I have looked over the data base and have found it very impressive compared with other info I have uncovered on line. I hope that I will receive a message back from you and soon if at all possible. I am 24 years old and live in southern Tennessee. We live in the country and have put up with BR's for the past 10 years, often bombing the house several times yearly. My aunt received a bite on her forehead back in 92 that threatened the sight in one of her eyes and has left her with a rather nasty scare. Everything I have read about these bites seems contradictory. In fact, the medical authority almost seems to poopoo spider bites even though they are possible and very common in the area. My Dr. took one look at it and told me what I already feared, a BR bite to my upper right thigh. I had seen the spider so there was no doubt in my mind and had felt the bite. It was a rather burning pinching feeling sort of like a pinched nerve that sent a quick flame up my leg. I was not just bite one time but between 4 and 5 times. The last 2 or 3 not producing much deterioration of my leg at those sites at the moment. The spider was rather a large BR measuring around the size of a quarter (estimated). I was stupid at the time and rather tired. A car accident 4 years ago left me with common nerve pains in my right hip so I figured it was just the hip acting up again. Just 6 1/2 hours latter my leg (1st photo) had already swollen to the size of a grapefruit, itched horribly, and developed a bruise about 2 by 3/4'' big. A quick check to my bedding would reveal the trouble maker...or what was left of him. This was at 7am. We arrived at my Dr.'s by 9:30 and we were seen soon after. By 12pm I was becoming rather weak and light headed, shaky, headache and slight nausea and loss of apt. Not sure if I ever developed a fever. By 2:30 (1 hour after taking pain killer) I was in sever pain and discomfort. My Dr. had prescribed the "Vanderbelt treatment" for my bite which includes the follow meds.: antibiotics Erythrom eth 400mgs 3x daily and Dapsone 25mg 1x daily, and Prednisone 10mg decreasing daily amounts for one week. I was also given generic Darvocet-n 100 for pain, but has failed completely to relieve the burning and pain so I was given Lorocet-plus 5 for pain which gave me a limited response. They have upped my dose to 10s. I have also tried a general wash to the bite area consisting of a suggested mixture of Vitamin C (crushed), Aloe velar juice and I later added colloidal silver. This was a suggestion from a friend who claims to have received this from a pathologist who has studied spider venom. Given to her son with in minutes after being bit it totally relieved all of his symptoms, though I question if in fact this was a BR. It seems to help with the burning at times, but by the look of my bruise I feel it has done little to effect the spreading of the wound. I have also kept ice on the bite which at times relieves allot of the burning and swelling, but other times can be excruciating. I take tepid showers as heat actually increases the swelling and causes sever burning sensations to my leg. I can not lay for more than 30 minutes at a time due to the incredible burning which is only relieved by standing, pacing, and sitting at 90 degrees. Sleeping is limited to major pain killers and then only for a few hours. Swelling and bruising develop rapidly during this time. I waited 6 hours after waking till i needed any type of pain killers. Second day, bruise continues to spread and burning sensation develops up to hip and half way to knee latter effecting outer thigh. Bruise doubles in size. Swelling goes down with applied ice. No need for pain killers till evening and during sleeping hours. Day 3, we bombed the house so I did not keep as much ice on it or sit as much as I should have. Bruising continues rapidly darkening slightly bruised areas, swelling returns. Leg felt much better in the morning after a few hours of sleep, but returns latter that night after increased exercise and seems allot worse. Lorcet 10s not helping as much leaving my leg with a nagging burning and aching feeling.. Day 4, bruise is now darkening and traveling. Swelling down with ice, but can not leave it off for to long or pain returns. I am now taking darvocets during the day but with no real noticeable effect to pain. Cold packs most of the day with alit time in between. I visit the Dr. tomorrow for check up. Can't wait for news. Most of dark bruise areas in photo have limited sensation to no sensation therefore leading me to believe that this tissue has already been destroyed by venom. I am very discouraged by its large development and compared with other photos I have encountered on line do not understand why mine is so bad. It was caught rather early. The only thing I can figure out is that I may have had a slight allergic reaction with the venom. I have known allergies to bees, ants, fleas, and tic bites. This may explain the incredible rate of development. Also the number of bites might explain the size of my wound. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. I will write in a few days and up date you on my progress. I hope that my descriptions will be helpful to other BR bite victims. My advice: If in doubt don't delay. Time is very important and always catch or keep the spider so that you won't have a delay in treatment by uninformed or unsure medical personal. If you get a poor response get another opinion. I may be looking at skin grafts myself. Any information concerning my bite would be well appreciated at the moment as I feel hopeless in dealing with this bite at the moment and fear it spreading. Please let me know if you do not get these photos as i feel this is the most important part of the letter esp. for other victims looking for photos. ==============================
Sent: Friday, May 03, 2002 11:46 PM To: Mark@Highway60.com Subject: update on my bite
