Spider Bite Saga

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.

Horse pills

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.

spider bite

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!

Uninsurable

When Jeremy was only a few months old I applied for addition life insurance beyond what was available through Chuck’s employer. I felt it overwhelmingly necessary to have more than “enough to bury me.” After the healthy history, blood work, and medical records were submitted, I was shocked to discover I’d been denied life insurance. At 25 years old, I was uninsurable.

That was a form of rejection I’d not yet experienced, and honestly I was offended. Not only had my body failed to produce a child, now it had failed to protect the child I’d adopted if I were to die. Thanks a lot, body.

Chuck and I maintained my puny coverage through his employer and it’s been that way for ten years. However, it’s been a burden on my mind for a long while to try again for additional term life insurance. A few months ago, I started the process. And by months, I mean that I started the process in November.

The company is still undecided. For every mark on my medical record, they have requested more information. I have pulled records from primary care physicians, endocrinologists, gynecologists, and more recently, dermatologists. Yes, I’ve got medical stuff. We all have medical stuff. But am I really still uninsurable? Do my marathon and half marathon medals mean nothing? I’ve never had a major surgery, I’ve never broken a bone. I’m not asking for a million dollars. I am just asking for a little cushion should my life end sooner than later so my husband can care for our kids. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but I’m not overly hopeful.

In other news, it snowed again this morning. Happy Spring Break, boys! Let’s turn on the fire place!

Major and Smokey

This is Chuck’s old Smokey stuffed animal. It mostly stays in Jackson’s room. When I saw it under the bed I remembered we also had one of Chuck’s old Tennessee t-shirts which Jackson has recently outgrown.

So then we played dress-up. Smokey and MajorMajor has gotten significantly bigger in the last two weeks. He has to be more than ten pounds now, and I’m happy to say his potty training is going well. He’s even stood by the door a few times to signal he has to go outside. The biting is still an issue, but our hope is losing his milk teeth will lessen that problem. He certainly doesn’t lack for chew toys.

PoseSunday night was horrific for Jeremy. Vomiting and other stomach activities raged on for hours. He couldn’t even keep down water. After a rough night with a fever, he rested most of yesterday. By last night he was able to keep down food. Today he seems fine but I can tell by his pale face that he’s worn and weak. Another day of rest might do him good.

Like the awesome cat he is, Salem kept Jeremy company in bed most of the day.

Sickly

Photographs and fresh air

First of all, Happy Birthday to my sweet husband! He really is the best.

Friday was delightful. In my first outing since the flu we ran a few mundane errands and then took the boys to the park. I hadn’t taken any photos in a week, which was weird, so I was eager to snap a few. Despite being a little cold, the weather was perfect. We all needed that beautiful sunshine kissing all of our faces.

Feeding the ducks

Duckies

Spinning

Spinning with Dad

Seesaw

pensive

Fountain

Stream

Reflection

Breaking out

I am leaving the house today. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I leave it, but by golly I’m leaving it. I will get dressed and I will drive somewhere. Even if all I have to do is take the recycling three miles up the road to dump it, I will leave this house.

And it will be exhilarating.

My cabin fever has hit a peak and walking down to the mailbox is no longer satisfying. So even though I’m still coughing and every little task is exhausting, I will wear myself out accomplishing some mundane chore for the sake of getting out of this house.

Jackson, on the other hand, seems to be fine. I’m not entirely convinced that he’s not sick, because you don’t just throw up all over your bed with a 100.5 temperature and nap for two hours when you’re not sick. But after his nap, he was perky, giggly and asking for eggs. Who wants eggs when he’s sick? Whatever happened to him yesterday morning may not happen again this season, but nonetheless I’m watching him closely.

Good weekend to you! May your all your mucus membranes run clear.

Flu

By the time I tried to pray the flu away, it was too late. Fever struck Friday night and it stayed for four days, along with chills, aches, and the lot. (On the plus side, coughing this much has been an excellent ab workout.)

Chuck quarantined me to the bedroom where I proceeded to sleep and lay like a slug, half-watching bad movies all day long.

And then suddenly it was 2013. Hurrah.

Yesterday was the first day that I felt somewhat human, so in my menial strength I swept and mopped the kitchen floor. A task that I could usually do in my sleep wore me out entirely. I crashed back into bed immediately after.

And now, as I type, I have a 99.7 temperature. Just when I thought I was at the end of it…

So Happy New Year, readers! I hope you all had a wonderful ringing-in of 2013 with lots of smooches from loved ones.

Kisses on NYE

“You may not remember you did anything…”

Insomnia is slow torture and, since I have reoccurring bouts of it, I started taking Ambien last year to help me sleep. On the rare occasion, I’ve skipped the pill and tried to sleep on my own, but so far that’s not worked out to my benefit.

So I carry on with the memory erasing pill because without sleep I’m a bear. Chuck picked up my prescription the other day and for the first time I read the medication guide. So hilarious and TRUE. While I don’t get out of bed and drive to Walmart in the middle of the night, I’ve most certainly done things post-pill that I don’t remember, and looking through my late-night internet searches can confirm that. Examples include images older men with excessive chest hair and the practice of witchcraft in modern times.

Just so you know, I do not have an attraction to older men with excessive chest hair nor am I a practicing witch. And I have since learned to put down the iPad each night after taking my sleeping pill, lest I purchase a paddle boat online or start FaceTiming new friends in Finland.

Sanctuary

My nerves have been on edge this week. I could list about ten reasons why that is, but I’ll save you the invitation to my Pity Party. Instead I’ll say that it’s completely ridiculous to stand in front of a dermatologist (so she can look at one little questionable spot) and be told that it will be a year’s wait for her to look at the rest of my body.

Yes, I have a dermatologist appointment for July 31, 2013. Gosh! Hope I remember.

Two years ago I had a small spot removed. I remember it clearly because the procedure was scheduled for the same day we had Hank put down. It was an intentional double-whammy so I could get all my tears out at once.

Anyway, it appears that the same type of spot has regrown in another place so after a three-month wait to get it checked, the doctor indeed performed a biopsy. Afterward, I fully expected her to ask about the rest of my skin, and when she didn’t, I asked her about it. She said I could have a full-body scan done in a separate appointment.

Okay, I thought. In a few weeks?

Nope. One year. That’s how long the wait is. I stood there looking at her with all my skin right in front of her face, including a patched-up spot she just butchered, but she will not look at it intently for another year.

This is why I have chosen to bury my nose in a book every morning, every afternoon, and nearly every night. It’s my favorite form of escapism, and currently, that’s just how I deal.