Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This is the story of my 1984 Brown Recluse Spider bite.

And now for the latest chapter on why I like winter.

I got bit by something on Sunday while I was standing on the deck at our house in Samsonville. I felt a sharp bite on my leg. I think it bit me through my jeans, high up on my right thigh on the outside of my leg. I suspect it was one of those mean flies we have there but I am not sure. There was no blood and the bite is tiny. Bob thought maybe it was a bee since Sam was stung earlier in the day, but it didn't hurt like a bee sting. I went inside and pulled down my pants and it looked terrible within minutes. There was no tick attached or anything like that. I shook my pants out and couldn't find any bugs. By late that night when we were back in Castleton it was just awful, about 4" across and very red. Not a bull's eye, a dark, solid red circle.

It only hurts and itches a little. I had to be on campus Monday and had forgotten my insurance card at home so couldn't go to one of those urgent care places (there is one right next to campus), but I was kind of worried all day. Monday night I put baking soda and cortisone cream on it and thought it looked OK, maybe even a bit better so I stopped worrying. By yesterday afternoon the redness and swelling had traveled to my groin and I freaked.

So I went to the doctor, she said it could be any type of bug but they suspect a spider, although probably not a poisonous one like last time. (She said they do get a growing number of people in recent years who have been bitten by brown recluse spiders, though, which is interesting.) She also said it doesn't have the characteristics of a tick bite. I still think it was a flying insect that bit me through my pants because I'm pretty sure I would have seen a spider inside or outside of my pants.

Anyway, I am on keflex. When I got to Rite Aid to get my prescription, the pharmacist came out and had one of those counseling sessions. I mean a real one, not just one they make you sign off on. He asked me about my penicillin allergy. He said there is a 5% chance I will react to keflex since it is related. I don't think I have ever had keflex before, at least not as far as I can remember. He said if I get a rash I should stop taking it immediately. I laughed because a rash is what I am taking it for!! But a friend of mine told me to take that very seriously, because the 5% is too much of a softball, and the reaction could be delayed, or more serious. (Great, so now I have something else to worry about.)

Too bad there were no digital pictures in 1984! No one would believe me that the Brown Recluse bite was worse.

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