So I just hung up from the fifth conversation I’ve had with the doctor’s office today, and I’m getting a little antsy.
Her: “So you said you got bit by a monkey? In southeast Asia? Hmmmm. We should probably call the CDC…”
Me: “Yes, the Internet said that I should get a rabies vaccination because once I start showing symptoms, I’m pretty much dead.”
Her: “Yeahhhh. I’m just, I’m not sure of the timing. Let me call you back.”
I’m going to be really pissed off if I get rabies. And dead. I’m also going to be dead. I want that vaccine, like stat.
The Internet is so scary, and probably kind of alarmist, too, but that doesn’t help my fear. Neither does the fact that my traveler’s intestines have gotten progressively worse in the past couple of days and I can’t be more than skipping distance from my bathroom.
I- perhaps stupidly- even ventured out to basketball today. It was my first serious exercise in two months, so of course everyone made fun of me the whole time because I have new lightning-colored sneakers but not the speed to match. And I didn’t have enough energy to launch a counter-attack to their teasing because each time down the floor, I was more concerned about maybe needing to veer off the court for a wind sprint to the bathroom. And I didn’t want to say anything, because I’m always really aware that I’m the only female and therefore have to work extra hard to not be perceived as a total wuss.
Luckily the session ended without incident and I was happily chatting with Tyler about my trip when I happened to mention that I’d been bitten by a monkey.
He stopped in his tracks- and he’s spent a ton of time in southeast Asia so I was listening- and said, really gravely, “Carrie, that’s serious. I’m not kidding, you need to do something about that.”
I sort of giggled, and he didn’t, and I went directly home to Firefox and fear… and being sick eight (check that, nine now) times in the next seven hours.
ADDENDUM: Ten times now. I really feel like crying.
I’m glad John’s at work. I’ve taken to moaning and whining through my struggles because I want it to make me feel better, and that’s way too embarrassing with company.
So rabies, yeah. Didn’t you just kind of think that’s a thing that only dogs in movies get? Even in Goonies, during that funny cave part, it never actually crossed anyone’s mind that she was really going to contract something. It honestly didn’t even occur to me when I was bit that anything might be wrong, and hence didn’t seek any attention for it beyond sort of cockily showing off that it had happened via blog and facebook.
Then today, I googled “a monkey bit me” and this is the first thing I read:
A monkey bite, no matter how trivial, can quickly turn dangerous. Monkeys are regular carriers of rabies; even the ones not rabid can create dangerous infections and fevers thanks to the high level of bacteria in their mouths.
Macaque monkey bites have been known to cause infections such as Bacteroides, Fusobacterium, Streptococci, Enterococci and Eikenella Corrodens – all are as unpleasant as they sound.
Every bite must be checked by a local doctor who will probably recommend getting a tract of painful and expensive rabies vaccinations. You have little choice, rabies has no early symptoms and is fatal if not treated immediately.
Thank you so much, about.com. You have totally ruined my day.
And I really wish the doctor would call me back…
PS Doc just called me back. Looks like I’m headed to the hospital…