium sparing true salt substitutes for you!!!! and read the labels of everything your eat...avoid canned goods with potassium K?

but first on the list is the wound

my puter crashed big time and isn't fixed yet...I am hahaha sharing with hubby so if I don't get right to you it is HIS FAULT!!!!!!! hes so mean don't ya think? lol I love him

love you too/take care...let me know what the MD says okay?

kimh039 profile image

kimh039 6 years ago

nice hub RNMSN. I hope I never get that! I'm kinda wimpy, so I think I would see the doc pretty early in the progression of this condition. I could see where people would put off going to the doc because of budget and insurance issues. What would happen if you just let it go? Would you lose your leg? Or would it be too painful to let go indefinitely? Anyway. Good info. Thanks.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

yes it could get really painful and bad then eventually no feeling at all but hopefully one wouldn't go THAT long...thanks for the comments and love to you kimh/bb

Elaine 6 years ago

Finding your article has been very helpful to me. I have had lots of swelling in my feet and legs for at least 3 years now along with large weeping sores on both legs, feet ans now my arms.I am finally getting to see a specalist on July 5 and I hope she can help me. Thanks for listening.

Elaine from BC, Canada

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

proud I can help however remember I am only an RN, the MD has the last say and I am glad you have an appointment...take this to show him if you like////be sure to be your own ADVOCATE!!! Speak up ask questions don't need to be a you know what just make the MD explain everything...they get in such a hurry treating they leave out the teaching part sometimes/// I hope your MD isnt like that and will have plenty of time and answers and help for you!! love to you, barbara b

Tucson Mom 6 years ago

My mom has been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis in the spring and now is in the hospital for weeping leg edema. She has taken lactulose since her diagnosis and it had been very effective in reducing the swelling in her abdomen and legs. However, fluid built up yesterday and her abdomen is filled and she has weeping legs and weakness--too weak to walk. Is this the moment when the lactulose has stopped working? She is not very forthcoming with what the MD is telling her and we have been down the liver failure road before when my dad died.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I am not familiar with lactulose being used as a method of relieving weeping from the legs and addomen...lactulose is a very strong wont relieve edema that I am aware of but I am only a nurse,,,this sounds like a physician needs to really be looking at your mother and he is as she is in the hospital......I will keep her in my prayers love to you, the meantime as far as weeping edema when you get her home...the best thing to do and very easily done as well as a comfortable way to relieve the problem is this: wash legs twice daily with antibacterial soap and water, pat do not rub dry, wrap with four inch wide kerlix or wrapping gauze but not tight!! never apply any copression at all!! EVER!!!start from the feet and work the Way up to the knees and do not wrap back down again!!then take four inch wide ace wrap and again no compression FROM THE FEET UP just to keep the gauze in place...and tape the ace wrap don't use the clips or else get the ones with the velcro..get several as you can re wash the ace wrap but not the kerlix...always wash your hands too before and after and use knew that :)don't buy the supples from wmart...too expensive/go to a home health agency that sells these supplies it will be cheaper in the long run and if Im not mistaken dependable nursing on swan and 22nd sells all that or can tell you where to go but as she is in the hospital right now she is where she needs to be and she is in the place she needs to be she will be in my prayers...I am only a nurse and could be way off base with the use of lactulose but that's the first thing id ask the MD what's the lactulose being used for? Id expect a true diuretic to be in use but again the physician is the only one to ask!!! I hope she will be better soon!! barbara b

Karen 6 years ago

I have a friend who's husband has really bad weeping legs. they have to be cleaned and re-wrapped at least every other anyone every heard of using silver nitrate on such a thing? And if so how succesful was it?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

burns it too much then you end up with pitting holes that weep more...silvadene now that's used sometimes as is gauze prepared with an iodine type paste called xeroform but only for a little while...too long and it will make it worse...washing with soap and water, light wrap feet to knees with wide soft kerlix then ace wrap without any compression...just enough to hold the dresing in place and do it daily that's the ticket clean and dry as a bone as long as there are no signs of infection and its just oozing...but the best thing is go to the doctor and have the doctor decide because there may be other issues involved about the circulation of his legs itself that we cant know without a physician..they always are the best and first resource...but that's the ticket clean and dry and elevate if there are no arterial compromises involved...good luck!! encourage your friend to take him to a wound care doctor...a plastic surgeon and a cariologist...they will help him better than anything I am sure! love to you barbara b

Mke 6 years ago

My mothers legs are trrrible. She has an underling heart condition that started this condition, which has since been addressed, and now we can't seem to cure the weeping. Presently, we are going to the Wound Clinic three times per week, and we don't seem to be making any progress. We only seeem to be changing bandages every day. I have to change the wraps on the days we don't go to the wound clinic. Sometimes twice a day.

The nurses are wrapping her legs with first with a medicated strip they call silver, then a absorbant pad, then gauze, followed by an ace bandage tightly wrapped, followed by a compression wrap called Ciric-air. The raw legs never get any fresh air or a chance to breath. I's really getting discouriging lately. I sure hope she finds some relief soon.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

that wound care will work but you must be patient...the silver dressing is an antimicrobe and will help decrease infection...if you left them open with the weeping they would soon become heavily infected and with more open areas than there are nw...don't give up!!continue to stay with the physician plan and continue to encourage your takes a long time for legs that are vascular compromised to recover...the heart is very will take care of itself and its surrounding area doesn't mind pumping the blood to the toes but it wont go out of its way to pump the blood back up to the lungs again!! that's why the legs need to be compressed with the help with the pumping action on the way back to the lungs... I hope your momma gets relief soon as well...don't forget to encourage her to prop her lgs up when shes sitting and to walk as much as she is able..walking is an automatic upward pumping action for the blood...I know it is hard but she will get better!! love to you both!! barbara b

jm362010 6 years ago

believe me, attempting to self treat edema once your at the stage of severe weeping, is virtually impossible. at least for me it was . it literally broke my spirit. i stuck it out 4 weeks guessing what it could be. thankfully , common sense finally snuck up on me at 2am the day after memorial day. i was basically useless. 10 -15 min to put my socks on . no joke. 3 huge white leathery patches on my lower leg. @ 3" x 2" each. i could only breathe comfortably while standing up. cong heart failure never crossed my mind. i could have just died any given day at that point. and my leg, well its been 10 weeks and i can finally go without a dressing on my right leg. it feels great. in my first 4 of 6 days in the hospital, i got rid of 40 lbs in fluid i was retaining in my lower body , torso , heart lungs , carotid , jugular ,liver ... yeah , who knew. i was thinkin leg infection. goes to show you theres times when were not supposed to think, ,lol, let the doc do that. listen to your dr and the first time it happens should be the last. meds and diet and quitting smoking have kept me feeling better than i have in 20 yrs. im 36 , btw. depending on the dmg on ur legs, it can be a long recovery. a scary one at that. i wasn t prepared to slowly let my flesh die and turn black then using a debriding agent on it. i just wanted to tell my story because im so happy that i got through it. i thought id never be back to my old self again . it got that bad. my prayers go out to all of you out there who are living in a constant puddle. a week in the hospital is nothing compared to what you'll lose playing dr at home.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh jm362010 my prayers and love go to you I am so glad you woke up at 0200 hours that day and got yourself to the hospital!! bless you for sharing your story!! yes I am also so very proud of you for quitting smoking you go!! you rule!! love to you...barbara

ksharon36 6 years ago

3 weeks ago, my brother was diagnosed with liver cancer and kidney failure. One day he just woke up, not able to walk, a stomach that looked like a basketball, and now weeping edema from his left leg, ankle and foot. These areas are very swollen. The doctor still has him on the lactulose and refuses to put him on a diuretic. Why would they not give him something like hydrochlorothiazide or something like that to help with getting rid of the fluid? The doctors are giving him a month to live and are not helping him at all. My neice is taking care of him through one of the hospice places in Flint Michigan. The doctors say that there is nothing else that they can do for him. They just want to keep him all drugged up on morphine. I'm really worried about more fluid around his heart and other parts of his body. My brother is only 55 and he still looks younger than any other man in my family that are in there 60's. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do for my brother to make his last days more comfortable.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

one of the problems with diuretics especially with heart failure is it will speed up the process of the heart would make him feel worse physically than he already is...if your brother is on hospice that is good...the hospice nurses are wonderful and will make sure he is kept as comfortable and still able to participate with his life for as long as he is able...I am so sorry you are having to bear this and my prayers are with you...try to listen to all the physicians say and what they do not say and definitely the hospice nurses and be with your brother on the phone or in email as much as possible...this will not be an easy time for any of you. love to you and your family barbara b

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

posted twice/my fingers slipped

helena 6 years ago

my ankles have been swollen for 3months. I have visited a physician and they have done all these test- liver, kidney, heart, blood sugar, pressure and they are all negative. my legs are still swollen though. wha t could i be suffering from? i am also weighing 110 kg and i feel very heavy.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

just your ankles? first of all let me reiterate that you must continue to stick with whatever your physicians are telling you/but I was just wondering do you spend alot of time with your legs down,sitting at a desk all day? that could cause swelling just in ankles so could a lot of salt in your diet...and not enough water and not walking sure to let your doctor know all of these things... they are important pieces that will let the doctor make the best diagnosis! good luck!!

nbi 6 years ago

my mother has had a uterus removal operation a year ago. For the past few months she has developed swelling in her legs and hands and it feels like dough. She is diabetic and has low bp, condition known before the operation too. Because of the swelling, she is finding it difficult to walk, sit for long times, prefers to sleep and has physicological issue(halucination) at night(the sugar is under control). She has not recovered after that operation now.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

your poor Momma! What does the physician say? It is strange that with LOW BP she is having swelling in her legs...they are not weeping fluid are they? sometimes just not walking enough will cause the legs to swell, its the walking that helps pump the fluid back into the torso but I am stumped/I hope she is seeing an internist! good luck and love to you and your Momma as well its horrible to feel helpless when its your Mom/I know! barbara b

maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain

An excellent Hub very interesting and full of good practical advice.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you Maggie! This one I have used several times as an inservice! love to you, barbara b

Jenrenhen 5 years ago

Thank you for this article. I read it a few months ago when my Dad's legs suddenly began weeping exactly as this article described. He was end stage metastatic prostate ca, heart failure. We were nursing Dad here at home with support from the local palliative care team and his legs had only started to swell two weeks earlier. It wasn't something that we were expecting but I wasn't really asking questions about what may happen to dad, we were just dealing with what was happening. Dad only lasted 6 days after his legs started to weep - yet even the 24 hours before he passed away the Dr and nurses thought it would settle. I just wanted to thank you for posting a factual article in simple language. It helped us to understand what was going on. Thanks.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I am glad you had you had the palliative nursing team/those nurses have hearts of gold!

I know you miss your dad, I miss mine.

It is my pleasure to give you and others information that is easy to understand my love to you and yours, barbara b

Rob 5 years ago

I am currently being treated for venous insufficiency with venous stasis ulcers. I have to wear una boots for up to 6 weeks at a time to heal the ulcers. Occasionally I will experience the weeping from the legs. I have a weight problem which I am also working on as hard as I can but not being very ambulatory due to the una boots makes it difficult to get the exercise I need. Does drinking alot of water help with the edema? How much do I need to drink daily? I am a 51 yr old male. 6'1" and 300+ lbs. Love your column and appreciate any help you can provide!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

OK Rob you have the best treatment there is for venous stasis ulcers/that's a whole different thing from CHF but the same result/chronic weeping edema...and the zinc oxide as well as the compression the unna boot provides is what is healing your open you say 6 wks at a time but usually the wrappings are changed once a week/sometimes twice if the weeping is excessive correct? and you get to take a shower before the rewrapping is done correct? and hopefully you have a home health nurse who is monitoring this and actually providing the wound care and calling your physican with updates? or do you have the wrapping done at the MD office? either way its the best and one of the oldest forms of treatments for venous stasis ulcers...walking of course helps because that pushes the fulid back to the top of your body...your heart is selfish as I have said/it could care less about your feet and legs it only concentrates on your torso and maybe if it has to, your a I said your heart is very prop up your legs and walk as much as you can

now about the fluid intake/you need an ok about this from your need to weigh yourself every day same time, same set of clothes or none which is actually best and you don't need an expensive scale just one that is just for you...keep a log and call the physician with a weight gain of over 3 pounds in 24 hours or over 5 pounds in a week...but as for the fluid intake itself too much is as bad as not enough...your MD should be the one to tell you what he wants yiur dry weight to be...hes the boss :) so until then stick to 6 to 8 glasses of water a day gross I hate water...I can smell it and it wont go in my mouth :) there an honest nurse eh? but water is the best flusher of your kidneys and the best way to help that excess fluid come back into the vessels and back to the top of your body where it belongs as well...

this is a lot of info to throw at you Rob...the most important is don't give up and it is the absolute best treatment for your diagnosis!!! don't cut the wrappings!! don't let a nurse cut the wrappings off (you cant order you MD not to do it...) don't pick at the ulcers, don't try to get all the white (or pink) unna boot stuff off...and don't give up!!! much love and prayers to you and for you and write me back and let me know how you are progressing!! barbara b

ANGUS 5 years ago

I have had edema in my legs for 4 years now. 1 year ago I was diagnosed with lymphedema however when they tested my lymphatic system they said there were no blockages. Lately my legs have been draining through the skin. When I ask the doctor about what is causing this they say they do not know. I suspect it is due to me being overweight. I do not get a lot of exercise and am afraid due to my weight that if I mis-step I could injure myself big time. I currently weigh over 300 lbs. I am a 40 year old man. I think part of my problem is my metabolism is way low. I do wear tubigrips F-20 rating and use a leg pump every day. Do you have any suggestions for me?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

lymphedema is very difficult to control and you are definitely doing what you need to do with the compression stockings. I am sending you over to jackie (Bayoulady) because she knows more about it than I do, hang on a minute, let me get the link up for you go...

much love and prayers to you, barbara b

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Angus, it has been 5 days and you haven't gone over to bayoulady hubpage!

I am a nurse yes but besides the physician I think you should go read jackies hub and find out as much about the lymphedema first hand as possible!!

and when I say first hand that's exactly what it will be!!!

so go on now and read her hubpages on lymphedema! :) love to you!! barbara b

there I just tested the link and it goes right over ther!!! here it is again anyway :) nurses are such naggers arent we?????

Kevin 5 years ago

Hi guys I had extremely bad edema but its finally going away my legs are back to being skinny as before, but i still have wheeping coming from my inner thigh? any reason for this? and should neosporin be put on the sores at all. They are not open or infected, but there are many purple marks on my inner thigh.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Of course first and foremost when is the next physician appointment? call him!! in the meantime:

I hope you are not wearing tight britches?

no chaffing of any kind?

getting air and keeping the inner thighs clean dry and maybe some gold bond powder on them? also sleep in cotton and always wearing boxers?

too many personal questions too I know :)

if the sores are shallow desitin would actually make them heal faster...its the zinc oxide in it...just put it on at night and do NOT wipe it or try to scrub it off in the shower...and if the sores get too yellow or the drainage turns yellow of course go back to your physician...which you need to do anyway as long as there is weeping regular physician appointments are an absolute must!!

much love to you ad let me know how you are doing...barbara b

kevin 5 years ago

thanks for the great advice. I have narrowed it down to one tiny sore on my thigh maybe a centimeter in diameter. It just drips and drips and drips, the little sucker refuses to stop or scab. Very annoying!

Kevin Benedetti 5 years ago

And also i did call my physician he determined via phone it was slightly infected but not bad enough to take worry unless other symptoms occur. I do have an appointment with him wed. but it is just so hard to constantly have to wear shorts. One little tiny sore leaves quite the wet marks on any fabric no matter how much dressing is applied.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

well I am so glad you get to see the MD tomorrow!! I hope it is nothing!! let me know :) love to you

barbara b

maryselma 5 years ago

Article very helpful--working with an elderly shutin (I'm not a health care provider) who refuses to take most her meds (i.e. heart,BP,) but does "play with" her insulin based on blood levels,now is taking her lasix

(but says its not working)experiencing edema-itching,painful,weeping, trying to get her to agree to doctor appt next week and will probably request referal to hospice --Doesn't want to be hospitalized to bring this undercontrol but needs relief

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RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

man that diabetes I hate that disease/poor ole thing I know she is just worn out if all she is doing is "playing" with her meds...its the diabetes that will make everything else so much worse

I pray she gets some relief soon

and as her caregiver take care of your own health!!

stay well and bless you for your kind hands and heart as you take care of her

love to you

barbara b

Janelle 5 years ago

You seem to have some of the best overall and specific advice I have found on the web, so I hope you may be able to help me. My mother is in end stage liver disease. She has extreme ascites, varices, jaundice, malnutrition, anemia...etc. The last time they tapped her they took 8.1 liters, and it was back in 1 week. 2 weeks ago they did a TIPS procedure. The shunt clotted in 24 hours,but they got it open again & it seems to be working. Even though her ascites has gone down a bit, the edema in her legs is worse. She has developed large blisters on her feet that burst and weep. She is on lactulose, lasix and aldactone. I am extremely worried about the infection risk. Any ideas as to how to mitigate this symptom? I look forward to your reply. Thank you, and Happy Holidays!

Janelle 5 years ago

I forgot to ask you what you think about leg compression machines. My mother said she had a lot of relief using one in the hospital. I've done some web research, but they seem to run in price from $50 on Ebay to $500! I'm not sure about how they compare and which features are essential. Are you familiar with the various models available? I cannot afford one over $100. Again, I thank you for your time. Janelle

Janelle 5 years ago

And one more thing.... I noticed that 4 months ago Tucson Mom posted about her mom with cirrhosis. You said you were not familiar with lactulose as a treatment for leg edema, but I thought Tucson Mom might benefit from knowing what it does do. It is a laxative that targets ammonia elimination, which tends to build up in end stage liver disease. Excess ammonia causes encephalopathy which is swelling of the brain that makes the patient very 'loopy' and can even lead to coma and death. My mother hates it because it causes very frequent, very loose bowels.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Janelle I hope your Momma is doing thing the stent from the TIP will do is help reduce the ascites of course but it will not help with the edema of the legs...and of course at the neck where the TIP went in that area must be monitored for infection/pain, redness, swelling, drainage, warmth...hopefully the bypass of the the stent in the liver will not cause more toxins to build up in her brain and thank you for reminding me to look up the use of lactulose again!

Man that stuff is something isn't it?

I am only familiar with it as a very strong laxative/it is always good to learn!!

thank you!!

now, about the blisters on the soles of the feet/see they are VERY far away from your Moms is doing all it can to help our her liver/it is NOT watching out for her feet!...but really it sounds as if your Momma and her physicians have things well under for infection keep her feet dry as a bone and clean as spic and span clean and dry as possible!! wrap them loosely with gauze if the weeping soaks the socks or linens but always wash them with soap and water and pat /never rub/ and dry as dry as possible/leave them outside the covers if she can stand it and float them" on just a tiny pillow/just enough to keep her heels off the bed or the sofa or the chair shes sitting in...this MUST be done at all times or her heels will break down...other than all the care you are already doing stay as well as you can/you are her first line of defense so don't let yourself get sick!!!!

this is not going to be easy to hear but of course you know end stage renal disease is not a good prognosis...keep all her MD appointments!!! keep up with her medications and watch for any changes in level of the slightest sign that she is not as lucid as she was the day before...back to the physician!!!

my prayers will go up for you and your Momma

I love you

barbara b

carlswife50 5 years ago

Hi,I was diagnosed with severe c.o.p.d. and chronic adema. I do not have weeping anything but I do have swelling and extreme excess water. My legs constantly ache and itch. I also have high blood pressure so I take blood pressure pills that also work for the adema and I take lasix. I recently lost 27 pounds in two days which was all water! This article really helped me understand the edema better then when my DR. tried to explain it to me. I read this and called my DR. she informed me that I have severe chronic pulmonary edema and that it has to be monitered very closely. Now I know why I take the same tests over and over. Thank you very much for explaining it in a way that a normal person can understand.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author


you are so welcome!! I am so glad my writings help!! that's what nurses live for :) to hear "oh NOW I see!"

that just made my day!!

thank you so much carlswife now you take good care of yourself and dont forget to put your feet up!! :)

love to you!

barbara b

kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

hmmm. i already read and commented on this one, and I'm back. Dad had edema with CHF and had to go have it drained in the hospital. I think that's why this hub grabs my attention every time I see it.

I always put my feet up when I'm on my laptop, which is a lot. I have been thinking it might not be good, and that it would be better to have them on the floor; like maybe I was cutting off circulation. Now I can prop my feet in peace, because you said so RNMSN. Thanks!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

way to go kim!! the only time its BAD to raise your feet high is if you have peripheral arterial disease which despite the stupid TV commercials is mercifully rarer than any other heart disease!!! with PAD legs stay dependent or neutral

with fluid diseases like CHF, venous insufficiency, lymphedema, peripheral vascular disease then absolutely prop those poor aching dogs up after a long hard working day :)

love to you and thank you!

barbara b

Lyn 5 years ago

hi ,

It was a releif for me to read your site my mum has weeping legs and is in soooo much pain.Now I know why and can try to explain it to her,She has had several ulcers on her lower legs and now the weeping legs .I have rang her dr and told him she needs to be in hospital so he will TRY to find her a bed.She is 87 and lives alone he has her walk over to his surgery every day just to get her to walk a small distance but she is in so much pain she is crying all the time from it.

thank you for your site it was a great help for me to understand what she is going through.Lyn Australia

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you Lyn and my prayers for your mum and for you

love to you

barbara b

ghaberman 5 years ago

Like Lyn above, my Mom, 87, has had weeping edema for about 4 years-doctors and nurses have tried everything that was discussedin earlier posts. To my Mom's lack of credit, she doesn't stay off her feet as much as she should, can barely walk, and absoultely refuses to go to the hospital where her doctor advises she should be. She lives by herself and is in constant pain. She is now considering going to a pain management doctor (shots or patches). Antibotics are no longer curing her infections and she is allergic to many antibotics which limit her doctor's choices...

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

uh oh

a home health nurse dilemma for sure...which brings me to: have you gotten home health to see your momma? even if she wont stay off her feet something as old as I am (cough cough) like unna boot might help a little...doesn't compress to the point where shes cutting it off with scissors (or her skin) but its just gauze impregnated with zinc oxide...yep...desitin :) don't you love it?

theres also that in itself...just desitin but you'll go through two tubes in 2-3 days I bet/then rolled gauze from walmart or walgreens but it must be 4 inches wide and you absolutely MUST NOT pull ii on tight!and of course roll from foot to knee never top to bottom...circulation... then tape the ends then long strips of tape from ankle to knee never knee to ankle...circulation you know

but unna boots the same thing sometimes its pink so its zinc plus bismuth sometimes just white/zinc alone

it stays on 5 days!! then let her take a shower with the stuff still on and it will fall not scrub the white stuff off!!!! pat dab never rub scrub

then put it on again

easy peasy and a home health nurse can do it!!! and maybe in the meantime add reinforcement with smiles on keep

scuse me just had to get the red ryder out...javalina eating the quail block!!!!! scared me to death!! my David said OK that's enough Boo I want him to come back!

AS IF!!!! in the yard? NOT

whew...where were we oh yes and encourage your momma to stay off her feet a bit

you know with edema it hurts to put them up,,,the circulation starts trying to work and the blood brings back feeling to the nerve endings

that's why staying on your feet keeps the pain away and after all how often do you look at your feet and legs when you are on your feet?

out of sight

out of mind

I probably haven't helped much but I do so pray you ask about home health wherever you and your moma are...try to be there on the first three visits so you can see how whatever the MD orders is working and be sure to take her back to the MD if there is NO change or its worse within 14 dys or less if its worse of course....

make sure shes taking her diuretic whether its lasix or hctz or whatever along with all her other meds...they make her feel bad/hurts her stomach that's why home health nurses suggest a big 10 dollar pink or blue weeks medication box from walmart or walgreen that can hold 4 times of meds each day for 7 days

then you can tell what's being taken

be unobtrusive...if momma catches on you're checking up on her remember she your mom and knows your tricks!!!! :)

much love and hope to you and your momma

I love you

Barbara b

joan 5 years ago

have read with interest but what if you have some psiorisis -scalp and 2 leg spots w/edema and hbp -the sores sta the same and ith w/dry crust anything to help thst

Kelleigh 5 years ago

I am glad I found this article, I am 50 years old and I am on my 4 bout with these nasty weeping edema sores. Mine are like burns not ulcers, they do not hurt, but they weep yellow fluid all the time. I take a lasix 40mg daily, exercise 6x a day 10 minutes each time. I change the bandages 2x a day using triple antibotic ointment per Dr. orders. This time it seems they are harder to heal, First one healed in a month, second one took about 3 months, 3rd the same, these I have had since before Christmas. it is like the sore grows in one direction while healing in another (if that makes since). I elevate my leg for an hour a day, My problem is I have severe arthritis in my hips and it is nearly impossible to elevate my legs while sitting so I extend it and exercise it as much as possible and I stand and move about every hour. Is there anything I can do to speed healing, any advice is greatly appreciated.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Joan..the old stuff for psoriarsis still works the best/black tar soap...I know sounds gross but it works


please you poor dear...unfortunately it will get longer and harder to heal eavery time...why hasn't your MD put you into ted hose or compression hose yet? and you've stopped the salt of course and inceased the water?

and do you wrap your legs with kerlix and ace wrp or just put the antibiotic ointment on? be sure you see a vaxcular surgeon asap!! I know you are seeing your cardiologist as well? if not you MUST have !

internal med


vascular MD/surgeon

and make sure they all are on the same page together!!

my Daddy used to write/type long letters to ALL his MDs and it worked like a charm!! keeps em on their toes :)

much love to you both

barbara b

Kelleigh 5 years ago

Thank you Barbara,

Yes I have been to a cardiologist, vascular specilist, and to wound care. I don't eat any salt and avoid food with high salt content. I could drink more water. I have had test after test and I don't have anything wrong except the arthritis, No heart, kidney, liver or cancer. I am supposed to use a large ace wrap but it is every difficult for me to put on myself. I did however find out something at wound care, I have been using hydrogen peroxide everytime I change bandages, and that was a big NO NO, so now they have me using saline. Which has helped, I am seeing scabs on the small wounds...Yay!


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh thank goodness, you scared me a minute with the mention of the h2o2...that will KILL good tissue now so you are doing good...the tricke with ace wrap is getting it started right at your foot cloe as possible to your toes and that takes 2 wraps the around your ankle and under you foot 1 sometime 2 wraps then keep the ace wrap on your skin...only give it a gently tug when it is at your shin then wrap, don't pull on it all the time and try to wrap it so your ace wrap is held in your hand right side up/not upside down

that's a hard thing to explain with out pictures but you can do it

my question is why all the ace wrap? there are compression hose that come with this thingy that pulls it on for you! or even ted hose!! ask yor MD :)

love to you

barbara b

Kelleigh 5 years ago

Oh, see I have been trying to start the ace at the ankle and that just does not work, thanks for the idea. I will ask my Dr. about hose, My leg is swelled 3x what it should be so it is very large while my right leg is normal size. (working on that too).

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

hmmmmm that sounds like lymphedema and bayoulady knows more than I about that/ususally called elephantisis but here in the states where the parasite from africa does not exist to cause elephantitis its lymphedema and needs compression hosing...but absolutely you MUST begin the ace wrap at your top of your foot////depends on how much swelling you have as to how many ace wraps it will take to cotrol it but as I said before the ted hose or compression stockings/shoot/ even profore 4 layer wrap would do you more good than just an ace wrap

ask your MD!!!

Donna 5 years ago

I have weeping, itching legs cause from my obesity and lower leg edema eczema. I was wondering if washing them with Hibiclens will help them heal or relieve the itching.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hibiclens will kill the staph bacteria on your legs but it will make the eczema worse soooo I must say back to the ermatologist!!! you may need a dose of antibiotics by mouth as well as a special cream for your of course know not to use anything with steroid in it like cortisone?

