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Bite Information
MyBite#: 415
Date Bitten: 3/1/2002 Body Part: Leg - Thigh
City: Ardmore State/Country: Tennessee
Found Spider: Yes Severity of Bite: 3 - Severe
Recurring Bite: No Pet Story: No
Medications: Antibiotics, Dapsone, Darvocet

Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Brown Recluse Spider Bite

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.


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