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toxoplasmosis - anxiety - please help

(42 Posts)
Bluebella Sun 31-Mar-13 11:28:45

hi this is my second pregnancy and i had severe anxiety about health in my first preg and its starting to come back.

Please can i describe a situation to you.

My other half cleared my absolute disgrace of a garden a few days ago. I KNOW there would have been cat poo in the garden. there was so much rubbish in the garden so i was happy for him to clear it. I was anxious about the cat poo but thought had it under control.

He picked up various junk from with in the garden and loaded up a van next to back gate. Once finished he did come through house but took shoes off and went straight out front door.

He did wash hands but only with antibacterial gel.

He then got in van to take to tip but i had to follow as he had to take van back to rental place and i had to take him back.

When we got to tip they wouldnt allow a van to come in. We were really short on time it was 4pm and van had to be back in depot at 5pm.

I begged the worker at the tip to let him in but he wouldnt. so only option we had was to put the stuff in my car boot and do several trips through the tip.

I didnt touch any of it. My other half loaded it in my boot and unloaded. Once done he used anti bac gel again.

Then he had to drop van back and had to come in my car :-( i didnt let him touch anything.

Then i dropped him back at his car and he went home ( dont live together yet).

So.......the next day i was freaking about the rubbish having been in my boot- my sister hoovered and steam cleaned my boot and entire car and i through away the car matt my other half woukd have put his feet on.

But my concerns are:

1) my oh got toxo on his hands which the gel hasnt removed and has it all over his own car steering wheel and now i am too terrified for him to touch me without washing hands.

2) my boot has got toxo in it - would the steam cleaning have killed any toxo?! I had to put a tv stand in my boot today and bring in house and now i am so worried i have brought toxo into my bedroom.

I really am so scared and i am worried about my OHs shoes that he wore in the garden. I told him to clean them but i dont know if he has or not. He thinks i am being ridiculous.

Please help to calm me down, if you think i am overeacting. i cant stand this feeling of panic and worry :-(

HazleNutt Sun 31-Mar-13 11:38:58

You are overreacting. Most people who get toxo get it from undercooked meat. I have had cats my whole life, currently have 3, I do gardening and have not caught toxo - abroad, we get tested every month here. Chances you managed to catch it from this one time are minimal. By the way, do you even know if you're not immune already?

ExpatAl Sun 31-Mar-13 11:40:08

First of all your other half and sister sound like absolute stars! I am not immune to toxo either and occasionally have a panic so I can understand your worry but the bases seem to have been covered well and truly and I truly don't think there's anything to be worried about in this case. Give your OH a cuddle and thank him for being so lovely.

Bakingtins Sun 31-Mar-13 11:44:34

You are over-reacting. It's not a deadly killer virus in a horror film, basic hygiene precautions will get rid of it. I've been working as a vet handling sick cats for 15 years and I am not immune. Stay calm.

Bluebella Sun 31-Mar-13 11:45:45

I had a test in my first pregnacy 5 years ago and was not immune. I may ask my midwife to re test me.

ASmidgeofMidge Sun 31-Mar-13 11:47:06

My understanding - might be wrong - is that the vast majority of cat owners are immune having been exposed to it already. I think you've done far and away more than you need to to minimise risks in any case. Maybe talk to your GP about how you are feeling (health anxiety, not toxo). I had very similar issues in my first pregnancy - I only have one dc so far - and when I look back, I feel v sad as it took over what should have been an exciting time so much. Hugs

ASmidgeofMidge Sun 31-Mar-13 11:48:06

Sorry, x-posted. Even if not immune, I think you've done as much as you can, and more than most x

DolomitesDonkey Sun 31-Mar-13 11:49:37

In the history of the world, has anyone ever caught it from a car? confused

ShowOfHands Sun 31-Mar-13 11:54:40

I don't want to heighten your anxieties but the risks of you catching toxo and then on top of that it affecting your baby are v small compared to lots of other risks. There are a million and one things you could have fixated on, some with significantly higher risks than toxo (but still small I must stress) but for some reason your anxieties are currently latched onto this one.

The thing is, it's not about toxo really. Say your midwife tests you and gives you the all clear then would it be over? Or would it be some other risk or anxiety?

What I mean is that you need to speak to your midwife and/or gp about the anxiety and ways of handling that.

