One thing you need to know about me is that I am a huge hypochondriac. I am not exaggerating here. If I have any ailment I jump to the worst possible scenario.
Headache… Brain Aneurism
Weird Freckle … Skin Cancer
Stomachache… Septic Shock Syndrome
Cat Scratch… Rabies
Yes rabies, one time I thought I had contracted rabies. It sounds ridiculous now, but at the time I was full fledged panicking that I had missed my 24 hour window to be treated and was going to die.
You see my college roommate went out of town and left me in charge of her cat, Piper, who she loved dearly as every pet parent should. Piper was very sweet and had never acted aggressive towards me. We lived in a house with very large crawl space, and occasionally we would hear animals under there. I had convinced myself that there was a raccoon living under our house.
That weekend my boyfriend called me and told me that he had accidentally let the cat out of the house (Piper was definitely an indoor cat) and of course I freaked out. I thought that he had lost my roommates precious pet. We looked everywhere for this cat. I walked the neighborhood calling for her for hours… like a cat would actually come when being called… ha.
I had exhausted all hope and was in tears thinking of how I could tell my roommate I failed her and lost her cat, when I heard a little mew under the porch. I peaked my head in the crawl space and saw Piper’s eyes shining back at me. I was so happy. I tried to grab her and she ran further underneath the house.
I was certainly not crawling underneath the house, which was most definitely filled with spiders and possibly a rabid raccoon… so I placed a food bowl beside the crawl hole in hopes of luring her out with a meal.
When Piper came out to eat I snatched her up. She was obviously mad/scared, because she scratched the ever-living shit out of me. I put her in the house and washed my cut.
Crisis averted… or so I thought.
I am horrible at lying to people so of course when I talked to my roommate on the phone that day I told her of the entire escapade… and she casually mentioned that Piper was late on her shots. At first this didn’t faze me but after thinking about it for a few hours I wondered if Piper had encountered any wild animals in the 24 hours that she was missing.
The first thing I did which is quite possibly THE WORST thing any hypochondriac could do was go searching on the Internet for answers. I thought maybe you could only contract rabies through a bite. WRONG. After a few hours I felt like I was manifesting all the symptoms of rabies. Did I have a fever? I felt achy all over. I started to get a headache… and it had been 12 hours since my encounter with Piper.
The next day after getting no sleep because I had now fully convinced myself I had rabies I called my mom. I told her of my encounter and I asked her if she thought it was possible that I had contracted rabies… and she said, “I don’t know, maybe?” Of course this sent me into crazy mode.
My mom was a nurse before she had me, so obviously she is a medical genius. If she thought I had rabies surely I had rabies. AND it had been over 24 hours and so I had missed my opportunity for treatment.
Why go through with the excruciating pain of needles being shoved in my stomach if I was going to die anyways. So I did what any person who was on her deathbed would do…I laid on the couch and watched reality T.V. while simultaneously chatting with people on AIM. I am pretty sure I told a few people I thought I was going to die and that I loved them dearly.
The next morning I woke up (and was obviously) still alive. PRAISE THE LORD. I didn’t contract rabies. I wasn’t going to die!
I learned several things from this experience, which I still carry with me to this day.
- Don’t Google symptoms on WEB M.D. they will only make you feel like you are going to die.
- Don’t read magazines with articles on crazy rare diseases that you might contract. (Note: I later added to this do not watch television shows like House that will certainly make you feel like you have every rare disease in the book)
- Go to the doctor if you feel sick.
- Sometimes if you ask your mom a crazy ridiculous question she will give you a not so serious crazy ridiculous answer.