I knew you knew that :)

but plain ole soap and water and a lotion like Nivea is always a safe good prudent advice...pat don't rub

dab don't scrape and do not scratch!!!!

wait until your legs are as dry as you can get them after washing to apply any lotion...

good idea for another nursing hub too/eczema so thank you Donna and let me know what the dermatologist says!

love to you

barbara b

hopeafterall 5 years ago

thank you!

babaruss 5 years ago

Have had cellulitis for over a year now.

It started at ankle in the leg which has poor circulation.

Doctor treated it like a simple infection.

She told me not to worry about it. Months later it climbed to mid calf..she said she didn't think it necessary to come in.

I finally was is such pain I went to E.R. E.R. gave me hell for going to them when I had a doctor.

Doctor gave me hell for going to E.R.

Doctor finally relented and saw me again.

Since that time I have been put on oral sulfa drugs...three separate rounds of keflex...two 10 day period and a 1 month period.

Currently the raw weeping skin damage is just below me knee steadily creeping higher.

After finishing last go around with body started breaking out in red bumps..kind of like chicken pox would look like.

My scalp is covered now with tiny scabs which in three days have progressed up towards the crown and somewhat downward between ears and eyes.

Fever and hotness is gone from skin but the 'rash' continues everywhere.

I read hospitalization and i.v. antibiotics was what should follow failed oral antibiotics.

Is this correct ?

Any hlp you can offer by way of advice would be helpful as I'm losing confidence in my doctor.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author


you have a severe reaction to the cephalexin (keflex)

wouldn't have been my first guess for cellulitis but then I am only an egg/slightly cracked :)if I culd which i cant/I would have guessed the MD would have done augmentin because it sound as if the edges were even, (sharply demarcated) weren't they? which makes it one step up from just plain ole oops I scraped my foot and now Ive got a skin infection

also I wonder did the MD give you a tetanus shot or ask if you have had one in the ast 2 years? the shot for tetanus is to help stop the spread of the bacteria called staphlcoccus...

did anyone EVER culture your leg? it amazes me MD will just write a script and hope its the one that will kill whatever bacteria is causing the cellulitis

cellulitis as you know is bacterial infection of the three layers of the skin dermis, epidermis and subcutaneous

its USUALLY streptcoccus but can be klebeciella or staphlcoccus or even, and this sound lke you/to me/ methicillin resistant staph aureus

strep staph kleb, e coli,all those bacteria are on and in us and around forever and nothing keeps them dead forever

if its MRSA you absolutely need IV Vancomycin, through a central line or a PICC line and don't get scared, sometimes it takes months of treatment to get it down to a colonized state...good thing is the treatment is only once a day, you can learn to do it yourself, a home health nurse can teach you and come once a week to draw blood work (through the line so you wont get stuck every week) and to change the dressing and the cap on the end of the line

or you could go to outpatient clinic if you arent old or don't have the insurance ability for home health

but if I were you I would go to an INFECTION CONTROL DISEASE MD

one who specializes in infections of all kinds

and I would INSIST he/she culture your leg FIRST!! though if the doc is worth his/her salt that wont be a big fight

that's what I would what for you, if you belonged to me...oh by the way did I tell you that now you DO belong to me???? :)

OK so here's the plain common sense you are doing already and know but you get the lecture FREE!!!!

Wash your hands well and often sing the ABD"S :) or your happy bday to me wile washing do NOT use a washcloth on your leg!!!! stick you left foot in the biggest tub/basin you can find...there n the feed store a 5 gallon metal one is the best

soak yur foot/leg with warm not hot water and witch hazel....get the witch hazel at the dollar store and use a fourth of the small bottle to a 5 gallon of water and scoop the water with your clean hands over your knee over and over again

do this two or three times a days if possible

do it for 20 minutes or until the water is cool/tepid like

take your leg out of the bucket and wrap it in a clean towel and just sit there with it no fair rubbing or patting or touching just wrap it up kinda taut and let it dry on its own

as for the rest of your body go to walmart or frys or food city...get a bar of fels naptha or octagon soap/same soap different names on either side of the mighty mississip :) and do not use a washcloth and use that soap on your hair/scalp/body wash from the the top to the bottom and end with the private fair using the bar on your body you have to lather it your hands then was then rinse your hands then lather with soap I know its a long process

but it will work!!

now get the phone book out and or the net and check out another MD/one with nfectious disease control after their name!!

good luck and God bless you

this has been too long for you to be suffering....makes me angry...I will say my prayers for you/it'll be easy name to recall :) sounds like mine

barbara b

babaruss 5 years ago

Thank you Barbara for your response.

I know that my infection is either some sort of strepto...?? I do know it is not MRSA.

I went on line to (holiday..nothing open now)our county disease control office. Described my condition and asked how I could ascertain the validity of my fear the infection went systemic. Reason for this is that my leg is still swelling up.. the swelling is going higher. While the surface infection remains below the knee the leg continues to swell (widen ?).

Another thing that concerned me was that the skin on scrotum and penis thickened to a frightening degree. That area was purple red...with raw abrasion like patches with weeping up until a couple days ago.

There seems to be a moderate decline in the swelling, The rawness and seeping seemed to have stopped.

I am wearing a leg wrap called an Unna Boot which is medicated plus has calamine lotion in it too.

I changed it this morning, and while there are still some severe cracks where foot bends the rest seems to be covering over the raw wound with new skin....this is a first !! The coloring leg looks like a chunk of skinned deer rather than a human leg.

Will follow your directions next time I have to change the Unna Boot.

Thank you for loving kindness Barbara. I am grateful to know I have finally been listened to and offered tangible help.

nursejohn 5 years ago

I have been a nurse for over 20 years, normal treatment has always been dry dressing and change as needed for saturation. Usually Telfa over wound then wrapped with Kerlix, in recent years there has been a change to AMD dressings. My new DON that has only been a nurse for less than 2 years has decided to have the wound covered with vaseline gauze then wrap with kerlix, only change the kerlix when saturated and leave the vaseline gauze on for a week before changing. I feel this will increase the risk for infection and will macerate the wound and surrounding skin, what do you think?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

barbaruss..the unna boot has zinc in it and should have healed it after all this time...theswelling in your periarea makes me worry about a blood flow blockage/a cot/especially with the swelling above your or not healthcare is 24/7 and if you are in PAIN all day/night then seek immediate attention!!! if you are using the unna boot then soaking your foot will NOT help...because the zinc and bismus (the pink stuff in unna boot) needs to stay on your skin from change to change...I am glad to hear about the new skin growth that's good but still want you to seek another MD!! my nurse kratchet experience is making the "In case of PANIC PUSH" button going on and off bright red about you!!!

hello nursejohn!!! I have to say that the young ones seem to want to switch things up a bit eh? I used to do like you, wash the leg/wound with soap and water, dry dressing and daily dressing changes

but that is essentially a wet to dry because when I would take the telfa off the wound would be stuck so Id wet it or try to gently peel it off and it took forever to heal!! then the WOCN changed to moist wound healing properties at all times for all wounds and things improved a little bit...a dry dressing is not a skilled need/in home health or n a hospital setting or in geriatric care...and moist wound healing works faster...but does NOTHING to correct the chronic weeping that comes with edema of the lower extremities...if you are in a place where you can make or ask for MD orders ask for an arterial venous index/an AVI test to see if there is a problem with the blood flow and determine specifically if the wound is due to venous or arterial its treated then will be VERY different!!! that's another reason I want Barbaruss to seek another MD opinion...and a good reminder for all of us in healthcare John...look at all of the problem not just tunnel vision on what we think we have always seen or always treated it know? and always always go with the MD/don't buck your DON...remember as per Louis A'Mour "if you are outnumbered the majority always rules"

A VERY hard lesson for nurses in the rank and fle/we are always outnumbered arent we?

love to you both

barbara b

babaruss 5 years ago

Last night was a bit rough, but not as bad as before.

I can wait until my Dr. appointment tomorrow, and then to (hopefully) hear from disease control.

I will try to find another doctor as soon as possible.

I did want to tell you that my right leg (where this mess is located) has had a malfunctioning valve (located I believe mid calf) for over 40 years. There has always been swelling in that leg...that ongoing condition went ballistic when I contracted the bacterial infection.

Couldn't locate either witch hazel or fels naptha soap.

Will call around later today.

Went back to re-read what you had written I did not get a tetanus shot nor have I had one in years.

Thank you again all you do.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh goodness barbaruss worser and worser!!!

now I have more of your info I am even more concerned and am so glad you are seeing your MD tomorrow and so very glad to hear you are trying to obtain another opinion!!! you have suffered so long its time to stop it!!

if you cant find witch hazel or fels naptha then you must be in the UK?

in whch case I think its harder to get home health nurse? or easier? I don't know...just know I want you to get well!!

love to you

let me know how it goes...

barbara b

babaruss 5 years ago

Saw doctor...she changed unna boot (after swabbing leg with iodine).

Two thirds of leg is semi dry (as opposed to the heavy seepage I had earlier) new skin is still trying to make a go of it. The leg is still wet/sticky to the touch over all....with a bit of heavier seepage above heel and ankle extending upward about 5 or 6 inches inches. I'm assuming that bending from when I when I walk, or move the foot why that area is slower to heal.

The deep split skin in the still seeping area seems to be slowly healing.

Doctor put on unna boot, and sent me home with another one for me to put on in 3 or 4 days.

She wrote prescription for Sulfamethoxazole twice a day for 10 days. This is the stuff she started me on prior to Keflex.

Some tenderness exist at edges of upper wound area.

A 'painful to the touch' ( narrow 'line' for lack of a better description up my leg to a point above the knee.

It seems to be between two sets of muscles. There is not surface color or change to indicate blood poison or anything along those lines

Swelling of leg remains the same....the body wide rash remains an aggravation to contend with.

Doctor said to use 5% permethrin cream body wide as a precaution against the possibility that the rash might prove tobe be scabies rather than a keflex allergic reaction.

Note came via email from Public Health Nurse at disease control..her response was: 'if you are not having trouble breathing nor are you feeling ill, the staph is not in the blood stream.' She suggested I go to E.R. should any such symptoms arise.

Have a touch of lower back pain which may be kidneys complaining about all the stuff they are processing. Back of knees are eaten up by rash and it is difficult to walk unless I walk knees forward like an Indian following a game trail.

I/m not in the U.K....I'm in Northern California.

Didn't have it together to drive to a city large enough to have witch hazel and fels naptha soap.

So there you have update however minimal today days information is.

As before bless you Barbara for your kindness..ditto Nurse John

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

gracious barbaruss and she didn't culture it this time either?

well, if the MD is using iodine along with zinc then lets not add anything else to the mix except another opinion!!

problem I am having with this is it alarms me but not the MD? all these changes but still not able to get a handle on the edema/skin issues?and its been so long right? a year and its still diagnosed as cellulitis? and now you are on a sulfa drug...OK so obviously I am missing something here...this small town where you are/just this MD and the small rural hospital ER/that's your options?OK then call the nearest big towns hospital or get on the net and look for a plastic surgeon...yes because they know so much about skin :) and if possible get another look at your leg.

Sometimes small towns have MD's from big city come to their hosp and do outpatient...see if that's a possibility too then you wont have to make a long trip...but after a year/for real/you must get another set of objctive eyes on this issue!

there nurse kratchet over and out :)

I do tend to go on and on

love to you

barbara b

babaruss 5 years ago

There was culture blood tests ordered.

The town isn't that small and Santa Ros is just 12 miles away. The E.R. got on me the time I went there (when my Dr. refused to see me). The basically told me I should not be tying up their E.R. staff when I did have my own doctor.

The good which came from the E.R. visit was that it caused my doctor to take my complaint seriously, but by the time she did relent and see me the infection was a huge mess.

The edema may well be a 'catch 22' situation,as I couldn't walk with out causing skin to split. and not being able to walk caused swelling to continue enlarging leg. I did notice something this morning...the leg in question was less swollen. After getting up, and doing a few the swelling was back to what it was when I went to bed last night.

It's pretty clear that for now I'm going to have to remain on this worrisome wait and see status.

Thank you for being there for me. I realize there is little more you can do..but the simple fact of knowing there is a person I can turn to is both calming and reassuring.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

any time!! that's what nurses like to hear and we are always there for our patients :)

take it easy/

sophia 5 years ago

I'm now 38 and had lower adema since I was 20 I have no weeping or sores I had all kind of test with no luck it mostly act up during the summer. Whenever the swelling occur my head hurts and I feel bad I tend to sweat alot and lately my hands are starting to swell. Because my legs have been swelling for a long time the bone also tend to dent when you push it in. Can anyone please help me?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Man I hope it isn't really the bone that ndents dude that would HURT! It loks lke it dents but that's because theres so much tissue swelling....What does you MD say about all this

wait I forgot you are young

I have a 28 yr old and man is she determined to NEVER see the physician!!!!

Well I dont have a clue where to start

20yr old and swelling of the legs? are you type I diabetic? if so what's your HgbA1C? do you have other underlying diagnosis or a chronic condition of any kind? Do you have heart trouble. I am afraid without a full istory I must say plaese see you physician and do not withhold any information! sometimes the thing you will be of no consequence will the the one thin the MD will see as "smoking gun" in order to diagnosis you the the fullest I am sorry I cant help...please let me know what you find out!

Barbaruss are you out there? Dude I so hope you are piled up in a hospital or a SNF with a central line or a PICC with Vacomycin 3 times a day and a twice daily visit from a WOCN!!!! Hospital food!!! YUMM!!!!

Please write and let me know what's happening dude!!!

love to you sophia and barbaruss!!!

barbara b

babaruss 5 years ago

Hi Barbara and John

returned from hospital around 12:00 noon today 6/9/11.

Wanted to get back to you to let you how things are.

Went to E.R. Sunday a.m. because next Dr. visit was days off and I was fast becoming a huge mess.

It turns out that I do have M.R.S.A,

A pik (?) line was installed yesterday.

Am currently on a twice daily i.v. drip of Vancomvcin 1259/75ml 0.9NaCi. Cute little gal was here for about

1&1/2 hours, walking me though paper work, and giving instructions, so I can deal with this stuff from home.

I am getting the impression I'm in for a 7 to 10 day run of this stuff.

Along with this is 4 days worth of Cipro 500 mg twice daily. Some one thinks there may be a secondary infection.

I have a topical ointment triamicinilone 0.1% 3 times daily after cool shower to be applied everywhere (but raw wounded part of lower leg).

On 13th of this month I go to a wound care hospital for whatever care and instruction they might provide.

Can't think ahead far enough to second guess any questions you might have.

Glad I had you two to let me know that serious means serious and to not screw around any more.

Thanks again


babaruss 5 years ago

Daily amount drip dosage was increased the following day to 1750/75ml.

No other news.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

well good to know you went and fantastic to kow you are finally on the raod to recoery

do NOT get discouraged if the osage goes up and down, the cute little nurse will come once a week (minimum) to change the dressing on your PICC lic (peripherally inserted central catheter) and to take a trugh level of the vanco in your bloodstrema...the MCD will be watching your diney function carefully!!!!! the thing not to be surprised about s that you will probably be in for much longer than 10 days of IV vanco....this stuff takes a while to get under control so do not get discouraged

be aware that the cute nurse should always wera a mask and gloves and gown to change the dressing on the PICC. She should always tell you to turn your head away form the site (so you don't breathe on it) she should always measure your bicep and the length of tubing utsde the site, she should always ask if you have had gastric distress, rash, overall reddness, new red or open areas or chest pain.

Don't forget the best way to prevent the spread of infectin is handwashing :) sing the ABCs or the Happey bday song before and after meds, meals bathroom etc

be sure that yu remember this MRS is not due yo anything you or anything else someone else has done

MRSA and all other bacteria resistant antibiotics started form the MOMENT enicillin was first used

the bacteria in the entire WORLD smartened up at that point and had an AH HA moment of their own...we have een tryng to stay a step ahead of bacteria ever since with only a fraction of success compared to the havoc bacteria has wrought.

so, take the antibiotic as it is prescribed, remember to take it out of the fridge about 30-45 min before the next dose, remember to change the tbing every day, remember to SCRUB the cap on your PICC line HARD HARD with alcohol whenever you access will be fine..

write me anytime with questions but your home health nurse is your go to person :) arent they cute?

much love to you

what a relief to know you are in good hands now :)


babaruss 5 years ago

Am already doing my best to drop home care nurse.

Neither wore mask/gowns/nor did anything you have mentioned so far.

The only one to have done all the preventative measures that you've outlined was the nurse (in hosp)who inserted picc.

There was some confusion as to what was really going on...too much focus was on making sure payment was assured rather than that proper treatment was being facilitated !! I was sent to wound care clinic this a.m. and while there noted that the wound care quality there was exactly like the work done at hospital..and that the home care nurse just tossed a slap dash bandage on !

Now I'm just yammering at this rep and that rep until it goes the way I prefer. I may sound rude but this old body has been mistreated from the beginning re;this disease, so now I'm trusting my gut and going with what seems sanest and 'surest'. Thanks for heads up re; the duration of treatment...I always feels a bit better know what I'm in for.

The only thing that is up in the air who will maintain care and keeping of picc.

I'm very careful regarding keeping things clean and following procedures. But that's for the reminder...!!

You're a Saint Barbara

Thanks again


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

what a horrible reflection on home health curses

I wish I could pinch their heads off!

Your wound care sounds best done at the wound care clinic and I am sure/hoping there is a WOCN nurse available to oversee the progress (wound ostomy certified nurse)

Your Picc line can be maintained as an outpatient basis at the hopsital/bet there is an infusion clinic around the hospital grounds or best yet, the place that sends the fox infusion or critical care or whatever...they will all have nurses as well.

most imortantly of all Russ/so glad to use your name vs your avatar and hoping you do not mind the familiarity/

MOST important is to call the home health company and report what is going on, lack of infection control, focus on money instead of on care, lack of detailed and succict, written instructions etc to the administrator. Don't call the nursing director or a the administrator

that's seems so weird that I learned my home health in Baldwin Co, Alabama...good thing I had a passport eh? and yet here, back in hubby and my heart home, its all backward and wrong! I fled the south to find enlightenment and peace and I did

but that was in 1979...we were gone from 1995 to 2009 trying to give the 2 kids a stable place

when we returned we found many differences but I never expected to be ashamed of home health nurses.

I swear, we are better than that dadgumit!!!!

well, now you really have to pay attention to that PICC line site

you can take a shower if the wound care clinic allows it but you have to wrap a kitchen towel then a kitchen garbage bag around your PICC site and tape it securely

Watch and feel your bicep above the site daily, make sure it doesn't get a hard spot or a sore spot or a redness and swelling

PAIN is the first sign of infection, not temp sides vanco is so strong you may never run a fever for the next 20 years :) but also watch for seepage around the place where the tube enters at the PICC site as well as odor, warmth, reddness

you absolutely must either find another home health or get the labwork you need done (usually weekly) and your dressing changed (minimum of weekly) and the injection cap changed minimum of weekly...that's the little blue or sometimes whte thingy that you screw the IV tubng into

that cap MUST be removed for labs...don't let anyone draw blood through the cap/that's procedure is always done hub to hub/meaning the syringe screws directly onto the bare end of the PICC line, the first 7-10 ml of blood is thrown into the red box, then another tube is drawn for the labwork then 10 ml saline is pulsated gently into the line, a newly primed injection cap is attached and another 10 ml of saline is pulsated through the cap.then the blood is transferred to the lab tube with a safety needle.

just like you do it except 20ml saline after bloodwork

don't give up

don't stop this treatment!

be strong

be mean if you have to but don't let this get to you

this is what you need, I knew it (nurses cant diagnose you know) and I don't want you to get in a rut or miss any IV treatments because of the stupid nurses/its been way too long and I don't want it to make you septic!


and this is only an if

if the insurance you have says you must have this agency or you will be responsible for the bill...then make that administrator come to your home with the policy and procedure for

1) changing a PICC line dressing

2) drawing blood through a PICC line on PICC lines

3) the policy stating what to assess on PICC lines/that's where the measuring of the catheter outside your elbow area (antecubital) and your bicep should be written

3) a copy of your plan of care called the 485/this is your right to know exactly what the nurse is supposed to perform, assess and instruct to you while they are in your home

4) don't be afraid to use thngs off the internet and absolutely use terms like "best practice" or "prudent nursing" and especially "evidence based" to describe how the nurses were negligent in infection control! the end of that catheter on ends in the superor vena cava of your body closest to but not quite entering the right atrium of your heart!


knowledge is power...sides....

you wont be using you knowledge to corrupt absolutely

you just want to get well!!

get the folder the cute nurse left at your house with the name of the agency and the nurses name...inside you should find at least 3 pieces of yellow papers/copies of what you signed...find the one that has the HOT LINE NUMBER listed on it....a 800 number...that's your ace up your sleeve just in case the administrator is less than helpful

make a list of all your options and get on the phone... what has happenend to our society Russ? How can anyone go into the craft of nursing thinking of money?

What happened to the laying of hands on someone who cannot help themselves? What happened to the nursing creed of first do no harm?

did they at least wash their hands with soap and water/wear gloves and wipe off their stethocope etc with a wipe?goodness I hope they didn't ut their bag on your bed or on the floor or hang it over the doorknob!

oh don't tell me/I will just get upset/

I am and have been doing my prayers for you and that is a huge thing!!! and you have an MD that's seen the light and a PICC line and vanco and a wound care clinic...the rest you can work out now that you have a list of options and if I think of something else I will

oh I just thought of something else you can do! You have to call your insurance/HMO/Mediccare whatever coverage you have and GET a case manager...ask for a nurse kratchet like me :) to fight for your best interest and give you a break from having to fight all the beuracrats/i don't thing I spelled that correctly/ but put it in the lap of the home health administrator FIRST and do it today!

now you have 2 ace' line # and your insurance representative!

most agencies are contracted to the insurance companies :) the administrator will NOT be pleased to have a problem with them :) money can work in our favour too eh?

I am thinking and praying hard for you and I know the other hubbers here are doing the same! we are a tight bunch and watch out for one another! so...when more than one gathers in His name...:) miracles happen!!!

so don't give up and don't get mad and don't stop the treatents!!!

last resort is you have to get yourself to the outpatient clinic of the hospital every day and its done there/good thing about that is the nsurance will pick up more of the bill not just the 80% of some commercial insurances/if you are on Medicare of any kind ( I am not a fan of HMO but oh well another story another day) then theres no charge regardless of where you get the IV med

much love to you

barbara b

babaruss 5 years ago

Hi again Barbara,

Finished call to administrator of home health nursing.

Told her that I wanted to drop her services and why. She was indignant, and insisted only her nurse could change picc line (administer too picc line /). My response was I do not want the services anymore and would contact first my doctor and secondly the hospital for care of picc.

Administrator tried to say that Dr. would soon want line out...I'm thinking not...fees far to early to stop this process. Any comment here ?

Person at hospital wound care that I visited this morning indicated that this would be a long process...not something finished and done with in 7 to 10 days...any comment here ?

I won't let doctor pull picc until I have gotten answers from both you and the hospital wound care facility I am now using.

My mind is a bit scrambled by all the contradictory responses I've been getting so in order to stay sane you have just become my gold standard.

Until later

Love indeed my friend..much love to you as well


babaruss 5 years ago

More confusion

My doctor called wanting me to come in tomorrow morning.

I have enough vancomycin for tonight, tomorrow, and tomorrow night.

She was a bit upset that I dropped the home nurse program as it turns out that that program is attached to my vancomycin supply.

My primary care doctor tells me that the disease control expert from the hospital where I stayed feels I need no more than a maximum of 10 days (all tolled) worth of vancomycin.

Primary care doctor will need to shop around to find a source for the last couple of days worth vancomycin.

There was an M.R.I. done of my leg and the readings (according to my primary care doctor) had no hidden pockets). I'm not reassured by any of this, but it looks like I'm not going to be able to buck the disease control doctor.

My Primary care doctor insists that the areas on my body other than the original site(lower right leg) which became open sores, wept, covered over with new skin were in reality just reactions to earlier antibiotic use.

It is also looking more and more like the picc comes out at the end of the 10 day run.

All of this seems to run contrary for what I have read and been told, so I'm going to have to trust your judgment here. In other words it's now in your court.

Thanks again


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

well that is what I was /worst case scenario/afraid of.

I bet your insurance has a contract with the home health agency and without that in place the infusion company that supplies the vanc and tubing, flushes, caps all that stuff in the two bags they bring every week;

you end up without either home health OR the vancomycin!!!!

so I gather the disease or rather infecton control doctor is going to be dictatorial in all this and force you to accept med and agency or nothing?

what a crock

but that's the way it seems the healthcare industry is going, that is just sooooo wrong

pray that socialized medicine never goes to fruition in our lifetime! it takes all control and rights away from the patient themselves

well you have choice no choice

you cant let this infection take your legs or your life

you have to cowtow to the MD and the agency

and after its all it all

it wont help unfortunately for our generation but sooner or later with enough documentation and case studies to back it up, we, the patients and devoted, committed to quality care healthcare professionals

one can only hope and pray

I feel so helpless Russ nd as if I have failed you I am so sorry/brbara b

in the meantime please don't buck them...they have what you need so go with them

what a crock...ever read 1984?

Sick and Tired 5 years ago

Hello -- thank you for all the info.. this is my situation -- I'm overweight - obese - sit all day working on a ocmputer. The edema started a few years a go, but the dry cracking skin around Dec 2009 -- then a few months later the weeping sores. I don't have health insurance and can't afford reg doc visits. Went to free clinic and they treated me with some anti-biotics and some anti-bacterim but gave me a prescription for a creme that was $90 do couldn't afford it. It seemd to clear up then returned. I'd tried some natural healing methods such as Manuka honey and so forth but didn't work. I was cleaning my legs with hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria then used neosporin before wraping them in gauze bandages. The condition worsened, the weeping spread and I had slatherd on so much neosporin I broke out in a rash all over my body. So drove myself to hospital, they hooked me up to IV gave me mega dose of antibiotics and other stuff (blood pressure pills/diuretic), potassium, etc., then left the IV plug in and had me come back nex day for a second dose. Sent me home with six different medicatons -- more antibiotics, bacterim stuff, blood pressure pills, potassium, and two other meds and some bandages. I took the meds, ketp my legs clean and bandaged and all seemed to heal... This was last year around spring time. Then about two weeks ago, I noticed the cracking of my skin again and some weeping -- I'm at my wits end. I've been cleaning with the peroxide, then wrapping with clean bandages. I dont' typically eat salty foods but had consumed some at a party which is what I think set this off again. I changed my diet to juices from the Trader Joe's like Defense and their green juice, ate alot of bananas and things seemed to get better but when I stopped the juices and banana, it's back again. I don't have health insurance and only have Medicare part A, can't afford part B but dont' qualify for any medical assistance aid so wondering what I need to do. I an go to free clinic again but there's a two week waiting list. I hate tht idea of taking more antibiotics -- I don't want ot become resistant to other bad stuff. I'll probably hit the hospital this week if I can't find a way to clear this up. Just buying bandages / gauze is putting a strain on me financially so what other things can I do short of another hospital visit? what about calimine lotion? And after reading your comments, using peroide to clena the area is really bad? I thought it was good because it killed germs. What should I clean my legs with and and what should i put on them to help them heal and is there any alternatives to gauze/pads that I could use -- things I could wash and reuse? I'm so frustrated -- I was planning on going back to the gym when this started up again -- and I'm afriad to go work out because gyms are sort of like the CDC -- lots of nasty stuff loating around but if my leg is covered, would I be okay going to the gym as long as I'm not using the pools or jacuzzis? Any advice to how I could self manage this and clear it up would be helpful. What foods would be good to eat? And I do drink alot of water -- and I can elevate my legs if necessary -- just neeed to know what I can do to help heal the wounds. The edema i know is from my weight and from sittig. I try to get up and walk around as much as possible but work on computer a lot so that's a problem. Thank you for your help.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

my dear sick and tired I am so sorry/here is what I would do if I were you

1)use the free clinic in 2 weeks,hope you have made your apoointment? 2)wash your legs with ONLY soap and water and do not use a wash cloth...wash your hands then lather your hands and wash them with soap then rinse with clean tepid/not HOT!! water and pat dry only with a white or the palest coloured towel you have...this towel gets washed daily so you can do all of this again at night or else use two towels same type 3)now, instead of buying all the kerlix and 4x4 bandages and all the cremes or antibiotic ointment (that didn't work anyway) go to a diabetic store or a durable medical equipment company actually I think wal mart carries them as well as walgreens and buy two pairs of TED HOSE/if the edema is just to your knees just get the ones that are knee high but if it goes all the way up into your thighs you need the long pair...if your legs are very large get one large and one extra large becaue your legs will change as the swelling comes and goes...