It's extremely unlikely that you are at risk of toxoplasmosis right now from your dp's hands. You are at risk of being v anxious and unhappy however and that's not good for you. There is help out there. I've also had health anxieties for years and know how suffocating it is.

The overwhelming likelihood is that you and your baby will have a happy, healthy pregnancy. But knowing that is different to feeling that.

Bluebella Sun 31-Mar-13 11:58:09

Thanks all. Its just i am 100% certain there was old and probably newer cat poo too (i dont have a cat but its a gravel garden and other peoples cats use it as a litter tray.. and the garden has been practically abandoned for years....this is my main worry. But as i said i didnt actually touch any of the mess or even go in the garden. Its just i worried about the transmition of toxo into my car and then also on my ohs hands. ...sigh..... I really wish i could stop worrying. Thanks again x

Samvet Sun 31-Mar-13 12:01:44

I can help you here. A recent publication showed cat poo was a minimal risk of toxo and raw meat is the main source of infection. I am testament to this as I have worked with cats for 20 years including poo (in kennels and as a vet) and I own cats and I am negative for toxo. I have been veggie for many years. As long as you wash veg, cook meat and have sensible hygiene precautions in kitchen you are highly unlikely to catch it.

Bluebella Sun 31-Mar-13 12:02:38

Thanks all. Its just i am 100% certain there was old and probably newer cat poo too (i dont have a cat but its a gravel garden and other peoples cats use it as a litter tray.. and the garden has been practically abandoned for years....this is my main worry. But as i said i didnt actually touch any of the mess or even go in the garden. Its just i worried about the transmition of toxo into my car and then also on my ohs hands. ...sigh..... I really wish i could stop worrying. Thanks again x

Bluebella Sun 31-Mar-13 12:05:58

Sorry didnt mean to post that twice. Thanks Samvet and everyone else who has taken the time to reply.

I know i must calm down as stress and anxiety affects baby. My son was very difficult and still is and i think thats cuz i wss so stressed in last preg. I dont want to affect this one too.

Bluebella Sun 31-Mar-13 12:50:03

Sorry didnt mean to post that twice. Thanks Samvet and everyone else who has taken the time to reply.

I know i must calm down as stress and anxiety affects baby. My son was very difficult and still is and i think thats cuz i wss so stressed in last preg. I dont want to affect this one too.

formerblonde Mon 01-Apr-13 10:42:00

Hi, this is my first post on mumsnet and I am also looking for reassurance about toxo. There are a lot of sensible posts on here but i'm still a little worried. I do have a cat who does hunt(thus increasing risk of her having it), and am taking precautions such as letting hubbie change litter tray, making sure surfaces are wiped down before chopping etc (I don't eat meat so at least I don't have to worry about that). What I don't get is, people say it's so rare to get it..but then if you've always had cats (I have) you probbably have had it! so how does that make it rare?! Samvet, if you read this... once a cat has had it is she immune... or does it not work like that?
sorry to hijack a bit Bluebella, but I didn't think worth starting a new post. We've just been through hell to get pregnant and the thought of what could go wrong is just unbearable. I wish i could farm my cat off for the next 5 months (as much as I love her)

HazleNutt Mon 01-Apr-13 11:13:05

Yes, if a cat gets toxo, it's infectious for a couple of weeks and then immune. Once you have had it yourself, you're immune. But as said, most people don't actually get the infection from cats - I read a study (which I can't find at the moment) where no differences were found in toxo infection rates amongst pregnant cat owners and non-owners.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 01-Apr-13 11:26:16

I urge you to read ShowofHands post again - it sounds to me as if you have terrible health anxiety and floating anxiety that is fixing on the toxo issue.

I suffer health anxiety myself and know how debilitating it can be.

You are not going to catch toxo from your DH or your carboot.

Also stress you feel in pregnancy is not going to make your DS 'difficult', so try not to feel responsible for that.

I really feel for you, it is vile to be so worried and so anxious. I would speak to my midwife/GP if I were you, they may be able to refer you for CBT which I found incredibly helpful in dealing with my worries.

