I would like to start out by saying; I have been through Anxiety before, about 4 years ago. It took me a year to completely get over it, well here is my newly caused anxiety
I was camping with 3 of my sons and my youngest brother, having a wonderful time fishing ans swimming. We decided to do some catfish/croaker fishing before going to bed. Sitting around the campfire talking and watching the fishing poles, BOOM a small object hits me and I re actively swat it away. Ok, probably a large moth or cicada? I had later noticed a very tiny cut on my shoulder where the object hit me, no big deal. Well the next afternoon I spoke to my middle brother about it, laughed it off until.........he mentioned it could be a bat bite and>>>>RABIES! My mind went crazy, searching everywhere about rabies! It had been close to 80 hours after I was hit by this unknown object, presumed to be a bat! I looked up bat bite image's, my mark look very similar and was about the proper size of a bat bite.
I go to the local ER, I am seen after about 2 hours wait not bad for the ER. I tell the Dr. I believe a bat may have bitten me about 3 days ago. He never even introduced himself to me before saying " There is nothing I can do, you waited too long.....You're going to die!" I immediately felt scared and sad, I have a beautiful wife, 5 young kids, and a great blessed life! A different dr comes in and says they are going to start the rabies vaccine as requested by the CDC in Atlanta Georgia. I am now full of health anxiety, I feel like every muscle movement is rabies pulsing through my body. The worst part of all of this; Rabies and anxiety symptoms are very, very similar!
I have been to scared to look up anything about rabies, because everytime I do I feel like I have the symptoms! I feel like I must be ok, I've started the treatment for rabies, last shot is Friday the 15th. I tell myself if I had rabies would the Dr's just let me walk out the door??? And possibly expose my whole family and friends to a nearly 100% fatal disease???
Therefore I am now riddled with anxiety of dying and leaving my beautiful wife and children alone!
I am positive that 80 hours after (possible) infection is NOT "too long", because normally what they do is capture the animal, cut off its head, and send it to a state lab to be tested for rabies (or, if the animal has an owner, simply keep it under observation for awhile to see if it begins exhibiting signs of rabies).
The only time they actually give people rabies shots is if it's clear the animal can't be located (bitten by a wild animal during a camping trip is a good example).
If rabies shots needed to be started within 80 hours, they wouldn't bother with any of this; they'd just go ahead and administer the shots immediately after any potential exposure.
Also, I think it's unlikely you were bitten by a bat; bats have sonar. They use echolocation to get around. They don't fly into people or objects. And if one accidentally did fly into you somehow, it wouldn't be able to bite instantly, the way you describe. It's priority would be escape, not biting.
A bat that was so ill with rabies that it couldn't fly straight and was crazy enough to attack a human would not likely be flying around at all. It would be on the ground, or hanging in a safe, sheltered place, resting.
And bats are so unbelievably tiny and fragile; a bat is a tiny mammal, it's not sturdy like an insect... your swat would've broken its wings, knocked it to the ground. You would've noticed it flailing there.
Anyway, quit worrying.
This whole thing really is a case of your imagination running away with you.
Your terror of "dying" is based on an entire chain of baseless assumptions:
1. That a bat flew into you.
2. That the bat bit you.
3. That the bat was rabid.
4. That it is "too late" for rabies shots to work.
All four of these assumptions would have to be correct in order for your fears to be founded, and I personally don't think a single one of them is correct.
It might help you to look up some statistics on recent cases of rabies in humans: in recent years, in the US, the average number of rabies cases in humans has been 4 or 5 per year- and some of these cases were Americans who contracted rabies while abroad on vacations in foreign locales.
Coincidentally, there is a case of rabies attributed to bat exposure in 2004- the victim survived and recovered, and went on record as the first known patient to survive rabies without treatment.
So... you just never know.
All i know is, you're about as likely to die from having a piano fall on your head as you are to die from rabies in the US.
I realize how unlikely it is, there has just been another rabies survivor in June 2011. But anxiety is caused by fear of the unknown, I would live to stop worrying! But for the next little while I'm going to be dealing with it. If you bring in and animal and they test it the results are returned within 3-6 hours, that is what the CDC told me. I appreciate your response and welcome anymore. And most anxiety cases are caused from my exact situation, worrying about the unknown.
I think your risk is probably low, but I hope you take the time to write to the hospital and file a formal complaint about that doctor. No doctor should ever tell you you're going to die without doing all the tests and examinations.
Military Dr. I could write letters all day and nobody would care
I just wish I could find good information on Rabies, it obviously should be studied a little better.
With no exaggeration: Almost every website or personal Dr. I have spoken with, tells you something completely different. The CDC tells you 1 thing, state health dept, tells you something else, county health tells you something else...etc.
I truly believe I'm pretty safe from dying of rabies, "but" I can't get a straight answer from anyone. So from what I've been told I could have:
0-60 days before symptoms start, In some cases over a year.
You just need to start the shots before symptoms start, also been told you have to complete the shots before symptoms start to be safe. ( This is from Dr.'s very confusing)
symptoms can be from sore throat, headache to seizures or even death oh yeah, anxiety is also a symptom.
Hope this helps everyone to understand why this situation has caused me some anxiety
My husband had a course of rabies shots a few years ago, after being bitten by a stray cat which could not be found.
He just got the shots at the ER, since he was uninsured and didn't have a personal doctor. He had to go back to the ER every week for a month, I believe, and get another shot.
It was a real pain in the butt, and probably the cat didn't even have rabies, but.... better safe than sorry.
There are probably no rabies forums, and I doubt there are any rabies specialists, either- at least not specialists in how rabies acts in humans- because it's just so rare.
Would you go to med school and then specialize in a field where you were likely to have 3 to 4 patients, nationwide, per year?
I know you're scared, but I really think everything's fine.
At least now you're immune to rabies for the next ten years (at least that's what they told my husband, after the shots).
I have never, NEVER heard or read that it could take "up to a year" to exhibit symptoms after being infected. And I did quite a bit of research on the issue, after my husband was bitten and had to get shots.
Almost everything I read said up to 30 days; I read up to 60 days in a couple of places, but up to a YEAR? No. I really don't think so.
You might try talking to a counselor about your anxiety. This has been a traumatic experience for you, and it sounds like you may need help to put it behind you.
Best of luck!
Did your husband go immediately for the shots? Or did he wait a while? I read on the nnii website that the vaccine has never failed after being fully administered. Hope that's right! Thanks for the good will!!!
It seems like we argued about it for a day or so... it might've been two or three days before he went. I can't remember. The bites on his hand started to get infected, so he had no choice but to go... and once there, the doctors convinced him he needed a series of rabies shots as well.
I'm sure the NNII website is correct, and that you're in the clear.. and now immunized against rabies! So you can camp with confidence! Lol.
Last edited by ms_mod; 07-14-2011 at 05:47 PM.
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