Patient Comments: Spider Bites - Type of Spider and Reaction

What type of spider bit you, and did you have a reaction?

Comment from: Widows ruined me, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 26

About 4 years ago I started getting progressively worse stomach cramps and itching all over. After a few months of the doctor unable to figure it out, I lost all of my energy and started having heavy chest pain and severe joint pain especially in my upper back. After 100K in billing to the quacks and countless hours of arguing with quacks who swore nothing was wrong with me and I was faking it, I woke up to a black widow spider biting my back. It turns out there was a nest under my night stand and I was being bitten frequently. Quacks kept telling me it was back acne and not bites wouldn"t even run the test when I asked about a possible black widow bite on the first visit and the mention of possible stomach cancer made spiders seem unimportant at the time. I used to work in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), a lot of attics and crawl spaces. I got some of the right blood tests to prove it and now I'm suing the hospital, not because they didn"t find it but because after the cancer screen they treated me like a lying drug addict when my body was so wrecked I was suicidal. My body is still in horrible shape and will probably never recover fully, I'm 32 and my joints are so bad I have the mobility of my 80 year old grandfather.

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Comment from: Gina, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 07

My daughter was bitten by a brown recluse about 3 years ago. It looked like a small ant bite at first, with a little white head. She popped it and it became blue, purple and black. We went to a doctor who gave her antibiotics and sent her home. The next day the bite started oozing black stuff before our eyes. We went to see a surgeon who admitted her right away. She had a core removed about 1 inch in diameter and 2 inches deep on the front of leg, right under her knee. She was in the hospital for 7 days on IV antibiotics. Definately nothing to play around with.

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Comment from: Holly, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 07

My son was bitten on knuckle on his right index finger on Tuesday. There was lots of swelling. By the 2nd day he went to a GP; was given a antibiotic shot and amoxicillin tablets. By the fourth day it was turning purple on knuckle and cellulitus up to his wrist. He went to ER and was given 2 more antibiotics and anti-inflamatory pain med. 5th day swelling down except on his knuckle - still purple too...May try to get him in to see Infectious Disease Dr.

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Comment from: Bobbie, 75 or over Female Published: August 27

I was bitten by a brown recluse spider in 1973 on my left outside ankle. Five hours later, it began to itch, and later a blister formed. The next day, my ankle and foot turned black, red, green, and blue. The next day, I could not put weight on it, so I went to the doctor. He sent me home to elevate my foot. I got a fever, chills, and threw up. Two days later, I went back to the doctor. He immediately sent me to a surgeon who sent me straight to the hospital. I was there for eight days with my foot elevated and kept wet with a solution. On the eighth day, I was allowed to go home. When I first let my leg hang down from the bed, it hurt much worse than a labor pain. I had a quarter-size hole at my ankle and another down next to my toes. The venom made a trail from the ankle to near the toes. I regularly went to the doctor to examine the holes. I was on crutches for three months. It slowly healed. I had two ulcers at the same spot the spider bit me in 2004 and 2007. Finally in 2007, I had to have my foot reconstructed, and I believe the problems were attributed to the 1973 bite. I am now 78 years old and retired.

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Comment from: MM, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 28

I was bitten by a brown recluse 8 weeks ago while helping an employee doing work under a house. The next morning, I noticed a large "boil" on the back of my thigh. By that afternoon, the entire back of my thigh was red and there was a purple circle about 3 inches in diameter around the "boil". Started treating myself with cold compresses and Motrin for pain and inflammation and circled the purple area with a marker. The next morning, the purple area had grown approximately 1 inch beyond the mark and the "boil" had turned black and was the size of a nickel. Went to my primary care physician who immediately recognized it as a spider bite. (They are common in central Texas and there has been several people bitten in our town). I was then referred to a surgeon who concurred with the diagnosis and was started on Bactrian and Dapsone. The next day, I was admitted to the hospital. The surgeon removed an area of flesh about 3" by 4" and 1" deep. A couple of days afterwards, the wound became very red and hot. A culture was taken and the wound was determined to be infected with MRSA. Stayed in the hospital for a week and received 1.5 grams of Vancomycin every 12 hours. Was released from the hospital and was referred to a wound care specialist. I continued the Vancomycin for 1 more week and had a wound vac on the wound. After about a month of wound vac treatment, the surgeon and the wound care doctor agreed that the infection was gone and the wound could be closed. The surgeon extended the length of the wound to bring the edges together leaving about a 7 inch suture line. 1 week after the closure, the suture line became very red, tender and hot. Another culture was taken and it was determined that it was again infected with MRSA. Was re-admitted to the hospital and started on 3 grams of Vancomycin every 12 hours. After 3 days, the surgeon re-opened two section of the wound to drain the fluid that was underneath. Stayed in the hospital for a week and was released continuing the 3 grams of Vancomycin every 12 hours. It has been 1 week since being released. The surgeon is having the wound cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and packed with Iodoform daily. The area is still tender to the touch however there is no redness. I am now having pain in the muscle and a tendon in the back of my knee. Needless to say, the MRSA infection has been much worse than the original bite, even though the bite was bad enough.

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Spider Bites (Black Widow, Brown Recluse) - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your spider bite?
Spider Bites - Symptoms Question: Please describe your symptoms associated with a spider bite.
Spider Bites - Brown Recluse Question: Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by a brown recluse spider? Please share your story.
Spider Bites - Black Widow Question: Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by a black widow spider? Describe the experience.

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