Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2000 8:34 PM Subject: Spider Bite
I am from Middletown Springs, Vermont. I am writing for my Mom who is 70 who was bitten at the end of last Sept. It was after a tropical wind storm from the South and she was raking up the leaves and banking the house. She says at the time she felt a prick but went on about her business. It was itch and sore, but then when she was with my sister at a craft fair in Burlington, VT. She sat down to lunch and could not get her arm out of the coat because of the swelling. My sister was alarmed and sent for an ambulance as Mom has open heart surgery and is on several medications. They treated her and sent her home with what they called a bruise. I have enclosed a picture which I took. I am in EMS and of course besides the fact that my Mom was ill, I found the whole thing interesting.
When the swelling did not go away, she went to our family physical and then to a specialist. My Mom had ended up having to have surgery to get the poison out. She was on an antibiotic for 10 prior to the operation to prevent further infection to her body. I was allowed into the operating room and watched the procedure. They took so much puss and dead blood out. The size of the cavern left they filled with a half roll of 1/2 gauze cling. The dressing for the first 3 weeks was changed by the Visiting Nurses, after that I did the changing of the wick from her arm.
My Mom has a big divot in her arm, a lot of brown dead tissue left and had to have physical therapy done to get the use of her arm back. Needless to say my Mom is very wary going into spring as she likes to garden and be outside. Her joints are stiff and still swollen.