Split-second decisions can be fortuitous or fatal.

While mine wasn’t fatal, it turned an ordinary day into a hellish week of intense pain, surgery, days in hospital and now physio.

It started with what I later learned was a huge mistake – I intervened in a neighbourhood cat scrap.

Two felines – both normally gentle pets from loving homes – began squaring off on my front lawn and in a well-established ‘no no’ of cat conflict, I reached down to pick one up in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

Subsequently, Ted the Burmese sunk his needle-like canine tooth into my wrist.
The puncture wound was tiny and not particularly painful.

I casually sprayed it with anti-bacterial wound wash, applied a plaster and continued preparing dinner for my toddler.

Within 20 minutes, however, I noticed a bulge had begun to form under the wound and a dull pain had begun throbbing in my armpit.

I washed the wound again and applied a new dressing. Within an hour, I couldn’t move my fingers.

Minutes later I watched in horror as the swelling gradually crept up my forearm – a large snake-like track moving before my eyes which appeared headed for the lymph nodes under my arm.
I rang my family and as I was unable to grip the steering wheel of the car. My mum drove me to Accident and Emergency at Pindara Hospital on the Gold Coast and, within seconds of arrival, a doctor was inspecting the bite.

His sense of urgency was unsettling.

‘We need to admit you immediately…and you will need surgery,’ he advised, as an A&E nurse hastily set up a canula and administered a hefty dose of Fentanyl.

I had packed nothing for a night in hospital – not even a phone charger – and gave my house keys to mum as I was wheeled to a ward in something of a state of shock at what had happened in the space of just under two hours.

In most cases, cat bite infections can take up to 24 hours to develop however I later learned that bites to the hand, and in my case the front of the wrist, can become nasty much faster due to many superficial structures such as tendons, joints, blood vessels and nerves.

The wrist is particularly vulnerable as it’s only covered by a thin layer of soft-tissue.

Quickly knocked out with more pain relief, I woke in the morning to a flurry of activity in my room as nurses advised I was to be prepped for surgery.

Meanwhile the pain in my arm was unbearable and the swelling had developed into an angry case of cellulites – or skin infection – with large swathes of raised red blobs.

By Admin

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