4) DO NOT give up...I add this cause the TED HOSE are tight and uncomfortable and you will be calling me all kinds of names by 1PM :) that's OK long as you keep them on!!! you sleep without them, you get a footstool to put under your desk and you prop your feet up long as you can stand it and you go to the bathroom every hour whether you have to go or not and if possible walk down one flight and take the elevator the flight back up. 5) stop wasting your money at trader joes cept on moscato wine :) ooops forgot I was a nurse there a moment :)

5) lets back up quit spending money for exotic juices...drink water!!!!!!! drink 8 that's eight, ocho, glasses of water a see you wont have to pretend you have to go to the bathroom!!!! if you have to buy water then it comes out to 64 ounces of water per day. and you know you cant drink alcohol/I was just messin

6)GO BACK to DES and take all your paperwork with you/all of its online/and see if you qualify NOW for medicaid or achccs or whatever it is where you live...a lot changes in a yr and with your having to be in hopsital and all the money going for a now chronic condition I am afraid you are probably in first or second degree heart disease but I am just a MUST go to the free clinic in two weeks!!! never mind if by that time the hose and soap and water have brought it under control again...go anyway!!! FINALLY 7)no more hydrogen peroxide, it does not kill germs/bacteria/fungus or viruses...hydrogen peroxide eats EVERYTHING!!!

until a physician subscribes what I hope/expect to be zinc wrap called unna boot then use only soap and water twice a day and wear the hose all day every day and take them off, wash and dry again at night and let them drip dry/another reason you need two pairs,takes almost 30 hours to drip dry one pair and you cnnot put them n the dryer or the washer...get the woolite and use a teeny tiny bit otherwise the itching will drive you batty for sure!and do NOT scratch!!!!!!

OK if the itching and dry skin that I hope will happen(because I want the weeping to stop not cause I am a mean old nurse...well actually I suppose I am a mean old nurse but...oh well never mind that :).... drives you crazy and you cant sleep then you can get a big soft well worn beach towel to lay your legs on top of in bed and another beach or two big, pale colored towels with cold water wrung out tight and placed over your legs to sleep in at night/just drape it over your legs AND LEAVE IT ALONE/ but wring it out tight!!!! I dont want your skin to turn all white and pruney/that would defeat our hard hard ooopps YOUR HARD WORK :)

I especially want to speak about your toes and feet, be real sure you wash between your toes and dry them out really well before you put the hose on

about the hose will spen 25 dollars for 2 pair and they come with instructions on how to put them on but here's the gist of it

they are now labeled right and left but also look at the sole of the hose and the blue writing goes on the inside of each foot...theres a little hole down there do not allow your toes to poke out or you'll cut off the circulation.

take a hose and put it on your dominant hand like you are putting on a glove/make sure the top of the hose goes on the top of your hand and the toes are at your fingertips and palm of your hand

now slowly turn your hand palm up.

Taking your thumb, grab a piece of the hose from your wrist and drag it into your palm and hold it there by closing your thumb then all your fingers over it


Turn your hand palm side down

With your free hand remove the hose starting from the top and dragging it off your forearm ONLY down to your wrist!

OK be slow and careful and gather the bunched up part of the hose and remember do not ever let your fingers turn loose of the sole of your hose!!! that's the only way you know top from bottom on the blasted things...oooppps did it again so sorry :)

Once you have it around your wrist keep your thumb in place, still palm side down but turn loose of just your fingers!

now you can see your tips of the toes on the hose!

put the hose on the correct foot...I forgot that part...try to member which one you are dealing with :(

and pull and tug and keep it straight until its over your heel.

Now all the bunched off part is now hanging off your end of your foot and you shake it and say, Bethard must be out of her mind!! Now what do I do?

Finally this is the easy part, reach down, get the elastic band and it will come up over your foot and you just keep on pullin the rest on like a sock but stop now and then to get out the wrinkles...NO NAILS!!!! DO NOT scratch yourself!! the weeping is hard enough to deal with without bacteria from your nails!!!

and see the physician in two weeks

What do you mean I heard you? OH OK so I am redundant is that it???????? :) I know....its the fault of nure kratchet ////have you met her?

I love you

I will pray all your angels shelter you and your heart and your legs

barbara b

sick and tired but hopeful :-) 5 years ago

You are one amazing human being -- though I suspect you have wings :-) Thank you so much for all the informaton. Big hugs!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh thank you

yes I do have wings

(deep chuckle stage right)


oh man I crack myself up...

htodd profile image

htodd 5 years ago from United States

Thanks for the great post,Nice information

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you!! hello htodd thank you for stopping by!!

barbara b

babaruss 5 years ago

Sorry to not be consistent in writing.

Have been up and down mentally/emotionally...and in some ways more like sleep walking than anything else.

Wound seems to be healing over... lots of fish scale dry skin to remove. In the past few days the weeping stopped, and for now care is washing and then just a coat of petroleum jelly covered by a light gauze wrap to keep dry skin from splitting. The wound care people decided that between their treatments (bi weekly) I should wash and wrap my leg on the off days. This is what seems to have turned the tide (seepage wise).

I washed leg with Denorex shampoo.

Today's wound care nurse was a nun who she said she felt like Mary Magdelene washing Jesus' feet. Told I wasn't too sure about that...but whatever she does don't tell the patriarchy, or they'll accuse her of being a hooker !!

The agency which home delivers bandages etc has be slow to send supplies promised, but I have managed to keep everything clean and cared for despite their lethargy.

The skin rash is now just red/pink patches of skin. Smooth normal skin...just red/pink.

Inner ankle area feels like it's receiving jolts electricity, but other than that pain is pretty much gone.

Since just below the ankle area is where the skin keeps splitting open I'm assuming that the pain is related to those tears.

Nothing much else to tell you other than how grateful I am to know your are there whenever I'm in need.

An that is so reassuring.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

and fnally now a name :)

hello Russ how wonderful to hear from you and that your leg is getting better! Thank GOd!

I am so glad! Denorex shampoo! Who' a thunk it? I willl remember this one! wonder what is in it that has helped?

what do the wound care clinic guys do twice a week? do they use denorex on your leg as well or something else?


did you have to have a central line or a PICC line for IV antibiotics? are you on antibiotics by mouth?

nosey ole nurse arent I? how wonderful to have a nun for a nurse!! now I know you have a service oriented RN who has your best interests at heart! Thank God! I cannot say that enough Russ, I was really worried bout you!!

much love to you!! 'member to wash your hands before you wash your leg!!!

much love and sweet dreams

barbara b

xman 5 years ago

Hi. My mom had an infection in her foot which traveled up to her thigh. She was in the hospital for three days on vancomycin PICC line and then in a nursing facility for 14 days. A total of 10 days of antibiotics. She is at home now and walking gingerly, however both her legs are swollen from the knees down to and including the feet and one foot is peeling and weeping. She has an appointment on July 18 with doctor, but I'm concerned about the edema in her lower extremities. Any suggestions? I believe she's sneaking some salty chips into her diet but she seems to be drinking lots of water. Love your blog! Mic.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

OK so today is the 10th, your mom alternating walking and propping her legs up?

are her legs both the same size?

are they warm or hot to touch especially the affected side?

is the sore on her foot closed or open?

is there any drainage?

does she have any pain when her leg/foot is propped up or any pain at all at rest...Im sure it hurts to walk

if she had vanco will she or did the MD do another culture at the end of the vanc? did the MD take an xray to rule out osteomyelitis?

is your mom diabetic, have hypertensin or circulatory problems?

Is the PICC still in place if so who is flushing it weekly?

signs that need to be reported and ask for a faster follow up date than the 18th include: sudden fever over 101.6 consistently for 24 hrs.

increased swelling so weigh your mom daily starting today and record it, if 3lbs in 24 hours or 5 lbs in 4 dys call the MD and get her to him asap.

any increased unresolved pain(actually most important sign of all).

increased warmth or redness or any new or changes in colour of drainage odor or amount.

oh and YOU eat the chips and or throw them away and don't buy anymore :) also watch for processed foods, tons of salt there...

if none of the above occur in the next 8 dys and your mom stays status quo/just like she is today/then OK see the MD on the 18th

getting over MRSA/which is what I suspect the bacteria was in her foot,can take MONTHS and your mom may well require additional episodes of IV vanco and or Zyvox in order for the infection to either colonize or resolve...make absolutely sure she does NOT go barefoot except in bed!!!


same for you/staph bacteria is on, around and in us all the tme...problems arise when it gets inside where its not supposed to be/the tiniest cut and it will mutate...remember even a simple pimple is a staph infection so frequent and proper handwashing is MOST important!!!

Not to forget housekeeping and cleaning and guess who gets the duty? you're up grunt!!

whatd you say?

ma'am yes ma'am?

I thought so :)

think my son is a jarhead? :)

everything will be love and prayers for your mom and for you too xman

stay strong and vigilant!

love to you

barbara b

xmam 5 years ago

Thanks, Barbara. are spot on here.

Her "good" leg, ankle and foot is swollen but not red, hot or seeping fluid.

Her "bad" leg, ankle and foot is also swollen. The foot continues to peel and when it does, then it's wet/weeping.

There is no sore on her foot.

She doesn't prop her leg enough in my opinion. She's the fidgety sort and is scampering from the bed in the family room, to the chair (with her feet on the floor and not propped), to the kitchen to cook something.

I think the visiting nurse took a culture. I know she took blood samples.

Not a diabetic, takes blood pressure meds, no circulatory problems that we know of.

PICC line is out. No fever.

She's had bouts of cellulitis in both feet, but we've usually caught it with antibiotics before it traveled. Cultures have come back positive for MRSA.

This latest episode occurred due to her insistence on waiting before going to the doctor.

She's 85 and stubborn as an old mule at times.

My retired sister is staying with her over the summer. I, on the other hand, wish to retain my sanity and live in my own place in Seattle (she's in Shoreline).

My other sister and brother are nurses and so I get the "20 questions" game when giving them the updates.

Good advice on the bare feet situation.

You're the best:)

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh bless you,

I too wish to retain my sanity so my older sister and younger bro live close to my mom

shes in bham and Im in I think I am one up on you on the sanity part

besides, I am the only one in healthcare, my other 4 siblings and my mom say "Oh you don't know, Boo, you're always saying the worst things that could happen!

the last time I heard that I was actually IN Bham and mom had pneumonia (which I diagnsed even if nurses arent suppose to do that)but mom wouldn't go to the MD and when she did she refused to go to the hospital!

so....stubborn? really...really???????and mom is only 78!

well at least now you have lots of answers for the next 20 question game your siblings pull on you!!!

and if you don't know say you'll get back to them and I will tell you :)

and if I don't know I will look it up!

between the 2 of us we will hold the sibs at arms length!!! lol

as for your mom, dude, thank god for home health nurses eh?

make sure she eats some yoghurt and honey and stuff with protein like all milk products, beans, canned salmon, and ugh... meat :)

love to you,

barbara b

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Russ, something other than just google Panda has mesed up my messages/am trying to sort it out/I am so sorry your home health experience was NOT optimal...neither has mine been/seems my standard of care here is not the same as it is in Alabama how weid is that?

well anyway your message showed up on a hidden page...I need you to contact me via email...its under my picture...that way I can get in touch faster...or do both..write here and send me an email saying hey bethard look its me :)

I totally agree with your MD/this will be long and drawn out...home health was there probably once a week just to tke labs through the PICC and change the dressings

its OK..RN at the wound clinic will do it with the MD've probably fixed that already as well

I am way lost now since your message was dated 5 wks ago!! so email me or write here again...why didn't your message show up here and in my gmail acct I wonder? dumb computers!!

Kirinphoebe 5 years ago

Hello! I think all of your advice is wonderful, and done in such a caring way with a sense of humor. Excellent!

OK, here's my situation. like another person here, I am obese and spend the day at the computer (as well as driving a three hour commute (90 min each way) every day. Also on the list: hypothyroidism, depression and anxiety, sleep apnea, rosacea, ocular rosacea (awful! getting reated now) plus exophthalmus, hypertension, very minor "normal" mitral valve prolapse with regurgitation (my doctor said not to worry about it), various allergies.

Meds (every day): synthroid 88mg, lamotrigine 200mg, venlafaxine 150 mg, gabapentin 300 mg, amlodopine besylate 10 mg, Benicar HCT 40/25, Bystolic 10 mg, omega-3 fish oil 2000 mg, Vitamin D 2000 iu, aspirin 81 mg, doxocycline 200mg (for the ocular rosacea), genemicin (sp?) for the ocular rosacea, and the occasion analgesic.

Current problem/ question: a couple of days ago I sort of absent-mindedly picked off a small scab (less than 1/4" on either side) on my lower leg. Since then, the wound has been weeping a clear liquid constantly. It is not infected I have never had this before, so I went to a clinic at Walgreens; they put a gauze pad on it, took my BP and it was really high, saw that I had a lot of edema, and they sent me to the ER. The staff at the ER check my BP (pretty decent results for me), did blood and urine labs, did a C-T scan (wow--expensive--I think they were responding to my headache and making sure I didn't have an aneurysm?), did a chest X-ray, and looked at the wound (declared to be not infected). Everything came back with normal results, and they sent me home (what an expensive 4 hours!) with instructions to keep wearing a gauze pad and to change it 2x a day. I suppose it could have been a lot worse.

However, my small wound continues to leak a lot and saturates the dressing rather quickly. It is midday on Monday and this has been going on steadily since about this time on Saturday.

What can be done to get this to heal? I assume there is little or no clotting factor in the liquid, which looks like water. I'll be seeing my doctor (actually her colleague) this week, as directed by my doctor (who is on vacation) to see whether I need a medication change. However, my doctor just raised my dosage of Bystolic from 5 mg to 10 mg just last week, and is making changes very cautiously.

What can be done?

Thanks so much!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

hello Kirinphoebe

the clear liquid is actually not blood but insterstitial fluid (its the fluid of your edema) that is being pushed out of your vessels because of the back up...back up meaning the heart/selfish expletive that it is/ will pump the blood/fluid down to your legs but will not do anything about getting it back to your that fluid just pools in your legs

you knew all of this

however now you have a leak

same as a garden hose with a pinpoint hole you know? and the water squirts out?

just like that...may not be keep it clean with soap and water and dry as possible...try not to put too much pressure on the pad with tons of tape you know? trying to get through the work day...that will just make it worse...end up with a larger hole and an indentation as well..

get home...put your feet up..drink your water do not make the mistake of thinking if you stop drinking water your legs will go down...they will actually get worse...avoid caffeine..avoid salt of course..avoid soda...avoid processed foods, snacks

just avoid pretty much anything that tastes good haha until you see your MD!!

oh no...don't thank me!!!!

Im just playing trying to get you to laugh...this is not funny and you are doing all you can to help have a ton of disease processes going and a lot of meds... you keep your chin up kirinphoebe...gorgeous name. phoebe...

and let me know what the MD says...

here are signs that should send you with your legs to the emergency dept

redness around and moving up your leg, skin warm and paiful to touch, foul odor to fluid, skin all leathery in feel...

and that's the complication to the leaking of fluid and its called cellulitis..infection of the top layers of skin itself...from fluid sitting on top of your skin or of bacteria getting into the hole in your leg....

the way it will heal? control the fluid..I am afraid you can expect another medication...ugh...or maye not..MDs never do what nurses expect!

let me know too, OK? and be OK...

love to you

barbara b

goldielox 5 years ago

writigng for my 80+ year old mom who has had swollen legs for years, worn compression stockings but recently they are bothering her and now has weeping edema as diagnosed by internist. Question is: what kind of dr. treats this? Idon't know who to take her to. I getting worse last couple of weeks since she fell, from new symptom - balance problems. She also has sciatica, diabetes (mild), is hypothyroid. Help!

madhu 5 years ago

my father is a 60myrs old and he is is having a renal failure ,kidney patient for the last fifteen to 2o day his legs are swollen ,we r using dytor 100 mg 2 times still swelling does not reduce .recently water is weepin out from lower legs ,iam applying bactroban still no relief suggest siutable treatment please

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author


I wrote a long answer to you yesterday but it isn't here...guess I pushed the wrong button (I am good at pushing buttons lol)

but that's OK cause I am going to answer yours and Madhu comments together

OK goldilox and madhu

first of all let me praise you both for your wonderful care of your parents/it is a rare thing and a very very difficult thing that you are both doing!

also your parents are wonderful to LET you into their lives that is wonderful to see

OK both parents would benefit from seeing BOTH a plastic surgeon and an infection control doctor

I know sounds weird..plastic surgeon? but they deal with skin! and hence they know sooo much about ulcers and open areas and weeping skin etc...and the infection control MD because even if doesn't look ifected, with diaete, kidney failure, heart issues etc believe me their immune systems are on the floor and they will get infected!!

madhu just to omplicate your head I want to advise that you stop using the bactroban...its not doing any good anyway is it? just slides off with the weeping? makes you want to put a bandaide over the spot then the bandaide leaves an indentation or worse takes the skin off and the hole gets bigger? right so here goes

Clean and dry as bone

watch the salt/they will probably both be craving the salt too so throw out all the junk food and the salt shaker and try to avoid giving them frozen foods like veggies cause salt is the preservative for frozen foods

encourage water, not juices etc except at meals they can drink other stuf then/water rest of the time

UNLESS the MD has put a level on the amount of water...madhu with renal failure sometimes this is necessary to get the fluid down...ask the nephrologist/if your dad does not have a nephrologist get him in to see one...renal failure-kidney doctor...absolute necessity!

next wash their legs as many times a day as necessary/nothing worse than both legs propped up all day and fluid pouring out...their skin will peel off in sheets/use a gentle soap (like baby shampoo or ivory or even glycerin as long as it doesn't have perfumes in it) I know the tempation is to use an antibacterial soap but wait until the plastic surgeon and infection control physicians finish their assessment and order the treatment

you both may end up with parents at the wound care clinic or with home health...good thing about wound care clinics is they come with wound certified nurses :) so all they do all day long is help heal skin!

cool eh?

try not to wrap or rub or peel or anything I know you wont

the hard thing is keeping your parents fingers off their legs!!

salt comes out with the fluid and that itches like crazy!!!

washing legs and patting dry may very well have to be done many times a day depending on the amount of fluid be careful don't squeezze their legs or rub...just pat

try not to use a thick towel under their legs...a pillow case on top of a plastic sheet is better cause the nubby parts on a towel leave marks and the marks are more likely to open and fluid will come out all those tiny indentations

do not panic!! you are both doing great jobs you may not know it but I know that your parents love you...even when they get cranky and grumble at you! they are miserable/you are helping! don't give up!

so plastic surgeon, infection control, soap and water clean and dry as a bone until the MD's say otherwise!

much love and many prayers for your mom goldilox and your dad madhu

barbara b

Michelle 5 years ago

What a wonderful page! I was trying to do some research in place of my doctor's lack of giving a care. Anyway I have all the wonderful signs and symptoms of CHF including being able to push on my legs up past the first knuckle on my finger, and stairs becoming dreadful things to me. Blood tests usually come out okay (Potassium is usually high, last time was 5.5, then got it down to 4.9), and my stress test came out fine from what they said. I'm on Furosemide, and spironolactone with HCTZ, and it just doesn't help much. I've gained/ lost as much as 8-9 lbs in a day, and can't lay down flat for long. I'm slightly overweight (lot due to water, the rest due to the fact I can't breathe well enough to do anything). I used to play street hockey and skate for miles until my legs got to swollen to fit. It's been ongoing for a couple years now (the edema was there for a couple years prior to that). So I don't know, doc's answer to everything is 'lose weight' and that's it, no diagnosis or anything. And mind you, I'm only 28... I think it's time to find a new doctor, eh? Anyway, thanks for letting me put my little story here :)

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

hello Michelle

absolutely time for another MD

this time get yourself a cardiologist and a nephrologist! (heart and kidney MD)

Denise 5 years ago

My boss, extremely overweight, and a smoker, has swelling of the legs, has had an operation on his legs, now has ulcers, and has been told this should not happen.

Hes now off work cos the ulcer have split, any advice?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

absolutely! get two docs at the minimum...infection control, vascular surgeon and skin doc (dermatologist)if the diagnosis is PAD, peripheral arterial disease, which I suspect it is because of the "op on his legs" then he must NOT elevate them! and compression will Not be used either...and absolutely do nothing without MD approval! if he has PAD he can get gangrenous rapidly so stick rigeidly with the MD plan! and at the slightest HINT of trouble get him to the vascular surgeon ASAP

ScooterKat profile image

ScooterKat 5 years ago from Somewhere, Indiana

Hey there, I'm Scott and I am so glad I stumbled across this place because I have some issues!

In 2003 my hip and knee joints really started to ache, then 2 small, symmetrical bruises appeared on the middle of my shins. Over the next few days my lower legs swelled to a humongous size(especially my calves), and the bruises became so large(and black)that they stretched from my ankles to my kneecaps, and the pain was SEVERE. The skin on my shins was so damaged and discolored that it started sloughing off in layers and I could hardly walk, but that was just the beginning of things.

During this time I started to develop ulcers along my gumline, both top and bottom. The ulcerations along my gums were so bad that my lips appeared to literally separate from the base of my gums completely. Then on top of that, my hair started to break off and fall out! I was in so much pain, and I had no idea what was wrong with me, so I was scared and miserable.

I went to see my GP, and he ordered blood and urine test. I wasn't told what the blood test results were, but the urine test said I was passing blood...Now I was really scared! The doctor sent me to the hospital for some kind of kidney scan, and the results showed that my kidneys were really swollen, almost by 50% according to the doctor.

The doctor called me into his office and informed me that I had Lupus, then he prescribed a bunch of steroids. I took the steroids as directed, but they made me balloon from 185 pounds of muscle to 265 pounds of fat misery, but my symptoms got better. The doctor wanted my to continue on low doses of the steroids, but I refused due to the side-effects I was having, and fear of the ones that could occur.

Anyway, over the years until now(9/11/11) I've had more minor experiences like the first one in 2003, but nothing near as severe. I've had kidney stones, and a back surgery due to a work injury. But now my legs are swelling again, but so far without the bruising. I also have severe fatigue, sometimes so bad I can't be awoke long enough to eat.

My current doctor prescribed Lasix, and gave me something for the pain, along with an anti-depressant and arthrotec. But nothing seems to help! He says I need to see a rheumatologist, but I have no insurance and I'm currently not working. Between my back injury and the Lupus I've been unable to do much of anything socially, or otherwise, and I really need help. I've filed for disability, and Medicaid to try to get the help I need, and I'm slowly working my way through their hoops.

Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks, take care and have a blessed day.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author



Weight loss or gain

Joint pain, stiffness and swelling

Butterfly-shaped rash (malar rash) on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose

Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure

Mouth sores

Hair loss (alopecia)

Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods (Raynaud's phenomenon)

Shortness of breath

Chest pain

Dry eyes

Easy bruising



Memory loss

DianaDT 5 years ago

I am in the midst of my second large statis wound. Without insurance when I had the first, I had to find a way to treat it myself. has a wonderful medication for statis wounds based on iodine, also a formula for those allergic to iodine. I purchased bandaging supplies by the case online. My original wound drained heavily for 3 mos. After the drainage slowed a lot, I started applying the medicine. I found using bladder control pads much more effective then gauze. They acted like a sponge, no leakage, lasted up to 12 hrs before changing. I was changing the gauze every 4 hrs. When I finally got my medicare, I made an appt. to the wound clinic. The wound was still open at the time but mostly healed. By the time I made my appt, the doctor said it was completely healed. I had had 4 doctors tell me I was in grave danger of losing my leg. Im not affiliated in any way with the doctors site, just passing along what worked for me and its reasonable and used by other medical facilities. I also found Tena pads to be the best. They are softer to the touch, don't irritate the wound, hold a lot of drainage and are relatively thin. I buy the ultimate that are 14 in. long since my wound went almost halfway around my leg. It took 3 pads to cover the wound. With this medicine, the wound heals from the inside out. The edges start shrinking and showing pink skin first. It did take 6 mos. to completely heal after I started using the meds but I didn't use the meds but 2 mos. as a film grew over the wound preventing the medicine from being absorbed, but it still healed. I did get a strong antibiotic from the doctor when I first started using the medicine. My family doctor couldn't believe I healed it myself as he said statis wounds are the most difficult to heal. Just wanted to pass along info to those who cant afford a wound clinic or whose treatment isnt working.

Also, if anyone is thinking of amputation, check with a plastic surgeon first. An old lady I know did and he was able to cut away the diseased part of the leg and do a skin graft and save her leg. She was already scheduled for amputation and thought of the plastic surgeon herself.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I am so glad you are well Diana!

Funny too, as iodine is no longer considered best choice for stasis ulcers but everyone is different. I hope you never have this problem again!

JasmineG 5 years ago

My father in law died last week in a hosital in Belgium. He was suffering from pneumonia for one month and a half. When we saw him he was great, even doctor said he would be out in a couple of weeks. He had horrible bed sores and edema. The first three days when we saw him he had pressure bandages on his legs, the hospital didn't even bother to change bandages, we had to keep ordering them and take them home and wash them ourselves. He had fluid leaking from his feet three days before he died and looked like a Michelin man from waist down. I coulent understand why The doctor didn't tell him to elevate his feet. He was drinking water, but not so much, just mostly an evian spray to keep his mouth wet. They would give him a medication in his oxigen once per day, I'm not sure what it was. Over his last 5 days we watched him age more than 10yrs. He was only 64. The hospital didn't seem to care. Can u explain to me why you think his legs went raised and if pressure bandages are used in extreme cases? His last 72 hrs were aweful his eyes rolled back and his mouth stuck open in a spasm, they didn't even put him on iv to prevent dehydration. He groaned/ screamed with every breath. I just don't get how a healthy man can deteriorate in only 5 days and do t understand why the hospital didn't do more tests etc and try to find out real problem. Please help us.. Any sort of clarification will help us understand or notify hospital of what to do next time they have a similar case. Hospital was Jolimont in La Louviere, Belgium

JasmineG 5 years ago

Before he died doctor told us that his organs were shutting down from the fluid retention, was there anything they could have done to help him, could they have put drains in for the leaking fluid to drain faster, like the small hoses they used on my breasts after breast surgery. He was so healthy, I just don't get it, and to die slowly in Dehydration and pain for 72 hrs is this normal. I know that he was given morphine for pain. Is this normal with edema and pneumonia ?

