WARNING > THIS IS LONG
Ok, I'm going to be as accurate and complete as i can and try to leave emotions out of this. It is going to be detailed and by no means is it meant to gain sympathy or anything other than "Damn, that could happen to me - Thanks so much" If on the other hand you think this would never happen to you. please don't read this thread since I'm sure you'd be bored by the second paragraph. here goes nothing
As some of you know, we bought a house a few miles away in November. I had two self imposed deadlines. One was to physically be living in the new house by the end of the year (accomplished as we moved in December 28th). The second was to fully move out everything from the old house and put the finishing touches on the house so it could be listed for sale by February 1st. Since hurricane Irma did over $20,000 in damages, dealing with insurance company, contractors, more contractors since people's word to show up doesn't mean what it used to. The final piece of the project was completed Wednesday morning January 24th.
Later in the evening I finally realized how tired and burnt out I was from sleepless nights, long delays and financial issues from uncompleted repairs. so I decided to go to bed early and watch some television from bed. This was 9:00 PM. As soon as I hit the bed, I started to shiver and shake. I told my wife it felt cold in the room and I raised the thermostat 2 degrees. I climbed back into bed and pulled the sheet, blanket and bedspread over me. I still was shaking and i asked her to find me another blanket. She came into the room with one and didn't like the way I looked (no comment please Tripod). She asked me if I wanted her to call an ambulance. No way, I'm just cold. A couple more minutes and another blanket later, I was still shaking real bad. Again she wanted to call for assistance and again I said no. Finally about fifteen minutes later, I was burning up from the blankets, and still shivering, so I finally said to call the ambulance.
They arrived fairly quickly, asked some basic questions. I told them the only thing that i could think of was from my leg. During the clean-out of the other house, we had to move some appliances. The dishwasher started to tip over and was headed towards my truck. I was close enough to it that i grabbed it and it landed squarely on my shin. It scrapped some skin and bled a little, but didn't need any medical attention. But now a week later, the bruise was a lot worse and the leg was starting to swell. I think I walked to their stretcher, but I'm not sure. Once inside they took the basics and I had a 103.3 fever and a low heart rate and blood pressure. They put in the usual IV hook-up and passed me off to the Emergency Room. I don't remember all the details of that night, but I remember that they were worried about other issues and not just the leg. The leg had gotten so large that the outside of the calf was now "leaking" some clear fluid. I still don't know what it was. They called in a couple of doctors who picked and prodded then walked outside the room to discuss something. They were going to order a ct scan, and i didn't object. While I was waiting to be transferred to radiology, I wanted to go to the bathroom. I don't remember this part, but I got up with assistance and immediately passed out. They called for help and put me back onto the bed. My wife told me that my eyes just rolled back and lids closed as I lost it. They didn't know if I was having a seizure or stroke, so they rushed the scan. I remember being transported down the hall (they bumped the bed into the door, so i pushed it open with my foot). I also remember getting into the room and saw the "tunnel" of the machine. The next thing I remember was coming out of it back in the ER and talking to my wife. They told her that I was unresponsive to them. I couldn't give them my name, follow commands or anything. They had to move my head into position and did the scan without me moving one bit. I don't recall any of this. I ended up passing out twice that first night and don't remember anything about that.
I guess it was day two, but after spending the night on a stretcher (basically), no sleep, pains and no idea what i had, I had to answer some questions from the nurses. I had a hard time understanding the questions, and worse i remember being only able to speak one or two words at a time. I couldn't put together a sentence!I knew it was serious, but all the information wasn't being relayed to me. When the priest came by to administer a healing sacrament, it hit me squarely in the eyes that this could be bad. Once they saw what was going on, they called in a surgeon. The scan and lab work that they did showed an inflamed colon, reduced kidney function, heart issues, and severe sepsis. After the surgeon arrived, we talked (we knew each other and I was able to carry on a conversation.) he said they thought that I had Necrotizing Fasciitis. Better known as flesh-eating disease. He reviewed everything and examined the leg and said that it wasn't. They had now sent me into ICU until they knew what it was that I did have. They even did stool cultures to see if I had any parasites that could have caused this. I was awake and alert from this point onward since I'm pretty sure they had feed me plenty of fluids, antibiotics and whatever else they had at their disposal. I had so many things being pumped into me (IV hook-ups in both arms, just not sure if they used them both simultaneously or rotated them), They also had to install a pic line into my neck saying that some of the drugs were too strong to go through the small veins, so I guess they had to use a bigger one in the neck (artery maybe? Not sure).
Well, they finally were able to identify what the infection actually was. I guess it's somewhat common, but not something they expect. I had full blown Pasteurella Multocida, Before you go do a search for it, it is an infection you can get from CATS. Yes, your cat can kill you. It is a bacteria that most cats have, that gets past to humans by scratches, bites, or from respiratory secretions. Yes, if your cat sneezes and you're close by and inhale the "fumes", you can get infected. The severity is based on a lot of factors, but to people with weakened immune system, it can be fatal. We have a cat, but she doesn't sleep with us, hardly ever sneezes, and didn't bite or scratch me that I can recall in recent past. So how did this happen?
Here's the best guess they can come up with lack of visual evidence of the scratch or bite. The cat groomed herself as all cats do. While her coat was still wet with saliva, she walked past me and rubbed up along my leg. Her saliva entered to open wound and had a direct path into the bloodstream. I ignored the swelling, redness and pain until the infection was so dominating that it took me down.
Anyone of you who have pets (yes, dogs also have a version if this I believe) PLEASE learn from my experience. Your loving pet may mean well, if you don't take bites, scratches, sneezes together with open wounds serious, you too could have this happen to you. I hope my bad experience saves someone from this living hell. Please, learn from my stupidity to seek medical attention as soon as something that doesn't right appears. Your life could depend on it