Today, I had my first shot of rabies vaccine. The nurse informed me that since it was a stray cat, I should take four (4) in total, subject to schedules.
Here is the story:
November 12, 2016. Saturday morning. Rotational brownout. Errands. Mom left early for a birthday party. My sister also had to attend a funeral. Obviously, it was only Pops and me at home to do the rest of our weekend activities.
That Winter, the Wind Blows is a 2013 Korean Drama which has been keeping us awake. That morning, I took my smartphone and sat by the patio outside to continue episode 7. I assisted Pops in cooking Sinigang na Baboy – dish-washing, and all, but I left the casserole of extracted tamarinds. We actually had three (3) stray-pet cats staying at the backyard, but since, then, Pops was compelled to turn one away because of frequent “meal attacks”. The two seemed to be, well, less aggressive than the one who got away. When I am lost in the moment, I always made sure Pops can reach me in an instant while the two cats sleep, peacefully. I am a lover of cats so I think I had to make them feel I am not a stranger, they can stay not too far from me and sleep. For a while, we were just like that.
Finally, Pops arrived carrying washed clothes. “Can you taste the Sinigang? I think it’s ready.” He motioned towards the casserole and sipped. “Perfect! You can eat now.” Both of us were still full. “Hmmn. Maybe later. Let’s eat together.” I asked him if I can throw the extracted tamarinds. “Yes, you can.”
I threw it, furiously. Upon stepping back, I felt a sharp object on my feet. To my surprise, I suddenly realized, it’s the cat. Yes, the cat! A defensive bite because I stepped onto it. Oh, yes, I was bitten by a cat for the first time in my twenty-two (22) years of existence!
Instincts sank in, I turned the faucet on and quickly washed the infected area (scratch) with soap and water and disinfected it with ethyl alcohol, just as how we were taught in high school. Without a second thought, I texted Mom. She advised me to go see a doctor with Pops and have my vaccine, as soon as possible. Pops was silent…a serious sign of panic in him. Upon reaching the hospital, Animal Bite Treatment was already closed. I have this fear of needles. Instead of fearing the unknown, I was too busy thinking about the syringes. Mom, always glamorous, arrived. After chit-chats with information personnel, we motioned back to the emergency room.
An anti-tetanus vaccine was administered to me after thirty (30) minutes of testing whether or not I have an allergy. Blessed enough, I had none. The vaccine sank deep through my muscles, and pang! It was done.
Mom gave me a cloudy warning regarding the vaccine. When she said, “It’s painful.”, I didn’t think she meant it literally for I thought it could be painful, as in costly. The nurse warned me ahead, though, of its pain. Why in the world was it okay for me now to have vaccines? Hmmmn.
“You should go back here on Monday. Get your records here and bring them to Animal Bite Treatment Center for your anti-rabies vaccine.” The nurse automatically said like he recited the verse a million times.
“Okay,” was all that I said. Another vaccine, huh? My right arm hasn’t recovered, yet.
At home, I can feel the swelling of my right arm. Ah, so this was the pain that Mom was telling me about. No joke, I shouldn’t have belittled the pain.
It’s been two (2) days until today…my right arm still aches. The idea of needles give me enough thrills. Lady nurse told me the do’s and dont’s. Fortunately, the anti-rabies vaccine is like an ant bite. It does not sink deep. I am fine with that. But what exactly is rabies?
According to http://www.healthline.com, rabies is caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system, particularly causing inflammation in the brain. Domestic dogs, cats, and rabbits, and wild animals, such as skunks, raccoons, and bats, are able to transfer the virus to humans via bites and scratches.
Lady nurse said, “Observe the cat. If it dies within two weeks, rip off the head and bring it to Department of Agriculture in Sta. Barbara.” Things are getting clearer to me now. Proper disposal? No. For observation of the cat. And, obviously, the possible effects to me for further treatment.
“Bathe every day. Wash the infected area, regularly, and use Betadine to disinfect it. And when you come to parties, avoid drinks with alcohol content.” She added.
We must remember that size doesn’t matter. Whether big or small, so long as the animal’s saliva entered a cut or broken skin, the infection spreads. Prevention is better than cure. Go and seek medical attention, immediately.
No matter how I avoid the idea of needles, if this is a matter between life and death, I have to reconsider my fears. Besides, God is with me. Three more shots, eh? Bring them on!!!
Stay safe, guys! Don’t leave your pets, unattended. Be updated for more of my blog posts! 🙂
“And come back here for your next schedule…”, said Lady Nurse.
All right. It is not yet finished. *horrified*
“Surely,” I smiled.