JasmineG 5 years ago

Also not sure if they were bed sores as was not open skin, just purple bruises all over his body. His edema on his feet were leaking enough fluid to fill a shit glass every half hour. I have photos if you need them

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh Jasmine how horrible for you and your family! but why?

oh wait and it was pneumonia?

then that's it...the death statement will say pneumonia with complications

how horrible...did your dad have COPD? was his heart already compromised?

as for the dehydration, don't get upset, but when death is imminent, if fluids are given it makes the body "wake up" then it goes into death spiral all over again, so morphine was the best thig to do, giving fluids cause severe physical pain and most of the time the patients cant even say hey that hurts!

but I think the death statement will say pneumonia with complications...sometimes, for whatever reason we may not know, the body cannot recover from some things and it shuts down. But 64 is so young...I am sorry Jasmine. I know your heart is broken. I love you. barbara b

DarkAngel87 5 years ago from NC

I am 37 weeks pregnant and have been having issues with edema for the past number of weeks. I have put on an obscene amount of weight this pregnancy. Have tried everything I can think of, find on the internet, etc...but it just keeps getting worse. My dr seems concerned, but all she told me to do was soak my feet. It's from my toes to my knees, and my left foot and half is now very hard. Also have suddenly developed a yellow pus bubble on top of my left foot. My lower limbs are turning red and becoming very painful. I'm at a loss at how to proceed. If you could please help me, I would greatly appreciate it. Your article was very informative, and you sound very knowledgeable on the subject.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

well good news DarkAngel!! Your cure is labor and delivery! and you get a present yippee!! course he will keep you running for the next twenty some odd yrs but hey! its good!! :)

you didn't say anything about pre-eclampsia but that's probably what's going on with you...watching your BP? scheduled for induction probably? if you are already 37 wks what's the MD waiting for?

never mind Im just an egg...its so exciting...a baby!! what's his/her name? you lucky thing you have pics from the sonogram!! Im so old all I got was kicked!! seriously! Baby Girl stood up the entire time and hit me with her head under my ribcage and my son learned the martial arts/ALL of them/ in utero!!

suggestions? DO NOT pop that blister I don't care how bad you want to!! put your feet up, how come you arent on bedrest now? avoid salt I know you are probably craving it like all get out and gently gently rub oil, like baby oil, on the leathery feel on your legs...but only at bedtime and very light, not much...just a little too.

soaking your legs is for comfort...but don't use a machine that makes bubbles like a foot bath cause it may cause the blisters to pop...that's it I think...if I find more with my research/and yes I am researching it cause high risk L&D was the 1st nursing job I had and

uhhhh how can I say this..oh well...

that was like two lightyears ago :)

then I will get back to the meantime take care and know I am sending up prayers and good thoughts for you...these last few days will not be easy but they will be worth it!!

"worried" 5 years ago

My mom is 85 yrs old. She had a calcified aortic valve and had open heart surgery to put in a new "cow" tissue valve. Since the surgery she has had swelling in her ankles. It occurs mid day, gets worse in the evening, and goes down again in the morning when she gets out of bed. She is doing her upper and lower body exercises daily prescribed by the OT and PT, is walking several times a day, and elevating her legs when sitting. Her cardiologist put her on 20 mg lasix and 20 MKG pottasium pills. Recent BMP bloodwork was fine, except SLIGHT elevated pottasium and uric acid. The doc took her off pottasium pills, but said to continue the lasix. The doctor who performed the surgery prescribed digoxin to keep her heart beating strong (this was two months ago.) He seems to think the lasix is not necessary, but the cardiologist disagrees and wants her to continue the lasix. Her internist thinks the ankle swelling is from the Norvasc she takes for blood pressure; however, she was on the Norvasc before the surgery and did not have any problems with the edema in the ankles. Her blood pressure is at the normal range with her meds. She has become very anxious and depressed over this whole situation. Help ! We're so frustrated. Is it common to have swelling of the ankles after open heart surgery...and if so for how long? The cardiologist said it may take months but should get better eventually. I am worried it is a sign of another problem going on. Is it time to get another opinion?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

as frustrating as this is going to make you, no, you are in good hands. It is usual and the norvac is making the swelling worse and no, you don't need another opinion

however! another opinion will settle you and your mothers minds so go on and do it!

now...the reason the norvasc didn't cause swelling before but has now is because the graft site in her leg is so new that any stress o it, even stress from a medication! will slow down the healing process...see, at the points where the cow vessel is attached, usually aboe and below the knee, those points will leak fluid, getting worse during the afternoon, better is your mom sleeps well all night and then starts all over again the next day. Exercises help because it simulates pumping action of the vessels and "teaches" the new raft what to do and how to act. Doing nothing is the worst thing that can happen, course you guys know that already/walking after all will be a daily part of your mothers life from now on!

and probably you have hear this too...the graft sites takes the longest to heal...your moms chest will be totally well an that inside leg will still be giving her trouble! that of course is because of the selfish heart again...its all excited/got new plumbing yippee/having a party practically! and ignoring anything below the waist! hence the need to walk, pumping action remember?

it sounds as if your mom is textbook post open heart surgery normal! not to you of ourse but it sounds great! also remember the entire time of healing, however long it takes and everyone is different, for signs of infection at the graft site...Pain (number one and this pain is worse and different) reddness, huge amount of swelling that lasts all day and is rock hard to touch, warmth and of course any opening must be looked at immediately. :) you are doing great!! Keep up the good work/ I know how difficult it can be!

snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

Dear RNMSN, I have just read this monumental helping Hub and comments in its entirety. I commend you on your tireless work. You have brought hope and solace to people in dire need of direction. If there is a hero's award on Hub Pages I will nominate you now. I won't take any more of your time, but just want you to know that you've shed some much needed light on questions I've been asking about my mother's care in hospital last fall. Thank you for your dedication.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh my snakeslane you cannot know how much your words mean to me! Especially now, this day! I am honored and humbled. All I have wanted to do is help.You have shown me that is what I am doing and I Thank you so much! Barbara B

"worried" 5 years ago

Thank you for your quick response and the helpful info you gave. I just have one more question...

I guess I didn't clarify enough in my first post,

but the surgery was just to replace the aortic valve

(done with a vertical incision through the chest ). She did not have any blockages, so there was no incision in the leg for any bypass surgical procedure.

With this info given, I'm just wondering why there is swelling (fluid) in the ankles? Is it related to the heart?

Also, another concern is that one doctor (the surgeon) seems to think that the digoxin is enough to be on and feels that she shouldn't take lasix; however, the cardiologist agrees with the digoxin to help the heart beat strong, but insists that the lasix is necessary. Are there any negatives as to taking lasix for a long period of time? It has been three months so far... and why the two different opinions regarding the lasix from the two different doctors??

Thank you in advance for taking your time to read these post and I await your reply.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

worried: I am so sorry! I apologize for not reading your question properly.

swelling in both ankles but worsens throughout day and better when she sleeps?

has to be related still to the heart trying to repair itself after surgery I think..

as to opinions/MDs will rarely agree with one another! especially from different specialties...I lean towards the heart MD, stay with the diuretic/she or he will keep her on it another 3 mo I bet and it will not take that long I bet to get rid of the swelling...stay with the exercise and propping of feet and did either MD put your Mom in TED hose? compression stockings to the knee?

as to the reason I think surgical stress but I am only an egg/wonder if they had a cooling blanket or something with some weight across her groin? that would put pressure on the lymph nodes and that would cause, that would make the entire legs swell and never come down at night... its only in the ankles..gotta be circulation and that brings us bak to the heart and its trying to get well...ask the cardiologist but I think I am right/but I know nothing ha and am not supposed to have any opinion at all!...again, I am sorry for the poor reading...stay focused and positive for your Mom! and get some rest and down time for yourself/caregivers get sick faster than the patient you know!

cory 5 years ago

last year i had edema that caused my feet and ankles to swell as well as my stomach to become swollen. i could barely walk 5 feet without become fatigued i had protein in my urine and i was told i had an enlarged heart i was put on lasics i am now completely healed but noby ever told me what i had and as of late ive been trying to figure it out if anybody has any suggestions as to what i may have suffered from id love to hear from you

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I am glad you no longer have any symptoms as you did last year! I was wondering, are you diabetic? have you had a heart attack? is the iron in your blood extremely high? ere you born with a heart condition? Had you had a bad infection?

protein in your urine is usually a sign that something is wrong with either your kidneys or your heart and likewise with an enlarged heart. Untreated high blood pressure, disease of the heart valves,low red blood cell count,or something that was present from the time you were born could be causes for an enlarged heart, just to mention a few.

I am surprised the physicians never gave you an adequate explanation, even one that included "it could be a number of things from blah to blah..." I would suggest you go back and pin the doctor down :) not just for peace of mind Cory, but so you can know what to call them about when it happens again.

yes, unfortunately it could be something that may return one that comes to mind is heart failure or chronic renal failure, but again, I am only a nurse and you must get your physician to tell you what was going on with you last could have only been a severe infection that caused the protein in the urine and heart problems.

It was, of course, the heart that caused the swelling of your legs...selfish thing, the heart, only takes care of itself and its surrounding area!!!

I hope the information on the links help but really, the one with the answers is the one you saw a year ago...hey...take a lesson from my Dad and type the guy a letter!! nice and professional looking and you will get a printed answer that you can study!! My Dad and I are the kind of people that learn slowly and by repetition...seeing something in print helps cement the answer in our brains!! gracious I miss my Dad...anyway go back or write the MD or both!! its your information Cory, and its different from anything found in a book,learned from someone else or online! go get it!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I am so glad your health is improved!! and that is exactly what is done for this symptom; diuretic (lasix) diet and exercise.

However, continue with regular visit to your cardiologist or primary doctor and always remember an emergency is shortness of breath, fainting, dizziness or chest pain!

cory 5 years ago

thank you i am too and i love weight training that was part of what killed me was being unable to workout or playing with my kids. i am unfortunately on a very low budget so i avoid hospitals and docs unless i feel like im dying ive never felt that close to death i just wish i knew what caused it all to happen

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I wish I knew as well..just keep on taking care of yourself...and dont neglect any MD appointment!

especially with lasix...its usually given with potassium as lasix takes all your own potassium away from your body;but sometimes your potassium level is good enough not to require it so blood tests are needed about every quarter to check your potassium level.

this is very important! stay well Cory!

cory 5 years ago

thank you i plan to ive been watching mystery diagnossi alot and i started thinking abotu my situation i was told here take lasics change your diet or your going to die thats all i got told after they saw my heart. no heres whats wrong i thank god every day that im back to normal just scary to think it could happen again

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RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

stay well Cory!

cory 5 years ago

i plan to im just glad to know how to get the info i want

Judy51 5 years ago

I have had over the last 10 years major problems with my legs. I have had Flesh eating disease, blood infection, cellulitis, blood clot, ulcers, weeping. Today I have the worst weeping I have ever had in my life. The fluid was coming out so fast that when I walk I left a wet foot print. I am using menstrual pads to collect the liquid and wearing compression stockings. I have my legs elevated and I also have taking Furosemide 20 mg. I have soaked 8 pads today. If I can't get this under control by Monday I will make a Doctors appt.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Judy, I am so worried for you! I am so glad you are going to the MD!! But I would add that no matter what! you go! and of course, if you cannot get the weeping controlled with the pads, if bare tissue is exposed, if you are not urinating enough, if there is a foul odor to the fluid from your legs you need to go to urgent care or preferably emergency room this weekend! I want you to pay attention and get yourself looked at this weekend if anything happens! OK?

Tania 5 years ago

My nana is 100 and has swelling in both legs from the knee down. She was on oral antibiotics for 5 days and then intraveinous for 6 days and it is not improving. Otherwise, she is well and has good blood pressure and a strong heart. She has pressure bandage on her legs which were weeping fluid too. Any thoughts on why it is not responding to antibiotics? Thanks

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RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I am afraid I cannot answer this Tania, I'm sorry. The swelling must be related to an infection, with your Nana getting antibiotics? I'm sorry I don't know. Keep talking to your Nana's infection control MD..the one who is ordering the antibiotics, and see if you can find out what the infection is.

JUW 5 years ago

This is a great hub with lots of info, but I'm confused. Fourteen months ago, on the subject of wrapping legs that are weeping, you advised Tucson Mom to "wash legs twice daily with antibacterial soap and water, pat do not rub dry, wrap with four inch wide kerlix or wrapping gauze but not tight!! never apply any copression at all!! EVER!!!" And further, "...then take four inch wide ace wrap and again no compression..." I'm questioning the "no compression" because it seems in every other post where you discuss weeping you give the opposite advice. So when to apply compression and when not? My husband suffers from terrible edema in both legs and I've been wrapping them tightly with ace bandages - one has begun to weep so I'm wondering how to proceed with the wrapping.

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RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good morning JUW thank you for your comment and I will explain my reasoning: compression is used when a vascular diagnosis is the definitive diagnosis. to err on the side of caution, don't used compression without an MD order. The problem comes with an arterial problem is the cause of weeping edema.

Albeit, vascular is most common as to a reason and compression is often used for vascular however I will always err on the side of caution and of course, never do any kind of wrapping without physician advice and continued evaluation. Also don't forget the edema and then the weeping is not the problem/it is only a secondary symptom of the problem itself. And for that, you must see a primary MD, probably a cardiologist and maybe a vascular MD as well. I hope that cleared up your question and I hope your husband improves. barbara b

Penny Doll 5 years ago

Hi RNMSN, I just came across this post after getting home from the ER due to extreme swelling in my calves, feet, toes, etc. I've had it for 3 days straight now, and has not decreased. I have little/to no pitting, my legs are almost 3 times the size now, and very tight n painful. There is no weeping, and not really red. Pronounced veins tho. Only time I had swelling like this was while pregnant 5 yrs ago, and had a small vein clot in the back of my knee. Before continuing, let me tell you that I have a very long medical history. I have MS, seizures, fibromyalgia, fractured t-6 vertebrae, c-4 thru c-6 herniated discs, and osteoarthritis due to all the steroids I've needed to take for my MS.

My question for you is, could my fracture in my t-6 be impinging my spinal cord n causing this swelling? The ER dr. told me that I had no swelling, did a ultrasound and found no thrombosis', etc. They did no urine or bloodwork, and told me that I was exhagerating, and she saw no swelling, and had no edema since there wasnt a pit mark when she touched me. But when I showed her pics on my phone of how my legs normally look, and that theyre now 3 times the size +, she still told me there was no difference and I'll live, just avoid salt n put my feet up. (Which I've been doing, Im not dumb. But after the way she treated and spoke to me, I feel it now.)

I don't know what else to do. I have Medicaid, and my Medicare thru my SSI n SSD wont kick in until Jan of this year. I can't find a dr, Im treated as an addict since I'm on heavy duty chronic pain meds, and in NJ finding a dr to take Medicaid is almost impossible. I've been waiting 8 months for an appt with the clinic thru the local ER I just went to. Should I find or go to another ER? Could this be a symptom of my fractured back getting worse? I've kept a picture record of my legs for the past 3 days since its started. What else can I do? Should I be worried? I'm at my witts end, and Im glad I found your page. Any info/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.


Penny Doll 5 years ago

I just wanted to add to my last post and give you a little more info. I am a 28 yr old female, with the aforementioned medical problems. I've had a complete/total hysterectomy in Nov. 08 due to severe Endometriosis. So it's not due to period weight or anything like that. I'm not sure if this helps, but figured the rest of my info/story may add some insight to this. Thank you again.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Penny

Waiting to see a physician is frustrating I know! Pictures of yur legs are good but your weight is actually the hallmark way to monitor edema...

there is edema that is very tight but usually makes your legs look shiny and tight...pitting edema is just one kind of edema...

if you cannot do your weight every day, same time of day, same type of clothes and write it down then you could use a tape measurer, like the one used for sewing, and measure your calves at the fullest point/usually 6 inches below the top of your knee

these two ways really show the physicians exactly what is going on and how much

although the MD still wont get worried without other sysmptoms such as difficulty breathing, weeping of fluid from your legs, irregular heartbeat....and of course if you have those types of symptoms then the numbers would just be gravy...

the fractured areas of the thoracic vertebrae would/I expect/ also cause tingling, numbness, pain, even worse difficulty with mobility than is already present with the multiple sclerosis so I am at a loss as to the cause.I will be thinking about you and I think keeping a written record of your weight and calf measurement would be an excellent tool until you see a physician!

Jean Manifold 5 years ago

My husband was diagnosed with a huge ulcer on his leg, his one leg is always swollen due to MS also he had a heart attack 3 years ago then he was hit by a car, then he had shingles and now this ulcer on his huge leg. He was given some antibiotic for his leg and is told to keep it up above his heart or he may loose his leg. He is stubborn and thinks it is not a big deal.

commercialjunkie 5 years ago

Before I tell my story, Ijust want to thank you.

The information here is outstanding to say the

least. You have given people hope and a peace of

mind.I have been to the clinic and Cleaveland

clinic sites and the both give the same information

ver batim. Your Hub is golden.

Now about me.

I have been diagnosed with chronic vein

insufficiency. I have two sores on my legs for

about a year now.I go to a veterans clinic. They

tried several things and finally put the unna boot

on both legs. It did not work.

They sent me to the ER because they thought I might

have a blood clot. I didn't but I did have an

infection in my leg.I was given an antibiotic, I

take the last pill tomorrow. My problem is both my

legs are still very painful. My left leg feels as

if something inside it is twisting and untwisting.

My right leg just plain hurts. By the time I go to

bed both my legs are swollen to the max and are

just screaming. It takes at least 4 hours for them

to unswell and stop hurting. I would elevate them

and they would hurt even more so I would take them

down. I just read in an earlier post of yours that

this was normal.

My question is, if I am sitting in the bed is that

elevated enough or do I have to put something under

them to lift them higher.

Another problem of mine is that one of my wounds is

leaking a clear fluid at a rate that I can't afford

all the bandages since I have to change them every

30 minutes or less, any suggestions?

I will be getting something called SNAP but that is

not until November, meanwhile I hope that there is

something I can do for the pain and leaking fluid

as I am not getting much sleep.

Thanks again for all that you do.

Oh I forgot to ask if there ws anything wrong with

using a heating pad on my leg if I don't put it

directly on the wound.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Jean. You must be nearly frantic about your husband! The worst thing is knowing what to do (elevate the leg) but not being able to get the person to comply! Be watchful for signs of complications and call or get your husband to the MD if these occur: severe pain, swelling more than what is there now, reddness, warmth and of course foul odor.

commercialjunkie, thank you for your kind words. I wish I were smarter and could send you to the person that would be able to fix your legs :)

For myself, the pain you are going through would be my undoing...and since pain is the bodies way of telling us there is something really wrong here I would add that I want you to pay attention to any changes in that pain! It gets the physician!and the worst part is that pain is always worse when the sun goes down isnt it!

unna boot didnt work eh? more absorbent dressing...I am betting you are already doing the four inch gauze wrapping? Then the answer has to be with a product that will wick the moisture and keep it off the good skin and let the product stay in place....makes me tink of calcum alginate or seaweed dressing...they are pricey but might work...what is snap? a type of ins? I know about the food stamp snap any rate, once the next couple of wks go and you get into Nov I would hope you can get into a wound care clinic and get some consistent and paid for! help with your ulcer.

no, you cannot use a heating pad! save it for your back or your neck :)

no, sitting in bed just cuts off the circulation at your hips/waist cause your legs are bent and with your vascular inconsistency you cannot afford to cut off the circulation on purpose! elevtion for you means 2 pillows and make sure you put them under your knees and the other under your calves.any higher and you cut the circulation off at the hip again.over your heart sounds like you should be standing on your head all the time doesn't it? but all it means is to get your toes level with your nose when you are flat...thats just an increase of 20 or 25 degrees right? (math and I are extremely distant relations)

SilliSusan 5 years ago

Wow, amazing site. Love your humor and interactions with the people. Think most times I prefer (and trust)the nurses over the doctors, certainly more human. Like so many others I am guilty of being very obese (340 pounds, 5'3", very sedentary- work is at the computer and life very out of control. Walking and daily life becoming very difficult. I have had edema for 5-6 years but much worse lately. Have high blood pressure, untreated for 5 years as I did not appreciate the damage it was causing and treated for 5 years. Blood pressure still out of control averaging 150+/100+ on 4 meds . Taking Lasix 20 mg, atenolol 25 mg, ramipril 10 mg, and Cozaar 100 mg, plus synthroid .112, very faithful taking everything but the lasix. It has been suggested by the nurses (who I see mostly) but not proven that my heart is probably enlarged. Dr has vetoed tests that she wanted when I asked if we know if my heart is ok. Thought if I knew this for sure I would not be so afraid to push myself a little more as right now I have to lean on the cupboard just to manage peeling potatoes. Feel fine sitting and want to do things such as clean, then when I stand up I am lightheaded and my head sometimes "throbs but doesn't hurt" if that makes any sense and feel like I can't do it, give up and go sit back down. I have told them this, they acknowledge this but do not remark about it. Anyway back to edema, legs often weep,have had it up to a week. Had one sore (cat scratch took 9 months to heal) and now left with a hard core there. Legs and feet so swollen they do not even go away after a nights sleep. My big question is , I am supposed to take Lasix every day but many, many days I am not comfortable taking it. Sometimes it is because I feel dehydrated. My urine can be very dark, or very deep yellow, despite trying to drink the water, and then it will finally go light, but then again later back to being dark. Also, it is such an inconvenience if you need to go out places, etc and I skip taking it if I have to be going out for the day . I am not sure how to manage this. I feel like I need the lasix and want to take it but that I should not take it sometimes. Meanwhile, my legs and feet are still huge and leave indents. Often the skin is shiny and peels. Hands get so fat too if I don’t take it. Doctor is very "old school" and I get flustered trying to talk to him. Health care is free here but very difficult to be able to change Drs, and if he does not agree to tests etc there is nowhere to turn as there is no private care here. Only thing ever done was bloodwork, which they actually do often, no urine, no other tests. Supposedly kidney function, and all is well. They don't really give you any numbers for the most part, just say it is good. Try to ask for more info and end of feeling stupid. She said she will watch the numbers. They do watch the sugars quite often A1c 6.2 few weeks ago, but I am not diabetic. 52 years old. I know I feel much better when I take the lasix (lately when I haven't taken if for about a week I get extremely exhausted trying to do anything and hard to breath, and can hear noises when I breath out. If I start taking the lasix this all clears up to some extent. Then I will take it for a few days because I know I am reaching a crisis point but then the cycle starts all over again, I feel good, maybe feel dehydrated yet legs still swollen and not sure I should take it. But should I still be taking it when my mouth is dry and urine is dark -- please I don't feel like I can discuss this with the Dr's office. Love your column, I know it must use up a lot of your time, and you are not a Dr. Nurses are underestimated. Our doctors are now using a lot of health practitioners (RN's with much more training) and they are amazing but they can only do so much without the Dr's support. Thank you in advance for your help.

SilliSusan 5 years ago

Just wanted to say sorry for the length of previous post.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good Morning Susan! Don't worry about the length of the comment, I don't mid :)

you know you answered your own question dont you? yep, gotta take the lasix. It sure is a pain having to go to the bathroom so often isn't it? and if we really do as we are supposed to then add 6-8 glasses of (ugh) water a day to that and we are doing nothing else but going to the bathroom!

However :) did you know if you get into the habit of taking lasix every morning and drinking a glass of water every 3 hours that in a month you won't be going to the bathroom all the time?

Its the changing of the habit that does us in. the body will accept the lasix and settle down to a dull roar on the water making department but the instant you skip a day/wanting to go shopping or a movie etc/ then the body says "wait now what oh great I have to go through this again!" and the cycle will start all over.

and yes, getting past those several weeks are a drag but remember it will settle down :)

as for the edema thats the one thing that will help the most,taking the lasix, course remember about salt, pickles, saurkraut all those foods that cause fluid retention have to not be seen by you again :) and of course elevate your legs, as in a recliner every day, walk in the house if thats all you can do, that will help the pumping action and get the fluid back to yur heart.

and it sounds like a contradiction but 6-8 glasses of fluid (ugh water is the best but OK tea will do) actually creates the shift in fluid! sort of like priming the pump, you have to add water to make water come out of your body :)

you keep on working at this Susan, I will be thinking of you!

SilliSusan 5 years ago

Thank you again, I will attempt to be better with the lasix.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

way to go Susan and I will keep thinking about you so dont feel like you are alone out need to just complain or need a shoulder or drop me a line here! :)barbara b

Karla 5 years ago

This article was very informative ... thanks SO much!! :)

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RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

my pleasure Karla! thanks for the encouraging words :)

Lynne O'Dell 5 years ago

Hello what an interesting site I stumbled upon!! I live in Australia and my 86 year old Mum , who has had heart faiure twice, woke up 2 weeks ago with one very large leg full of fluid, which that evening let out two towels of clear fluid. Because Mum had chipped a bone in that particular foot, she was convinced that was the swelling...

Well the doctor increased the fluid tabs and an appointment with a cardiologist has been made....but Mum is flat in her voice I think she is now pondering if everything is starting to deteriorate and I could cry every day worrying for her..SO a big thank you for this lovely, friendly forum you have :)

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Lynne! I will pray your Mum gets relief from that leg! I am sure the physician checked for a clot? and the fluid pills are helping? Your Mum is flat in her voice? does that mean she is a bit worn out? getting diuresed can make you feel totally wiped out! and the pills will pull that fluid off her body pretty fast and make sure she doesn't get dehydrated...I know you all right and let me know how she is!

Ang 4 years ago

My friend is in the hospital, just diagnosed with heart failure and has some sort of thick fluid sacks around her lungs. Docs still don't know what it is. She has lupus and has been recieving Cytoxin for a few months. Anyways... She has been in for 8 days and started developing edema. Her legs are constantly elevated and she has been wearing compression socks. The edema spread up to her abdomen and has been leaving two inch deep impressions at the top of her underwear. Today her abdomen started weeping, she woke up in a soaked bed from it. The docs say there is nothing they can do, but we all feel unsure about that. Is there anything you know of?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I know you are so worried about your friend. Lupus causes such stress on both the heart and lungs and it is hard to hear there is nothing else that can be done. Lupus usually causes cardiopulmonary complications although all systems of the body are affected in the most common form of lupus/systemic lupus.

Sometimes persons with lupus develop both heart failure (fluid around the heart) and pleuritis (fluid around the lungs) and of course this is very serious.

I hope your friend will have relief soon.

commercialjunkie 4 years ago

Hello again. I went to my appointment last week so they could take a look at my wound. T had just taken my last antibiotic pill for cellulitis. Shouldn't they have swabbed my wound again to see if I still had it. It is still very painful,warm and red. One other thing:0 why do my legs sting so much when I get out of bed in the morning.

Does this mean that while I am lying down my legs are not getting any circulation and standing starts the circulation?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

bottom to top: you have circulation while sleeping but when you stand the blood really rushes to your toes and thats the stinging sensation like its just waking up

some MD will wait a few dys to a wk before getting another culture of the wound IF they want another one at all...maybe the MD thought it looked good?

you have another appt I hope?

commercialjunkie 4 years ago

I do have an appointment on Nov.2. There are supposed to put something called SNAP ( on my legs. I was wondering if I could have something called Lipodermatosclerosis. I find it very hard to stand for more than 5 minutes a time. Makes it hard to do the dishes or cook. Any way thanks for listening.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh wow I know about this! it is like the KCI wound vac..negative pressure that keeps the wound bed moist and heals rapidly! it is fantastic and SNAP looks to be much lighter and easier to tote around than the wound vac!

so this means your wounds are small and doesnt involve your whole leg and that is encouraging!

I had to look up both SNAP and lipodermatosclerosis...I learned a lot this morning! so do you fit all or most of the criteria? more importantly the color and shape of your legs/are they like the pics? not that it really matters as the treatment will still be the same and worse, cannot involve the one thing that helps (compression hose) until your ulcers get well. And are the wounds definitely venous stasis ulcers?

shallow, below the calf,not perfectly round, surrounding skin is brown hard and painful and edges are sometimes yellow and crusty.

I know how wanting to know what is happening can override everythig else but if your hysician is going to use the negative pressure treatment on the wounds then you are on the right road now! the worst thing is, regardless of the defiintion of what is causing the wounds you will have to deal with this from now on and that will not be easy

So you hang in there, keep the wounds clean and dry until next week when you can get the SNAP! Neg pressure works great!

