Spider Bite

This photo was taken Tuesday August 14, 2001 at about 6 P.M.

The bite on my head near the right ear and occurred in my sleep 5 days earlier, which just happened to be my 55th birthday.

What a nice birthday present !!!

I suspect the varmit was in a blanket that I had unfolded from storage in the middle of the night and failed to notice.

When I awoke the following morning, the initial feeling was sort of like when an arm or leg goes to sleep, a bit prickly and burning, but not really painful.

A few times in my life I have managed to sleep with an ear folded over against the pillow and experienced a similar feeling, and I originally thought this may have been the case here.

Throughout the day the afflicted area spread to the entire right side of my head and I began to experience oscillations of hot and cold flashes that would last from a few minutes up to one or two hours at a time.

By this time the skin on my head became inflamed and the scalp muscles and skin felt very rigid or hard and was VERY tender to the touch.

The tenderness was much like sore muscles from over-exertion during excersise.

The toxin then spread across the top to the left side of my head and downward toward the left ear.

It seemed that as the toxin spread to a new area, that the area previously affected area would return to normal, although remained a bit tender.

The next area affected was my forehead only, which went through the same cylce, and then dropped down to the area around my eyes, which is shown in the photo.

Shortly after this photo was taken, I experienced yet another bout of hot and cold flashes that lasted about 5 hours and then stopped.

Then the inflamation, puffiness, and swelling directly around my eyes began to subside, although at this point it's not completely gone.

I've found that aspirin helped to allievate the pain and inflamation and that benadryl had little or no effect in my case.

Perhaps anti-inflamatory steroids such as prednisone, which I have taken for other problems in the past, would have been helpful, but the mental anguish that I experienced with these drugs steered me away from seeking professional medical help at this point.

As far as I can tell, there are no known anti-toxins for spider venoms.

Even if there were, I never saw the spider, so it would have been a guessing game anyway.

I'm feeling better now and hopefully this will clear up SOON.

If not, I will break down and get some steroid shots.

Cousin Stanley
2001-08-15