Went to the ER yesterday. It was the first time I have been to the ER since I was 10 and I slammed my fingers in a 70 lb metal door…Everybody cringe now…Needless to say, I can go another 15 years without the ER, that would be ok with me! I went to the ER because I was bitten by a spider. And here in Texas, we have some nasty spiders. In particular, we have the Brown Recluse spider. If you are bitten by one and it is left untreated your skin can die. It is eaten away by the poison leaving you with a gaping hole in your arm, or leg or wherever.
Now, I am not sure my bite was from a Brown Recluse, because I never saw the spider, but I am fairly certain it was a spider because I remember brushing past a cobweb with that exact part of my arm on Saturday. I was reaching under a workbench in my garage. It was dark there. When I pulled my arm out I noticed what looked like three mosquito bites. They were red, raised bumps and they itched. But soon after, they began to resemble a fireant bite more than a mosquito bite, but I know it wasn’t a fireant. So not thinking anything of it, I went about my business until Sunday when I noticed the red cluster of bumps had a radiating red area around it and two red lines that looked like veins coming out of the edges of the red area…This was when I thought perhaps it wasn’t a mutant form of mosquito. It looked like the venom from the bite was now moving through my veins.
I still pretty much ignored it though, until Monday because by Sunday evening most of the red lines were gone. They were very faint at that point. Monday morning it looked a lot better but by lunchtime, there was a large radiating circle around the bites and it was very hot to the touch…Time to call the doctor.
I spoke with my Doctor’s nurse, and she said she thought the doctor would want to see me. She called back a short while later and said he was booked up and did I think I should go to the ER? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! The ER for a little bite?? But I asked her if SHE thought I should and I gave her a more detailed description of the bites and she said the lines radiating out from the bites was venom going into my blood system and it could be BLOOD POISONING! Blood poisoning?? I asked. Yes, she said. She also told me I should get to the ER as soon as possible.
Here is where working in the family business comes in handy. My parents were very understanding and my mother went with me for moral support, since I hadn’t been since I was a little kid.
We arrived at the ER and in triage, as they were taking my temp, and BP and pulse, I heard the nurse quietly tell some else to fast track me…That had me worried but at least I didn’t have to wait for hours which I had expected since I wasn’t gushing blood.
About 20 minutes later a doctor was looking at me and determined there was a good chance of the bites being from a spider but he had no way to know for sure without seeing the spider in person. But it looked like the poison was spreading so he drew a blue line around the red area and told me to watch it and see if it went past the line. If so, I had to come back. Then he said I needed antibiotics, and a tetanus shot! A tetanus shot! I haven’t had one of those in 12 years or so, and I was not looking forward to it. But the nurse who gave me the shot was very good and I almost didn’t even feel it. The doc also gave me an antihistimine for the itchiness, and off I went.
I got my prescriptions filled and then went straight home. I took both of them immediately. I particularly wanted to see how the antihistimine would make me feel. When I was getting prescription filled I asked if it would make me sleepy not yet knowing that it was an antihistimine. The pharmacist said it can make some people sleepy. I responded, “then it will definitely make me sleepy.” And sure enough, it not only made me sleepy but loopy and dizzy. Fun times…Who needs beer!! I slept like rock last night because of the medicine, but today I am so tired.
But in the end, the moral of the story is, don’t stick your hands where they don’t belong, or don’t miss a chance to get out of work early, or get your tetanus shot so you can start stepping on rusty nails again!!