Bambhoo 4 years ago

Kudos to a great blog and informative post. I however wanted to add that venous stasis/ stasis dermatitis and ulcer are due mainly to incompetent or absent venous valve causing decreased venous return and increased dependent fluid retention which will then change the intravascular pressure and later on cause seepage of this fluid interstitially.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you Bambhoo

"worried" 4 years ago


I posted about four weeks ago on my mom, who had valve replacement surgery, and then developed swelling in her ankles. Since then the doctor lowered the lasix dosage down to only ten mg. Then the swelling was still there so he increased to twenty mg. As of last week the swelling is not just in the ankles but also now on her lower legs as well. The area also has developed reddish blotches. She went back to the dr. He did an echogram and said he found fluid in the heart muscle, which he said in turn brings on the fluid in the legs and ankles. In the morning it goes down but increases throughout the day and she is very uncomfortable (she said her legs and toes feel tight). He increased her lasix to 40 mg now and will check her potassium level in four weeks. (She is not taking the potassium pills now as her level was a slight notch high from previous potassium pills she took.) The dr. told her to be sure to eat bananas while on the lasix. She is concerned about long term use of the lasix doing any damage to her kidneys, etc. I'm also wondering why the redness is there, is it common?... and if the lasix eventually should take care of the problem ??? She never had any swelling in this area before the surgery. Any advice you can give would be appreciated.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good Morning! I am sorry the fluid seems to be a persistant problem. I wonder if the valve surgery exacerbated a problem of fluid in the heart muscle that was already present before surgery?

taking the lasix and maybe having kidney problems is the necessary evil...otherwise the fluid in the heart will solve every problem right? and that is not acceptable. the dark red to pikish color is an affect of the fluid trying to work its way out of the vessels (cause the heart cannot pump hard enough to get the fluid back up to the heart and lungs)and pools at the surface of the legs. the lasix will not cure the problem...your Mom may have to go into the outpatient clinic every now and then to be diuresed/where lasix and other diuretic meds are given intravenously/in order to pull a lot of fluid off her heart in a short amount of time. Hopefully that won't happen for a while but your physician may well instruct you and your Mom to do daily weights in the AM, same clothes on, and record it daily...any increase of 5 lbs/wk or 3 lbs in one day and she must see the MD immediately.The number one symptom that is a red flag and means see the MD i the morning is your Mom going to urinate more often at, if she usually gets up twice and then one night she gets up 4-5 times thats a huge warning sign OK? I know you are so worried and be sure to ask every question you can think of at the MD office! If you cant remember all of them take a tip from my Daddy/he wrote the MD letters! They write or call back too!course you know the admonition about writing ques on a piece of paper and taking it with you to the MD...that and the MD nurse...they are the best :)

"worried" 4 years ago

Thanks for your response and most valuable information. I will follow up on everything you suggested.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

you go :) I hope all will be well for your Momma!

Jayewo 4 years ago

Thank you for all this information! I have a problem. My Mom is 90, living alone, has congestive heart failure and severe edema. She will not see a doctor but has been promising to go since spring [we kids live 1000 miles away].

Tonight she said that after cutting her leg on something today she wrapped her leg in a towel and put a rubber band at top and bottom and the weeping and bleeding stopped. This does not sound good.

She's on lasix, but still eats food that has salt in it and hardly moves from her chair.We are all beside ourselves and wonder if she is going to die if she doesn't get medical help. She seems to think she is outsmarting us all by doing things "her own way" Any advice on how to get her to a doctor's appointment? We make appointments and she cancels them. Her heart doctor won't see her any more because he tried to hospitalize her and she wouldn't go.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

uh oh I have met your Momma's type of patient so many times over the years! When I first started home health I was a definite rule breaker and would impose my nursing will indiscriminately! I would call the ambulance, go to the emer rm with them, call their family so far away and make them do what I said!

This is not the way to try and get someone help.

The hardest lesson I have ever learned is one my boss drummed into my head "You cannot force a patient to do what YOU think or even what the Doctor knows is best, Barbara"

I know how terrible this sounds to you Jayewo...I railed against it for years! All you can do is continue to talk to your Mom, offer help (MD appt, home health, clinics, even respite at an assisted living for a couple of mos if you can swing it $) and listen, listen hard and tell your Mom you love her and only want to help. I know this is pitifully little to hear but it is a BIG something to do. Bless your Momma and you too.

commercialjunkie 4 years ago

OK, they put the SNAP on. It did not hurt much just a small pinch. They could not get a seal so they ended up taking them off. Tomorrow home health will be putting on the unna boot again. I am supposed to get a consult to see if I have some need for vein surgery. Not sure what that means. They did say if I need surgery then Snap would not work for me anyway. I think I have cellulitis again or still. I know one thing for sure. I am going to lose weight once my leg heals as to not be in this situation again. Can I put ice pads on my legs, they burn like the dickens.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

dadgumit!! couldnt get a seal! how frustrating!

well I am glad you finally get a vascular surgeon consult! I hope that cellulitis isnt acting up but only irritated from all the manipulation from the machine (snap)

no ice! I am just full of the exclamatory marks this morning arent I :) hang in there junkie!! next up for you is an ABI index and a doppler study.

Donna 4 years ago

I have blood work in the morning. I have edema- that I didn't notice because my legs are skinny despite my weight. I have high blood pressure and have been taking Benicar 20mg once a day (usually at bedtime). I have gained weight despite diet and exercise in the last year- 25 lbs. I joined the roller derby and cannot keep up- my legs and feet ache so bad after just 20 minutes- but then towards the end of practice (about an hour and a half in) I feel fine, no pain, ready to skate- and by then all the girls are tired and taking off their gear. FRUSTRATING. Curious about if it's the Benicar or something more- but I am so sore in my legs and in the mornings I can barely walk. This article was helpful! If you have advice on what to ask my dr. in the morning- that would be great!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hell Donna! So what I am hearing is you have swelling and pain in your legs? Your BP med, Benicar works by keeping your blood vessels open however Benicar can also cause sweeling in your hands legs and feet and it can also make your legs that may be too easy an answer and I am just a nurse too so I am glad you are going to see your MD tomorrow! But I would for sure ask if that could be why you cant skate! :) and thank you for your comment about the helpfulness of the article that means a lot to me!

Barbara B

jayewo 4 years ago

Thanks for the supporting comments!

You are a good person.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Thank you Jayewo. I have been thinking about you and your Momma this past week...we see and hear from the people we are supposed to learn from you know? You hang in there OK?


rhonda 4 years ago

I am now back on the unna boots. I had to take them off last Wednesday because of drainage. I called in to see if the would clinic would see me because I was in severe pain. The wound Nurse cleaned all three of my wounds. By the time she got finished I was in crying. she doesn't know why the wounds hurt so much, she sain the nerve endings should be dead. It even hurts when she sprays it with wound cleaner. Any thoughts as to what is going on?

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

everybody has different levels of pain...ever had a GYN MD tell you a pap smear wont hurt? so dont worry that there is something horrible happening...your pain level is not the same as the person next to you is all and dont hesitate to ask the wound nurse to spray the gauze 1st then lay the gauze on your leg! I have had patients hurt so badly all I could do was lay the wet gauze on their legs and just place my gloved hand over it/couldnt even dab it! and also Rhonda get a driver and then take a pain pill before you go to the clinic! I hope the weeping slows down soon for you and the pain calms down too!

Graeme1967 4 years ago

Hello Barbara,

i have a very unusual one for you. (It's a dog!)

My Mastiff was diagnosed with Pemphigus Foliaceus approximately 2 years ago. The treatment consisted of Prednisilone and Azathioprine to "reboot" the immune system. This has successfully put the Pemphigus into remission, but i still use 20mg Prednisilone every other day to keep it at bay. (dog weighs 60kg)

A side effect of the steroids is terrible Oedema in the lower legs and feet, particularly the back left leg. In between the "toes" the skin weeps a clear liquid which is quite smelly and the skin goes from pink to very red depending on the medication. To make matters worse my vet says there is a Pseudomonas infection that has so far defeated all antibiotic treatment. I am using pure salmon oil and carrots in his diet to try to reduce/cure the swelling but after 4 months there hasn't been any improvement. My vet says that the circulation is compromised due to the steroids, his main concern is keeping the Pemphigus under control. My concern is that my dogs feet hurt when walking on anything other than smooth or soft ground.

Can you give me any advice please,

Thanks in advance,


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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh bless him

well you have the pemphigus treatment all but the gold injections

but the psuedomonas is a fungus type infection and is best treated with acetic acid (thats vinegar water) and I am sure your vet will tell you or give you some

its really easy to make/we used to make it in patients homes just salt water and vinegar is all very weak on the vinegar of course/ wetting the cloths/nice soft whte sheet all cut up would be fine and you can wash them in really hot sudsy water afterwards/then wrap his paw in it for as long as he will allow'll have to rinse it/use salt water/so he wont lick so much of it up

I bet your vet will say "for sure!" about this treatment and I hope I hope your mastiff and you will be out walking in no time!

course you have to walk at dusk and on cloudy days eh?


not sure what to do 4 years ago

My mother has had this chronic weeping edema of her legs for over a year. She had congestive heart failure last year which was compounded by a heart attack 6 years before, so triple bypass was recommended which she had last year. Ever since then, she has red and swollen legs at times (not all the time) and right now she has a couple of blisters where the scab has just fallen off. One is seeping, one not but quite red. She is also diabetic and takes Lantis daily. So far, no abnormal increase in sugar or temp. She had this same thing happen six weeks ago and went to our family doc who prescribed antibiotics. Now it's happening again. Last time, nothing was done to the leg but this time I'm having her follow your directions about washing in antibacterial soap, drying and then wrapping in gauze. I think she may be seeing the doc again Mon if things don't start turning around tomorrow. My question is: should she be going to our regular family doc for these repeated occurrences, which don't seem to be solved, or a cardiologist or ? I can't see that our regular doc is helping much. He has a specialization in cardiology, but that's not the same as an actual cardiologist. Thanks. John

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good Morning John I know you are so worried about your Momma! I think if it were my Mom I would see the cardiologist/with CHF this isnt something that only happens once then its done/its a condition where the heart cannot effectively pump the blood and fluid well enough for the entire body

Now, John, if the bypass did what is hoped then of course the CHF would no longer be a problem

But if so why the edema is the question so yes, go back to the cardiologist. Many MDs carry a specialty other than the one they do regularly and are very good so the MD you are seeing may be enough/its up to you and your Mom.

Another thing as well does your Mom see her endocrinologist regularly as well? have you asked if the edema and weeping could be due to diabetes? With so many different diagnosis be sure that every specialist is seen on a regular basis! I hope she will get better soon.

John 4 years ago

Thank you. I just lost my dad in April due to a chronic infection that wouldn't go away. He too was diabetic (over 40 years) but for a much longer time than my mother (my mother has been diabetic for about 20 years with insulin for the last 3 years). She still seems to heal, but it would take a huge amount of time for my dad to heal. Anyway, she tells me that her legs have been swollen for about the last 5 years ever since she was in the hospital one time and had IV fluids. Some of those fluids, she says, never left her system. I don't know. She of course had a build up of fluid when she had CHF last year and they used IV lasix to help rid the excess fluids before doing the triple bypass. The triple bypasses purpose was really to go around the stents she had from the heart attack 7 years ago, and not necessarily a treatment for her CHF. The surgeon said her CHF might improve after the bypass with time. Her ejection factor was 35 just before the bypass. Right after the bypass, there was a lot of excess fluid in both legs and they gave her extra diuretics to reduce the fluid. Most of the fluid is now gone, but her legs now occasionally get swollen and red. If the swollen state goes on too long, she inevitably ends up with blistering and seeping. Her diabetic control isn't what I would call good, neither was my dad's. One doctor called them both "brittle diabetics". I've tried to help her control her sugar and she does eat all the right things like unsweetened oatmeal for breakfast along with 1/2 slice of wheat toast, a turkey sandwich on rye for lunch, and very often a salad with low cal dressing at dinner. Her BS in the morning often runs from 90-130; at night often low 70-85 and she must eat at bedtime. However, it is between meals that her sugar goes high. We don't check it at lunch, but when we have it's like 250-350. The doc has always told her to cover this with the sliding scale of humulin (in addition to the lantus she gets in the morning- 30 units), but humulin might take 10 hours to "bottom out" versus the normal person where it's out of their system in 3 hours. Therefore, humulin's effectiveness is slow with her and she tends not to use it because it causes unpredictable hypoglycemia. I have investigated this and I'm not sure what the alternatives are. My brother has "insulin resistance" and takes a completely different type of medicine, I forget the name, but the meds goal is to make you nauseous after eating a certain amount of food. His sugar is much better controlled, but the med is now not as effective as it was when he first started it. I suspect my mother has some insulin resistance too. She certainly doesn't eat very much, that's for sure. She also doesn't have an endocrinologist as she (and I) aren't sure how much he could do beyond what she is already doing. I do know that when she was in rehab after her bypass last year, they of course weren't great on special diets (a "universal" meal for everyone no matter what condition) and her BS ran hyperglycemic all the time, even when using the sliding scale. So, it's a baffling problem for sure. Her seepage doesn't look as bad this evening. She has been washing her legs with antibiotic soap, just patting them, allowing them to dry, and then applying gauze. I wish she could put something on the exposed areas, but she is allergic to neosporin and I don't know what else is available OTC. When my dad used to have ulcers not quite as large on his feet, his podiatrist would have him wipe each sore with Dakin's Solution or coat with Silver Sulfadiazine. If there was something to be drained, he would use the wet-dry Dakin's patch. I don't know if it would be a good idea to pat my mother's sore areas with Dakin's or not. I'm having trouble keeping the gauze on and switched to a 4x4 pad this evening held on with paper tape. I don't think this will hold well either, honestly. If you haven't guessed, I'm desperately trying to avoid another doc visit. She (and I) both get "white coat syndrome" so BP runs 30-40 points higher than when at home. Not great when the doc doesn't like the BP!

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh dear John

reading through your note I was thinking "she needs to eat more often but still little bits" and then got to where you said rehab tried that and her blood glucose was worse! a delimma...

wonder what her HgBA1c is doing? problem is with brittleness comes the rollercoaster effect and thats what most MD mean about 'brittle' is that the blood glucose goes up then down so rapidly within just 3-4 hrs

and the worst part is that with the blood glucose too high or too low the person isnt recieving the insulin (whether from the lantus or their pancreas) nor are they receiving oxygen because the two things bind together in the blood. So food sits in the system not being turned into fuel and oxygen sits there not getting to vital organs (brain, heart, kidneys, legs) which is why nurses will say take the regular insulin and check your blood glucose every 4 hrs

not an option though if, like your Mom, she isnt able to easily do this or if you have to work and arent there 24/7

and yes with the sliding scale you have to check that sugar at midnght and 4AM along with all the other 20 hrs of the day so thats just not an easy option

I love the clorox water/used it many many times in home health

but remember its for the bacterium staphylcoccus/not for a clean ulcer...but I wouldnt opt for the neosporin either for the same reason/sometimes we hurry put antibiotic ointment on something and it doesnt need it then the area will actually get worse!then it does need something so we've shot ourselves in the foot

the silver dressing is option for that would be zinc/desitin/ but you have to be really careful with that especially if your Mom is allergic to neosporin she might react badly to desitin

I just keep coming back to the MD...I would want her seen...that diabetes is so insiduous that the longer we ignore or try to patch up a problem the more sorrow it is wracking up for us in the end! and of course I would also urge you to check her blood sugar more often John and keep a logbook

so I still think 3 MDs not just one ( my honey has white coat syndrome too so I definitely sympathize but make him go anyway) and if the area gets to where you cannot see any improvement in a 14 day span then its time to ask for the wound care clinic too...those nurses are so fantastic and can help so much!

and I am a huge fan of having lots of helping hands and bright minds around you to help!


kgday 4 years ago

thank u! you've done a great job of bringing it all together and i enjoyed reading it! bravo!!

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you!

Jayewo 4 years ago

My Mom finally saw her cardiac doctor yesterday after procrastinating since early spring when she became unable to walk more than a few feet at a time because her legs are so painful.

When I asked her how it went she said that the subject of her weeping edema never came up [!]

She thinks it's not serious and said she is just going to sit quietly until it gets better.

No comment is needed - I just needed to share my amazement.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

how can I not at least remark on the fact that my mouth is hanging open! :( Doesnt this make you want to say to your Mom what my Dad always said to me "Why don't you just come home and let me run your life!"

rosa 4 years ago

Hi, I read the blog and it helped me to understand things i'd never had to deal with before. Thank you for all the information.

My question is: my mom's legs are so very red and she has in the past had open sores, which have healed. What could that reddish be, just an infection? Her doctor had her on antibiotics and her legs hurt, although they're not really swollen, except after she had traveled a whole day, then they where swollen for several days.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

well, of course your Momma's Md would be the best to answer this but usually the color red has to do with the circulation...the legs are so far away from the heart and the blood is working so hard trying to get back to the heart and lungs. The pressure that takes narrows the vessels and some of the fluid seeps out and gets close to the surface of the legs/hence/red color and sometimes swelling and then open sores

same thing for the would be a good thing to take your Mom to a vascular physician and get the circulation checked out. Sometimes all thats needed are support hose in the day,then wash and dry and cream at night to make a huge difference! I hope thats all it takes for your Mom!

rosa 4 years ago

Thank you for your response. She is seeing a doctor, just seems like whatever he does, doesn't seem to help all that much. But i'll try n get her to a vascular physician.

Thank you again.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

it can be so discouraging but keep searching for answers!good luck!

shekhar 4 years ago

my mother foot have swelling last 3.5 years. we use many type of treatment but no result. i want to advise that what we do ?

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

ood Morning Shekhar Swelling of just one foot could be circulation related or just an old injury. The best thing to do would be to see the doctor and let the doctor take it from there

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timterrible 4 years ago from Ada, Oklahoma USA

I have had alot of swelling, numbness and recurring weepage from my leg for several years now... I am overweight (which I know isn't helping and I need to work on)have a familial history of diabetes and hypertension although last time I went to doctor blood pressure was normal to maybe the high end of normal range .... speculation among my family is I am probably diabetic as well although doctor only said might be/borderline/inconclusive ....also full disclosure... I dont go to doctors often... (poor so can't afford it plus dont really trust most of them anyway) any suggestions as far as best way to clean and treat weeping sites and what I should do in regards to the problem in general? thanks for your help

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh Tim bless your heart

and its probably starting there/your heart/ but with the maybe diabetes of course that doesnt help

ok so swelling and weeping is usually circulatory and a problem with now being able to move the fluid in your blood vessels from heart to toes back to lungs and heart again...unless there is an occlusion but then only one leg would usually be affected

so bottom line of course is the dreaded MD and usually two of them...a general and a heart or vascular doctor

in the meantime/money and trust isssues taken into account :) /care of your legs:

clean and dry of course...antibacterial soap and warm water and never scrub no matter how bad you want to get the ughies off!!!! the tiniest pinprick of an opening will cause your fluid to pour out like crazy and takes forever to close over again

so pat and dab never rub or scrub

then you can try a little lotion but it has to be the expensive kind and cannot have any perfume at all in nivea is OK

and dont use a ton of it..and dont be have to rub with the lotion but no fair rubbing hard even if its itching like the devil which I know it does...

and prop your legs up of course but dont prop so far you cut off the circulation at your thighs...

then for food of course watch the sodum/salt and read the labels/max of 2300mg of sodium every day and less is best/towards the 1500mg side thats for your BP and water retention...and limit the fried foods and red meats (includes pork) to 3 times a wk or less again for your P and water retention...and if at all possible eat little meals several times a day specifically 6 times a day is best and thats for your borderline diabetes and BP and swelling

finally Tim and dont yawn I saw that :) try walking 15 minutes in one direction and 15 minutes back 3 times/wk for 2 wks then 4 times/wk for 2 wks and 5 times/wk for 2 wks then still in 2 wk increments increase the time by 10 minutes every two wks....the pumping action of walking will increase the circulation in your legs and get that fluid back where it belongs.

I took advantage of you Tim by going all through this entire plan...when all you wanted was the care and cleaning...but just know I care and want to help and wish you the best health/after all you deserve it!

love to you

barbara b

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timterrible 4 years ago from Ada, Oklahoma USA

Thank you so much for your advice and I will begin trying to implement it immediately... you are providing a wonderfully helpful service on here and I want you to know that I , for one, really appreciate it thanks again =)

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you TIm

isnt it funny that the first ones we hubbers write stay the best and most read?

ut yes, I ike sister reminded me today that when we were small/like 6 and 5yrs/I told her I was going to be a nurse when I grew up :)shes never let me forget it and I love her for and work and stress all throw Jonah sized "Ketos" at us on a regular basis doesnt it? :(

but we keep on rowing nonetheless!

Vera 4 years ago

I am a 46yr. old female that has had edema in my legs, actually all over my body, starting as far back as 10 years ago. Like many of us struggling with this topic, I am catagorized as obese, I probably spelled that wrong, as I am sure any of us struggling with our weight hate that term so I rarely use it, but that is what they call us, so I guess that makes me that. If that makes any sense at all? I worked nights all of my life and for the last nine years have done private duty taking care of one individual in their home, working there again the night shift. There was a lot of sitting up at night without laying down for years, and if anyone has ever worked the night shift for extended periods would say that although we were off during the day, there were a lot of times things arise in the day time as they normally do, and sleeping and laying down didn't always get taken advantage of to say the least, and for myself I know this was a common situation in my life. Therefore I just recently got diagnosed with venious stasis disease. I have weeping sores on my left leg and my right leg isn't far from having the same, just is little behind in symptoms than my right. I hadn't been to the Dr. for many years, hadn't taken care of myself very well at all, no insurance and was too busy taking care of other people, not to mention coming from a very old fashioned, "old school" family of hard workers that going to the Dr. just wasn't very necessary. We were strong people that getting sick just wasn't going to happen to us. Well, I thought I could lick this too until the sores just refused to heal, and the burning pain was so long lasting when it decided to strike me whenever it darn well felt like it, that it brought me to tears which had never happened to me before, I never had cried real tears over physical pain before, I was tough as steal, or so I thought, until now that is. At which time that brought me to the point of finding a Dr. that I could manage without having insurance. I found a very good Dr. I think. Certainly compared to a lot of Doctors out there that I have seen and been aware of anyway. I do have a few questions though, and to no disrespect to my Doctor by any means. I recently was introduced to the extreme itching that this disease can cause, OMG!!! it is crazy. Fortunately I had begun to follow my doctor's instruction and had elevated my feet for like three or four days in a row, and lost eleven pounds over night, my swelling began to go down during this time and even one of my sores was beginning to crust over, unfortunately this is when the itching from hell started, stupid me hadn't come across your sight yet and no one told me that I SHOULDN'T scratch, so you know what happened next, yes I scratched like a mad woman, sores weren't in the horrible pain as they were, for the first time in months and it felt so damn good I couldn't help myself, and hey no one told me not to at this point. Then shortly afterward I begin to get this horrible itching all over my body, everywhere, and yes I mean everywhere, it was horrible, I still am struggling with it, not quite as severe but it is still a problem. Please could you help with what this is? Dermatitis? I will end for now I have fallen in love with you Barbara, you are so helpful so I am a rambling mess. I apologize so much for just blurting out all of this with no reasonable fashion, and for the length of it, I am just so excited that I have someone as intelligent as yourself, that is so kind and generous with their time to take to talk to us, and share your priceless knowledge, that I have forgotten my manners which I sincerely apologize for, but thank you,from the bottom of my heart thank you. I still have a few more questions but I will stop for now and give you a chance to breathe and other people a chance to comment about themselves..... Vera

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

my blessed Vera, never apologize to me!! You can ramble along however you like :)

I do!

OKAY now...the thing that worries me is that you are having itching all over your body/not just you legs so I am now concerned about your ask your physician about that...any urination changes? any having to get up in the middle of the night more than usual? that sort of thing

also for the itching and the sores...clean and dry of course and if you absolutely have to then OK use some very light lotion like nivea or one without any perfumes in it at all...that will be ok but really just soap and water is the main thing...

of course Vera, you will continue to prop your legs when you are off and drink your water unless your physician says otherwise but you have to prime that pump you know/if you want water to come out of your legs you must put water into your body first :) silly sounding isnt it? but its true...and try not to reach for the salt of course you know that and finally and most important

wash your hands and keep your nails filed down smooth

ha you thought I was going to say dont scratch didnt you? :) no, I know you learned that already!!

let me know whats going on now Vera!

Barbara B

John 4 years ago

Hello again, Barbara. Spoke to you a couple of weeks back about my mother. Well, this week, she ended up seeing her doctor. I tried to have her wash her legs with antibiotic soap 2x a day and then apply unfolded 4x4's over the red, blistery areas but an area on the back of her leg, just below the knee, kept getting worse. Finally, after the seeping increased, both of us decided it was time for the doc. He took one look at the affected leg and said if it wasn't cellulitis, it was close. He prescribed 10 day antibiotics, Bactroban ointment to rub on 2x/ day and a temporary increase to 160 mg/ day for 4 days of Lasix. He really didn't want her to cover the leg but she said she didn't want the seepage over her bed sheets and the doc reluctantly agreed to a light bandage, just enough to catch any seepage but no more. That was all on Thursday. Today, the leg is not nearly as red and smaller no doubt due to the Lasix. It looks like there's all sorts of dry, peeling skin around the affected areas. Seepage has either stopped or is far less. However, I can't help but feel this treatment is a temporary solution at best. I asked the doctor about stockings once the leg is healed and he didn't think it would be a bad idea. I know there are several "pressures" and I hope he will write a prescription for one. Luckily, my mother had no fever or abnormal sugar throughout the ordeal. John

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello John thank goodness your Momma agreed to go to the MD! which one did you take her to? regular or the heart MD? doesnt matter as the problem is fixed but I agree with you, with your Mom having CHF and Diabetes,this may well come back and the TED hose are a great idea too...even if all you get are the knee highs/once the legs are well of course and if the MD says good idea...I always hesitate to say 'ask for the pressure hose' because its an MD call and really does better with the ankle-brachial index test beforehand/just to be sure blood is flowing I am glad the MD felt it would be a good idea. another thing I wondered this time was does your Mom spend the majority of time sitting? is that why the area behind her knees are open? course there isnt a lot to be done if she isnt able to get up and about but it might be a clue and looking at the type of fabric of wherever she sits wouldnt hurt...what if its rough and causing more irritation?or her clothes/same thing...just wondering...

I am so glad she is better!

lucy 4 years ago

my mum recently had a surgery where they had to remove some patches of her colon since it was bleeding............... ever since it has been one problem after another first her kidneys started failing then it reversed, she contracted tb and now her legs her swollen and she is in pain...... they say she has pus in her belly that is why her belly is swollen. i just dont get all this..... oooh she is 63yrs and she has hypertension.

please explain

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Lucy/lets take tis one thing at a time

first her kidneys started failing then it reversed

OK lets not worry about this rght now

she contracted tb

now she will have to take medication for this probably for a yr

remove some patches of her colon since it was bleeding...

Lucy this is why her abdomen is swollen and why she has infection (pus) also inside her abdomen. a lot of times with colon surgery where bleeding is concerned the persons intestines are pinricked with holes and the wate inside our intestines seeps through those tiny holes. The surgeon closes as many as possible and flushes all that abdominal area out but sometimes there still remains intestional byproducts and that sets up infection/called peritonitis

so more antibiotics of course for that and bedrest and strict diet, sometimes just liquids for a while

and now her legs her swollen and she is in pain......

OK so her legs may well be swollen because of the strain all of the above placed on her heart or it may be from bedrest and not being able to get up and walk or it could be related to her kidneys trying to recuperate.

But of course all of this is just a supposition and the best number one totally reliable answer will come from your Moms physician! just write out every thing just as you did here and hold it in your hand and ask one at a time! Physicians are wonderful teachers and are very caring so go for it! I could be totally off base with all of this after all!! I hope your Mum gets well soon! Barbara

Jayewo 4 years ago

I have written before that my Mom would not see a doctor. but recently she self-diagnosed a case of shingles [a common ailment for her] and was miserable enough to go to a dermatologist, who was not able to help.

