Medications: Cephalexin, Hydrocodone bitartrate - Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vi, Surgery
a shot of antiobiotic, Tetnus shot, warm compress, advil, benadryl, neosporin
Once again I must say your site is great. I posted message # 919 about my husband's first bite and now I'll post about the second.
My husband, Andy, still has the memories of his last recluse bite fresh in his mind as it was not quite 2 months ago when he received bite number one. He is now dealing with his second bite, which is much more severe this time around. We are 5 days into this and it's already worse than the first bite. Here's what happened.
My husband, Andy, had come home from work and wanted to show me something. I was suspicious because he had a big grin and kept repeating, "You're NOT going to believe this!" He pulled his pants down and on his groin area there was a small red pimple-looking bite with a red area around it. He knew this time it was a brown recluse because it felt exactly the same as the first one. I made a joke about a certain part possibly falling off, (he was not amused) and I told him to start taking the Advil and Benadryl. He did.
This bite on day 3 was already as bad as the first one had ever gotten. Hard, red, swollen, hot, and extremely painful. We have no antibiotic this time around and he refuses to go to the ER because his co-pay is so high. I believe I'll talk him into that one before this is over.
We are at day 5 today and he is in excruciating pain, has a fever of 101.5, chills, severe body aches, and flu like symptoms. He says his feet are very cold and they are numb. That worries me. This bite has the bullseye appearance and the skin is alreay blistering up and sloughing away. It has a very dark area and looks as though this one will go necrotic. I have watched it today go from bad to worse. I'm quite worried.
We still have no idea where he was when he was bitten. We have three daughters and a cat and the thought of them getting injured is driving me nuts. I've been catching every dang spider I see and looking at it under a magnifying glass to see if it's a recluse or not. It never is.
Andy is doing something different from us and that's why he's getting bitten and we haven't yet. We think we've narrowed it down to his closet or his car. It's very scary right now. I called a Do It Yourself Pest Control place and asked what they had to combat BRS and they said, "WOW! Two people in one day!" They told me a lady had been in there today buying supplies because she had just received her third BRS bite. THIRD! Yeah, we don't have an established population of recluses here. Nah. Tell that to the neighbor behind me as well. He was bitten twice in one week. This was about 10 years ago. I know far more than I ever wanted to about BRS. I'll keep everyone updated on Andy's condition. I'm hoping to get him to the hospital within the next day or two. Wish us luck. This is a bad one.
Okay, UPDATE. We are at day seven now and things have gotten worse. Andy is still exhibiting severe flu-like symptoms. A weird note that may be related or not, his legs are yellowish in color, like jaundice, and he complains that his feet are cold and sometimes numb. What do you think of that? The bite itself has gotten much worse. I'll send pictures as I have been documenting his condition on a daily basis. The skin is blistering and sloughing away all around the bite. It's so swollen and hard it looks herniated. Still hot to the touch and intense pain with shooting pains throughout the day. As of last night, he started to get a small black dimple in the center of the bite. Under the skin you can see more darkness and it has a yellowish colored fluid just under the skin. I don't think he'll be able to make it the entire day at work today. No, he still hasn't gone to the hospital. He nearly went last night but I called the ER and they said they would never get to him last night due to how busy they were. We will probably go today. I sure hope so. I'm quite worried.
I talked Andy into going to the ER today. They questioned how I could possibly know it was a BRS bite. I told them I've done a lot of research. As soon as they saw it they said, "Oh, yeah. That's a BRS bite." They gave him a shot of antibiotic and a tetnus shot. They told him to soak it in warm water 4 times a day for 15 minutes each time to help remove the layers of dead skin. They also told him to put warm compresses on it. They gave him a script for Cephalexin and told him he would need to follow up in one week (or less if it gets worse) with the surgeon for debridement. Poor Andy is in more pain now then before we went to the ER due to all their proding, squeezing and poking. I feel much better that he went but after reading so many people's testamonials on this site it was clear I knew more about this situation than the doctor. He said they have seen quite a few bites though in recent months. I think someone needs to update all those maps that say Florida doesn't have an established Brown Recluse population.
Well, Andy had surgery today. I'll send the pictures. It is gruesome! At least a half inch deep and we need to go back March 3rd. Doctor said good thing he came when he did. It's very nasty.
Andy's wound is as to be expected. Very sore and more necrotic in some spots. He goes to Doc tomorrow where they will most likely remove more dead tissue. The packing of his wound is awful. So painful and not easy for me to do. The Vicadin helps. Takes the edge off the pain but by no means gets rid of it. Will have more pictures tomorrow. Thanks again Mark.
I decided (Andy is no longer allowed to make decisions for himself that involve medical attention) Andy could wait until his scheduled appointment on March 3rd before he went to the surgeon again. The wound is showing a lot of improvement. I was able to remove a few layers of skin with the help of peroxide, a Q-Tip, a Vicadin and a shot of whiskey, (all for Andy, not me)and it really seemed to help. We are still packing the wound twice a day which is incredibly painful for him. The two black spots near the opening seem to have gotten a little better but I'll let the surgeon be the judge of that on Monday. Had a scare yesterday when I thought there was a possibility that our 12 year old daughter was bitten on her back. Thank God we still get regular pimples in this house!
Andy went to his doctor appointment yesterday and the doc said the bite looked great. Andy is to finish off the antibiotic and keep the wound covered with a bandage with Neosporin on it. No more packing the wound. He's so happy. The part of the wound that had the black spots looks better these days. One of the scabs came off and left only a small pit. The other side is still there but it's shrinking in size rather than growing. I'm sending pictures for all to see. I hope all of this is almost over. I'm worried about the possibility of a flare up once the antibiotic is gone.
Andy has healed up fine. He does have a very nasty scar but fortunately, the only person that will see it other than him is me. (Or he'll have something other than spiders to be worried about taking his life.) Anyhow, a few new developments. Andy has been bitten 2 more times for a total of four bites. One on his face near his jaw and one on his neck. He did not need medical attention because I fixed him all up. The one near his jaw was no big deal. More like a boil. Could possibly have been a recurring bite. The one on his neck was slightly more severe but now that I know what the docs do, I debrided the wound for him. I have a picture of that and will send it to Mark for posting. I then packed that wound for several days and it healed up fine. (The picture is now posted and is the last one in the series. It's a picture of Andy's neck.)
I spoke with one of the top entomologists in the state of Florida to figure this out. I had done so much research that pretty much everything that he could tell me I already knew or we were doing to rid ourselves of the spiders. One thing that I had not thought of is that our bonus room is built with wood. The spider guy seems to think that they could have come in on the lumber. I asked why the previous owners of the house did not have a spider problem. He asked if they had a bug problem. Indeed, when we purchased the home we were not able to move into it until about three months later due to it being infested with cockroaches. Here is our theory: When the room was first built the spiders didn't need to come out of the walls to feed. When we moved in we had killed their food supply and they needed to come out and search for their prey. That's when they'd run into one of our family members and we'd have a bite problem. Seems to make sense right? Well, we sealed off the bonus room and fogged several times and we ripped all the wood down looking for any sign of the culprits. What did we find? Nothing. Some old scattered webs throughout the walls, but no fresh bug bodies or the spiders themselves. What do we do now?
I mentioned before that none of the children have been bitten. Well, that has dramatically changed. I will fill you in on that story in another post.