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.

Date: 2011-08-09 04:16 am (UTC)
ext_2888: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Punctures heal from the bottom up, so they're not supposed to have stitches. But it sounds like Stormy did a real number, so I would guess it's going to take a while to heal, and that your muscles are probably tight because they haven't been able to be used in a while.

On a non-clinical note: OW. I hope you feel better soon!

Date: 2011-08-09 06:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've not had very many punctures, and the one I have had were all very small, so I'm not terribly familiar with them. I was able to open and close the biggest one on my finger before it scabbed over, so that concerned me.

I really hope that whatever is causing this tightness resolves soon because it is really very annoying to only have 9 functioning fingers.

Fortunately it's not painful any longer unless I whomp it! Thanks!

Date: 2011-08-09 06:26 am (UTC)
subluxate: Sophia Bush leaning against a piano (Default)
From: [personal profile] subluxate
Oh man, not fun. Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally not fun at ALL.

Yeah, like Kitrona said, they heal from the bottom up. Keep it clean, keep moving it as much as you can (you should gradually be able to move it more), and so forth.

I'm bemused that Dr. M asked about me when you had a SWOLLEN HAND. What the hell? It's not like you were there for a flu shot or something!

Date: 2011-08-09 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Really? Because I am NOT AMUSED. I am very annoyed with her. Love you and all, but I would have appreciated having her attention focused on the matters at hand (heh). It may have been boring to her, but it's never happened to me before and I had some "zomg wtf?!" going on that she really did not pick up on.

She's done that before, too. I went in in February with a yeast infection, then mentioned that something felt funny, almost ticklish, during sex, and she garbled it all up and came back with, "zomg, you might have chlamydia!" since it hurt when I had sex. That was after she asked me about you in the middle of my history (you trouble maker!). Umm, no. Monogamous relationship for 5+ years, one partner before that, and nearly celibate for most of the past year (due to ~*issues*~ with bc and moving home)? It's not likely that I had Chlamydia. And that funny feeling? Yeah, that cleared up along with the yeast infection.

I am consistently Not Impressed with Dr M.

Date: 2011-08-09 08:19 am (UTC)
subluxate: Sophia Bush leaning against a piano (Default)
From: [personal profile] subluxate
Bemused basically means confused, so yeah, not amused either. BUT YEAH, having your hand all puffed like that? KIND OF something that needs attention!

Chlamydia. Wow. Because your history is sooooo indicative of that! Your symptoms were too, totally!

I was just glad when Dr. M referred me to a rheumatologist. And she did, to her credit, manage my liver issues and kidney infections well. But in general...

Date: 2011-08-09 02:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We're both right.

From Merriam-Webster:
Bemused: 1: to make confused
2: to occupy the attention of
3: to cause to have feelings of wry or tolerant amusement

^^#3 is the definition I'm more familiar with.

Anyhow, point is, NOT COOL, Dr. M. Every time I see her, she confirms my need for a new doctor. I just never think I'll need to see a GP again before I move, so I put it off and put if off because really, who actually LIKES filling out all those ridiculous forms and histories of your family's health going back for ages and eons??

I'm glad she did SOME good for you. It just seems like every time I see her, she is either completely unfocused, or I have to explain something medical to her (minipill).

Date: 2011-08-09 02:27 pm (UTC)
subluxate: Sophia Bush leaning against a piano (Default)
From: [personal profile] subluxate
Maybe she wants more "interesting" cases. (Glad to provide amusement. SO GLAD. Let me tell you how glad I am!) And things like figuring out the right birth control is just too boring or whatever.

If that's the case, and I suspect it may be, she really should have gone into a different specialty. Being a GP doesn't bring a whole lot of "interesting" cases. It does bring a whole lot of cat bites, flu shots, reproductive counseling, and so on.

Date: 2011-08-10 07:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I think that, after you, my problems are just too straight-forward for her, or whatever. But really, if she can't show that she's a quality doctor during these simple, straight-forward visits, how can I have any confidence in her abilities is something major pops up?

Really Kelly, I think I could stand it if you were a little more boring. Seriously! You're just and attention whore, aren't you? I KNEW IT.

Date: 2011-08-10 07:37 am (UTC)
subluxate: Sophia Bush leaning against a piano (Default)
From: [personal profile] subluxate
If you can figure out a way to make me boring, I would be GLAD. You're probably one of the most boring people from our family (Dad had that pancreatitis thing, Mom kept ending up in the ER) that she's seen! Clearly, you're hiding ~real issues~ from her.

