Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cat Bite + Dumb Mommy = Urgent Care

Last week I sold a small kitchen table and chairs that I have had for years and our family has just outgrown. I used Craigslist to sell the set and when the woman came to get the table we began chatting about our two year olds. She had shown up in a Geo Prism to pick up this solid oak table set and when I told her I did not think it would fit she offered that she might come back later with her Accord. I told her if she could give me time to get ready I could follow her to her house with the set in my van.

At her house she invited us in and we ended up spending the day. Had I known her it would have been a normal and lovely day. The only weird thing about it was that I did not know her at all. She was very hospitable to Cohen and let her play with all of her son's toys, but her son was in daycare and did not come home the entire time we were there.

Dan thinks this is just the kind of weird shit I do. Going to a stranger's house with our daughter and spending the day. The first time I tried to leave I told my new friend that Friday was my special day with Cohen to go out to lunch. Before I could name a restaurant she had offered Cohen chicken nuggets, banana, pudding, juice, and an apple. It was my intention to say that I didn't want her to go to any trouble but then she pulled out a spiral cut ham and asked if I was hungry.

Ladies please... you show me a pregnant woman that can turn her back on a spiral cut ham and I will vow to never form another relationship based on a sale made on Craigslist.

So I ate ham and pears and pretzels while discussing everything from the current state of the mortgage market to postpartum depression with my new friend. Her husband came home, gave me the polite greeting on par with what Dan would give a strange woman he came home and caught me feeding ham to.

During all this time at this woman's house Cohen ran from room to room after her cats. At times I watched the cats let her pet them and at others I watched them run for their lives. It never occurred to me that I had to worry about a cat hurting my daughter because all the cats I have ever known cannot ever be caught. Not by adults with open cans of Tuna more than less a toddler with a rock and a stick in hand.

When the cat did finally bite Cohen it was on the couch next to his owner sleeping. Cohen was being abnormally gentle petting him while he slept. Then he just turned and bit her. She did not cry. She just looked a little stunned and I asked if she was OK. Our hostess said the cat did get her and offered to kiss it for Cohen. She received the kiss on her hand where the bite was and went back to playing. I went back to visiting.

Later that evening, in the urgent care with the attending physician it is the above that we would backtrack to in order to determine that I am a bad mother.

We left my new pal's house around 3 p.m. At 9 p.m. while Cohen was playing at the book store I noticed the tiny puncture mark on her hand was raised like a bug bite and slightly yellow. Looked like it had puss in it and was red around the edges. I remembered something about my grandmother getting bitten by a cat and almost dying. I begin to wonder if I have overlooked something important.

After a few phone calls to my mother, my aunt, my triage nurse and Dan it is decided that Cohen has to go to the Urgent Care because I am an idiot.

Dan had gone out with some friends to have a few drinks. He never responds well to Cohen needing medical care as it is, so imagine what a buzz kill it was to have to tell him that not only did I take our daughter to a stranger's house where she was bitten by a strange cat but that because I also failed to wash the wound when it happened we now have to go to Urgent care because of the rate of infection common with cat bites.

By 10:15 p.m. I have Cohen and Dan in the car on the way to the urgent care. By 10:30 p.m. I am lost, driving in and out of shopping center's looking for the doctor's office when Dan asks me to pull over so he can throw up due to the combination of what he drank and my shoddy driving. I pull into a parking lot and blast Christmas music so Cohen can't hear him throwing up.

Picture this: 10:30 p.m. a minivan pulled over by a fast food joint windows down blasting Christmas music while the dad vomits and the kid in the back screams, "Why is he throwing up? What is Daddy doing?"

As we are pulling out of the parking lot there is a police officer from the town where Dan used to work sitting in his car. Dan slinks down into his seat and asks me to please just get out of this parking lot. I am still totally lost and prioritizing finding Cohen's doctor above Dan's pride. So I pull in front of the cop and accidentally drive up onto the curb a little. Quickly he pulls out right behind me. I turn immediately into the next shopping center and the cop breezes past me. Dan considers forgiving me as we are pretty even as far as feeling like shitty parents go. I may have let her get bitten by a strange animal, but he just puked on the way to the urgent care.

There was no wait and we saw the doctor immediately. He asked me what time the bite occurred and I said it was around 1 p.m. He asked if I had cleaned the wound with antibacterial soap when it happened and I told him I had not. He judged. He told me that when my child is bitten by a strange animal I should always wash it right a way. I tried to explain that she did not even cry but it was obvious that I was an idiot and it would be left at that. He tells me again, firmly that when my child is bitten by a strange animal I should always wash it right a way.

He said she needed antibiotics for the next ten days and I informed him that she is allergic to penicillin. He glares at me again, as if this allergy is somehow also borne of my negligence as a mother and tells me that the penicillin medicine is the best to stave off infection. I state again that she is allergic and cannot have it at all, not even in a mixture. He tells me (filled with disappointment) that he will prescribe the medicine without penicillin but that it will not work as well and will take longer and then he leaves.

All I can do at this point is thank God that Dan barfed within the hour and that the barf incident has rendered him humble and without the energy to take anyone's side but mine. Incidentally, Cohen is fine, her cat bite is minor, and no longer filled with poisonous cat puss.


Pacing the Panic Room said...

you can't make this up.


oh the trouble a ham can cause.

Erin said...

I just laughed out loud in my office. Not like a "hah" and then done. More like a continuous uncontrollable belly laugh.

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