Yes, as the title confirms, I have officially been diagnosed with Cat Scratch Fever. I saw the Infectious Disease Specialist last week, and he said that my symptoms are classic, and even though I wasn't scratched, everything fits the profile for the disease. We basically came to the conclusion that the bacteria must have entered through that boil in my arm. I do pick up my cats, so it is quite possible.
The thing that concerns me is that if I had been given the correct antibiotic in the first place the disease most likely would not have progressed to the point that I needed surgery. Neither person that I saw at my family practice even mentioned Cat Scratch Fever. My husband was the first to bring it up after doing internet research, but of course we dismissed it because I hadn't been scratched. The surgeon, the third person I saw, was the first medical type person to even mention Cat Scratch Fever. Now, I am very glad that the first LNP I saw got to work on ruling out cancer, because if it had been cancer I wanted to start treatment as soon as I could. But, it turned out to be “much ado about nothing”. Lets not be so hasty looking for big problems that we overlook the simple solutions. The disease I actually have is easily treated under the correct course of treatment. According to the Infectious Disease Specialist, the antibiotic the LNP prescribed me wouldn't even touch Cat Scratch Fever. And it didn't. She could have started me on the right course of treatment for Cat Scratch Fever while I underwent the testing to rule out cancer, because apparently if Cat Scratch Fever is left untreated, it can get pretty serious, even more so than what I experienced. The Infectious Disease Specialist said that it can migrate to the brain and cause some major problems. Wow, am I ever grateful that something like that didn't happen. (If it had, it would have been good material for an episode of “House”.) I think it pretty much goes without saying that I will not be returning to that family practice. I actually found an Integrative practice through Wake Forest University that I'm pretty excited about. They take the best of conventional and alternative treatments and use them in combination, and they take my insurance!
Of course, this whole situation hasn't been all bad, and I continue to be grateful for the lessons I've learned through this. I am now on the correct antibiotic, and my arm is getting better everyday. I will not need any more lymph node surgeries. My energy level is almost back to normal. And, this experience did give me a very valuable kick in the pants! I now have the motivation that was severely lacking to get control of my health. I have also learned to value my husband in a way I never have before. Also, we have had so many people stand with us in faith and prayer. It's always a wonderful privilege to observe the family of God at work. Amazing things always happen! Thank you to everyone who has stood with us. I really can't express how much that means to me. And, finally, as I've said before, I know God has been with me through this entire process. Despite it all, this situation continues to be an opportunity for God to be glorified!