Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Tail of the Cat

Last May, we had a bit of a flea issue. We had an exterminator come and take care of said flea issue. (only, it didn't take care of said flea issue. Some Raid and a flea bomb, flea collars did)

It was May 22 that the exterminator came out. We came home, opened the windows ...and later that night, I felt like I was walking through jello. Extermination services are a well known trigger for Myasthenic reactions. We know this, we thought we had stayed away from the house for long enough to keep me safe. We hadn't quite planned well enough. I sat up that night afraid to go to sleep. I took extra Mestinon and concentrated on trying to breathe and see through the double vision. Finally, around 4 in the morning, the effects of the poison seemed to be leaving my system, or the extra mestinon was compensating. Either way, I felt safe enough to go to bed.

I got up in the morning, my husband was already up. He was coughing some, but joking around with the boys. At 8 am I drove the youngest to school and came home. He seemed a bit worse. We waited for the doctor's office to open for him to call. By the time they opened, he was significantly worse. They said they couldnt' see him, but another clinic associated with them could see him at 10:45.

Within 15 minutes, he couldn't stand up. I called 911. They rushed him to the hospital ... he was in respiratory failure due to post polio syndrome. Our lives, got turned upside down, backwards and forewards, inside out and everywhere you can imagine. They did not think it was the pest control measures. They still don't. They think that was pure coincidence. (My issues, they think were. His, not so much)

However, the timing, haunts me to this day. The idea of a flea torments me.

So, flashforeward to the other day ... I'm laying on my bed, following orders to actually rest and I'm petting my dear kitty Twitch. As I'm petting I feel a pittering on my arm (what other word would you use to describe that?). I brush it off and again, I feel it in another spot. That catches my attention. I look ...
GASP! IT's a little black enemy!!!

Not only is there one flea ..but TWO!!!

Oh no ..no no no no no no no no ...we are NOT going there again!

So, I take this little (big) kitty to the tub ..and get out the flea shampoo ..and you've never heard such caterwallering. He hollared and he yelled and he moaned and groaned.
You'd have thought I'd taken away his favorite ... I don't know ... what do cats love?

But, he's not fighting me. He's standing in the tub, perfectly still. Not moving an inch, just crying to beat the band.

The family is standing outside the door yelling at me

"What are you doing?"
"I'm giving him a flea bath! LEave me alone! He's fine, he's just being a baby!!"

So then, I do the terrible thing!

This cat has a tail ...not just any tail ... but a TAIL.

Now this tail is almost as big as he is. This cat, is very proud of his tail and he walks around with this tail in the air.

This tail is so big that we decided it was it's own entity and deserved it's own name. (one friend said it's so big it deserves it's own zip code).

So, the cats name is Twitch, but the tails name is Boone.

So, I go to put shampoo on Boone. OH MY GOODNESS ..then the caterwallering was just ... horrible. The family outside the door started to caterwall with him.

I take him out of the tub to rub the shampoo in and he stops crying. So the family goes away.

Well, you can't leave the cat with shampoo on him, so I place him back in the tub.

I rinse him off and as before, he's screaming bloody murder but not moving a muscle. My husband comes back ...only this time decides he's going to rescue him.

Just as I go to rinse off the beloved Boone ... Don reaches for the door.

That's too much for Twitch.
He looses his composure of holding still and just screaming and turns and bites me on the arm ... bolts for the door ...

and my husband stands there and says



So, the bite marks go a bit deep and bleed pretty bad. I wash with antibiotic soap and post on twitter.

I get advice to go to doc ...NOW.

I call doctor.

My exact message was "I got bit by my cat and there are 3 puncture wounds, one of them won't stop bleeding."

The doctor calls me in keflex and says she'll see me the next morning.

I wake up in the morning with an infected arm.

RLBates at Suture for a Living does a great job of explaining cat bites.

They try to move my appt back and I tell them they can't, it's infected and getting worse.

I get there and they have reason for visit as
"patient bit by her car, area red and swollen"

well good.