Date: 2011-08-12 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If I'm hiding ~*real issues*~ from her, then I'm doing a damn good job of hiding them from myself, too. I'm so boring that I bore myself. zzzzzz...

Date: 2011-08-09 07:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And it wasn't just a swollen hand, it was a freaking water balloon! It looked like it would pop if any pressure was put on it! My skin was unnaturally smooth and shiny with none of the teeny tiny cracks and wrinkles that it usually has!

I say again: What. The. Hell. Dr M?!?

Date: 2011-08-09 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If my hand looked like that I would be so freaked out I'd need someone there to talk to the doctor for me because I'd be entirely full of "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT NO MAKE IT STOP DOING THIS"

I'm glad it's better! That sounds horrid, especially right after it happened D:

Date: 2011-08-09 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah. Even though I was like, lol, I was dumb, cat bit me, my bad, I was still rather concerned with what my hand was doing and how sensitive it was to any kind of stimulation. And to have a doctor so completely blase about it... Ugh.

Date: 2011-08-09 02:30 pm (UTC)
subluxate: Sophia Bush leaning against a piano (Default)
From: [personal profile] subluxate
Cat bites are nasty. They're worse than dog bites, in my experience, purely because cats' teeth are so much sharper. Dogs can do a lot of damage, don't get me wrong, but cat bites are like injections of bacteria. FUN TIMES. Remember when TJ bit us and we had to get tetanus shots (which, btw, ow and sucks that you had to get another) and antibiotics? Nooooooooot fun.

Date: 2011-08-10 07:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's exactly what everyone kept telling me. I'd thought that washing it for a half hour get rid of most of the germs and other assorted grossness, but no. Well maybe. My hand swelled something fierce, but there was actually very, very little pus at all, and a normal CBC. I was thinking it was just the trauma to the finger causing the swelling and maybe a fairly low grade infection.

My arm was sore for nearly a week after my last tetanus shot. And I got a HUGE bruise from the phlebotomy site. And my hand was impersonating a water balloon. I was in really great shape for awhile, wasn't I?

Date: 2011-08-10 07:21 am (UTC)
subluxate: Sophia Bush leaning against a piano (Default)
From: [personal profile] subluxate
Completely ideally, you would have gotten an antibiotic injection instantly. Of course, nothing is ideal.

If you did indeed have cellulitis, be glad it cleared up that fast. Could have lingered way longer. This sounds massively unfun as it is, though. AVOID CAT BITES. Which you know, lol.

Date: 2011-08-10 07:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dr W predicted that I would come back with a sore hand, a sore arm and a sore bum -- she was surprised that I DIDN'T get an injection of antibiotics. Dr M never even brought it up.

Really, I'm not convinced that it even was cellulitis. I feel that it was just (lol, "just") swelling from the trauma to my finger -- you know, the protective kind that's supposed to help prevent you from doing further damage to your injury by doing something stupid like trying to use it. The fact that it engulfed most of my hand was worrisome, but it was localized to my hand and not travelling up my arm or anything.

After doing a quick Google search, I'm now pretty sure it wasn't cellulitis: it was warm but not hot, I only had a mild fever, there was no redness, and lymph nodes seemed unaffected.

Date: 2011-08-10 07:52 am (UTC)
subluxate: Sophia Bush leaning against a piano (Default)
From: [personal profile] subluxate
Like I said, lucky. Cat bites are nasty. If you can, next time, actively flush it with saline, or at least actively flush with clorhex solution--you can repeatedly fill a syringe and squirt it into the punctures. You're probably right that it was protective inflammation, but dude, it could have been so much worse. I've gotten infections from scratches. (I think it was Sunny. And it was right before I drove five days to Georgia.) I did manage to avoid bites while working (TJ remains the only cat to have seriously bitten me), and I am so, so glad for that.

I'm also hoping that stretching/flexing your finger gets back your range of motion.

Out of curiosity, how were you holding Stormy when you got bitten?

Date: 2011-08-12 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I had him by the scruff and... back legs, I think? I'd just noticed that my hand had slid around more to the side than it should have been, thought, "That could be very bad, I should mo--OWOWOWOWOW." And I still have a scar on my finger from TJ.

My finger can't fully straighten on it's own =( It doesn't hurt to try, it just stops and won't straighten any further. From its straightest to its most bent, it's only going through about a 45 degree range of motion... as opposed to maybe 135 with my right index finger. D=


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