Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Outdoor Cats

It's been a long time since my last post, but things have been turned completely upside down in my universe.

The last time I was in the emergency room was five and a half years ago when I was in labor with my first child - my daughter. Well, in the past week, I've been in the ER three times. With same child.

She was scratched by a cat last week while outside playing with her friend.

Cats can carry rabies.

You can get rabies from a scratch.

Can we say oh s!@#?

I took her to the pediatrician, who said it didn't look all that serious (It didn't. It was just a tiny little scratch.), but we should call the Health Department and follow their lead. Oh, and we should try to find the cat as well. Need to verify if it's up to date on its rabies vaccination.

Did I mention I live in a townhouse complex? Do you know how many f'ing cats there are? Not to mention that there is a school BUS YARD on the eastern end of this complex. Talk about needle in the haystack (I know, a cliche, but after the week I've had - I don't give a damn).

OK - nothing to worry about.

Until child and I get home.

My next door neighbor is an RN. She asks how my daughter's doing and if the dr. prescribed any sort of antibiotic - just in case.

NO!!!! HE DIDN'T!!!!

It's now almost nine at night (did I mention my daughter is FIVE???) So we call the ER who says to call the pediatrician to see if he'll call in a script for an antibiotic.

Five to nine - no one's home in the pediatrician's office. HUGE surprise.

So off we trek to the ER - where we sit for three hours because (of course) they are swamped. (Did I mention I live pretty much out in the sticks??? How did the ER get to be such a zoo??? Karma - it's gotta be!)

We see ER doc. No problem, he sez. I wouldn't worry about postexposure treatment for rabies. The chance of getting it from a scratch is so remote... if it were MY kid, I wouldn't do it. But follow up with Dept of Health.

And try to find cat.

Yeah. Right.

Sigh of relief. Thank doc. Leave with child and bottle of Augmentin (along with scrip for Augmentin - JIC).

Get home - nearly midnight. Get totally beat child to bed. Collapse with hubby to rehash what both doctors said.

Hubby goes to bed. I get on Web MD and CDC websites.

Twelve thirty - in tears because nowhere does it say I don't have to worry about my daughter contracting rabies.


We need to find this f'ing cat ASAP. I have 72 hrs.

I'm up all night.

Next two days spent on the phone with Health Dept trying to pin down this stupid cat. Hubby's out papering the neighborhood with notices from the dept of health with their phone no and ours - if anyone has an info... blah...blah...blah...

No one calls.

And we still have to find the cat.

Friday night, we think we have the cat. The police have found the owners of a cat matching the same description.

Hooray - my daughter (remember - she's FIVE) won't have to go through the treatment. Thank God. It's not as brutal as we were told when we were kids, but still best to avoid if possible.

Saturday morning - I trek over to owner's house with my daughter and the friend who saw the damn cat. Feeling pretty good - cat's in quarantine. But cat IS overdue for shots. A little damper, but we don't know how great the risk is just yet.

However, this cat is NOT (repeat IS NOT) the one we're looking for. We call Dept. of Health. We're out of time. My daughter (5 yrs old) needs to be treated.

If she's contracted it - it is 100% fatal without treatment.


i want to cry.

Back to the ER.

1sr shot is globulin (doctor explained, but I can't rememver, I just know it will absolutely kill - decimate, annihilate - all traces of the virus. WOO HOO!)

Needle is the kind they use on horses. And the globulin must be injected into wound sight - which is a very tiny wrist.

I have never heard my daughter scream like the way she screamed that day. She was so brave - tried so hard to not utter a sound even though the DOCTOR told her it would hurt like hell and she could scream and cry all she wanted.

I never want to hear that sound again.

After the globulin, she had to get two (yes, that's right TWO) more injections - one in each leg. Vaccine - what she'll be getting over the next month as well.

But the nurses and the doctor all rock and have more compassion than should be allowed. They do both shots at once to get them over with and with as little pain as possible. God bless them.

We went back on DAY 3 - another vaccination. This one is blessedly easy - a shot in the arm, just like the MMR vaccine. Kid didn't even flinch.

I - on the other hand - wanted a shot of JD.

We get to do this on Day 7, Day 14 and DAy 28 (postexposure). And then it will all be over and I will be able to sleep again at night.

People, VACCINATE your animals. And parents, drill into your kids' heads that they should NEVER touch an animal they don't know. Trust me - you DO NOT want to do this...

I just thank God my daughter is going to be ok because no one (NO ONE) who has gotten the postexposure treatment has EVER gotten rabies. 100% fatal, but also 100% curable.

Thank God...

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I first must say I can totally relate being a mother with 3 children 2, 4, and 7. I never let my kids touch any stray animals who knows where they have been or what they have been doing. I love your blog you can keep writing I will read it! Come back and visit mine again it has just been revised!