Patient Comments: Spider Bites - Black Widow

Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by a black widow spider? Describe the experience.

Comment from: Nancy J., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I was bitten by a black widow. It got into my scrubs (I was working at a hospital) and bit twice between my breasts. I ran into a bathroom to see what it was when I felt the "prick" of the bite. I was able to capture the spider between two medicine dispensary cups. I had to write up an incident report, and by this time I was having difficulty breathing and was feeling dizzy, had blurred vision, and was going numb. I was sent to our employee nurse, who sent me immediately to the ER. They didn't have a clue what to do, and I didn't get proper treatment for hours. I was screaming from the excruciating pain, abdominal cramps, I felt hot, and could not breathe. Eventually, they sedated me and I was vomiting profusely. They transferred me to ICU, and eventually I received antivenin. I was given antibiotics and pain meds, and discharged the following day to drive myself home. I was still very medicated, and prayed all the way home. Two days later, I was hurting badly at the site of the injection and was covered in an itchy red rash over my belly, chest and arms. I went back to the ER, where I was treated for "serum sickness." I was also approached by a "spokesperson" from the hospital while lying on a hospital bed and told that the hospital would not take care of the incident. As months went by, I developed arthritic symptoms, muscle weakness, and exhaustion. An outside doctor ordered me to take medical leave, restricted me from heavy lifting, etc. I was told I could no longer work there by the director of nursing. I am continuing to experience constant pain in most joints, numbness through my left side, muscle weakness, vision problems, all of which sometimes cause me to fall. I have not been able to work, and have exhausted my savings. This occurred about four years ago. I should have sued them, but, I didn't expect this to continue, and to not get better. As of this date they have 16 ongoing law suits against them. It has been a nightmare; my life will never be the same.

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