Frustrated after a day in the ER - erythema nodosum

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luna ray
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 3/7/2010 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been in a manageable flare for about a year now (blood and mucus daily, urgency, nausea, urgency), but have never had to miss work. I thought I had a system worked out -- even though sometimes I have to spend the weekend recharging. Things have been worse in the last few weeks, but it's still been manageable.

But then Thursday I developed a fever at work. Went to bed at 7pm and thought I had the thing beat, but had to come home from work the next morning. Then this morning I woke up with these painful, large swollen red lumps on my legs. After waiting an hour and a half at the walk-in, they sent me to the ER because of my fever, where I waited for even longer.

Anyway, apparently all of this is due to my UC. I'd heard of erythema nodosum but never imagined they could be so large and tender! And I'm still battling the fever, and might have to miss work tomorrow. Arg. And to make it worse, I have really painful hemorrhoids. Go figure.

The ER docs didn't want to prescribe me prednisone right there because I had bad reactions to it when I was younger and took it for asthma. I should hear from my gastro tomorrow, but in the meantime am feeling frustrated.

I'm getting worried that if things continue like this I'll have to go on short term disability or something. My job isn't really one I can step away easily from, or just do part time. I know many people have it a lot worse than I do, I'm just starting to question whether I should even bother continuing on with this job. I'm relatively new in the position and would like to hang on for a year or longer before moving on, since it's a great career opportunity, but am feeling beaten down and questioning my priorities. And perhaps spending the time in the ER today just drove that home for me.

The doctor said there's not much they can do for erythema nodosum. Does anyone have tips for that? Or for meds to ask about other than pred?

Thanks, in advance. I feel a bit better already just having wrote this down, getting it out of my head.
diagnosed with 45cm moderate UC in Dec 2008
- salofalk 2X500mg 4x/day
- salofalk enemas 4ml/day
- probiotics
- Vitamin D 2,000 IU/day

Gentle Now
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 3/7/2010 10:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Luna,
I'm no help... I've never heard of erythema nodosum (can you please explain what it is?)

But I did want to say that if you've been flaring for a year and haven't taken any sick time, you might really be pushing it. Please be careful and give your body a chance to rest and recuperate. I'm a workaholic too, so here's a trick I've learned... think of your colon as your sick child. Would you demand that your sick child get up at 6:30am to face a stressful day when he/she so clearly needs to stay in bed and have someone (you!) give it the care needed to get well?

I really feel for you - it's like having to choose between your physical health and your financial health. But the financial benefits are a known, where they physical outcome is a mystery. That makes it hard to put the physical as a priority. But like you said, being in the ER puts things in a different light.

Take care and good luck to you.
diagnosed with UC in Feb 2007
taking 12 Asacol/day since then
take Rowasa enema as needed
Mega-dosing on iron due to anemia
Have tried dozens of alternate remedies: 
glutamine, sunflower/spinach, omega3, Ayurveda, reflexology, herbal prescriptions, blood allergy testing (avoiding dairy and eggwhites), tried no nightshades, tried SCD (not very strict to be honest), tried Guts to Glory program, briefly tried David Klein diet, mega-probiotics, probiotic enemas, slippery elm enemas, etc. etc. 
I know that the right combination for what my tender tummy needs is out there!

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 29843
   Posted 3/7/2010 11:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm curious if the hospital did a biopsy to make sure it's not an infection rather than just assumed it's UC-related.

Are you taking the enemas nightly? That's a long time for you to still have the flaring symptoms.
I would also suggest you ask for a prescription to deal with your hemmies...proctocedyl has been a good med for me. It comes in ointment and suppositories. Use the supps during the day, your enemas at night and the ointment externally.

I cannot offer much regarding your's unfortunate you're in this situation because of your health.

Please do LOTS of research on EN and possibly get referred to a skin specialist. I guess I'm wanting you to make sure nothing else is going on.

Let us know what's happening.


linc lassie uk
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 3/8/2010 1:12 PM (GMT -7)   
i feel for you because i had erythema nodosum about 14yrs ago it was very painful especially when i tried to walk it felt like my legs were on fire, it just affected the shins on both legs i seem to remember that it took a few weeks before it finally went ,i occaisonally have a couple of red patches on legs but without the pain,and the docs said that there wasnt any treatment for it.At the time i didnt have uc but when i was diagnosed 12 yrs ago i was told that it was due to the uc. I hope that you dont have to sufer this for too long.
pred 7.5mg
pre bio 7
recently changed from mezavent back to colazide x 9

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