Cat Scratch Fever: Does that not sound like the stupidest name for an ailment in existence?
Yeah. That’s what I thought, too, when my doctor told me I had it.
A few weeks ago, I noticed some knottiness near my right elbow, and it felt like a bruise. Naturally, I freaked out and thought it was cancer. I scheduled an appointment, shelled out $40, and next thing I knew, I was told I most likely had the weirdest-named condition on the planet¹.
Turns out, Cat Scratch Fever is also a song, but having never heard of it before that very moment, I looked at Dr. Burke² like she was crazy. She assured me she was not crazy, and that it was indeed a real disease.
What is it, you ask? Apparently, there’s a bacteria on kitty claws that isn’t so friendly to human lymph nodes. If you get scratched, and the kitty has this bacteria, it infects the nearest lymph node and causes it to swell. Hence the knot near my elbow, and later in the week, the pain in my armpit that made it impossible to sleep on my side³.
I had to go back in for some blood work and a sonogram two weeks later, just to make sure it was Cat Scratch, like she thought, and not something else. By the way? The sonogram people should really inform you before they start doing their thing that it is okay to interrupt them if you need to use the bathroom. I learned this the hard way.
Dr. Burke left me a message today, while I waited for three hours at jury duty¨ – the blood tests came back, and it is definitely Cat Scratch.
When I told my husband, he said, “Remy strikes back!” If I had bonked his head on the doorknob before I got infected, I’d definitely think he was on to something there. I’d want revenge on me, too. Poor kitty.
Oh, by the way: my life and well-being aren’t really jeopardized by Cat Scratch Fever. It hurt for a while, but now it’s just the knot, which should go away in time, with the help of antibiotics. I’m amazed my doctor was familiar with this ridiculous ailment, and even more amazed that someone I picked based on her same-name-status with a character from my favorite TV show has turned out – so far – to be the best doctor I’ve ever had.
Biggest Loser starts tonight – anybody planning to follow this season? I spent an hour sweating at the gym in preparation, so I wouldn’t feel guilty watching it.
¹To my knowledge. I’d love, love, love to hear about any medical condition with a name that could steal the award from Cat Scratch in the Who-Named-That-Disease-And-Why? category.
²Who I chose not only for her fine reputation as a doctor, but based on her name, since it reminds me of Lost‘s amazing Dr. Juliet Burke, played by Elizabeth Mitchell (and rumored to have made it through The Incident of the Season 5 finale, and thus is rumored to be remaining on the show…).
³Though, to my amazement, it didn’t hurt to do push-ups or planks with it. The body is a weird thing.
¨Got selected for a panel for a custody case. Apparently the woman involved in the case was a nut who showed up two hours late every time she was called to court, and went missing for two hours while dismissed for a brief bathroom break. The judge got fed up, pushed the trial to today (from yesterday), and then, what happens? She was two hours late again. When she finally showed up, they all decided for some reason that a jury was no longer needed. I waited for three hours this morning, just to get told to leave again. Unlike everyone else, I was a little disappointed, because I thought it would be an interesting experience. Maybe next time.