Last week when a nurse/neighbor saw my Mom she immediately took her to a doctor. He said she was allergic to Lasix and took her off it. Without Lasix, my Mom's edema is subsiding and she says she is feeling better than she has in a year.

We kids are headed that way soon to see what's going on, but I thought I would mention the thing with Lasix in case there really is an allergic reaction to it that might affect others on this forum. My Mom had an incredibly itchy rash.

John 4 years ago

Hello again Barbara, Well, an update on my mother. Her leg just wasn't clearing up so I took her back to the MD yesterday. He almost put her in the hospital but agreed to give nearly constant elevation of the affected leg, increased diuretics (along with potassium to offset the losses), and antibiotics a final two week chance. She also now seems to have psoriasis, mainly on the hands, lower arms and upper legs. It has been developing for a while and started as small, itchy spots. She is seeing the dermatologist tomorrow because the MD feels it might be an allergy to one of her meds (we think it's clonidine). Anyway, he didn't seem to think the psoriasis was related to the cellulitis on the leg, but is not certain. As far as her leg is concerned, the MD's news wasn't all good. He feels that the artery being removed from the leg for the bypass last year has reduced the efficiency of blood being able to leave the leg and that's the cause for the cellulitis. I asked him about stockings and he says once the cellulitis is cleared up, she'll probably have to wear them. If the leg doesn't clear up over the next two weeks, she'll have to go in the hospital for IV antibiotics. So we're hoping and praying for the best. My cousin was telling me about an ultrasonic procedure(?) that can be done to legs like hers that will stop future cellulitis and the need to wear stockings. I asked the MD about it and he didn't really comment much. Do you know what my cousin was talking about? Thanks, John

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

that is not the best news is it but I am glad the MD is going to get your Mom into some Ted Hose. And yes of course that means the infection of the skin must be healed elevation and that will get old soon! Dont be surprised to see your Mom up more than you think she should but also keep in mind the extra diuretics will be working her kidneys too

now then as for the ultasonic procedure sometimes e-stim is used but really there is not a lot of research on it as definitely helps people after a mild stroke...they used the electrical stimulation....just like an ultrasound over the affected blood vessels in the neck to improve the circulation.

but of course the people with a stroke have those blood vessels...and yes your mom does too but not as strong as the ones that were removed to use as the graft for her bypass/so really Im with the MD on that/not much to say really

but on the whole it is good John, because she is getting more treatment dont you think? I just hated to read about the arms and the rash there though cause I dont want it to be a supra infection from the weeping legs then she touched a spot on her arm and the bacteria went know? and if its the clonidine be sure and mind her BP! thats a little pill that packs a whallop on high blood pressure and the last thing she needs is a hypertensive crisis right?

you hang tight John, you are a wonderful son!


Jon 4 years ago

Hello Barbara,

After the MD's visit on Monday, he suggested the visit to the dermatologist asap and she saw him on Wed. The dermatologist's treatment was different and, instead of addressing just the psoriasis on the arms/ upper legs, he addressed the cellulitis as well. He said to place warm salt compresses 2x a day for 10 minutes on the affected areas of the leg. The saline is 2 teaspoons of salt in a quart of warm water, mixed thoroughly, and then a clean towel is dipped in the solution. The wet towel is then pressed over the areas for the 10 minutes. Once dry, dexamethasone cream is applied to all of the cellulitis as well as the psoriasis on the arms/ upper legs. This treatment regiment differs from the regular MD as he specified he didn't want the cream used and I mentioned this to the dermatologist, but he said to use the cream. He didn't seem concerned since she had been taking an oral antibiotic for 10 days already at that point. Well, it's been 4 days since the dermatologist appointment and not only the weeping sores are gone, but the leg redness is far reduced. The cream is also helping the psoriasis, but the process seems slower. It is 0.25% strength.

My only concern is with the cream being steroid based. She has had a recurring infection or something on her ear off an on for over 2 years. Each time, the cream has helped completely eliminate the redness but the ear always gets bad again within a couple of months after the cream has been stopped. This has all been under the dermatologist's care also and the cause for the recurring bad ear has never been found. Again, along with the cream for the psoriasis and cellulitis, a weaker cream (0.05%) has been used on the ear and helped clear it up once again.

So, for now, she almost looks like she never had cellulitis to begin with, and for that I am extremely thankful, but I wonder what steps will be taken next to prevent recurrences of each problem. She is still on a slightly higher daily dose of lasix (120 mg instead of 80 mg), and you can sure see the thinner legs. Hopefully, the extra potassium added is doing the job there.

I don't think this cream can be used for the long term (maybe I'm wrong) due to its nature, so I hope alternatives are addressed and quickly before she has future outbreaks.

Thanks for your commentary, Barbara, as it helps put everything into perspective. And how many nurses are online to address anything! Very few from what I see so you definitely stand out from the crowd.


Annette Cengr 4 years ago from Toney, Alabama


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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Jon Hello and Merry Christmas!! I am so thankful your Mommas legs and arms are better! You are right that the steroid will only be a temporary fix...we nurses call steroids a blanket cause it covers up the problem...but it does give the body time to heal in a lot of cases....

now if only the underlying cause can be diagnosed!

I still keep coming back around to a bacterial infectio and thank goodness for the antibiobiotics!! you just keep on keeping on now and it will be OK!! I believe barbara

Hello Annette,I think that the best thing then for the lympedema is dont let anything constrict it so no tight pants of course and how about just clean and dry as a bone and elevation? also check the net for free clinics they are a godsend!

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

hello Annette! of course there is a ton of info out there on lymphedema...I like the Mayo Clinic and WebMD is OK too but the only thing that will really help is a physician and even then it may take several! the first one, if just a primary MD may send you to a specialist! and thats the best thing of course/otherwise you could do like I said, try a free clinic, the county hosp or health dept...I KNOW you will get help!

hello Candy I know you love and are worried for your sister...I cant do without mine either! Butagain, thethng to do is go to the doctor first and foremost! Otherwise, as I said, you could really make things much worse. So start at the doctors and go from there.

Elizabeth 4 years ago

I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. As I have grown, so has my weight. So, at 33 Years Old I'm about 360lbs on my 5'6" frame. I've dealt with weight-related medical issues/complications for years and years, such as high blood pressure [Benicar 40-12.5mg and Norvasc 10mg] and leg swelling/water retention.

About a year ago I noticed my legs would swell to the point of being uncomfortbale. However, with decreased salt and increased water, it would go down. Then six months ago I noticed my legs were staying swollen for a longer period of time and were very uncomfortable. So, three months ago my doctor decreased my Norvasc to 5mg and the swelling went down a bit and stayed bareable. Well, over the holidays my legs ballooned and I started to notice these red dots/bumps with no head ... Not to mention being totally uncomfortable, like walking on tree trunks and I felt like my leg was going to split open. I knew this was serious and a huge sign of Edema. I then noticed one dot that grew and almost looked boil like under the skin, with redness all around. I immediately started drinking lots of water, cut the salt, elevated the legs, took a diuretic, and put on some compression socks. [I am familar with this a bit, due to my father having issues with Edema.]

In the meantime I made an appointment with my cardioligist. He took me entirely off the Norvasc to see if it helped and also asked I stop taking the diuretic. Along with the water, less salt, and elevation my legs are looking thin and better than I have seen them look in eons! On Wednesday I'm scheduled for an ultrasound of my legs to check the viens and we'll see from that point.

Here is my concern though ... My left leg still has some of those red dots/bumps and the one that had grown is still there. Only now it's about the size of the end of an eraser. The top of the bump looks like a scab, but is not rough and actually looks like white dried skin, but underneath it is a dark blue-ish color, like blood under the skin and then it outwardly is bright, bright red to about double the size. The skin all around is red to about the size of a dollar coin. It is warm to the touch and itches as if it's healing. But, it hurts to the touch, feels hard underneath and throbs once in awhile. I have had boils before and to me it looks as though it needs to be broken open. But, I'm afraid if it breaks it will be a permanent source for weeping if I continue to have issues with swelling and fluid retention. On the other hand I am scared it's infected. I have been keeping the skin clean and applying an antibiotic ointment and then placing a bandaid over it during the day, so I can wear the compression socks. At night I don't wear the socks, so I let it air out.

I have an appointment on Wednesday for the leg ultrasound. The office will see if as is, unless I should be concerned now.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Elizabeth, you have done and are doing an incredible job and its a difficult job as well! I totally agreee with you not to open the area on the left leg!! if its to be done only the MD should do it but I doubt he/she will do that...I wonder if perhaps the petechiae was a sign your legs were about to weep fluid though your skin? or perhaps a topical infection like cellulitis and it got stopped from yur good care and compression hose? either way, its good that you are about to get an answer this week and if its just an ultrasound and no MD appt then I say make an appt! I would want that area looked at

Dont you?

Take care Elizabeth, and let me know how it goes this week 4 years ago

my husband has ascites on his abdomen and I wondered how come the ascites go back right away the next day despite of removal of fluid on his abdomen? He's suffering from cirrchosis of the liver. Is this normal?

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

unfortunately yes, the ascites occurs specifically because the liver isnt able to filter waste and it is a ign that the liver might be in severe trouble

the liver is the body's big filter and with cirrhosis, it isnt able to do its job,hence the fluid accummulation in the abdomen (or ascites)

adeleme 4 years ago

I am so glad that I've somewhere that actually know what they are talking about and is just a 'real person'. My hubby has been sleeping in his recliner now for over 3 months because it's the only place that he can actually get some sleep. When he lays flat or with chest elevated on the bed he ends up coughing all night. And when he coughs he really strains trying to get the 'rattle' in his lungs up and out.

When he does sleep it's a constant wheeze andbubblingg. He smokes. My Ma died a few yrs. ago from lung cancer and she had to sleep in her recliner for 6+ months before finding out and then dieing in the next 7 days.

Oh wait, there is more. For the last 6 months his legs all the way to his toes have been so swollen that it looks like if you touched any part of it it would 'pop'.

I've been rubbing cool lotion on his legs to his chubby big piggys and occasionally putting his feet into slightly cool water for a short time. It really brings the heat down. And at night (when he's done with all of the heavy farm chores) I elevate his feet, give him all his pills, Laysiks and make sure that he has enough cool water or cranberry juice. Well, the last 3 months his testicles have been so swollen.

The first time it happened was a doozy. I'm being totally honest when I say that 'his boys' were the size of 2 large coconuts. The poor guy was having a heck of a time with his aim at the potty. It had to be this bad for him to finally say something to me.

Straight to the Dr. and she sent us straight to get admitted in the hospital for what she said would probably be a 4-5 day stay. At the hosp. were sent home, twice. No insurance. Our Dr. was furious. But we made due at home. His boys did go down but the fluctuate and never have gotten back to normal size.

My hubby is one of those men who wouldn't say crud if they had a mouthful when it comes to 'his' pain.

We've known each other for 25 yrs. and have been married for the last 13. And we were a rough crowd. We both have Hep.C, his liver #s are worse than mine. And found out the last Dr. trip that he has amurmur murmer that has gotten worse over the last 2yrs.

My Dr. I think has been trying to casually prepare me for the reality of his ill health. I've been to this Dr. for 24yrs.

Please tell me that there is something, anything, vitamins, anything to help him get better.

So sorry for the long babble.

Hope to hear back soon.

Thanks so much. Adele ;o)

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

adeleme Good morning How terrible for you and your husband to be going through this! I know how I am about my hubby and am right there with you!!

Hep C Virus( HCV)Definietiely causes problems with lungs, especially with persons who have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)however,the literature all points to HCV and lung complications as staying right there in the lungs....

on the other hand, the swellng of the scrotum causes me concern that it is your hubbys liver that is the problem. Sometimes with HCV the liver becomes so compromised that the blood cannot move through it normally and thats what causes the edema or swelling and it sarts at his waist and moves dowm. In your husbands case, it may well be starting in his lungs, hence the difficulty breathing and goes down.

Take a good look at his abdomen when he is in the chair. If you tap one side can you see the whole abdomen "ripple" ?

The scrotal swelling is called a cisocele or varicele...just a word to say whats happening...dont try to tighten the clothes or anything, in fact boxers are best and overalls even better especially for on the farm,just so neither cause constriction

Then of course, watch the salt, the pork, the know all this

And using the lotion is OK as long as you do it very lightly and move your hands up towards his waist, and NEVER put lotion between his knew that I bet :)

Finally, is your husband dabetic?I dont think so/you would have said

But what I am worrying is this all stems from the hep C and a much worsening of his liver function...not lung cancer...

But because of the symptoms thats what your physician has him on lasix...thats a great he also on potassium?if not does he get blood work about every 3 months or so?If BOTH of you want a definitive answer then BOTH of you wll have to ask the MD...Im sorry to tell you if you just ask, unless you have medical POA the MD probably will not be able to say anything...but I bet the MD will say yes I think its _________ or yes I think its ______________

adeleme I wish I could tell you have your husband take this pilland you'll feel better. But the answer still comes down to that physician and diagnosing whats happening.I wish all of us could have healthcare hen and where and not worry about a nurse, thats what I have wanted since 1976

until that happens, keep calling the doctor, find a free clinic,and of course, keep up your marvelous nursing skills!Go call that hysician now :) at least we dont have to have insurance for a phone call and he/she will help you!! I think thats the most important thing of all to remember for all of us...all healthcare just want to help...go on now and call and will be thinking of you both!!


Reenie 4 years ago

My Dad, 84 was diagnosed with Stage 4 Intestinal Cancer; it has metastasized to his liver. He is also a heart patient (stenosis) who was supposed to get a valve replacement when they found the cancer. His calves, ankles and top of feet have been swollen and now from his knees down his legs and top of feet are beet red. I called his doctor and she prescribed an antibiotic Cephalex (something like that) He has an appt. Tuesday. The thing is I was rubbing antibiotic ointments on his legs 3x a day (for two days). Now it looks as though his legs are blistering. Was that my doing? I am now rubbing Aquaphor on them. I have read on some online sites that this can be ulcers and my Dad is very close to the end of his life. Is this true? Thank you for taking the time to answer and may God Bless you for helping everyone with this site.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Reenie, stop your quilt trip right this minute!! Everything you are doing for your Dad is with love and caring in your hands! I know what you are going through, my Dad died so very fast of lung cancer, its horrible to feel so helpless then do something and worry it was wrong!

Well Reenie, it wasnt and it isnt and will NEVER be wrong!! You are doing such a wonderful loving thing just by laying hands on your Father. He loves you for it believe me, even if he winches when you touch him, he is loving your every second you are able to spend with him!As for his time, no one knows the time or the hour you wont have to ask when it is close, you wil be able to see it

But If he is Mts stage 4, get hospice urses. They are wonderful.

Geez/had to stop a bit/ made me cry.

OK so the antibiotic cephalex (keflex I think is the other name)is for a topical infection/cellulitis/cause the skin got inflamed and see, putting an antibiotic ointment on them didnt cause harm did it.

so OK, next, see if you can get a little buttermilk or yoghurt into him...that will help him tolerate the antibiotics a bit better...wont take a lot, few swallows at this point should help a lot.

The fluid in his legs is because the heart is hoarding eveything close to the heart so it kinda just ignored his legs and the fluid couldnt get back to the top of his body see?

My prayers to you for strength and to your Dad he will rest when he is able and for peace and for no pain


Gloria 4 years ago

Would compression stockings help?

I am in my mid twenties. I work 12 hour shifts at a hospital and I am constantly running around on my feet. As i'm leaving work I have a noticebly painful limp. My feet are visbly swollen when I get home. My right foot more than my left. when I try to sleep it off, i still have a painful limp hours later.

I get acute chest pain from time to time over my heart area. This has been happening for at least 3 years now. I went to the ER once because of the chest pain. I was told it was likely chondritis. The said the EKG showed a normal palpitation...?

Any Advise?


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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

good morning Gloria! well bless you for working in healthcare and thank you!

ok so chondritis can mean any cartliage is inflammed...but if you thought you were having a heart attack thats costochondritis...just a matter of a prefix to identify where the pan was located. and that doesnt go along usualy with any heart problems becaue it was the sternum and or rib cage that was sore and inflammed/thats good!

as for the swollen feet, remember the old pictures of nurses in all white and those big clunky shoes and thick stockings?

looked so funny I know...

sure makes your legs and feet feel a bit better at the end of your long shift though!

so, long winded here :) I agree...get some knee high TED hose and make sure your shoes are really supportive...when I was working on my feet, even driving my car in ome health, I bought the old cluky type of shoe. the pretty mary janes or the walking tennins shoes or even the clogs just kill my feet! so the shoes you wear are of paramount importance and then the hose to keep your swelling down.

However, I put my hose away once I found out I needed to wear a better shoe/go figure :)

midnitevelvet 4 years ago

my husband is currently dealing with the yellow seepage. the wound care dr just says keep them clean, use aquaphor to keep the bandages from sticking. but i have found that diapers work best as they hold the fluid. he also has scrotal edema the size of a cantelope. he cant walk far. he can only sit on 6" of chair so that the scrotum will be able to hang off. also, he has permanent vertigo and sleeps in a recliner. he also has shortness of breath. cardiologist says his heart his fine (3xcabg) and pacemaker is fine. blood work came back normal on liver and kidneys. gastrologist is seeing him for belching issues. he cant eat or drink without an hour long belching concert. i have been doing the bandages, leg washes, shower help, and butt wiping for him. plus i work full time 3rd shift. what brand of shoes help your feet?

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

hello midnitevelvet!! I like to say this ind, especialy with the edema weeping from the legs...theres many others on this site, but I have had patients with this kind more than any other and they love them!

midnitevelvet 4 years ago

thanks for the slipper info. i was looking for more of a work shoe for myself. my hubby gets his shoes from a podiatrist office made for diabetics. he refuses to wear anything else but crocs at home. i think i will get him these slippers anyway. he might change his mind. but then again, the slippers will become soggy in 5 minutes, maybe not a good choice. i don't know. it just seems there is no one out there that helps people anymore. they just take your insurance money and send you home. we even went to a hospital yesterday for a procedure, and they had no wheelchairs available to help him from the car at the valet station.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

what I was surprised and pleased about the velcro slipper is they are washable, aways a good thing

and no wheelchair my word. How ong did you wait till one came to the lobby? and for yourself I cant work without the clunky nurses shoe, now they come in black too, they are the absolute best!

midnitevelvet 4 years ago

Hi Barbara,

Hubby update...

He had to walk on his terribly painful legs all the way inside and he stood waiting for 10 mins while I went looking for a chair, only to find none. He sat down in the waiting room while i went to complain to whomever would listen. Mind you, this was 8:30 and his procedure was at 9. I was told by the girl at the radiology desk that she has nothing to do with the availability of wheelchairs and that i had to wait for the volunteers who come in at 9. WHAT!!! we were both fuming at this point and no one seemed to care. once the volunteer got there she got an earful. she went looking for a chair throughout this bldg and came back empty handed. i told her to call the CT dept and and least let them know he was there for his appt and if they wanted him, they would have to send someone with a wheelchair to get him. At 9:45 someone finally showed up. I am still peeved at the lacksadaisicle attitude from everyone at this hospital. by this time his pain pill had worn off and he was starving, being he couldn't eat/drink after midnight. believe me, i will be writing a letter to the hospital. i kept everyone's name that i dealt with in my phone.

once he got to the ct dept of course he was passed his scheduled time and they had to fit him in. he has to have sedation to lay down due to vertigo. it took 2 anesthesiologists to find a vein using an ultrasound machine on his arm, and 35 mins later, ureka!! Finally!!

we were out of the hospital on our way home at 12:30.

by 5:00 pm our PCP called with test results.

He has fluid in the lungs, fluid in the testicles, which we knew because of swelling, and a 9cm mass on his pancreas.

so now we have more procedures to contend with, which he can deal with fine, but it's his legs that he is having the most pain. it looks like someone took a blowtorch to them. the wound care center keeps wrapping them and sending us home saying there's not much else to do until the swelling stops. the legs and scrotum is where the fluid ends up because of gravity. they told him to keep his legs elevated in his recliner but he cant because of the pain. they prescribed him silvadene cream with moraphine. they botched the rx sheet so i have to go get another one monday. and it takes 24 hrs to make the cream at the compounding pharmacy, so he wont have relief until tuesday. sometimes i feel i am dealing with med students.

and on last note, i want to say what a godsend you are on here to listen to all of us caretakers. it isnt easy and having a kind ear to listen to us helps alot. when i read through all these posts i realize i am not alone in this. and i thank you so much for your care and concern. there a way i can post a picture of his legs?

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

my word what a travesty of our healthcare system!and then to mess up his silvadene/morphine cream thats the worst to me cause your hubby bless him remains in pain.

now midnitevelvet, you know you have to buy a box of fair getting the cheapies you can see through...spend nearly 10 dollar and get the blue gloves. Do not put the silvadene on his legs barehanded :) obvious I know but there you go, listening to the mean ole nurse kratchet :)

I hop the biopsy shows just a beningn mass...maybe a bile duc is clogged or even the gallbadder itself. That would be great. DOes your hubby have any yellowing (jaundice) at all? I bet not else you would have said...Im hoping theres something blocked!

no, I doubt that would be possible as far as the pancrease...violation of PH you know?

kitty isley 4 years ago

recently diagnosed with possible pulmonary hypertension. (not quite sure if this is proper diagnoses but am going to a doctor who specializes in this disease.) Legs swollen around calf area. Began leaking yellow fluid. Was putting neosporin and bandages on sores. Doctor started saying something about it not helping when he was interrupted and never got back to problem. The right leg healed up, swelling down in both legs but now left shin is weeping. Beginning to hurt where the skin appears to be raw. Should I put anything on the couple of sores that are left, leave it open or place bandage over it? Jeans rub the leg which does not help. Both legs are extremely dry and scaly. Any suggestions for a good lotion/cream for this problem? Next doctor's appt isn't until the end of next month and I am really beginning to become uncomfortable. 65 year old female. Thanks for any ideas.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

hello kitty, see if you can get some lachydril lotion

if not, but ask the pharmacist, its at walgreens and walmart I think

then mild soap and water and gently pat dry and yes, something like a nice menstrual pad under your jeans will do the trick/I know, sounds weird but they are absorbent and if you chage them regularly they wont stick...

kitty isley 4 years ago

Thank you so much. Will try. One more question, please. I have a spine disease (no possible cure) and have a medtronic pump implanted which delivers dilaudid (sp?) into the spine. Went to have the pump refilled and my regular PA was no longer working. I was set up to have shots in my knees (really painful at this time and normally use the steroid shots 3 x's a year). The PA they set me up with looked at my legs where I had experienced some weeping and said he would not touch them with a ten foot pole until the lung doctor I am seeing ok'd it. The previous PA had seen the legs and given me the shots so I am a bit confused. She also worked with a pulmonologist and was familiar with PH. My pump is to be refilled next week but the pulmonologist appt. is not until the last of March. I hate to bother him with something of this nature and maybe should just wait until I see him. What are your thoughts as the knees are quite painful but I can still walk at this time. Until the age of 50 I had only been under a doctor's treatment for normal circumstances. Once I had the back injury and was operated on, everything just seemed to go haywire! Was forced to quit a job I enjoyed, go on disability and live on small amount of money and at one time had no medical insurance as I made $8.00 over our state's poverty level. Just ridiculous. Could not wait until my 65th birthday and finally medicare. Sorry I'm ranting but appreciate any guidance you could give me.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

sounds as if the phys assistant is playing it conservatively

perhaps the side effect of water retention from steroids is why he is concerned?

or the fact that steroids decrease your ability to fight off infection...which could make your potential for lung infection high?

however, if you can stand it and dont want to bother your pulmonologist....

but remember the pain will not be controlled and that dilaudid is effective only when your pain level is kept steady..right?

and you can rant :) here to me anytime!

kitty isley 4 years ago

Thanks so much. Probably just hold off until I see the pulmonologist. Was going to age gracefully and be as alert and active as I was at 30. Mother Nature had different plans. hehe...At least I'm here to complain! Have a great weekend and thanks again for listening.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

well and isnt yur sentence about aging gracefully true for all of us! so yes, I, too am happy to be here to complain :)talk to you later.

coffeewithcream 4 years ago

Thank you for this article. I have suffered from a swollen left foot and toes for 2 years. My toes are swollen and deformed from what I'm told is edema. Not one Dr can figure it out or make it go away. It never goes away completely, just gets worse or a little better. Dr's just shrug their shoulders. It swells more if I leave my foot hanging while sitting in a chair or in the summer. What could this be?

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

good morning coffewithcream.

if it were brand new I would wonder about a thrombus (clot) but since it has been there a long time and gets worse with dependence of that leg it makes me wonder if you should ask your physician about "Lymphedema" we have a ton of lymph nodes all over our body...sometimes trauma, infection, who knows what causes some to clog or not work properly

then there is also myxedema, not as usual but is an underactive thyroid...wonder if you should ask your MD to check that out?

swelling in only one leg predominantly points towards trauma and or infection of some kind but as you can see, there are other reasons.

now I am only an egg :) uh scuse me, an RN, and of course you must speak with your physician about all this and maybe your MD will just shake his/her head and say oh those nurses! But I hope not. I hope you get and answer soon and then relief. Its fine to hear oh its nothing here wear these support stockings that hust come to your knees and try to prop your leg up as much as you can. And these things work but if you are like myself (and looks like you are cause you are searching for answers) then you want to know the 'why' of it...all the rest is just like dressing next to the turkey isnt it

you hang tight now and know this ole nurse is thinking about you!

coffeewithcream 4 years ago

Thanks, I will bring this up to my Dr. I just had an abnormal ANA test too so I think you might be on to something. Yes, the support stockings were suggested (and I'm wearing them) but doesn't completely take care of the matter. I had one Dr tell me to take lots of Ibuprofen. UGH! Pleez!

Jay 4 years ago

Last year my mom was treated with a unna boot changing once a week, for 6 weeks for stasis ulcers on the leg. The tx actually made things worse, deepened wounds and created many more. So another option was used no unna boot, some debriding was done and ointments were applied which worked better. Now that some progress is being made and almost a year in, they want to return to the unna boot. I am so distressed because so much time was put into the tiny bit of progress we made. I am so worried about what happened with the unna boot happening again. Any words of wisdom.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

coffeewithcream good morning! now, remember that ANA test leads the physician off in a ton of different directions so stay focused and positive as you are able! lots of advil eh? I agree with the ugh!! big ugh! :)

Hello Jay thats terrible about your mom...some people react badly to the zinc oxide in the unnaboot...but there is another form of the unnaboot that uses bismuth...its a pink wrapping instead of white bbut even before thiking of asking the physician for that I wonder if a test called arterial venous study has ever been done? It makes sure there isnt a huge problem with the actual circulation of her legs. That could be why the healing process is so slow...or is she diabetic as well?

jessewhaley 4 years ago

my wife had surgery on the vula area of her vinga the surgery was to remove a spot of precancer tissue that the doctor told her was the results of having cancer several[uterious] several years agoand this was caused by the radiation she under went during that time. they said the radiation burnt her body.

she had out patient surgery on dec 8th. the stitches pulled out the day after the surgery. the doc said not to worry the wound would heal and it appears that it is very slowly. in the area that was cut out ther is a shite coating that covers the would. there is also a light yellow drainage coming from the wound.

my question is it normal to have such a drainage[ she wears diapers] and what is the white stuff covering the wound. she washes the wound using a shower as instructed.

when I asked the doctor what the white stuff was. his answer she's getting better and never answered my question. if you can shed any light on my question I sure would be grateful

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

hello jessewhaley

the white covering is often called slough

just like it sounds...sloughs off the wound and probably came about because the wound is in a dark, moist area. The diapers proabably didnt help either

but if your physician said your wife is getting better and you see that the area is healing slowly that is a good thing!

the only thing that concerns me is the yellow drainage. Make sure your physician is aware that the drainage is yellow and then tell him the consistency...example thin, thick, sticky, that sort of thing to be sure you get the most information across to him/her

I will be thinking of your wife and hoping to hear good news soon!


