Friday, April 1, 2011

Why NOT to get bitten by a cat

Well, I'd heard this could happen. Usually, I've gotten a bite, gone to the doc, gotten some antibiotics, hauled the cat (if it wasn't mine) to the vet 10 days later for a rabies check and prepared to complete all the city paperwork. But sometimes the cat's spit will land you here...
Yep, the ER.

I'm doing this post as a cautionary tale (because I didn't take cat bites seriously enough) and to show you the truly amazing (I'm sure once in a lifetime) digs I wound up with for the next 2 days. You may rest assured I will be MUCH more careful in the future.

I got my antibiotics from the doc within hours of the bite and did the usual soaking, etc., assuming things would go as they always had. I didn't feel too sporty at work on Wednesday, after the bite, and went home early for a nap. Around 6:15, I got up and went to Bible study. My hand was somewhat redder than it had been when I'd laid down. By 8:30 members of the study were saying it looked worse than when I came in. Sure enough, the red area was bigger. *sigh* I schlepped down to Patient First, just before they closed. They took one look and sent me to the GBMC (Greater Baltimore Medical Center) ER for IV antibiotics.

To say I was put out is an understatement - I've had to have an IV before (an hour long deal) and thought it was just timing sending me to the ER, since Patient First was about to close. I zipped home, grabbed my meds ('cause I knew they'd want to know what they were), wrote the "Glitch" post below and, just in case, freshened everyone's food and water and did a quick poop scoop.

I hoped to be home by the wee hours of the morning. Next thing I know, they're admitting me. At that point, they said one more course and they'd check my blood work again. I was still hoping to get to work by noon the next day.

They finally released me late this afternoon - after 40 hours on IV antibiotics, with my hand bound and constantly elevated (your arm will ache, let me tell you!). I missed 3 1/2 days at work because of my carelessness ... not fair to my employer or co-workers and I feel horrible about that. I had to impose on my sis to come feed and love the critters and take care of some paperwork that was due by 3/31. Sheesh!

But I must admit there was a small plus side - I was plunked into what the staff repeated referred to as "the best room in the hospital." Thanks to ye old cell phone, check it out!
But, wait, there's more... here's the OTHER side of the room:
Two lounge chairs (another is on the other side of the bed), a sofa and assorted small chairs graced the room. Yeah, that's my drip, on the left, that I had to drag everywhere... no showers for me - I felt totally gross when I got home.

But check out the view from my chair by the bed:

Here's the view out the front window:

And, since this IS a cautionary tale, here's what the bound hand is going to look like if you wind up in the same situation:
Oh, yeah, and your other hand will be sporting one of these:

So, please be more careful about being bitten than I've been. I feel like a teenager, just waking up to the fact that, yeah, it can happen to you!


  1. ouch! hope you're feeling better

  2. I had a feeling this was what you meant by "glitch", but hoped I was wrong. How unfair that you had to endure all this just for wanting to help... But knowing you, I'm sure you don't hold a grudge!

    I'm so glad you're back home! Please make a full recovery very soon!

  3. Oh no, I hate it you had to go though that. When I saw that short post I knew something had happened, but I really didn't suspect it actually happened to you. I'm glad you're doing better, at least I think you are, you typed a good bit there!

  4. Oh, no! What an ordeal. Bites are painful.

  5. I dunno Lisa. I think that's a lot to go through just to skip a management class.

    So glad you are back home. Now, take it easy!

  6. OMGosh!!!!! If you weren't already my hero, you surely would be now!!! Thank you for all you do. I wish I was within driving distance so I could help you with whatever you need. :(

  7. OMG! Sorry to hear this! Cat bites are definitely freaky, and.. you are around enough cats that it's a problem. Hope your hand does okay.

    I encouraged my friend Ken (who has more indoor cats than I have fingers) to post his story of woe here.

  8. Oh you poor girl! I hope your hand is feeling better.

    Well.... at least you had a terrific view! :)

    Take care of yourself friend!
    xo Catherine

  9. Wow, that is a fancy cage they had you in at the vet's! But I'm sure you had as much fun as we kitties do when we have to stay there - none!

