Anita Clark is a 50-year-old community from Clayton, Manchester and she went through pure hell after simply scratching her nose. It all began in July last year, when she was out gardening. “I strangely started to feel run down and achy. So I decided to have an early night to make sure that I felt better for work in the morning,” she remembers.
At first, she thought it was simply a cold, she shrugged it off and went to work anyway. “My colleague looked at me and said ‘Anita, your nose looks like Rudolph. When I looked in the mirror I realized it was really red at the tip, and it felt a bit hot but I didn’t think anything of it,” Anita says. However, she continued to feel bed and she left work early to get some rest.
The symptoms got worse
The next day she woke up with more serious symptoms: “I was flooding with sweat, really clammy and couldn’t breathe properly. I phoned NHS 111 and told them my symptoms and they told me to get an ambulance, and they came almost immediately.”
She was rushed to the Manchester Royal Infirmary hospital. She received some antibiotics, but the next day her face had doubled in size. “I was terrified, at times I thought that my face would never go back to normal,” Anita says.
Anita was diagnosed with cellulitis and almost lost her sight
They diagnosed her with cellulitis, a skin infection that can cause kidney damage or sepsis. At first they could not find the cause for this condition, and they believed that make-up brushes were responsible for this. However, Anita quickly denied: “I highly doubt that as I only ever use a blusher brush on my cheeks sometimes.” Doctors finally noticed that there was a small scratch inside on her nostrils. “They think that either bacteria from when I was doing the garden had got in to the cut, or just sweat bacteria, had caused cellulitis in my face,” Anita adds.
Things got even worse, and Anita woke up with a swollen fact that did not even allow her to open her eyes. She also began to develop a huge blister on her face, covering her cheeks and nose. “Because my skin was so full of fluid it started oozing out of my skin. It gradually started to crust over and smell appallingly, but luckily due to the Linezolid I was on, that didn’t last for too long,” Anita explains.
Doctors were even more worried, as they believed that the swelling could also damage her eyes and leave her blind. “I was in hospital for nine days taking regular antibiotics to try and get the fluid out of my face. But the most nerve-racking thing was the idea that if the fluid went to my eyes, I would have gone blind,” Anita recalls. “I had X-rays and eye scans to make sure that the cellulitis wasn’t going to be fatal, or cause me to go blind or anything. Fortunately, it didn’t reach my eyes enough to make me go blind, so I thank my blessings for that.”
She recovered but she continues to take care of her skin
It took a while for her face to return to normal, but even after being discharged from the hospital she still had to return for months in order to get her eyes checked. Anita says she is grateful for her recovery, but her face remained sensitised, which means that she has to be more careful with it. “Now, I have to make sure that I’m really careful in the sun and wear factor 50 on my face,” Anita concludes