Linda j 4 years ago

Hello, hoping you can help me. My 80 year old mother, wh is diabetic, had one leg weeping a considerable amount of fluid. She is overweight and both legs are swollen from the knee down. She saw her primary care doc, who put her on antibiotics...first cephalexain and then azithromycin. The weeping stopped...finally. This doc referred her to a vascular specialist,, who did nothing but tell her, yes, you had cellulitis, and buy support hose. Neither of these docs is getting to the CAUSE of the edema and weeping. My brothers and I are concerned about congestive heart failure and want mom to see a cardiologist. She is refusing. Any thoughts or suggestions? We are worried.

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good evening Linda

Isn't it so frustrating when the ones you love are so stubborn! I bet your Moma knows there is an underlying cause and dones not ewant to hear it

Then you have to ask yourself which is most important/finding out the cause or the quality of your Moms life?

Remember when as a teenager you and your brothers gave her grief? I know, cause we, as women and mothers have all done it, that she picked her battles with all you guys carefully and with great love

Bless your heart for loving your Moma so very much

Barbara B

Lindaj 4 years ago

Barbara, yes, i think mom does not want to deal with the underlying cause. . Other than possible congestive heart failure, what else could cause this edena with weeping? I am assuming it will likely reoccur? Are we going in the right dire ction suggesting a cardio for her? Hard for all of us to ignore what is happening,

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RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good morning Linda,

if it was cellulitis there is a good possibility that will be that, even better chance of no reoccurences if your Mom does wear the support hose

our hearts are built to survive and our hearts are sefish, it gives blood and oxygen only to itself and its surrounding areas...thats why our legs often bear the brunt of that fallout so to speak

of course suggesting that your moma seek other opinions is always a comfort too,especially to us kids!

DFWArmyMom 4 years ago

Hope you might be able to help. 56 yr old female. This is the problem: Lower leg edema with dark spots for at least 3-4 yrs now. No weeping. Started as a small type pimple (looked like a bug bite) then it got the size of a hamburger, red and hot. Went to my reg MD gave me antiboitics, went back couple of weeks later and no change. He sent me to a surgeon. He looked at it said it was a brown reclose spider bite. Went to day surgery, he said he had to go all the way to the bone because of damaged tissue. Result: large dent in my lower leg, took longer to heal because of the lower leg locale-all healed. Next year I get the same thing-started out small. I went directly to the surgeon and he opened it in his office-no drainage. He gave me antibiotics. (bioxin) After 3 weeks no change. He then sent me to a vein Doc. Vein doc said pulse is good not a vein problem. Vein Doc sent me for an Xray of the leg. (didnt know what he was looking for) X-ray fine. Vein Doc sends me to a Dermatolgy Specialist, he says its a pedicure spa infection (micro bacterial infection) he does my first bioposy. Puts me on 6 months of bioxin and minocycline. After one month I get one on the other lower leg-bioposy 2 negative. (active and hot also) after 4 months he says looking better. On, On, kept getting more and more both legs taking same meds for about 2 years now. Bioposy 3&4 done. Result-negative.(checking for fungus etc) He then says meds not working-I may have to have IV meds. He sends me to a Infectious disease Specialist bioposy 5 & 6 done, negative. This doc does not know what this is and won't give IV drugs yet. Going for an MRI w/color on Monday. Any Ideas?????

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

DFWArmyMom a spider bite then a micro bacterial infection and now no diagnosis but many biopsies and all those antibiotics

How frustrating and how confusing.

I am sorry, this one is one I do not have any suggestions for and I am going to research it a bit. I will be thinking about you Mon the 5th!

Barbara B

DFWArmyMom 4 years ago

Just to clarify a little. The most recent is that they dont believe the first was a spider bite at all. These are all the same symptons. They all started small, they get larger and hot. It might not turn out to be a microbacterial infection either. They are not for sure. It's just depressing, it has been going on so long. The Infectious Disease Doc took me off the oral meds which I am greatful for right now. (I needed a break after taking them for so long) Who knows, I hope they figure this out soon. Maybe Monday will help get some answers. Thanks

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I hope you get the answers on Mon too

Barbara B

etarn profile image

etarn 4 years ago

OMG!!! Such a monumental work! Nursing student at present time, I am reading this post like case study scenarios and LEARNING SO MUCH!!! and referring your posts to my friends. Your Knowledge and Experience are treasure! Thank you for share. We need it, to help those you are in needs!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good morning etarn


thank you so much for your encouraging words! I nurse because I care, want to help, to serve.

And I write it down for the same reasons :) thank you

midnitevelvet 4 years ago

after 3 yrs of open wounds and seeping, we have finally found someone to help my husband. we go to a vascular surgeon, who is treating him with a method called "Unna boot". this is working like a miracle. why no one else knows this method is beyond me. it is so simple. makes me want to sue everyone else for the torment he's been through all this time and wasted money and energy visiting doctors that do nothing.

beckyshook 4 years ago

Your blog is quite interesting. I feel like such a freak of nature. Not one doctor in the last ten years have been able to diagnose me. I have swelling in the right leg dominantly but retain large amounts of fluid everywhere. I'm on 80 mg of diuretics daily and by noon I'm so swelled on the right ankle I must remove my shoe. I have been diagnosed in my salt 20's with endometriosis and have had several surgeries to clean up scar tissues and remove the endometriosis. I went through two rounds of ivf about eight years ago when we noticed the water retention. Ive been on three (6 months at a time) lupron treatments that had thrown me into menopause. I feel the swelling is hormone related but no doctors agree The sweeling is worse when humidity is high, I live in Oklahoma and summers are brutual. I travel to Colorado yearly and feel the sysmptons almost disappear. I went to cardiologist, urologist and general md and nothing was found. I have spent thousands of dollars on test, tried acupuncture, home remendies and lots of prayers. No relief has been found. I exercise daily but seem unable to drop a pound. I'm so frustrated. If anyone has any suggestions I am open for any and all attempts to relieve the problem.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good evening Becky, you have certainly had a lot of stress and trauma over endometriosis,

but what was the MD reason for 80mg of diuretics?

and the invitro fertilization? as a way to produce pregnancy or for the endomtriosis?

the lupron itself for the endometriosis is the one that might cause swelling of your legs but it seems there is mre to this than just a side effect, especially if the lupron was started after the swelling...then again if you were already having swelling why do the lupron that could exacerbate it?

I am sorry I don't know more, I wish I knew all these answsers and I know you do as well.

I am so glad you have coontinued to pursue this answer with different MDs opinions and acupuncture (a goood treatment for endometriosis) and wish I could answer you more succinctly.

Barbara B

charlie 4 years ago

Great web site. Helped much. Have used unna boot , it does work. will go back to it again. most problems are my own fault. Do not stay off or elevate my legs enough, have to be on foot most of day. Thank-You for reminding me to wake up and take time to treat problems.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

good morning Charlie :) well, thats what ole nurses are supposed to do right? you take care now Charlie!

Murthy 4 years ago

Great Blog ...

Thank you.

Gee 4 years ago

Hi, I have read your blog and so much of it rings warning bells.

I am a 63 year old male who 12 years ago contracted a mystery illness which after about 5 years was diagnosed as CRMO - Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomylitus. Over the next few years this attacked several areas of my body but the worst by far was my spine. Consequently I have undergone 3 separate operations to the spine including some fussion work.

Along with all this I was affected neurologically as well and was told I now have peripheral neuropathy.

I have lots of areas affected with pins and needles and numbness but have got used to it over the years.

I take large doses of MST (Morphine) 3 times a day, totalling 480mg a day for the bone pain. I have been taking this for about 12 years now starting with just 10mg a day and gradually building up.

For the last 6 months my feet,ankles and lower legs have started swelling up, then about 2 months ago my knees and upper legs followed suit and then my stomach. My weight has increased by around 25% over a 2 month time span.

I have great difficulty walking and getting up etc. My breathing is terrible, I find it difficult to get enough air sometimes and am always short of breath unless I am standing up.

I have tried various drugs from my doctore to no avail, it just seems to be getting worse, I often get yellow fluid leaking from my legs.

Last week I was out and noticed a chinese herbalist so popped in for possible help.

He gave me a session of accupuncture which made me feel great in myself and then has given me a whole load of herbs that I boil up twice a day and drink as a cup of tea.

I forgot to mention I am also suffering with prostate problems and have great difficulty passing water, I have tablets for this too but they have had no affect during the 5 months I have been taking them.

Now I find the chinese tea after one week seems to have cured the difficulty passing water which is very encouraging.

The chinese doctor, yes he is a qualified doctor, reckons that it will take about a month before I notice any decrease in the swelling.

Has any one else had any success with alternative remedies?

If you have read this far - thank you I have tried to keep to the point.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Gee,

Osteomyelitis is devastating and I am so glad you have found that some alternative medicine is helping!

I wish there were a tea that would help specifically with the osteo but getting releif with the enlarged prostate is a wonderful thing!


commercialjunkie 4 years ago

Hello again, The last time I was here I believe I was being treated with unna boots. They were healing my leg ulcers but very slowly. I was taken off the unna boots until I had a reflux exam. My exam came back normal and instead of putting me back on the unna boot they gave me this compression machine. It helps move the fluid out of my legs but after awhile it always comes back.

Is it alright to ask my doctor to put me back on the unna boot? Or do I have to do what he wants?

I also have sever pain in my legs still. They burn and sting all day. I get about 3 hrs of sleep a day. Some days no sleep at all. I was wondering if I could have something called lipodermatosclerosis and if I should ask my doctor about it. He is never forthcoming with information.

Thank for all your help, I really appreciate it.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good Morning commercialjunkie! I know you told me last year that you were diagnosed with chronic vein insufficiency and I know that is often a precursor to lipodermatosclerosis; however, unless your legs look and feel the way lipodermtasclerosis I would hesitate to say yes, I bet you are right

See, this disease has a very distinct set of criteria and can be diagnosed fairly easily. Now, with peripheeral venous disease the shins and calves all the way to the knees may appear dark, almost like tanned deerskin in fact but in lipodermatosclerosis, that dark brown color affects just the lower legs at the ankly, 6-8 inches only and your legs at that point are very skinny and the rest of your legs will be extremely swoleen. Also, there isnt any weeping with lipodermatosclerosis but often/no, eventually/there will be a venous stasis ulcer over the ankle bone or on the inside of the lower leg.

Was the open area you had last year called a venous stasis ulcer?

Lipodermatosclerosis is also associated with varicose veins and used to be primarily in women.Do you have varicose veins?

I wonder if you are diabetic? I couldn't find mention of that in your earlier comments.

Also, I am curious as to why you want the unna boots as opposed to the intermittent compression device

Does the machine hurt too much/difficult for you to

apply/make it hard to sleep/or just a nuisance overall?

If you have this mmachine does this mean you no longer get nurses to your home to assist you with your leg care?

When you see your doctor, be sure to list out for him/her all the reasons you prefer unna boot over the compression machine. That will help you and the doctor make the best choice

Should you tell the doctor what you want? Absolutely...just be tactful and have all your pros/cons to back up your request :) they are only human you know so the more you give as your reasons for asking the better received it will be :)

And, best of all, the more info you have at hand the mre open or ;forthcoming' that doctor will be!

and of course, take a tip from my Grandmother/if you dont care for the MD or agree with the course of treatment or want (most important) a physician that teaches as well as diagnoses and prescribes, then change physicians! You are the patient, yes, but you are the boss, actually :)

Goodness commercialjunkie, this was a long-winded answer. I will wait to hear back from you before I go on :)


commercialjunkie 4 years ago

Hi Barbara, thanks for answering me so quickly. I went to sleep finally about an hour after I wrote the last post. I just woke up.It's 12:00est here. The biggest part of my day is looking at the clock for 6 hours to pass so I can take two tylenol.

After I started taking my blood pressure pills, the swelling in my legs are completely gone and I haven't had any weeping since. My legs are skinny right above the ankle and then fat and tight with no indentations.They are hot and tender at times, I think that is why I thought I had cellulitis again but I didn't have it. When the person that did my reflux exam she told me to look into sclerosis because of the hard sandy patches on my foot. I tried scrapping it off but no go.

The Machine does't hurt too much and the fluid does leave but about an hour after it is right back in my legs. With the unna boot it kept the fluid away a lot longer. I called my doctor but he hasn't gotten back to me yet.

The nurses don't come anymore. I just needed them to help put the unna boot on.

Thanks again you are a living angel.

commercialjunkie 4 years ago

I forgot to add that I don't have diabetes and I don't know about varicose veins it is hard to tell since I am African American. I can feel the larger veins though. The feel like they are 1 inch wide and have a very knot like feel to them like a rope. To dark skinned to see any spider like veins.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh this all makes sense now commercialjunkie :)

Im afraid that edema that comes and goes will always be something you have to deal with/it sounds as if the swellinng in your legs is caused from Hypertension, so, just as taking BP medication will be forever part of your world, so will swellinng in your legs.

This is not something that can be fixed, it can only be dealt with on a daily basis

How do you do this?

By sticking with all the things you have learned Im sure about hypertension

No salt/in fact, if the food you buy has a list of ingredients dont buy it

Easier said than done, I know, but eating fresh produce and lean meats will not only lower your blood pressure but will help keep the fluid in your legs from getting out of control

Walk every day, for at least 15 min but 30 minutes is better,you dont have to do it all at once, if you want, walk 10 min at a time

Drink plenty of water/not fluids, drink water/at least 8 full glasses (64 ounces) unless your physician has you on a retriction of fluid diet

Dont cross your legs when you sit, when you sit choose a recliner or at least put your feet up on a foot stool

Dont sit for hours/if your work is like mine and you are at a desk all day,get up every hour and stretch and walk in place,thats the best thing right there, for keeping your legs from swelling again

Now about the lipodermatosclerosis...the patches of dried skin on your foot is from the unna boot and not being able to scrub with soap and water and oil your skin like you were able to do before your legs started swelling

Do not scrape, rub or pick at that area just soap and water and whatever oil you use for your skin on a daily basis

Finally, you should wear a pair of knee high TED hose while you are awake and up and about,take them off when you sleep and whenever you are using the compression machine/I bet TED Hose would work nicely at keeping that edema under control!

If it were lipodermatosclerosis then the skin where your ankles and lower legs are would be really dark compared to the rest of your skin and it would feel as hard as a rock too/this doesnt sound like its lipodermatosclerosis

This sounds like edema due to hypertension and this sounds like you have what you need to keep it from becoming a problem again

Now, the unna boot treatment should never be used to prevent edema or open areas...the zinc is too hard on intact skin to be used like that

So, take your meds, keep the skin on your legs clean and use oil on your skin; that should keep your legs/skin healthy

Looking forward to hearing from you!

commercialjunkie 4 years ago

Hi again. Since I have been taking my bp meds I no longer have any swelling what so ever. My legs and my feet used to swell so bad that I that I thought they would burst. I feel stupid for not taking them religiously when they were first prescribed. I can't believe how flat my feet are now.

So I have no swelling but I do have fluid between my calf and I guess 3 inches above my ankles. I have two ulcers one on my left leg above my ankle on the inside of my leg and one the outside same level and also one on the inside of my right leg. I don't get why the fluid doesn't go below my ankles and into my feet. what keeps it from traveling below my ankles?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

well there are 'potholes' in the road

The ulcers are related to you venous insufficiency and are called venous stasis ulcers

ok now that justifies the assist of a nurse coming to your home and doing wound care 1 time a wk and those ulceers would benefit from the unna boot!

the compression machine will never heal ulcers/you could get your MD to ordeer home health again

however, the ulcers may not heal all the way/they are usually chronic and will require wound care on a minimum of once week

the ulcers are the potholes and your foot is a sideroad just off the main road...thats a good mental image of why your feet dont really all comes down to circulation doesnt it?

Also,the heart is so very selfish and does not have patience at all! The heart takes care of itself and its surrounding neighbors and could care less if your legs and feet get blood

sad but true

ok so, if the ulcers are dry but cratered in appearance? Dont bother thhem too much

If they are oozing,watch the color and notify MD of yellow,brown or green drainage

If there is reddness around the ulcer and its warm whereas the res of your leg is cool,see the MD

If the ulcers are dry,get the TED hose/thats a great way to get th blood from feet to heart

so commercialjunkie, your list of diagnosis probably reads like this


edema related to hypertension

venous insufficiency

venous stasis ulcers related to venous insufficiency

and I suspect you also have peripheral vascular disease and that is what is causing the narrw ankles and hard feel to your skin

I am so glad that you take your medications the way you should now! Keep those ulcers clean and dry,use oil on the rest of your skin,dont ever put lotion,oils,creams etc between toes and wear your TED hose

If the ulcers show signs of infction...get into that doctors office tout sweet!

Ii hope you dont have any complications related to this commercialjunkie/I'll be thinking of you!


tami 4 years ago

I HAVE GAINED ALOT OF WEIGHT THESE PAST 2 YEARS FROM DEPRESSION (OVEREATING) I have venous stasist and bad veins in my legs from weight gain and Igot it also from my mom shes the same way my legs are really weeping alot these past 2 weeks it looks just like water its clear my legs dont hurt but when is this weeping gonna stop!!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author


you probably need to see the doctor.Go and get what you need for your healths sake!

imilos 4 years ago

Hello, could lack of quality sleep cause weeping edema? My BP is never high but I could probably count the nunber of times I have had a good nights sleep on both hands this whole year. My quality of sleep is that bad. I am a 45 yr old male, live alone with my dog. Thanx

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I havent heard of lack of sleep causing weeping edema no,but I do know itsx tied to weight gain/especially wt arund the middle

Sephone 4 years ago

Thank you for providing such a wonderful service to us.

Three months ago, both of my legs suddenly (almost overnight) became dry and I started shedding skin from my knees to my ankles. I treated the dryness with both lotion and vaseline; the dryness began to disappear. About six weeks ago, I noticed blisters on the back side of my left leg. The blisters were white and located between my calf and ankle. The blisters slowly began leaking, like a very slow drip, and the skin on some of the outer sides turned grey. My leg has slowly turned a deep red, almost purple. The skin burns and/or itches, sometimes both at the same time. The blisters continue to leak, but the leak is now more like a flow. The grey skin is gross and sloughs right off.

The top of my left foot is swollen and the same deep red/purple as my leg. My ankle has swollen and the skin in back of my calf is sliding down under the heel of my foot. It’s very painful. My toes are fine, although I can no longer see two of them due to the swelling.

As of four days ago, my right leg has begun to blister. The top of my right foot is much worse than my left one. Again, my toes are fine. All blisters on this leg are white; no grey skin yet.

We are a one-income family and money is extremely tight. I haven’t seen a doctor because I don’t have insurance. I will need to treat this at home, but I don’t know what I have or what caused it.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

this would be difficult to treat at home,the worst thing that could happen is if you used soemthing that would cover up what is causeing the problem,it could worsen then when you were forced to seek medical help it would take longer to see what the true cause is

however,it sounds like it might be a staph infection...staph is a bacteria that is always around us...but if it can get into our bodies through a scratch or a causes huge problems!

if it is an infction of the skin you really need youll have to see a doctor

but to do the least harm, I would keep both legs clean,use mild soap and lots and lots of water and lotions/just soap and water

good luck and I really hop you can get med help soon!

sdamron 3 years ago

I had gastric bypass surgery about 5 years ago. No complications. This past March I was admitted to ER w severe abdominal pains. I ended up after 3 surgeries in 3 days losing all but 70 cm of small intestines. I was released a month later on Tpn, but also eating on my own. I had swelling in and right out of hospital that would come and go. Since July the swelling increased and does not go away. It just shifts then within 5 minutes of being up back to my legs and feet. Since the end of September it got hugely worse. I was up 10lbs. Blood work and my surgeon said it wad due to such low blood protein levels. I increased to 80 grams daily and 2 weeks ago had more blood work done w my pcp. She believes the same. Low protein and low B-12. I went again a week ago for more and was called today saying my protein level was 4.8 and my B-12 was normal. At this point I have gained 20 lbs w the water reaching my hips/ abdomen. I have to lift my legs one at a time to get in my car. I can't climb any steps. I weep from pores clear fluid. Let's just say w out something for pain it would be completely unbearable.

If my levels are up how come I feel no relief yet? Scared they have no clue what is wrong w me. I feel like I am slowly dying.

Have you seen this before w short bowel/gut syndrome???

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I have not seen any patients personally who have had this problem, however,according to the ncih and mayo sites edema is a common complcation. I am sure you are trying to keep your legs elevated,perhaps having to wear compression stockings? and of course take the medications as your PCP has ordered? be sure to ask your primary what fluids and how much you need to be drinking to help decrease the fluid and be sure not to rub,scratch etc at any part of your legs as the skin will be very friable and will cause open sores if you do not take extreme caution when bathing,touching etc. My best to you and hopes for your recovery!

Eve taylor 3 years ago

My 70 year old dad is in so much pain, legs starting scabbing 6 months ago and have got worse day by day to the point where the first few layers of skin frm knee to toes are missing, being dressed daily by the nurse but dressings always wet after a few hours, he has been on every type of antibiotics , the pain is worse at night , he is obese with diabetes , he visited a vascular surgeon who found pulses in his leg and said he circulation is ok but sent him for a ct scan which we are waiting for the results, I am convinced he has something more wrong with him, wish i could take his pain away or give him some relief , he is currently on 32 different tablets a day :( any idea what this could be ?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good Morning Eve

Edema is always a symptom of another disese process. Diabetes can cause problems with the function of our heart and obesity also leads to problems with weight related illnesses and will cause complictions with diabetes. Sometimes with just obesity the ability to move,walk,turn,bear ones own weight is extremely difficult. Then, if the person cannot walk enough to help push the blood and fluids back to the top of the body; pooling of blood and fluids will occur in the legs and feet. Then of course, this fluid has no where to go except out of the pores of the skin itself and thats where the scabs and wetness comes from. The actual reason isnt really what is most important. Treating the legs with dressings/keeping the legs as dry as possible/elevation of the legs if the doctor orders that/making sure that salt is kept to the minmum in the diet/making sure the blood sugar stays at or below 150 / making sure the food has a lot of colour,lots of fruits and veggies/ eating at least 4 but 6 small meals a day and absolutely no refined sugar or carbs that turn to sugar/ making sure water is taken as much as doctor has ordered....these are the things in your Dad's treatment that must be followed to the best of your Dad's ability. Do not get dismayed and think these are unreachable goals either. Just pick one thing/one small thing and work on that one thing util its second nature,then add another,then another until diet and meds and walking or just moving are a bit easier. You are such a help to your Dad and I know he appreciates all you do!

treetree1 3 years ago

I'm leaking fluids in my legs,they are very heavy. i have a rapid weight gain,my stomach growing fast like doctor told me if because of my thyroids.I have hypothroidism,so i see my specailist for my thyroids,and bascially he told me to: elevate my legs,diet,and exercise,and he adjusted my medication.i'm taking levothyroxine 175 mcg.he adjusted to 200mcg.

my question is will this work?will i stop leaking fluids,and losing the weight?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Of course you will always follow your physicians advice and your physician always has the best answer for your problem/Hypothyroidism

is a conditionof the thyroid gland in that it does not produce enough of the hormone called thyroid

thyroid controls your metabolism

Here is the link to the national institue of health about your condition

losing weight can be a challenge for persons affected with hypothyroidism but that doesnt mean it wont happen

Check out the usda site called

thats a great site and the information you learn may help you with your weight management

Stressed 3 years ago

I was on the web searching for answers... :/ this sounds just like what my dad "HAD" :( now 6 years have past and my moms has the same symptoms / signs that he had. I would have to clean/ dress his wounds , it got so bad that I was shown by the nurse how to put this clear , almost looking like a screen from your window, over the areas and wrap it. And by the time I would get home from work the dressing would be soaked and draining out the bottom. So I had to cut my work days in half. I was so stressed with a toddler running around and wanting in pop-pops lap to also caring for an infant, trying to work and a failing marriage turned into devorce . Now I believe my mom has what my dad had. But it seems worse , his legs didn't get as big, red, and painful as hers. I wanted to take her to the dr about it when her legs first looked red and swollen but she just took an extra fluid pill. Now her legs are weeping badly. I told her she needs to go to the hospital but she's not wanting to do that either. Now with reading what I have , then your article just validates that my concerns are not of a paranoid daughter. So thank you , at least now I know what this might be.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I hope your Mom gets some relief soon and that she does go to the MD

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I hope your Mom gets some relief soon and that she does go to the MD

andy 3 years ago

I have sero negative R/A and recently had d.v.t. and pulmonary embolisms. I am disabled now from truck driving from r/a. I had the dvt 1 1/2 years ago. I have a greenfielf filter in. Also had my thyroid out 3 months ago. I have pitting edema and weeping legs. No smell. So which doctor should I see, my rheumy, blood guy, im on thinners, thyroid guy or primary?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

hello Andy

Always and forever, start with your conductor, the manager, the one doctor that knows you inside and out////your Primary

now, for some information and always take this info and double check with your MD:

Thyroidectomy is done usually for cancer of thyroid or for a very large goiter or for hyperthyroidism when iodine therapy isnt desired But

that wouldnt cause edema of lower extremities/probably/

with seronegative rhuematoid arthritis, actually you are probably in less pain that persons with seropositive RA/though I know from your own point of view thats a small comfort at best and the kind of RA you have isnt as likely to cause edema of lower extremities either/just swelling and pain and redness and warn]mth of specific joints/be sure to mark on your calendar every time your joints really bother you/your MD needs that info becuase without the rhuematology factor in your blood its difficult to tell what the disease progresion will be

The greenfield filter will help prevent larger clots from traveling from your legs into your lungs so thats all taken care of right there

the deep vein thrombosis would cause swelling but only on the leg with the thrombosis(clot) and its probably gone now too if you are on blood thinners and of course,the clots in your lungs (PE) are probably diminished and or gone with the use of the anitcoagulants and or antiplatelet medications

Therefore; if you do truly have weeping fluid from Both legs, see your primary first.

He/She will refer you to the proper source for the best care

Rebecca 3 years ago

Thank you for such an informative article. For 3 weeks I have been watching the edema increase in my lower limbs. I've had a doplar to show that there are no DVT's, the veins and arteries are working fine, and the cardiologist has cleared me of any heart problems. The rheumatologist thinks that I now have cellulitis because of the redness of the skin, warmth, multiple bumps, and small open sores (from scratching the bumps). She put me on an antibiotic (Keflex) and a double dose of lasix and took me off Methotrexate for one week. She says this is not part of my RA and I don't think it is part of the peripheral neuropathy or fibromyalgia. The edema is severe and your description of tree trunks is exactly the way I've been describing my legs. I can't get into any of my shoes (not even tennis shoes) and wear flip flops everywhere. I sleep with my legs elevated, wear compression stockings during the daytime, and ace wrap my legs at night. Massage seems to take the redness away temporarily, but nothing so far has removed any of the symptoms permanently. It's not the worst pain I've ever dealt with, but it sure is more discomfort than I care to experience on a daily basis.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

You are doing fine Rebecca, following your physicians orders and taking care of yourself.It isn't easy and you are doing well! I hope your legs improve soon!

Rose Thorne 3 years ago

Sorry if you get twice first time went to sign in after long, hopefully useful, post and returned to post page only "name" field was gone, sigh so posting again just in case. Luckily I routinely copy/paste after losing posts.

And as I said, sorry if repeat and also for the length...

