Wednesday, January 13, 2016

She Bit Me!

Hobbes, my visiting foster kitty, is here.  I have lots to write about but I haven't been able to post much lately.  First I was driving to Florida and back, and had little time to write, and very spotty internet access on the road.  Then, yesterday, Hobbes bit me.

She bit me good.  I don't blame her, she was mad and scared and did not want to be touched.  And I was insisting on touching her.  She had on a harness and leash and I wanted to take them off.  It was easy to take off the leash, but the harness involved handling her to figure out where the straps unbuckled and stuff.  And she did not want to be handled.

She is still wearing the harness.  And I have three puncture wounds in my left hand.

Cat bites, it turns out, are notoriously nasty.  Cats have long, sharp, skinny teeth, so they cause deep puncture wounds.  Dog bites are often less deep, even if it is a big dog with really big, long teeth, because the tooth is wider and less needle-like.  Cats also have a type of bacteria in their mouth that is normal in animals but harmful to humans.  When they bite, they essentially inject this harmful bacteria deep into your tissue.

Because of that, antibiotics are typically prescribed for cat bites right away, instead of waiting for an infection to develop.  And even with antibiotics, serious infections can develop.  Something like one third of people bitten by cats require hospitalization for treatment! How bizarre is that?

So off to the urgent care I went, to get some antibiotics.  I just finished a course of antibiotics for an ear infection.  I take probiotics daily and I eat yogurt but I think I also need to pick up some kefir.  I am going to get a yeast infection or something from all these antibiotics.

I like the nurse practitioner at the urgent care at my county hospital.  The urgent care there is only open Monday through Friday in the evenings, something like 3 pm to 10 pm.  So I can't always go there due to the limited hours, but I like the NP there and I've gotten good care there.

The NP gave me antibiotics and told me if my hand got any worse, if I had increased redness or pain or swelling, to come back to the ER.  Note that while my hand felt a bit tender, like it was going to have a big bruise the next day, the pain was not bad.  It was slightly red and slightly swollen right around the puncture wounds.  But it was not bad.  Maybe a two or three on a scale of one to 10.

A few hours later, my hand was swollen and red and it hurt a lot worse.  And the pain was not just right around the puncture wounds but my whole hand hurt.  It was hard to move my fingers.

I felt silly going to the ER about a cat bite, especially when I'd just been to urgent care a few hours earlier.  But my hand was getting more and more painful by the minute, and the NP had said to go to the ER if it got any worse, so I went.

It was not a great experience.  The ER doctor looked at my hand and immediately said something like, "that's not so bad."  I explained why I was there, what the NP had told me at urgent care, and he said, "Well, this is what I would expect from a cat bite.  They are red, they hurt.  This doesn't look bad."

It bothered me.  It upset me a ridiculous amount.  It was late by then, I was tired, I was in pain.  I felt like he was saying I shouldn't have gone to the ER.  I felt bad about being there.  Guilty or something.  I cried.

However, the ER doc wrote me a script for some pain meds.  I have had good luck getting pain meds lately!  I got some after having a tooth pulled recently and I got muscle relaxers when I had the muscle spasms in my neck and went to urgent care for that.  I'm not sure why I am suddenly able to get pain meds when for a couple of years I suffered in pretty severe pain, unable to get any meds, but I'm glad for it.

The ER doc also gave me a splint to help limit the movement of my wrist and hand, which helps limit the amount of pain.  It is hard to type with the splint on, though.

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