This post is for the benefit of my grandparents who are not on Facebook and missed my spider bite saga last night.
Tuesday morning I woke up with what felt like a scratch on the outside of my left foot/lower ankle. However, when I looked at it I realized that it wasn’t a scratch but rather some sort of bite. There was a puss-filled pocket surrounded by red inflammation. I pricked the wound, poured peroxide on it, and applied antibacterial ointment. My ankle felt sore but it was completely tolerable.
By Tuesday night I started get concerned that maybe this bite was seriously infected. There was more puss and my skin became more inflamed. I pricked the wound again, expressed it, and applied more peroxide/ointment.
Wednesday morning the inflammation was worse. It had expanded in diameter and felt itchy as well as uncomfortable. It wasn’t unmanageable, so this time I made an epsom salt scrub and let it sit there for as long as I could. I did this treatment several times throughout the day.
By last night, I became really concerned because the inflammation was a bit larger in diameter. It was clearly not getting better, so I started Googling spider bites.
A word about the internet: It can be a wonderful resource of information. It can also be a haven of misinformation designed to scare the crap out of someone like me who could quickly be convinced that death was imminent.
To help keep my cool, I requested advice via Facebook and posted a photo of the bite. Many sweet, concerned people encouraged me to run, not walk, to the emergency room on the off-chance that this was a brown recluse bite. Some bites take a while to fester and can do severe damage to soft tissue. So, around 9:30 p.m., I put clothes back on the boys (they had already changed into pajamas), piled them in the car, and went to the ER.
I was seen quickly and it was confirmed that I indeed had an infected spider bite of some kind. Though it has characteristics of a brown recluse bite, I didn’t bring in a specimen so they couldn’t say for sure. I received a shot in the rear to administer a heavy dose of antibiotics and was given a prescription for Bactrim 800/160 – take two pills twice a day for 10 days. These are the biggest pills I’ve ever seen in my life.
Apparently it will take a couple of weeks for the wound to heal but I should show signs of healing within a few days. If the swelling and puss don’t reduce within three days I go back to have the area drained. That sounds like a blast.
This is how it looks today. I apologize if you are disgusted by it, but trust me – we share the same feelings.
The boys were very well-behaved in the ER and showed genuine concern for me. (Jackson was very happy with the results, “I’m glad you didn’t die, Mom!”) They did get a huge laugh when I had to drop my pants for the male nurse so he could give me the shot. I made them go behind the curtain for privacy’s sake, but that didn’t hinder their giggles.
Also this week: The Check Engine light came on in my car and the water/ice maker in the refrigerator is broken. If things really happen in threes, then I should be fine until Monday.
P.S. I was scolded by the ER doctor about pricking the wound to drain it. Apparently that was a wrong move. Now you know!