The reason the doctor didn't respond the day of the bite ...the message she got from the nurse ...
"Patient thinks she "might" have gotten scratched by her cat"
complete with quotation marks around the word might.

Can we say snarky?

Yes, this is a nurse we've had issues with in the past (think I've even blogged about her on here).

Don and I have agreed that a talk with the office manager is in order when we go in on Monday. There are times when we feel this nurse is purposefully sabotaging my healthcare ...and this one ... could have gotten dangerous.

Not calling in a medication to a pharmacy is annoying.
Not giving my correct insurance information in a referral is irritating.
Not DOING a referral to a specialist or PT as ordered is downright frustrating.
Not passing a message to a doctor so the doctor doesn't know I'm in the hospital is aggrivating. (her reasoning .. "I didn't think you should have been there to begin with, why should I bother the doctor with such things. My job is to protect the doctor)

Thumper (not her real name) you gotta get real.


  1. Is the infection under control now? Did you get a different antibiotic?

  2. Yesterday had me worried. It was still growing in space, but not swelling, and looked less red. But the deeper site was oozing. Today, the two smaller bites (upper teeth) the redness is receeding (it had gone way around them surrounding all three punctures)

    It's still a large area of redness, and tender. However it's not as hot. and there are patches of normal skin color peeking through the red throughout the red inflammed skin.

    Oh, yeah, I had gotten the augmentine. my system really fights that stuff. So, phenergan as well. So, I'm spending a lot of time going ......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  3. Bathing the cat?

    You are a braver woman than I, Baby Blogsis.

  4. The medical assistant is completely out of line. When you talk to the office manager, have a letter detailing each incident you can remember, in hand. Give the office manager the letter. When you see the doctor, tell her also (briefly) and give the doctor a copy of the letter. Doctor's don't like it when medical assistants make those kind of decisions without consulting the doctor...you were in the hospital, clearly the doctors and RN's there felt you needed to be. Someone with a 2 semester certificate (maybe a 2 year degree...as a stretch), who has not even seen you in person, does not have the knowledge to decide if you belong there or not...that is not up to them! Regardless of her actions...a cat scratch can be dangerous also (cat sctratch fever is a real thing...and they get infected too). I don't see how she went from biten to might have been scratched unintentionally... but the fact is, BOTH of those require attention right away and she dropped the ball either way. If the office manager doesn't do anything about it, the doctor will. Doctor's don't like it when their patients health is risked by an employee...it reflects back on the doctor if there is a bad turn. I'll stop ranting now.

    I hope your healing well.

  5. wow!!Seems like you've been through a lot with that kitty of yours. hope your infection is getting better. & I do agree I think the nurse needs to be spoken too about the issues your family is having with her. That's not very professional!!! Good luck. Have a great day!!

  6. Battle Weary
    "Thumper" the 'nurse' (not sure if she's nurse or medical assistant) has a bad history with my family, husband, self and mom). But it isn't just me.
    My neurologist, same clinic, different office, can't stand her. He gets frustrated because she never sends him a copy of my monthly lab work.

    He swears she knows something about someone very high up in the hospital heirarchy ..because no one so purposefully negligent in their job could hang onto it without knowing something.

    We've been dealing with her for 7 years now. She's checked me in and seen my extensive medication list, with SERIOUS medications. She knows I get monthly lab work, she has written down the diagnosis codes of SLE or Myasthenia gravis, or lupus or any such thing ...so she intellectually knows I'm not a healthy person.

    She'll tell me there are no appointments available, I'll call back to say "no, I have to get in, get me in with another doctor" and then get ahold of someone else to be told there are 5 openings.

    We know it's not just US she does this to. It's anyone with chronic medical issues. Anyone who 'takes up her time'.

    It's frustrating and hard to not take it personal, even though we know it's not.

  7. You poor thing. You have had enough to contend with. I love the Frontline Plus. I use it on my little Lab. Right between the shoulder blades. You part the fur, and put it right on their skin. Maybe there are issues I'm unaware of where you wouldn't be able to use this, I don't know not being familiar enough with you. Never a problem with fleas now for my little guy. What a terrifying thing for your family. I hope you are all alright now.