Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

It wasn't fleas - it was a hypertensive crisis

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I'm posting this for three reasons:
  1. Because I spent way too much time investigating the wrong thing, and maybe someone else can get useful info from this.
  2. Because it could have been far more serious than it has been so far, and maybe someone else can get useful info from this.
  3. A bit of a status update.
There's some pics of medical things - not terribly gross, but it isn't kittens.

Cat Tax

As some of you already know, I spent a good bit of yesterday evening in Urgent Care.  And it wasn't fleas.

Let me back up.

A while back I had a mouse get into my house, then a bit after that, my cat started to get eaten up by fleas. She's an inside cat, so I figured she had to have gotten them from the mouse. I isolated and treated the cat, re-treated the dog, and after getting what I thought was some bites, treated my bedroom (the main place she is if not in the bathroom) with diachromatic earth and set out a flea trap.

The first few looked a bit like this (this is not me):

There are still no - repeat no - fleas in the trap, but the "bites" only happened that one day, so I thought I was good.

Saturday there were more "bites" on my lower legs. I checked all over for any signs of bugs - fleas, anything - and didn't see any. Still no fleas in the trap.

On Sunday morning, my legs were covered with "bites". It looked kind of like this picture below (also not me), but without the pus-filled center. Thankfully, since that's a picture of a MRSA skin infection. 
There were a few areas where I'd scratched in my sleep which seemed to be getting sore and inflamed, but my legs were just covered in this stuff. And then my lower extremities started to swell up, and red blotchy rashes appeared.

I took some benadryl, thinking it was an allergic reaction of some kind. I also raised my legs and thought that maybe if an hour or two of that helped, I'd be good. During that time I also started to freak myself out by reading everything on the internet about "bites but no fleas" (this is actually a really informative thread)... because there were still no signs of the buggers.

It didn't.

These pictures are me - at the Urgent Care last night.
You can see the infected bit on this one on my foot

Turns out it's purpura, and probably caused by the same thing that was causing my swollen legs: my blood pressure was 220/95. If you look at a blood pressure chart, that's literally off the charts. When we retook it, it was still a staggering 185/90.

My blood pressure is typically in the 120-130/80-90 range, but I was in a hypertensive crisis.

After debating sending me directly to the ER, they decided (with some urging on my part) to just give me meds (and make sure they worked before letting me go) for the night and to see my doc in the morning. My blood pressure's still surprisingly high for me - 170-180 systolic - but that was after meds had worn off. I'm about to go pick up some new ones.

So I can only presume that my blood pressure was going up (or was high) all this week, and the symptoms just spiked over the weekend. Remember, I didn't otherwise feel bad. I had no idea my blood pressure was so out of whack. I was busy thinking that it was bugs rather than checking my own health.

We still don't know why my blood pressure has gone out of sorts. The running assumption is stress - which would make sense given what happened a year ago.

Anyway, I'm still here, and will keep folks updated, especially if it can help someone else from running down the wrong path for days on end.  :)

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