So in the past, my boss went to a convention in Houston TX. While there, as he told me, there were people there bringing attention to the bats in the area. They were using the noisemakers pictured below. True to my boss’ nature, he asked if he could get one. They told him only if he would use it. Oh, he assured them that he would. So they gave him one.
Prior to him and all the other librarians at work going to a major convention last month I joked he should give it to me because it will be so quiet at work. That way I could make some noise. He obliged.
While they were at said convention, one of my coworkers came to visit me for a chat. She noticed the noisemaker and I told her everything I just mentioned above. Then I talked about the bats in Houston, and how the bat population was hurt by Hurricane Harvey. Then I talked about how bats eat insects and then fruitbats and how they eat fruit. I even showed her some Youtube videos of a bat rescue in Australia. I even shook the noisemaker a bit.
Fast forward to later that night. We had a power outage right before bed. I woke up at around 1 am to the sound of the power coming back on, and eventually got myself back to sleep. 45 minutes to an hour later I woke up to the sound of flapping going back and forth above my head. It stopped and I thought maybe I was still dreaming a bit and started to fall back to sleep. Then the flapping sound happened again. I tapped my husband awake who awoke with a start muttering all sorts of things. I asked him if he, “could hear that?” He paused and listened and we heard more flapping. My husband grabbed his cell phone and turned on the light on the phone. Hanging from the bedroom ceiling was a black bat. (And of course, a few of the cats in the room were going crazy watching the bat. Some were on the floor, some were on the bed.)
I am not joking. This seriously happened.
First thing I muttered is that we were screwed as we probably needed rabies shots.
My husband decided to open the large window in the master bathroom and use an air can to scare the bat towards the window. I exited the bedroom, shutting the door behind me, and my husband put his plan into action. He managed to scare the bat back outdoors.
Eventually, I went back to sleep, again. I spent the next day at work calling my primary care doctor to find out if we really needed the shot. Neither of us suspected we were bitten. I’m pretty sure the bat couldn’t come near us without the cats having a field day. My primary had me calling urgent cares to get a rabies vaccine. I called around to see who offered it, and again to confirm if we really needed them. One place didn’t even offer vaccines. The other place said they didn’t have them. I then called the main hospital that’s on my university’s campus to try to get some information and help. They forward me to a travel well center run by the university. They were extremely nice and helpful.
Yes, unfortunately, we needed the vaccine, even if all the bat did was fly around. Since we did not capture the bat to test it for rabies, there was the risk of exposure. While the travel well center had the rabies vaccination, only an ER had the Day Zero rabies vaccine. We would need that first.
So after I was done at work I went home, fed the cats, packed some snacks, grabbed a water bottle, and went off to the closest ER. Even they weren’t sure if I needed the shot. The person I saw said they normally give the shot in the area that the bite was. Since there was no bite, there was no real place to give the shot. They had to call animal control to find out what to do and sent me back to the waiting room until they heard back. Again the confirmation was yes we needed the shot. So finally a couple of hours after arriving I was sent back again to wait for the shot, or shots as it turned out. I got 4 shots, although I was told it used to be 10. (O_O) One of the shots went in my upper arm. The other three on the side of my upper legs. I could barely walk out of the ER.
And the side effects. Ugggh. My stomach turned into a washing machine on a high spin cycle. Plus I was really dizzy.
I had to take the next day off of work as animal control told the ER to tell me that all of our pets need their rabies vaccines redone ASAP. While I was at the ER my husband called the vet, and at the time they said our youngest cat didn’t need the shot as she had her rabies a couple of months ago. So I tricked the other 4 cats into my office and shut the door while I grabbed our two cat carriers. Then I grabbed the two cats that I thought would be the most trouble getting to the vet and took them first. Then I went home and caught and brought in the other two. While there on my second trip I decided to confirm that our youngest didn’t need a new shot as she was just there recently. As you can probably guess, the answer was she needed to come in anyway due to possible exposure. Guess who is the absolute hardest cat to get to the vet? Our youngest Abby. She hates the carrier. She wouldn’t get near me after seeing the other four go to the vet. I had to be more clever about it. Eventually, while I was feeding the cats dinner upstairs, I closed the bedroom door to prevent Abby from hiding under the bed. Well, she heard the noise, ran upstairs, and turned the corner to go into the bedroom. Except she didn’t know that was the door I closed. So I grabbed her, got clawed, and put her in a carrier.
Meanwhile, my husband went for his day zero shot the morning after I did. I had to pay for his copay since he was low on money. So to sum up, I had to had to pay my $250 ER copay, my husband’s $200 ER copay, and the cost of the cats going to the vet for the shots. (And since it was so much trouble getting them to the vet, I told the vet to give them anything they were due for. I had to put it on my credit card anyway..) It still bugs me that I had to pay an ER copay because the ER was the only place that offered the vaccine. I literally had no other choice in where to go. If I ever hear another HR representative saying they make ER copay so high so as to prevent people from going there first, yeah I’m bringing up this story. Sometimes you have no choice and you shouldn’t be financially punished for it.
All of the follow-up shots happened at the Day Surgery center at the hospital. Now the rabies vaccines go like this: shots on Day Zero, Day Three, Day Seven, and Day Fourteen. So for my husband and I Day Three was on a weekend. We both had to report at 8 am, no choice on that time since Day Surgery wasn’t open on weekends. We both had to register “at the ER” and head over. When I got there the ER person said no just go to Day Surgery. There was someone there talking on a walkie-talkie that there were people there for appointments. (Me and someone else.) I waited and eventually, someone came out and said no I needed to go back to ER to register first and then come back. I sighed and walked back to tell the ER what they said.. Eventually, they figured out that I needed to go to the registration office that was attached to the ER waiting room. After I was done with that I went back to Day Surgery, and no one was there manning the desk or anywhere in the area. I waited a bit again before going back to ER again to get some help. The person at the ER desk had me wait until they were sure they could page someone to be there to help me, and mentioned that ER and Day Surgery don’t really talk to each other. Yeah, couldn’t tell.
The same person as before came out again and said, oh if someone wasn’t there you were supposed to use the phone on the desk. Now the phone was facing away from patients towards whoever was manning the desk. She huhed and turned it to face out. And then she said you dial this extension number, which was on a sign, that was turned around the opposite way so the number wasn’t on display. Yeah, that was sooo obvious. >_> So finally I was taken back and given my day 3 shot in my upper arm. Fortunately all the remaining shots were just the one in the upper arm.
After this mess, I accompanied my husband for his shot on the next day. Since I knew where to go, and what to do, I would be able to help him avoid all of what I went through.
And of course, after every shot I had side effects. My stomach got upset like I had a stomach bug starting. My stomach hurt and my appetite was down. Worried the shots would trigger my IBS-D, I upped my amount of probiotics and was even more careful about what I ate. And long story short, the morning of my last shot (Day 14), I finally got fully sick due to the shots. I thought at the time it was a stomach bug, but it happened again a few days later. I went to an urgent care who confirmed what I suspected, the set of shots triggered my IBS. This was beyond just eating well and probiotics. I had to go back on two of the medications I had been on before to deal with my IBS. Medications I haven’t been on for at least 5 years. It was really demoralizing. I’m still on them now as I type this. It may take weeks to months before my digestive system calms down again.
So yeah, long story short, I summoned a bat into my home. We think it came in via the chimney. I am overdue a letter to a school of witchcraft and wizardry now.
Do I still like bats? Sure. But I want to keep my distance from them. I want to see them when I’m awake, and even then keep a big space between me and them. Or just watch them on Youtube.
So that’s what went on in my personal life the second half of June until now. Ugh.