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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 :-(

orolig Wed 12-Jun-13 08:08:32

I'm 26 weeks pregnant and have had some similar toxoplasma anxieties. It is very tiring, I know I'm being irrational but it's so hard to stop worrying. I was wondering how you're doing now Bluebella? I hope all is well.

mum1979100 Sun 07-Apr-13 18:29:39

Good luck and best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy bluebella. You remind me of me when I was pregnant! I'm sure it will be fine. The chance of you coming into contact with toxo must be so slim. It's ashame that the toxo tests can't tell you how recently you were infected. Getting tested could end up worrying you more. Hope all goes well for you.

Bluebella Sun 07-Apr-13 17:11:20

That's true. But the reason I think he has contaminated shoes is because he was in my back garden which I know has been used as the local kitty litter garden over the years, I haven't touched the garden. He was just removing rubbish from it. I so wish I had told him to wear old shoes. What a stupid mistake....

I am going to try and forget about it. I am still obviously going to be cautious with hygeine etc... as I would be, like washing hands, etc...

But I am going to try and let go of the thought that OH's flat is contaminated, and going to try hard to relax about this and get it out of my mind.


mum1979100 Sun 07-Apr-13 17:00:05

I would think ifyou are going to worry about toxo being in the flat / on peoples shoes, after you have done a clean up, then you are basically saying toxo could be absolutely anywhere. That's supposed to make you feel better not worse - hopefully! What I mean is your risk can't be any higher than the average regnant lady. People walk in gardens/mud all the time and come inside buildings. Then they get hoovered and nobody worries any more.

Bluebella Sun 07-Apr-13 16:30:19

Thank you Lucy xx I just want to have a happy healthy content baby, as we all pray for. I can't stop worrying, and then I worry about the stress I am casuing the baby worrying! Its a vicious circle.

Bluebella Sun 07-Apr-13 16:26:53

Would a Dettol Wet wip rubbed all over the shoes have gotten off any toxo Oocysts do you think?

Right I HAVE to stop worrying about this! Its driving me insane.

But thank you for replying, believe it or not it does help.

I always wanted to try for a little girl (Having another boy now), but now I don't think I could cope with another pregnancy!! :'-(


lucybrad Sun 07-Apr-13 16:25:47

You sound like me with my fear of being sick. I get like that, and no rational thought will help. I call it an episode, and looking back I can see where I have had these episodes and that I was being totally unreasonable, but at the time I can't see it. Your not going to get it. Take deep breaths, and when you start thinking about it make a positive effort to think about something nice instead.

Bluebella Sun 07-Apr-13 16:06:41

Thanks WipsGlitter. I will, I really will, but in my mind I keep thinking.... but what about if I have been infected - there's a possibility right? Oh dear oh dear oh dear, I swore to myself I wouldn't panic in this pregnancy, but seems always to be a situation where I feel I have compromised my saftey.

Bluebella Sun 07-Apr-13 16:05:03

OMG Mum197100 that scenario with your toddler sounds horrific!!!

OK, so I am hoping that there was no toxo where my other half stepped on in the garden. He said he kept to the 'Stepping stones' rather than the gravel, but I can't be sure.

But if there was, what do you think about his shoes, and the possibility of bringing toxo into the house on his shoes...

I keep thinking, OK, I was tested when I was 25yrs, and I was negative, so I didn't pick it up in 25 would I really have got it now?!

I think if I get tested again perhaps I'll feel better about this.

I feel like I can cope in my own house, but I am very worried about OH's flat being contaminated :-/

Not seeing him for the next four months, seems a little drastic, but thats how I feel! lol.

WipsGlitter Sun 07-Apr-13 16:03:06

No, most people would not be worrying about this to the level you are. I think you need to see your GP and see about some more counselling for health anxiety.

mum1979100 Sun 07-Apr-13 15:56:55

I totally get where you are coming from. But spuds like you have been very cautious. I really think you'll be fine. I had these worries too. I ate Parma ham without thinking in my first pregnancy and persuaded the doc to do a test, which showed I was not exposed to toxo. Then in my second pregnany my toddler picked up cat poo in the garden with a stick and I grabbed it off him. Then ran him into house to wash his hands and as he waved stick around it touched my lip- you can imagine my worry. Again persuaded do to test and came back negative. So I think it's so not as easy to catch from cat poo as you think.

Bluebella Sun 07-Apr-13 15:50:13

but is it just my anxiety or do you think I could have got it, or will catch it if I go to my OH's flat? I did mention to midwife on phone the other day and she gave me a leaflet for an NHS service called 'Lift', perhaps I will give them a call tomorrow.

catsdogsandbabies Sun 07-Apr-13 15:47:13

Could you make appt to see gp sooner? Explain your anxiety?

Bluebella Sun 07-Apr-13 15:44:00

My next Appt with M/W is 1st May, I may ask to be tested then.

I was tested 5 years or so ago and it showed that I was not immune.

Yes; I am washing my hands all the time, they are very sore and dry :-(

I wish he'd never ever done the garden, what a stupid idea it was.

OK so I need to keep telling myself; there was no toxo in that garden and there is no toxo on the bottom of my OH's shoes.... Its so hard.

I just want to crawl into my bed and stay there till July :-(

catsdogsandbabies Sun 07-Apr-13 15:37:46

But bluebell you need to ingest the oocysts so even if the flat was a risk (which it isn't in my opinion) you are I assume given your anxiety washing hands and cooking food well.
So facts:
Very few cat poos will have active (infectious) toxo oocysts in them
You need to eat quite a few of them
Even then infection is far from guaranteed

Have you asked to be tested? If you were already exposed and therefore immune would your mind be at rest?

Bluebella Sun 07-Apr-13 15:26:56

Thank you. I just cannot shake this feeling of being terrified of mud and dirt now in case it has toxo in it. It's really getting too much for me, I feel like I am constantly stratigically thinking about what I have to clean before touching, where I have to walk, etc.. this is crazy.

So you don't think I should be worried about going into my OH's flat, bearing in mind he may have worn the shoes that he was in the garden with (He did wipe them over but not sure how thoroughly).

While he said he didn't step on any cat pooh, I worry that its disintergrated and on the stones on which he was walking etc....x

HazleNutt Sun 07-Apr-13 15:12:59

Honestly no, I would not worry about such situations. I have 3 actual cats walking all over and sleeping in my bed, I do gardening and don't have toxo - it would be a miracle if you managed to get it from the bottom of someone's shoes.

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?

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

Hi there - wanted to give you another link to read that is helpful I think
hope this helps reassure you too.

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

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

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.

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!

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

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:
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.

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