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Friday, April 27, 2007

Bite Me

A spider bites me at least once a year. I’ve been bitten in new homes, old homes, and seemingly sterile environments. Most spider bites are harmless.

You can always tell a spider bite. The swelling is hard and rounded. In the middle of the bulge is a tiny scoop mark of black necrotized flesh. Can’t miss the signs. It itches like crazy too.

Oddly enough I recuperate well from spider bites, even the dangerous ones. The worst bite I ever had was from a brown recluse. Caution: Take all spider bites seriously, especially if symptoms appear rapidly or you run a fever. I was VERY lucky. Some people have severe reactions to a brown recluse bite. Never take any bite lightly. The most venomous spiders look inoffensive and ordinary.

Ten years ago this month, we built a human sized doghouse so that all the dogs (4 at the time) and people could enter and get out of the blistering SE Texas heat.

I sat in one corner to check out our handiwork and called one of the dogs to me. Isis jumped into my arms pinning me backwards. Only my right hand was visible but I couldn’t move it with a hundred pounds of dog on me. Just then a brown recluse dropped down from the ceiling. (most likely it was shaken down when Isis pounced on me.)

To this day I can see it clearly. It fondled me with one of its thin legs before it stuck me. (I never felt the bite, btw.) But it paid dearly for its folly. Being resourceful I squashed it by pushing Isis’ body against my hand.

It didn’t take long for my hand to swell up to twice its size. Ironically, I went to the doctor only because I had gotten a call from a company I really wanted to work for. All I had to do was pass their art test.

I wasted no time in making an appointment. I didn’t want my chances impeded by a bum hand. He loaded me down with antibiotics, steroids and something for the pain.

Believe it or not I consider Brownie my good luck spider since I outscored 11 other applicants for the job. While the bite wasn’t pleasant, everything worked out in the end. Except for Brownie.


Mike Keyton said...

Poor Brownie.

Maria Zannini said...

Hey! I suffered!
Okay, it wasn't terminal, but still.