Mark, I'd like to start off by thanking you for providing this forum. After browsing around the WEB today for info on insect bites, your Bite Site provided me with the most useful information.
I'm not sure if I was bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider or not but the symptoms I'm currently experiencing seem to have much in common with several other contributor’s experiences here on the Bite Site.
Sunday night, Sept. 14th - something must have bit me on my left buttock because it's really itchy. I don't remember getting bitten by a mosquito or anything. I think it's best just to leave it alone and turn in for the night.
Monday late morning, Sept. 15th - just stepped out of the shower and can now see the itchy spot on my left buttock in the bathroom mirror. It looks kind of like a mosquito bite but with a little red spot. I've had insect bites before (presumably mosquito bites) that have swelled up to the size/diameter of a quarter but the puffy/swollen area surrounding the little red spot was a good 4 inches in diameter. The puffed up area doesn't hurt but it still itches a bit. I'm more than a little freaked out though by the appearance of the swollen area.
Monday night, Sept. 15th - I ask my housemate to do me a big favor and take a look at this weird, swollen area for me with a magnifying glass to maybe see if there is a stinger or something there that I can't see or get at. Perhaps I got stung yesterday and didn't even realize it at the time? Maybe there is something stuck in there causing this irritation and swelling? Well, my friend doesn't see anything there except two small red dots about 2 to 3mm apart that look like "little vampire holes".
Tuesday & Wednesday, Sept. 16th & 17th - Well, my bug bite shows no signs of clearing up. In fact it has gotten much worse. The whole area is now swollen and red and it is hardening under the skin. It hurts - a lot! Sitting down and sleeping is now difficult.
Thursday morning, Sept. 18th - The red and painful area has spread to a good 6-inch diameter. I call my doctor's office to try to get in to see him, maybe today? No luck. Although I'm in major pain and I think this infection looks pretty serious, the secretary/nurse? informs me that unless I'm running a high fever (No) or was having trouble breathing (No) that I was out of luck getting an appointment today. I still believe that I have an infection and I want to stop this pain so I'm marching myself over to the emergency room at a nearby hospital. Five hours later, I leave with a prescription for some antibiotics (amox tr k cl) and two percosets (pain killers).
Friday & Saturday, Sept. 19th & 20th - Taking my prescribed antibiotics and bumming a few leftover painkillers from a friend (Excedrin, Motrin or Tylenol just doesn't help at all), I don't seem to be doing any better really. I've been running hot baths and soaking a few times a day and I'm putting anti-bacterial ointment on the infected area but it is not looking or feeling any better. In fact, now in the center of the infected area there is a large black spot forming (possibly the necrosis I've seen referred to by other contributors to this site?) I'm tired, I'm in severe pain and I'm probably a little bit crabby (OK, a lot crabby!) I started to take pictures today to track this infection (for better or for worse).
Update: April 22nd, 2004 After emailing my regular doctor over the weekend of Sept. 20th/21st with pictures of my bite/infection he called me on Monday morning, Sept. 22nd and said to come in first thing the next day. On Tuesday morning, the 23rd, I went in to see him. He took one look at my "bite site" and was on the phone immediately to a surgeon, to admit me to the hospital. He said to me, "Rich, this is really bad." Indeed it was. Tender red swollen skin, oozing and with a serious necrotic skin lesion. Absolutely gross! Well, the surgeon happened to be in his office at the moment and said he could see me right away! So I hobbled a couple of streets over to the surgeon's office. He told me that I was the seventh person he had seen in the last 30 days with the exact same bite! All of the patients he saw were from the NYC area and had been bit on various places on their bodies and various number of bites. They all had the same story (it felt like a mosquito bite at first, then a big red hard circle formed around it, then necrosis started). I then had the joy of having a four cubic inch conical chunk cut out of me. It's now the end of April 2004 and the hole (and I mean a hole!) has filled from where the chunk was cut out of me but I have quite a scar there. (Sigh, there goes my career as a nude model ;-)