I have had chronic pain syndrome for ten years (time sense is not a strong suit, sorry). About three years ago while I was moving from needing walker (with seat was already pushing myself around on it, backward as legs (knees that's is) couldn't take weight pulling forward. Believe already had swelling but just as I gained weight going from cane/walker as a walker, I gained in chair (about 250lbs) when wound on calf didn't heal but got worse went to VA primary who swabbed and wrap wound in dry dressing with 2 week followup. Wound size of silver dollar at best tripled in size, so she put in referral for wound care. Two weeks to hear from them three to get next available appt. Ugh full/near full left leg below knee and above ankle (didn't get foot until later, man that hangs on like a b----)

first wound doc was a ... sigh, luckily home care nurse had 20+ yrs in wound care. Sadly no longer have home care as VA feels I can do my own wound bandaging.

Then followed up & downs, MRSA (and ten days in hospitalized with 103 fever and delirious, first three days mostly unconscious or screaming for pain relief, next week BORED) , second hospital stay roughly year later fever, no MRSA, one week. Oh, and during MRSA visit also spread to right leg, knee to ankle as various people in smocks argued over best care. Sigh.

After first wound doc got too many complaints, including mine about nearly healed legs, one small wound front and back of left, hardest to heal leg and week later was spreading like wildfire when he touched leg f---ing backhanded, we got new more up to day, willing to discuss issue and why THAT wound care.

Back to up and down, peripheral edema joined by peripheral neuropathy, or perhaps other way around (if it matters can dig out thumb length, not width, various medical, civvie and VA) both roughly five years. Lower legs decent, right nearly clear and NO drainage which had been common before, left palm- sized on shin, little drainage, smaller one on out-size where power chair leg lefts put pressure on spot (no diabetes, no high blood pressure, cholesterol ok, etc. No blood clots on legs, ultrasound) can feel it but only limited ways to rest leg when left knee is unable to fully straighten, if they thought I'd walk, I'd need new joint. Just me not understanding how little time it took.

However, the bad to the mostly clear/clear-ish lower legs are upper legs now seeping water. Una boot which worked, working wonders on lower legs slide down thighs, cannot use the equally useful profore system on upper leg (if memory serves, ie take with grain of salt, it was when started profore that thighs broke out...) kertex,kerlex? even worse than soft, felt-y stuff used over una boot.

Making this all worse is increasing bladder control, incontinence? Easier to hold bladder until have to reach item dropped (taught Tigger my Chihuahua to fetch them for treats, no use in store, yet, to many distractions, but we are working on it) as well as getting out of wheelchair, any pressure on bladder basically. Also if leaning forward, like on computer, typing, watching tv, crocheting off pattern, again leaning forward BEFORE liquid in bladder, I CAN NOT feel when full and have had accidents in chair or trying to shuffle from power chair to toilet.

Doctor seems more impressed by improving lower legs than thighs. Not sure she understands what I am telling/asking, sigh.

Does the urine put open wounds at risk of infection, is there some way you might know, Rebecca, to cover legs so una boot stays put. Swelling in lower legs and right thigh down, left same as before, due to issues with fluoride(so?) Water pill, I threatened to stop them flat out after accident at friends home. Luckily I had spare undies but she had to wash and dry my wet clothing. Everyone was nice but that only made it worse :( now only hydrochlorothiazide which is better (relatively, but I don't take it on the day, once week, when go see my friends) so if you know a better drug I could mention a friend was taking to see if workable for me, I'd appreciate it, ditto the problem with thigh wounds and info.

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RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I can hear your distress

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RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Rose

I know it is difficult to continually ask for help/I understand you feel tht no one is hearing what you are going through

But the only person that can Truly help you is you physician.He or she is the ONE person you need to be calling,writing,seeing ALL the time. Stay at that office, be smart and keep asking for help.Be responsible and Always follow your physican advice!Only then will you be able to say that you were diligent,didnt miss any instriuctions and always did what your MD told you to do

Lisa 2 years ago

I'm not sure if this Hub is still active but if so I have a question. My brother is at end stage liver failure. He was just released from hospital today to my other brothers house and hospice will be in to help. However, in the last 3 days his penis and testicles are grossly enlarged. I am familiar with the edema and ascites as over the last year he has dealt with that but he never had this happen. I'm pretty sure it's just another complication of the end stage but would anyone know if this means we are talking perhaps days/weeks as opposed to months? And thank you to the person who explained lactulose. Since I am not able to be upstate with my brothers and I'm typically the one who handles all medical stuff, this has been hard for me because I would ask a million questions that my brother is not. So knowing that it is a laxative that targets ammonia elimination, which tends to build up in end stage liver disease and excess ammonia causes encephalopathy which is swelling of the brain that makes the patient very 'loopy' and can even lead to coma and death was so helpful and now makes sense.

I'm just trying to get a sense of the time frame (originally the doctor said 3 months) but based upon the things that have been transpiring in the last week, my gut is saying a lot less time than that. I so wish I had the extra bedroom so he could be here with me but I don't even think that would an option now because my brother is having a hard time getting him out of bed to commode. He is pretty much dead weight and me being 5'1 and 105lbs , I couldn't do it. Anyway, sorry I'm all over the place with this and rambling. Just thought someone might have some feedback. Thank you!!!

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good morning Lisa

I apologize for not answering you sooner, as to the scrotal swelling there are several things that might cuase this from an infection to a hernia.

I would suspect his physician would say it is not an infection but rather a build up of fluid that isnt able to move away from that area; a hydrocele.

Sometimes swelling of the scrotum occurs from the persons position while sitting or lying; in other words, he could have pinched his sac without realizing it,especially if he isnt able to shift his position in bed.

Some comfort measures that might help would be to give support to his scrotum and penis by placing a sot cloth between his legs in bed/make a "hammock" so he has less pain in that area,does that make sense?

and of course, keep his skin clean and dry. Notify the physician immediately of course and always notify the MD if there is apparent signs of pain during urination,although at the last stages of life there may be less urine output ,this is normal at that time. I am sure your family has called the physician but that would be the first thing to do. My prayers are for your family at this sad time.

Edward 2 years ago

I have swelling in my legs,I'm overweight, I now have a spot about the size of my fist on my lower leg. It was diagnosed as cellulitis. Just finish a 7 day oral antibiotics. Almost all redness around the area is gone. The area is still weeping a lot of clear/yellow fluid.the top of the area is puffed up like blisters. I just found this blog and I am thankful for your time and compassion you share here. I wanted to say thank you.

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Thank you Edward and I am glad you have the antibiotics to take care of the cellulitis! Keep you leg and your spirits up!

Edward 2 years ago

I am still having some sharp stabbing pain in the area. How much weeping is normal? It has been soaking the 3 4x4 s I've been putting on it.When should I be concerned with a possible deeper infection? For the last 7 days have been keeping it elevated but want to get back to work. All suggestions would be appreciated .

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Pain is actually the number ONE sign of 'better call, no, better yet Go see your doctor' problem. Good thing it is only Wed evening. so irst thing Thursday, get into your MD. better safe than sorry right? The other question has to do with the color and the odor of the drainage. If it has changed, i the odor is bad, i the color is a deeper color..those are the other two signs...And of course the amount of time involved. Best case scenario is everything gets to looking great just as or right after you swallow your last antibiotic. You mentoned you finished a 7 day order and it is still giving you signs of concern?

go Edward, go back to the doctor. Sitting in the waiting room is a pain but its the best thing to do at this point, dont you agree?

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Pain is actually the number ONE sign of 'better call, no, better yet Go see your doctor' problem. Good thing it is only Wed evening. so irst thing Thursday, get into your MD. better safe than sorry right? The other question has to do with the color and the odor of the drainage. If it has changed, i the odor is bad, i the color is a deeper color..those are the other two signs...And of course the amount of time involved. Best case scenario is everything gets to looking great just as or right after you swallow your last antibiotic. You mentoned you finished a 7 day order and it is still giving you signs of concern?

go Edward, go back to the doctor. Sitting in the waiting room is a pain but its the best thing to do at this point, dont you agree?

I bet this time you will get a culture and another course of antibiotics and hopefully the MD will clean it out or have the nurse do it...Get Well Soon! :

Pam 2 years ago

The information given sounds so much what my mother is suffering from, she has had this for almost a year. Nurses come and apply dressings, compression bandages, creams her legs are getting worse, now spreading as far as her knees, the doctors don't seem to want to know. Any advise you can give me please.

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good morning Pam

Thank you for your comment. It is wonderful that your Mother is getting home health nursing. The things you need to do, I bet, are things you are already doing.

1) Question the nurses as to how often they call or send information to your Mothers physician.Ask if the physician calls nurses or sends fax to continue same treatment or if he/she makes any changes to the treatment.

2)Ask to see copies of the nuses wound care measurement sheets. Usually a new wound care sheet is done on a weekly basis and should include measurements of all open areas as well as overall written desciption of the appearance of both legs.That sheet is usually sent to the MD weekly as well.

Usually the physician will try a treatment for at least 2 weeks to see if the treament is effective.

3)Try and be present at the MD visits and ask the physician about the specific cause of the swollen, weeping legs and ask if it would be helpul to see another MD,perhaps a cardiologist or wound care specialist.

4)Encourage your Mother to follow all the MD advice, from medications to how often she is allowed to walk.

5)Nutrition is also very important. Make sure you and your Mother know if there are any restrictions on food or liquids, even if things like salt should be adjusted in your Mothers diet.

I hope your Mothers condition improves. Way to go for helping your Mother as much as you can!

JWilson 2 years ago

Question......a person with stage 5 kidney failure, CHF, the weeping has stopped, the person is now too weak to walk, can't feed themselves......I guess the kidneys are actually starting to shut is death ?? (91 yo)

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good morning JWilson

There really isnt any way that someone else can tell anothers fate. Talk with the persons doctors, nephrologist and primary physician if you are able. Make sure that everything that can be done to make that person as comfortable as possible is being done.It is difficult to say goodbye, make sure you and everyone involved has the opportunity to talk about how they feel. I hope that helps. Thank you for commenting

summi 2 years ago

I have had edema in my legs for 8years now. 1 year ago I was diagnosed with lymphedema however when they tested my lymphatic system they said there were no blockages. Lately my legs have been draining through the skin. When I ask the doctor about what is causing this they say they do not know.All reports normal. i am not overweighted.please help me


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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Summi

I am sorry you are going through this. I would encourage you to first see a heart doctor, a cardiologist, and go from there. There can be different causes of edema, but making sure your heart is in good shape would be a good place to start.

crystal lynn 2 years ago

I have weeping edema with sticky clear stuff coming out.i cannot elevate because its not my legs. my stomach hangs and right in the middle is my edema, like the size of a newborns head. I've seen 3 doctors with no meds, treatments, therapy, nothing. I'm giving up & can't live like this. I cannot go anywhere or work because my pants are always wet. I take 20 mg of furosemide and other meds. I'm tired & 49, ready to go home, not enjoying life anymore & feeling alone. Please, what do I do, I live in small, small , usa with small hospital & not many MDs.

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Crystal

I hope you will feel better soon.

I am sorry I do not have any answer for you. What you describe sounds like ascites,which is fluid leaking into your abdomen. It can be caused from problems with the liver like cirrhosis but that isnt the only cause. Ascites is treated not in itself but by treating whatever caused it in the first place. I am sorry I do not have anything else to tell you but again, my hopes are for you to feel better soon.

teetee1249 2 years ago

my husband has been dealing with swollen legs for about three years, he refused to go to the doctor so I started telling him he could loose his legs or die anyway so far the doctor gave him a strong antibiotic, water pills and told him to use pressure wraps and elevate them. He had tests done and found that he had enlarged lymphnoids in the groin ares not the upper body. They did a bioptsy and said it's not cancer. He has done nothing for months with me hounding again because his legs started weeping and sometimes the skin sluffs off like a boil or something. We went back to the dr. Just keeps giving refills on antibiotics. Then we went to have him send him to a specialist. He sent us to an oncologist who said after tests you don't have cancer. Which we already knew. I think the dr is stumped why he sent us to a dr when we already determined he didn't have cancer just cost us a lot of money we don't have. He is now also complaining of his feet feeling like he's walking on glass. He is not diabetic as of his last test. I'm real worried because his legs look so bad, huge and hard to the touch. He wraps and elevates them everyday but nothing has changed. I guess I'm looking for someone to give me an idea of what type of doctor to go to. If you can help i'd truly appreciate it. Thank you,

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hel lo TeeTee

I am surprised the doctor did not want to send your husband to a heart doctor/a cardiologist. But there may be other causes to why your husbands legs have edema

Here is a link to an article on the Mayo Clinic site/

I would ask the doctor is any of these causes could be the reason for the swelling.

Gene 2 years ago

I've had this condition for about four years now. I am a 40 year diabetic, 77 years of age. I got hit with cellulitis on top of my left foot on Christmas morning 2009. On Dec 26th I went to the doc and was given an IV of antibiotics and some more in pill form "to go." I had a rash of what appeared to be ingrown leg hairs running up my left shin which became involved in this drama within a couple of days. I returned to the doc and was admitted for four days of intense antibiotic treatment. On the first night, sedated for the pain, I recall kicking my left shin with the heel of my right foot to get some relief from the pain, or so I thought in twilight sleep under sedation. The in-house doctors said I had mrsa but it was clear enough in four days that I was released, again with antibiotics to go. The place I kicked kept getting bigger around and deeper and took over two years to heal with throwing everything known to man at it in the way of wound treatment.

After prolonged weekly treatment at a mighty fine wound clinic, I decided to try some alternative ideas and quit going to the clinic. One of the things I tried was drinking alkaline water. I found a place on the 'net where a young man stated that diabetic ulcers were nothing more than an acid burn and that the solution to healing it was to offset the acid with alkaline which, having a little exposure to the issue of the body ph, made sense to me. Between drinking the alkaline water and some antibiotic ointment I applied but otherwise leaving the wound uncovered, it slowly healed. That experience caused me to begin investigating what merit here is in the propaganda surrounding the much touted alkaline diet.

In addition to the diabetes, I am a metabolic syndrome patient with cardiovascular disease, total neuropathy to my knees, and a bad lower back and I have several stents for clogged arteries including two that go from my aorta into my iliac arteries plus four in my left leg main artery. My left leg has been red, scaly, and weeping from that place I kicked since that occurred in spite of me intensively trying to keep it moist. I have since had another bout of cellulitis on the outside of my left little toe that was treated for a year and a half without success which eventually was attacked by mrsa that led to my podiatrist taking off that little toe and the outside of my foot and metatarsal back almost to my heel. That all healed up but in the interim, my red leg began turning red, and weeping from the same spot as the left leg had been weeping lo these many years.

I hounded my primary, the cardiologist, podiatrist, dermatologist, and anyone else who would listen to put a name on this weeping red leg syndrome and nobody has stepped forward as of yet to claim the prize for naming the mystery problem. I have been through several rounds of antibiotics for that and other reasons, "just in case" of course, and I still have two weeping red legs from my knees down, mostly in the front. I have gone through a couple of regimes of topical treatments on both legs to no avail. Since I'm still ambulatory and have a high pain threshold and all those specialists didn't seem to know what was going on with the front of my legs, I decided that I probably shouldn't be too concerned about it. I'm on heavy diuretics and was advised that the only blood flow I am getting to my feet is due to a gravity feed through alternative pathways that have been forced open, to not use compression and not elevate my legs other than when sleeping or I won't get any circulation to my feet which, well, we know what that will lead to.

All of that to say this, you have advised against the intake of Vit K which is the core of the alkaline diet to take our bodies away from over acidity which seems as though it has a chance to be behind the epidemic of diabetes and related issues that could very well be caused by a population of people whose bodies are overly acidic from their diet and which might very well be helped by leaning more on an intake of more alkaline loaded food and drink. Would you please address this concern I have about you advising against Vit K.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to write this article because it has allowed me to determine what is going on with the front of my legs and given me some faith in my ability to correct the problem. I will be eternally in your debt even if "eternity" isn't all that far away. Thank you!

Gene 2 years ago

In my previous comments I made a few errors I'm afraid. One which I would like to correct is in the next last word, "red," in the third to last sentence in the 4th to last paragraph should be "right," not "red." Also I would like to add that I am on about 15 medications twice a day for treatment of other issues such as the other branches of ailments belonging to the metabolic syndrome issues, blood pressure, cholesterol, lipids, chronic anemia, and anticoagulants, and blood thinner, and, oh yow, I have ulcers and a hiatal hernia. LOL. I think that's about it. I sound like the walking dead, huh? Well, I'm not. While I do have some limited mobility issues, I live in a magnificent Rocky Mountain state and I'm out on a mountain bike occasionally and have a couple of pretty active hobbies that keep me moving around, like photography.

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Gene

Your confidence just 'hollers' through this message! That is awesome. No matter what has happened to your body you have continued to stay active and in a positive frame of mind. I believe those two attributes will see you through whatever infirmity your body can dream up! Tht being said; as a nurse I cannot and have never authorized,advised or prescribed. Everyone must be open, honest, forthcoming with their physician. Do not ever take anything even if it is just over the counter without consulting first with you doctor. That is always the wisest thing to do. Stay well and strong as you already are Gene and thank you so much for taking the time to read my hub.

Linda B 2 years ago

thank you for writing this. your info is so on track and your compassion and humor is noted and appreciated.Keep up the good work. God bless you.

Candice 2 years ago

My mom just got out of the hospital after a 18 day stay. She had a blood infection (staph) which they treated with antibiotics. She has been fighting T-cell lymphoma since Nov 2013 and 1/2 way thru the 1st chemo treatments they determined it wasn`t working & now she has been on a different one specifically for her type of cancer for 12 wks now & has another 12 wks to go. She hasn`t been able to have it for the past 2 months because she has been too weak. It started off with her skin itching severely which it continues to do but about the time she started with her new chemo her legs & feet had begun a lot. Weeks after that the weeping began, 1st in her feet, then her legs & now her whole body is weeping which it was when she was in the hospital too but they sent us home yesterday anyway. The past couple of days everywhere she walks leaves a trail or puddle of fluid. She can`t even leave the house because as soon as she puts on clothes they get completely drenched. The cancer Dr. tells us that going back on the chemo will help but it hasn't helped up to this point & nobody that has seen her has told us how to treat her legs or the weeping. Her legs look horrible & the cancer causes her body to peel skin all over and it seems like there should be some help out there for her. We just don`t know what we should be doing & the weeping just seems to be getting worse & she can`t hardly stand it anymore. Any suggestions PLEASE!!!

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Thank you for commenting Candice. I know you feel helpless but the love you have for your Mother comes through in your words. I know your Mom takes comfort and support knowing that you are there for her.I am sorry this is happening to your Mom and to your family. I would encourage you to keep calling the MD office, talk to the nurse,daily if necessary and keep them aware of what is happening. The team of healthcare professionals that are fighting for your Mom is the best place to go for help.

Diane J. 2 years ago

Hi, I hope you have some wonderful advice. My aunt has been suffering with horrible weeping legs and edema. They did the surgery for blood flow, putting stents in, which they said would help her legs. The weeping is still there, and it has been 1 month since the surgery. She is in assisted living and in a very rural area, which I worry if she is getting good care.

She changes the dressing herself, and when she goes in for re-check. They just tell her to come back in a week. I don't understand why the surgery didn't work, and why her legs are still weeping and draining so bad. Any advice will be appreciated! She is 80 years old.

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good Morning Diane

Your aunt sounds like a very strong and independant person.Changing her own dressings for her legs is not easy but she is doing it! That is excellent. It is so hard to be far away and just have to listen to the reports. I would encourage you to keep giving love and enocuragement to your aunt on the phone as often as possible which of course you are doing. Hopefully, the next few weeks will bring more improvements. Do you think that age plays a part in how fast people heal?

Patricia Green 2 years ago

I have had all of the above symptoms for some years now. My own (primary) Doctor doesn't want to know about it. He does nothing. So I have been looking for a specialist for some years now, without success.

What sort of specialist would I have to see about edema of my legs. They are getting very bad.

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Violet Morris 2 years ago

My mother has edema in her legs due to congestive heart failure. She won't sleep in her bed - which is a hospital bed that can be raised up - because she panics and says she can't breathe. We raise the head of the bed and prop her up with pillows, but she still panics. So, she's been sleeping a lift chair - which is a recliner she can control herself... and she keeps lowering her legs because she has bed sores from sleeping in the chair. We try to get her to put her legs up in the lift chair and put pillows under her, but she won't co-operate and keeps putting her legs down on the floor. On top of all that, she has Alzheimer's and can't seem to understand that getting in the bed is what's best for her. Her legs have open sores that are red and are leaking fluid. We've been to her doctor, and he just says get her to prop her legs up. We've been to the emergency room two weeks ago, and they said it wasn't cellulitis and doubled up on her lasik. Nothing is working right now. I don't know if I should take her back to the ER or not... because it's very difficult to get her in a wheelchair & get her there... and then have them do nothing. Yesterday, her leg pain worsened to the point she couldn't stand, she said she felt like she was going to pass out from the pain. I was going to take her back to the ER last night, but we convinced her to get in her bed, which after I left lasted two hours & then she was back in the chair. She's in assisted living and has workers there that help her & we've hired a sitter for the day... but I'm afraid she's going to end up in a nursing home if this doesn't get better. What should I do at this point?

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RNMSN 2 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Patricia

If it were happening to me I would want to see a cardiologist first and a wound care specialist second.

I wish you the best, I can imagine you are miserable. Also, if you are on Medicare, have you thought about asking your physician for home health nurses to come and help you with wound care?

Hello Violet

I know you are worried and I know you want the best for your Mother. I was wondering if you have asked your physician about the possibility of getting home health services for your Mother? If she is in an assisted living facilities it may be possible to use a Medicare Certified Home Health Agency for nurses and wound care and I bet if you start that process then your Mother will get referrals out to other physicans like heart and wound care specialists as I mentioned to Patricia.

My best wishes and thoughts for you both Patricia and Violet!

Deni 24 months ago

Hi, i noticed this thread started 5 years ago but i still see it's going today. Thank you for having it here.

I have weeping leg edema, diagnosed today. I'm an overweight lady with a very large tummy, the weeping is also coming from my tummy, it's just dripping on the floor or chair when i'm sitting.

My doctor didn't tell me much at all, just to keep taking my fluid pills and try to keep my legs elevated.

I was in hospital in October 2013 for 3 weeks due to heart problems and sleep apnea. Apparently i have acute apnea and i was put on a Cpap machine which once i got home i couldn't use it. I panicked when i was wearing it because of claustrophobia.

Do you think my heart problems are back and they're causing the Edema on my lower legs and tummy?

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RNMSN 23 months ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good morning Deni

I am sorry you are going through these health problems. Your cardiologist is the best one to ask about your edema. If you havent seen your cardiologist since last fall perhaps this would be a good time to have an appointment with him/her to see what is going on. In the meantime, a few tips that might make you eel a bit better is to try and wear clothes that do not restrict or pinch,especially around your tummy,wear cotton as much as possible and of course try and keep your skin as clean and dry as you can.Wash your hands frequently. You do not want an infection on top of everything you are going through!I hope you feel better soon.

ana r. 22 months ago

Thank u,this article helped i have con.heartfailure stage 4 and i hace edema drops from both my i care for them more

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RNMSN 22 months ago from Tucson, Az Author

I am glad it helped you Ana, take care

robert 14 months ago

Hello Barbara. Excellent article.

I was wondering if you might have some insight into a condition that my docs so far have failed to diagnose. I've been dealing with generalized pitting edema for several years now without any explanation. Tested for heart, liver, kidney, thyroid, diabetes, etc but nothing specific turns up. When the edema is at it's worst, I usually feel very dried out, almost like I am dehydrated, if that makes any sense. I also have lots of gi inflammation which seems connected to the edema in that both symptoms get worse simultaneously and the edema seems to improve markedly after bowel movements, although my gastro doc claims no connection between the two symptoms.

The edema is pretty much chronic and very generalized. It only leave pits/indents in the legs, however. I am at wits end with this due to lack of diagnosis.

I'm a male 46 with no other health issues, aside from the colon and stomach inflammation. Low blood pressure, not taking any meds and was otherwise thin before the water weight gain

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RNMSN 14 months ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good morning Robert, I love the Mayo Clinic website, I know I can trust the information I find there. Here is a link to an article about edema

It seems your physicians have done all the appropriate tests but I know it is frustrating to have had all the tests and still not have a "reason." Sometimes, as hard as it is to hear, sometimes there is not a 'specific reason' and all you can do is manage the edema itself. I would add a caution that you may have heard already and that is to keep your legs clean and dry and elevated as much as possible and of course to follow your doctors orders. I will be interested in hearing what the underlying reason is as far as your edema is concerned and wish you the best. 2 months ago

None of these cases seems to match mine, unless I missed it. I am a 51-year-old man, 180 lbs, white Anglo-Saxon, generally fit, no high blood pressure or diabetes or anything the doctors can figure out. My leg edema varies from day to day, is more in left than right leg. No itching, no pain, no soreness, no weeping, no odors. Just edema, sometimes making my skin tight and pale. For me, I get relief when I have a very good workout, like running more than 5 miles, or when I do a thorough stretching exercise routine. The next day, my legs are almost normal. No hair on legs from knees down, and it all started about 12 years ago. When I get more sleep, my edema lessens. My wife thought I might have sleep apnea, so I am getting that looked at. The Apnealink screening tool showed I am a 6 out of 10 on apnea scale of some kind, 10 being worst case. My blood pressure is about 110 over 75, resting heart rate is 50 to 60. What is my problem?

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RNMSN 2 months ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good morning Mark

What does your physician tell you? That is your first and best support for any condition. However, sometimes edema in only one extremity can be caused from having had surgery on that extremity at one time. Persons who had a heart bypass sometimes show swelling in the leg where the vessel was removed. I do not know what the problem is in your case, but would be interested in what you find out. It is interesting that exercise makes it improve. That and the fact that you do not have any discomfort is something you want to be sure and tell you MD when you see him. Let me know what you find out!

Mandi 3 weeks ago

For the past month my feet and legs have been very swollen. It doesn't go down at night when I sleep. Just this week my left leg has started weeping, it is a clear, odorless fluid and it only comes from one spot. I have no open areas or sores on my legs, my skin is very intact. My doctor did blood work on me and everything came back normal, now he has ordered a doppler to check my circulation. I'm afraid if this continues it will compromise the integrity of my skin. I hope I can get a diagnosis soon.

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RNMSN 3 weeks ago from Tucson, Az Author

I hope so too Mandi! I am glad you are seeing a doctor and hope it turns out to be nothing!

Jane 3 weeks ago

Hello, there. This is important work you're doing. Are you an A.A.S. RN or BSN or more, R.N. In any event, enough with the "just" an RN. As to self-advocating - I've advocated myself out of the care of several area physicians. I have an open wound that, curiously, appeared acutely, when I removed a bandaid that was covering an infected mosquito bite. Never had anything like that happen before. Going in to week 3 on this. They tell me there's nothing more to be done. I have taken broad-spectrum antibiotics and used bactroban. Putting any ointment on the wound causes inflammation. I started using plantain leaves, (plantago major, not bananas), and that helped a lot, but tonight, there is weeping, and the cavity seems larger - it is certainly indurated - but there is no redness. Feeling kind of wimpy about it at this point - as well as abandoned.

Jane 3 weeks ago

Ah. I see it now - MS RN - excellent. All the more reason you are not "just" a nurse.

Amir 2 weeks ago


My name is Amir I thought i should share this here as someone may need this information; I was diagnosed of COPD in February 2015, my doctor told me it has no permanent cure, i was given inhaler to help relax my airway and other medications to ease the situation, this continued till a friend of mine Anna Burke told me about Dr Grosh from United State who cured her father of COPD and Glaucoma. I contacted this herbal doctor via his email and bought the herbal medicine from him, i received it within 6 days and applied it as prescribed and was totally cured within 19 days of usage. my life is back again! Contact this doctor via his email

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    Barbara Bethard (RNMSN)720 Followers
    78 Articles

    Barbara worked at Thomas Hospital Home Health is certified for home health from ANCC and received her MSN from Mobile University, AL.

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