It's been a few weeks since my "urgent bite on thigh" letter to you. Unfortunately, I could not get the stun gun treatment for my bite due to insurance and was afraid of doing it myself. However, I have very good and exciting news! It seems that my bites (we now believe at least 4) are taking a rare turn for the better. My case was, as you can imagine a fairly severe case or could have developed into a severe case. Luckily, it was on a fatty part of my body and that of course, did help. I took a really large dose of toxin between the bites and so we expected the worst. I think I wrote you within the first week of my treatments. I continued to use aloe and the vit. C mix as a poultice to the bite. I did try colloidal silver in that also with out signs of luck, but I suspect if my bite did break open it would have safe guarded against infection. I also continued my antibiotics and steroids (that specific mix of drugs is known as the Vanderbelt method around here) till I was out at 2 weeks into the bite. Originally I was using liquid aloe, the type that you would drink, to make a paste with the vit. C. I then tried to go to the plant, but the size of my bite would require a back yard of aloe. I stumbled into a bottle of sunburn treatment aloe in my bathroom closet about the 6th day into the bite. "fruit of the earth aloe vera 100% gel" actually purchased at Wal-Mart. It's web site is www.fote.com. The ingredients are as follows: aloe vera gel, triethanolamine, tocopheryl acetate, carbomer 940, tetrasodium edit, dmdm hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea. The pharmacist at the Wal-Mart had made a comment about the urea being used once upon a time for some kind of skin disorder I think. Any ways, for what ever reason this stuff works, at least on me. It has to be gel. I am not sure that the plant won't work as I never got enough on my bite to find out, but I do know that this stuff has shown amazing improvement. There is also questions concerning the urea in the gel (used as a preservative I have been told). I am sure the antibiotics and steroids did their job to help the bite, but it seems the aloe has somehow increased the circulation in the area. What would have been a possible rather nasty gapping hole has actually reversed its path. Vanderbelt does not believe that the aloe has done this, but also states no clinical studies have been done on the effects of aloe on BR bites. However, my Dr. and Vanderbelt are thrilled to see this type of healing especially on a multiply bite case. According to my Dr. and Vanderbelt, I have what's known as "dry escar". One out of ten bites will not break open and ulcerate. Instead, they will produce a dry scab that will eventually shrink and pull away from the good skin and fall off. This type of bite usually will not need deberment or skin grafts and does not usually leave too bad of a scar. If left alone and not cut open or derberred it will basically heal itself. The aloe actually causes my bite to flush with blood. While this eventually causes my leg to itch and burn it does initially soothes the burn and itch on contact for a while. I have since stopped using the vit. C externally and have been taking it internally instead with vit. E (suggested as an anti-oxitatend to destroy free radicals) and a multiply vit. These have since been added to my treatment after the signs of flushing and soothing caused by the aloe. When I am not using the aloe I have been using ice packs on my leg and taking tepid showers. Hot water or tempatures actually inflames my leg causing it to hurt worse and rapidly increase the bruise of the bite. I have been told that it increases the toxins ability to break down the cells. I am still using ice and alternating between walking and lying. I also have been taking asprin constantly as an anti-inflammatory to replace the steroid. I am still in pain and am occasionally taking lorcet in the on my worse days and in the evening to help me sleep. I am getting sensation back in some of the area around the bite, which as you can imagine hurts. It's kind of like when your leg goes to sleep or after you warm your hands after playing in the snow. Two days ago (17th day) I developed some small blood blisters around the bite, one of which we lanced on the following day. These were small and shallow. The skin under then is good and healthy. The funny thing about the hole bite area (bruised area that has not been reclaimed) is that while the flesh is obviously dead, you can see the good healthy skin underneath. The scab appears shallow. It has shrunk from day 6th (first day of gel use) to day 18th from 9x11cenimeters to 5.5x8.75 centimeters. You can see the narrow pit (whiter area between red outer portion of bulls eye and dark bruise) where it appears to be pulling away from the healthy skin. The darker area or bruise in the center is actually swollen verses concave as it might appear in the photo. I have had it switch from bruising in the outer red portion to it whitening. It changes drastically and the flushing happens with in 2 hours. I didn't know it till I looked and then , as you can imagine freaked. Vanderbelt said it's not obviously hurting any thing so keep it up. About 4 days ago it start to itch indicating healing. Dr. said I should be at a stage to go back to work in 4 weeks. I think my success is due to several things. First I caught this early (with in 12 hours) and was able to get these specific antibiotics and steroid into my system to help neutralize the bite. Then the alternating use of ice (slowing the advance and spreading of the venom) and the aloe latter during the healing process that would help recover and heal the bite area AFTER the venom did its work. I am not sure if in fact the aloe would be good to use right after the bite as it seems to pull blood unless it is pulling blood to the surface flushing out the bite or keeping the toxin centralized. If it's circulating the blood I might think twice as to using it to start with. I am not sure. The last thing I did is a little unorthodox, but has been a known cure for many ailments, visualization and positive thinking. It's not the first time I have used this method and have had amazing success in the past. I have been very positive on the outcome of my bite and have visualized the venom being neutralized and then absorbed into my body. I didn't want to put up with a nasty gapping wound on my leg nor the surgery that went with it so I just decided that wasn't going to happen and visualized other wise. I think my method of thinking has been a big help in fighting this bite. I do recommend it. I have enclosed several photos showing the progress of my leg including day 6th before and after the aloe flushing. I will keep you posted. Let me know if you don't recieve the photos. And by the way i like your comparison between the turtle shell and your bite..you also enjoy math which leads me to ask, have you seen the movie Pi (as in 3.14)? If you have not you might enjoy it. Thanks so much, Heather Smith (I don't have to be anonomous) Ardmore, TN.