Medications: Benadryl, Neosporin, Tetracycline
tea tree oil, acetaminophen, vit E, aloe Vera poultice, bromalain
2-18-06; I never felt the spider bite, but was outside with about an inch of midriff showing doing yard work the day before the lesion started, and I assume I contacted the spider during that time. The bite is located exactly at the wast band of the pants I was wearing. This started out with a large tender wheel, about ten inches in diameter. At first I was mystified as to what was happening. As it progressed the center of the bite region became very swollen and painful. I began to think of a brown recluse bite but I was under the impression it would have visible fang marks and would ulcerate faster. I applied topical triple antibiotic cream and tea tree oil to the lesion. The size of the wheel got smaller. The area right around the bite developed a green bruise that gave it a bull's eye appearance. I had been taking antihistamine for the tail end of a respiratory infection. The bite continued to become more painful. I exposed the lesion to the sun and started taking tetracycline. I used a hot compress soaked in Epsom salt solution a few times. The lesion started to slough off the upper layer of tissue and I stopped using the tea tree oil and antibiotic cream. The lesion started to ulcerate and bleed. I did some research and verified that my symptoms were exactly compatible with a brown recluse bite. I stopped the compresses and started taking antihistamine and acetaminophen again. I am continuing on the tetracycline. The ulcerated area is still enlarging. The pain, while pronounced, is less than a couple of days ago.
2-20-06; I have started to make poultices for the lesion with fresh strips of aloe Vera and vitamin E oil. This seems to be drying out the ulcerated area and a scab is starting to form over some of it. I have been running a low grade fever and I'm really tired and lacking in motivation. The pain from the bite is quite variable: from minor to extremely uncomfortable, and tends to be worse in the evening and worse then the antihistamine and pain killers are out of my system. I am taking a large dose of vitamin C orally. As soon as I can acquire some I intend to start taking bromalain.
2-21-06: I feel more systemic symptoms today. I am running a fever, I have chills, I have been passing dark colored urine but I don't have a dipstick to verify that I am passing blood, I am post menopause but am having breakthrough bleeding, I have had diarrhea, and I am having a lot of muscle cramping and aches. However the bite itself looks much better. The ulcer is now about twice the size of when the photo was take, but I don't think it enlarged overnight last night. The redness and swelling around the ulcer is greatly reduced. The bruising around the site is almost gone and the ulcer is bleeding much less and appears dryer. I am continuing to use the fresh aloe with vitamin E oil poultice, a very high dose of Bromalain and a high dose of vitamin C. I am still taking antihistamine and tetracycline but have stopped taking the acetaminophen in order to not decrease the effectiveness of the bromalain. As long as the bite does not appear infected I think today will be my last day of tetracycline. I am looking forward to having this behind me.
I have been reading that one can have infestations in their home without even knowing it, so I purchased twenty sticky traps and placed them around the house. Last night no creepy crawly beasties were trapped in any of them at all. So that much is good news.
2-22-06: Still no beasties in the traps. The bromalain seems to be denaturing the venom and my ulcer at the bite site has scabbed over and is starting healing. The pain is greatly reduced. I am still having some systemic symptoms but they are starting to become milder. I am very encouraged. I am continuing on bromalain, vitamin C, and antihistamine.
2-28-06: I am healing well. The bite site itches, which is bad because I tend to scratch the scab off in my sleep and then it bleeds a lot at night. Most of the pain is gone. There is discoloration around the area. Some hard nodules are present under the skin right around the ulceration.
5-1-06: I have a dark purple, slightly lumpy scar where the bite was located, but otherwise I have totally healed. I hope I don't meet up with one of those little #@*# spiders again.