My brown recluse bite turned red and I initially thought it was just some kind of bug bite. I was asleep in bed when I was first bitten, and woke quickly at the "sting" of the bite on the inside of my right leg. I rubbed my leg across the sheets and almost drifted back to sleep. When I felt the second "pinch." Extremely annoyed at being woken from sleep. I quickly moved by leg back and forth across my bed sheet, determined to "snuff out the little bugger!" Based on the partial remains I discovered in the a.m., and the damp "spot" on the sheet, I knew it was a spider I had killed.
My initial treatment was hot water and soap followed by neosporin and a band-aid, and from that point on, the bite sight felt itchy, and there was no pain to speak of. Within 24 hours, however, a patch of skin, about the size of the quarter, had turned necrotic and blistered, and dozens of little clusters of blisters formed completely around this grayish necrotic tissue. I had not ever seen anything like this following any other insect bite.
I imagined the blisters were filled with toxic venom. The "pressure" of these blisters caused a bit of pain, so I sterilized scissors, cut away the necrotic tissue, and lanced al the blisters. I made a home remedy - a poultice using hydrogen peroxide and a special clay I purchased from a health wellness center. This mud poultice was covered by a wet-to-dry dressing. When the clay, mud poultice dried, I washed the area once again with soap and water, followed my a new application of poultice and a wet-to-dry dressing. This treatment brought relief from the itching, reduced the swelling and inflammation, drew out toxins, and promoted healing.
Having said all of the above, I became extremely ill from the bite. - An illness covering a period of 10 weeks, and I am still not feeling "like myself." My symptoms . . .
Fever - My fever was as high as 104 degrees (at which point I sought medical attention). Even with an otc (over the counter) pain med, the fever often stayed above 101 degrees.
Chills - I mean frost bite kind of chills often taking as long as 4-5 hours to "thaw out" before becoming "heated up" once again. This cycle continued for several days.
Sleeplessness - My sleep cycles consisted of 90 - 120 minute intervals . . . Round the clock. I spent nights in bed, and in my recliner through out the day.
Severe Head Pain - I suspect my head pain was related to the lack of sleep and fever. Over the counter non steroid anti-inflammatory meds were used to alleviate the head pain . . . Motrin provided favorable results.
Nausea - Intermittent waves of nausea meant a reduced intake of nutrients/calories. I lost 12 pounds during this time.
Extreme Fatigue - My energy was limited to trip to the bathroom and climbing in and out om my recliner. I could not maintain any of my ADLs (activities of daily living). Housework came to a stop, and my gardens were not watered! Friends came to my aid with soups - lots of soup.
While I do not have insurance, I did have an unopened prescription of an antibiotic prescribed for a sinus infection (which I did not end up using while traveling out of state last spring). I felt this antibiotic would do some good. I began this antibiotic therapy about 5 days following the spider bite.
While on the above antibiotic for 10 days, I did get some temporary relief . . . But in the long run, my illness became exacerbated. For certain, a more appropriate antibiotic was needful. With my fever now as high as 104, I saw a medical professional.
The outcome of my doctor's visit - Blood draws to rule out secondary infections carried by the spider or any preexisting condition. My blood work came back negative - this is good!
An appropriate antibiotic, which I needed a double prescription of, so I was on an antibiotic for 30 days total.
Dehydration - I was severely dehydrated and received 2 liters of IV fluids at an infusion clinic.
Pain - My doctor prescribed a narcotic pain medication and steroids to reduce my pain and swelling . . . Mind you, there was no pain in my leg from the bite. How ironic.
70 plus days later - I feel as though I have lost all track of time, and as though I was robbed of the summer of '09.' To date - The spider bite continues to heal nicely. I did purchase a "spider bite kit" on line and for the last 5 days have been using this product to make a new "poultice" remedy. I am determined to treat the afflicted area until the "purple" marking on my leg has disappeared. This treatment is slowly working, shrinking the size of the affected area. What once developed into the size of a silver half-dollar, has been reduced to the size of my fingernail.
P.S. The online brown recluse spider bite kit also came with cardboard spider traps. Perhaps I'll write a post script to let you know what was caught!
Enjoy the last few days of summer! Blessings and shalom.
Sharon T. From Oregon