nohanii: (Default)
[personal profile] nohanii
My finger doesn't want to work.

...okay, have the story:

Ten days ago, I was restraining a cat for treatment of either a) anal gland abscesses or b) literal bites on the ass (it was difficult to discern which). Cleaning the wound was obviously Not Fun and quite painful for Stormy. I noted that my restraint was not the best it could be, but before I could shift and get a better hold, poor Stormy freaked the fuck out, screamed like a wild animal, and clamped down on my left index finger, HARD, REPEATEDLY.

I somehow managed to only say, "ow Ow OW" in a loud, but not shouting, voice while simultaneously releasing my hold on the cat and remaining very still so as to not yank my hand out of a Very Pissed Off cat's mouth to avoid more extended damage to my hand.

After clamping down on my finger 3-5 times (I really don't know how many times he bit, I was kind of focused on the OW factor), Stormy bolted and hid behind and under the xray table a few feet away. After a second or so of stunned silence, I said, "Yeah... I'm going to go wash this REALLY well now" and proceeded to scrub it (OW) with chlorhex soap for at least 10 minutes; then soaked it in a warm chlorhex bath for another 10-15 minutes, all the while scrubbing at my wounds; then washed it in chlorhex soap under running water for ANOTHER 5 minutes, and THEN I soaked and washed it in an iodine solution. After spending at least a half hour trying to disinfect 6 wounds, at least 3 of which were large punctures, I tenderly dried my hand, applied silver sulfadiazine (a disinfectant wound care creamy thing), and wrapped it since it was still oozing blood.

That was between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm on Thursday.

By that night, my finger had doubled in size. By the Friday morning, nearly my entire hand, from my index finger all across my palm and the back of my hand, had blown up like a water balloon. I called the doctor (whom I am not a fan of) to make an appointment. I got in during my lunch break the same day. Rosemarie, the nurse, took a very abbreviated history -- limited to cat bite, left index finger, swollen -- then took my temperature (slightly high) and collected some blood for a CBC. I've had blood drawn a few times for various reasons, but this was the first time it ever hurt. As in, I flinched and nearly said ow. wth. Moving on. Dr M finally came in, poked my hand, asked how my sister was doing, and said I needed a tetanus shot and antibiotics, then left after shoving a scrip for 875 mg Augmentin at me. I saw her for maybe three minutes. What. The. Hell. No wound care, no advice beyond doing warm soaks several times a day, no mention of a need for stitches, no reassuring me that I would be okay, nothing. Instead, she asked about how my sister was doing. While I was sitting there with my hand swollen up like a water balloon, having never had something like this happen before. No offence Kelly, I love you dearly and it's obviously totally not your fault in any way, but I really would have preferred if Dr M had focused on me for once.

Keep in mind, my hand was extremely swollen, very nearly completely immobile, and it hurt quite a bit when put in any position below the level of my heart.

Rosemarie came back in a few minutes later and pretty much just tried to stab me with the tetanus shot. I stopped her after she said it would cost me thirty bucks out of pocket because insurance "wouldn't cover it" and stated that I was "not convinced that I needed it," since I wasn't bit by a rusty cat, just a terrified cat. No hint of rust. Well, that didn't sit well with Rosemarie at all. "Well," she huffed, "I can't make you." Then she stormed out to tattle on me and fetch the doctor again. Something like ten minutes later, Dr M comes back in, SUPER huffy, and starts in on me.

Dr M: "I can't make you have the shot, I can only advise that you have it, but if you're convinced that you don't need it--"
Me: "That's not what I said."
Dr M: "!!!"
Me: "I said I was not convinced that I did need it. You never explained what a tetanus shot is for. I have only heard of it being administered after a rusty metal wound. This is a cat bite."
Dr M: "...tetanus shots help prevent cellulitis, which you have, and can help prevent it from getting worse."
Dr M: *glare*
Me: "Okay, that's all I needed."

Only halfway convinced, I let them give me the shot, since it could maybe possibly help in some way, paid the thirty bucks, and left.

Several days later, my hand was still very swollen, but was slowly started to regain its normal size and function. By the next Friday, all the swelling was gone except for right around the punctures, and all my non-index fingers were working properly. On the advise of Dr W, I gently removed some scabs that came loose after a warm soak and discovered that I could see down to the muscle layer. Joy of joys.

Now, after 10 days on Augmentin (875 mg Amoxicillin/125 mg Clavulanate Potassium) twice a day -- that's an entire gram of antibiotics twice a day -- all the punctures are healing nicely sans stitches. The only real problem now is... I can only flex my index finger through approximately half of its normal range. Forcing it beyond that hurts. It feels like a tendon or muscle running between the first and third knuckles is too tight. The pain associated with over flexing my finger is the same sort of pain like when you way over stretch a muscle. Also, there are two subdermal hard bumps on the dorsal and lateral sides of the proximal phalange that I don't remember being there before. They seem to be associated with the bone, or are at least situated very close to it.

On the plus side, I've discovered that I have a titanium stomach. Augmentin commonly causes GI upset, vomiting and diarrhea. I have not had a single symptom. Kat (one of the techs) even compared me to a Labrador -- they'll eat anything and everything and not have a problem. I am ridiculously proud of my stomach.
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