Happy weekend!! Today I’ve got a little story for you. Recently, I hinted at the fact that I have a fear of cats after being attacked by a stray last fall. I asked if you wanted the full story, and the people spoke! So here’s what happened:
Last year, I had the privilege of being a young life leader of Freshman girls at my university. I had an incredible group of more than a dozen girls, and the best co-leader ever. Early on in our fall semester, I got a late night phone call from one of my girls. I remember seeing her name on my phone and thinking ” Yes, Lord! A chance to love this girl and serve you!”
Well, turns out homegirl found a stray cat on campus, and she desperately wanted for me to bring it home with me until we could get it to a shelter. I knew THAT wasn’t going to happen, but I also knew that my sweet girl wouldn’t go home until I came to assess the situation.
It gets a little blurry from here.
I remember showing up and seeing the cat resting peacefully on my girls lap, but the next thing I know… Its teeth are in my arm and its claws are embedded in my shirt. I shook it off of me and calmly told my girl to head home, that the cat ran off into the trees and it will be okay.
Knowing that wounds like this would seriously set off my CRPS, I texted my friends as I got into my car. “Meet me at the apartment in 5. We’re spending the night in the hospital.” Sure enough, they were there when I got home.
You see, I went to the hospital in preparation of the massive pain flare that I knew was coming. All I knew was that I had two bites and an 11 inch scratch on my ribs that hurt REALLY bad. Rabies was a foreign concept to me, but it was the first thing the doctor brought up when he got in the room. Yep. I needed treatment.
The doctor educated me a little bit on the risk of rabies. Essentially, any stray in an area like this has a high risk of contracting rabies due to the large bat population (who knew?), so I needed the shots as a precaution. The best (read: worst) part? Rabies is 100% fatal once symptoms begin. Needless to say, I chose to go through treatment.
What does rabies treatment look like? WELL LEMME TELL YA. It looks like needles. Lots of needles.
Your days become numbers after exposure to rabies. That was the first thing I learned.
Day 1: a tetanus shot. A rabies vaccine. A rabies shot into each wound (about 4 for me). Another shot in the leg just for fun.
Day 3: More anti-rabies serum in each arm.
Day 7: ….again.
Day 10: More….
Day 14: …..
FOR SO MANY DAYS.
And friends, listen here – these aren’t just your friendly little flu shot pricks. These things HURT. After one of my first shots, a friend had to cut up my chicken at dinner because I couldn’t lift my arm. No joke.
The first few months were full of caution, as you have to get tested for rabies any time any symptoms appear, and symptoms range from cold-like to neurological (which, hello, I have a neurological disease.)
It was stressful.
It was traumatic.
It was exhausting.
I have a phobia of cats.
Moral of the story: PLEASE DON’T TOUCH STRAYS. DON’T EVEN LOOK AT THEM.
With all the love,