Friday, July 18, 2008

Black Widow Spider Bite

I'm amazed that my black widow spider bite is not yet 100% healed! I was bitten 18 days ago and the redness still has't gone away. I don't blame the girl, I think she fell into the cuff of my hiking boot as I walked through her web and then probably bit me defensively as she was caught in there. My garage has several black widows, as do most of my trash cans. Although they don't bother me, I do get rid of egg sacs I find.

I was unloading the car after returning from a hiking/camping trip. One spider (probably this one) spins a web across the side doorway to my garage each night. I've walked through it many times. The spider always gets clear before I smash through. I was carrying a load of gear into the house and felt a very sharp pain in my ankle after getting a few feet beyond that doorway. I couldn't drop my gear, so I bore the pain until I could bend down and dislodge the presumed twig or plant burr from my sock (I assumed that was causing the pain).

I thought nothing of it until the next day when I had lots of swelling, odd patchy redness (erythema), and a red spot in the middle of a blanched circle centered on the swelling. It itched horribly. I packed up for my trip to Yosemite where I endured the constant itching. It felt good that my hiking socks seemed to rub against the skin there offering some relief. It wasn't until I returned home again when I googled to confirm that it was a black widow spider. I hadn't experienced any of the systemic symptoms and, luckily, only had the local symptoms. At its peak, I had a hard time relieving the itch. Maximum strength Lanacane (20% benzocaine) and ice were the most helpful. The itching and swelling are gone now. I'm still waiting for the redness to go away.


Brewing said...

You're a brave soul. I would have been at the ER instead of toughing it out.

Joe said...

That redness is due to the mutation going on beneath the skin.

Question: Do you have an aversion to eat flies? Would you rather have real blood in a bloody mary? Do you feel more agile? Do you feel the need to redecorate your home in a spiral layout?

michael said...

None of those, however my vision is sharp, i'm oddly drawn to blue and red tights, and I feel burdened by an enormous (but undefined) responsibility.