Samvet Mon 01-Apr-13 13:54:59

Hi there,
Cats really are a minimal risk for toxo.
I understand the anxiety, I am 39 weeks pregnant and handle a lot of cat poo ( colonoscopy etc!).
The prevalence of exposure in the cat population is variable country to country and difficult to accurately assess. Yes most cats unless immunosuppressed (certain drug treatments, feline aids) will be immune after initial exposure and only excrete toxo for short periods. As you prob know it takes from 24 hrs for the cysts to be infectious too. So I change all litter trays myself as the poo is not that old iykwim.
Bleach the trays and then little risk. Clean kitchen surfaces and wash hands before eating and preping food. Wash vegetables well. Cook meat thoroughly.
This may reassure you:
www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/committee/acmsfrtaxopasm.pdf
A hunting cat has likely been exposed before so little risk. You can keep cat in dawn and dusk hunting times when rodents are about and try a collar plus bell to reduce hunting but sensible kitchen hygiene is most important.

formerblonde Mon 01-Apr-13 18:13:10

Thank you Samvet, you've reassured me loads!
Bluebella I hope these posts have made you feel better too x

Jollyb Mon 01-Apr-13 19:00:44

Bluebella have you been to see anyone one about your anxiety? I had antenatal anxiety in my first pregnancy and became fixated on a number of worries. Strangely they were rarely to do with the baby. I think maintenance of my rental flat featured highly! I've had CBT and feeling much better this pregnancy.

As others have said your risk of toxo from the scenario you describe is minimal. I had to clear up a big pile of cat vomit this am - would have gladly used my pregnancy to get out of it but there was no one else in!

catsdogsandbabies Tue 02-Apr-13 09:17:12

Pleased I can reassure you, a lot of misinformation. I was amazed to be toxo negative as no doubt have ingested a bit if cat poo in my years of cleaning our trays, interestingly 2 colleague of mine were also negative despite being vets, both eat v little red meat! Hope the anxiety calms down, is really miserable. Second the cbt recommendation.

violetlights Tue 02-Apr-13 09:27:09

You sound just like I was in my pregnancy. I completely fixated on toxo. But after researching, I realised it's extraordinarily unlikely to catch it from cats etc (or even rare meat for that matter). Can't remember the research I did, but you really have nothing to worry about. I also second (third?) CBT. I find this Daily Mood Log (forget the 'daily' bit) incredibly useful at getting the anxiety under control. Fill it out whenever you get too anxious (even if it's 5 minutes after you filled out the last one!) and be specific with your anxiety. You'll feel much better I promise. Big hugs to YOU! xxx

www.mun.ca/rmhp/professionals/4StepsCognitiveRestructuring.PDF

Bluebella Tue 02-Apr-13 20:09:40

Just caught up with the replies thank you so much. I had a cbt course for health anxiety a year ago as it resurfaced after i was diagnosed with an auto imune skin condition. I was so much better and up until now 23 weeks preg i have been so relaxed in this pregnancy. I am trying really hard to keep things under control now, but i finding my self now terrified of any mud or dirt as i worry it may have toxo in it, i am especially worried about bottom of shoes. I will talk to midwife next appt. Thanks everyone for reasurance about original scenario x

catsdogsandbabies Wed 03-Apr-13 14:09:43

Hi there - wanted to give you another link to read that is helpful I think
www.fabcats.org/policy/toxoplasmosis.html
hope this helps reassure you too.

Bluebella Sun 07-Apr-13 15:01:57

Hi there, sorry to go on about this....

So, basically; I was kind of not worrying as much about this, but last night I went for the first time to my OH's flat, and it has set it all off again.

The problem is, that I am worried that the shoes that he wore when he did my garden, I am worried that they had Toxo on the bottom of them, and that he has worn them in his flat. So when I went there yesterday I wore my slippers, and avoided touching the floor. HOWEVER, when he answered the door he was in his socks, and walked in the communual hallway of the flat and then got into his bed. Now I am petrified that he has transfered Toxo from the hallway where he walked in the shoes, and transfered them into the bed.

I told him to to take the socks off when I reliased.

I am so worried that there would be toxoplasmosis eggs all over his carpet.

He says he wiped the bottom of his shoes off with anti bac wipes, but I don't know exactly when he did this, i am scared he walked in side the flat and spread the eggs.

I know he has hoovered but would this have got rid of the eggs?

Also I am scared about the communal hall way in general as some one else may have brought cat pooh in on their shoes. In my house I take my shoes off right away but I am worried my OH is not doing this.

I am besides myself with worry and can't stop feeling as though I am contaminated by staying in his flat over night.

I have spoke to midwife she has given me a leaflet to an NHS service called 'Lift' so I will call them tomorrow.

But if this was your situation would you be worrying about it?

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