Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cat Bites - Who Knew?

Yesterday was full of surprises.

I judged an African violet show, which I always enjoy, and I got to see some friends I don't get to see very often. I learned that we all rely heavily on a computer program developed to enter show exhibits and calculate all sorts of data. The poor club members had to enter all their exhibits by hand, doing the best they could, and our judging panel went more slowly, with lots of stops for looking up varieties and making sure plants were in classes where they would be judged properly. Still, it was a nice show and I so enjoyed seeing so many of my violet friends.

Then, since I was already on the North side, I headed over to Linda's. We spent an enjoyable afternoon together, knitting, talking and just generally hanging out - stuff we used to do a lot more when I lived in the city. We really had a nice afternoon!

Around 6:30 we headed out to have dinner at Gates BBQ (yum!) and the cat got out. To make a long story short - the cat bit me on my left index finger near when it joins my hand. I thought I had her by the scruff, but I apparently didn't have a good grip . . . Poor Linda - she was quite upset. We did everything you're supposed to do for puncture wounds and headed out to have a good dinner. I left for home around 9:30 and was home by 10:15 - this speedy side-effect of the price of gasoline continues, and there was hardly anyone on the expressway.

I woke up early this morning with my hand in some pain. I managed to sleep a few more hours and then got up and got ready to go to church to sing. However, my index finger joint where it joins to my hand was twice it's normal size, bright pink, and hot and painful to the touch. I took a photo of it, but it's too gross to put on the blog (I know, you're thanking me - well, you're welcome).


Through my insurance we have a program called Nurseline, where you can talk to a registered nurse 24/7, so I thought it would be a good plan to call, because I didn't want to go to urgent care and sit around and wait if what was going on was normal. It wasn't :-(

She asked me a short series of questions and promptly told me that I needed to go to urgent care and be seen by a physician within the next three hours. Go to Urgent Care. Go Directly to Urgent Care. Do NOT Pass Go. Do NOT Collect Two Hundred Dollars! Wow - I didn't really think it was major, but she was quite insistent, so I pulled on some clothes (not easy when you have a major digit out of commission) and went over to urgent care.

So now, about three and half hours later, I'm home. Missed church. Didn't sing. Got a shot in the ass for my pains and a prescription. Did you know that cat bites to the hand are very serious? Yeah, me neither. The doctor took one look at my hand and said that had I waited 5 or 6 hours longer, the infection would have spread halfway up my hand by that time. As it was, it had spread since this morning already.

I got a shot in the ass of a very strong antibiotic (which didn't hurt nearly as much as my hand and finger do) that will hopefully stop whatever's going on dead in its tracks, and a prescription for a second very strong antibiotic that I'm to take Without Fail for 10 days. He said that more than once. It's one that will make me photo sensitive, so no Celtic Fest at Gaelic Park for me today :-( Bummer. I'm also required to see a physician again on Wednesday - and the doctor said that if I could not get in to see my own doctor that I was to call him and he would see me Wednesday without fail - something about the structure of the fascia of the hand and infection getting in underneath it . . . I don't know - it sounded gross and he scared me enough that one way or another I'll go on Wednesday.

So, after picking up the prescription at Walgreen's and getting some comfort food (OK - Kraft Dinner - I know, it's gross, but who doesn't like mac & cheese when they feel sorry for themselves?), I'm home. Oh - did I mention that I'm left-handed? I can't hold a pen. I can't knit. I can't spin. The Bears are losing to Tampa Bay, and typing without my left index finger is quite challenging, to say the least. Plus, it hurts like hell and if I don't keep it elevated, it throbs. Dammit. Apparently if you get bit on the arm the body is usually quite able to fight infection easily - but according to Dr. Singh, the hand is the worst place to be bitten by a cat.

Who knew? Live and learn - I won't be picking up any cats any time soon - scratch that (pardon the pun) - I won't be picking up any cats at all. Ever.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

No kitty-love again, EVER? That's a little extreme. Just don't go grabbing at kitties again; let its owner worry about catching the runaway. I'm sure glad you got to the doctor in time, and I hope it heals quickly!

A :-) said...

There are plenty of ways to do kitty-love without picking one up - but truthfully, other than Bucky & Satchel (I didn't get custody of them) I've never been much of a cat person anyway - give me a dog any day :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm way behind on reading my blogs and I'm glad that you will be ok. Do as the doctor says and take all your meds. Hugs,Karen