  10. Oh my goodness!! I'm glad you're home and better now. Good grief, who knew a cat bite could do that? I didn't!

  11. Yeah - I spent 3 days in the hospital - after having surgery to "debride" my knuckle - because of a cat bite. One of our kitties got out (they are indoor only) and while trying to rescue him, he SANK his teeth into my knuckle. He also got my wife that night, so we took her to the hospital. By the time she was done - different insurance - it was late, so I didn't go until the next day. 3 days later, it was swollen 2X size, and when I went back to the hospital, they admitted me immediately. I had to do PT after wards to get the motion back in my hand, and it still bothers me when it gets cold.

  12. Good lord, Lisa! This is what I come back to when I haven't visited for a few days? Good grief.

    Well, the up side is that your room looks so relaxing. My guess is that it takes something like this to get you to take a little break, so in that regard it wasn't all bad.

    SO glad that you're doing fine. A scary litle episode, I'm sure.

    Take care of yourself.


  13. Whoa! OMC, I'm sorry, hope you're feeling much better now. What an ordeal.

    I'll echo Catherine and say at least you had a great view. I deeply appreciate our universal health care in Canada...but NOBODY gets a view like that. LOL. No one person would even be in that large a room! :-P

    BTW, knock on wood I've only been bitten once, by angel Annie (redirected aggression). Guess I was lucky, only had a tetanus shot, nothing else. And even that, with the 5 punctures and various scratches, was nasty.

    So I'm sending you tons of universal healing Light and the boys send their purrs!

    -Kim at Fuzzy Tales

  14. ya know, I thought about saying something after you mentioned you were bitten, but I thought it would be overkill. Even now, it seems like you were right on top of it, getting it looked at originally and getting ABs.

    I hope you heal up quickly

  15. Lisa - Thank heaven you are okay! I had no idea cat bites could be so serious!
    At least the human vets pampered you while you were undergoing treatment.
    Take care, sweetie. Hope it is 100% healed soon!

  16. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of this but I can't think of a better place to get treatment. GBMC is awesome! Very familiar with that view. Glad you are on the mend. Take care of yourself.

  17. Ug this is awful! Glad you are alright and will heal. I got bitten not so long ago and it hurt way more than I thought it would. Be careful :)

  18. Yikes! I'm so happy to hear that you're feeling better. A few deep breaths at thinking how much worse it could have been.

    Hugs and best wishes,

    Ann F

  19. I will 2nd and 3rd the comments about how bad cat bites can be- I was bitten on the top of my hand by an adoptable shelter kitty, who had been purring up until he sank his canines into me. The shelter took me to the ER right away, where I soaked my hand in saline solution, had it wrapped and was given oral antibiotics and vicodin. This was Friday afternoon a year ago.

    The next day, it continued to swell around the bandage, so Sunday morning, back to the ER I went (thanks to a friend who drove since I couldn't use my hand). I got IV antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. I missed a week of work since my hand was too swollen to work properly.

    A year later, barely any scars, just a touch of scar tissue. But wow, what an experience. Take good care of yourself!

    (I'm a long-time reader, found you from IBKC, but first time poster.)

  20. Yikes! What a misadventure, Lisa! I'm glad they took good care of you at the ER and that they got things under control. I've seen scary things happen from blood infections (not from a cat bite, but that's beside the point) and I'm relieved you are okay.

    Much has been afoot chez vous, sweet lady. Clearly my once-a-week posting/blog-visiting habit is not keeping me as up to date on the news as I'd like it to!

  21. I think that is right bout that. Nice info and thanks. Need to get in google feed.

    generic nolvadex

  22. omg! i had no idea! i got the crap bitten out of my hand a couple years ago by a stray. i wrapped it with napkins and washed it when i got home later. i'll definitely be more careful in the future - not to mention it hurt like a mofo.

    glad you're recovering - probably even fully recovered, i'm a week or so behind... yowsers!



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