Thursday, 21 May 2015

My Spider Bite - Part 1

On March 24th I woke up to find a blister on the side of my leg. It had a red ring around it and I was pretty shocked to say the least! I immediately felt pretty faint and went downstairs to show my Mum. 
"Mum, I've got a lump on my leg and I feel a bit sick..." Mum had her nose in her laptop whilst sipping her morning coffee. She gave me the 'I'm sure it's nothing...' look and got up to have a nose. Seconds later she backed away and giggled "Wow. That is a blister. I think I feel sick too." Awesome. Now we both feel sick. Just excellent.  




'Doctor Carelle' self diagnosed the problem. There was a red ring around the blister so surely this HAD to be a bad case of *drum roll please* RINGWORM. As soon as I Googled 'does Ringworm really hurt?' I quickly realised my blister was something more sinister, I also discovered it was in fact NOT bloody Ringworm! Both Mum and I were Googling my symptoms and the next thing I know I'm running to the toilet to be sick. Brilliant.  It was pretty clear I was reacting badly to whatever 'it' was. Mum encouraged me to go to the Doctors but my fear of the Doctors Surgery far outweighed the worry of my blister so we met in the middle and Mum drove me to the Pharmacy. Well wasn't that a waste of time... "Hello Carelle, that looks like a bite. Take an antihistamine. Goodbye".

I spent the next 3 days watching my blister get bigger and bigger. My leg was getting more and more uncomfortable but I was determined to A) Not go to the Doctors (it's only a blister..) and B) Carry on as normal! So off I went to work for the next few days.



The blister started to fill with more and more liquid and I had been advised to allow it to pop naturally. My boyfriend picked me up from my house and in the car started to quiz me about what the 'Doctor' had said. Yep. I somehow magically turned the Pharmacy trip into a 'Doctors' appointment. Next thing I know I've burst into tears, admitted I never saw a Doctor, apologised for telling a fib and finally admitted I was starting to get a little concerned about this blister. After a sea of tears, snot and hyper ventilation we soon came to a compromise. "Look Carelle, as soon as the blister bursts we're going to the Doctors".  Yes Sir.

Sure enough a day later my blister burst. Fluid splatted onto my boyfriend's Mum's cream carpet (Sorry Pat!!!) and streamed down my leg into my shoe. Delicious. I was very relieved it had popped and the next day I plucked up the courage to go see a Doctor. The Doctor told me it looked like a spider bite (as she had seen some recently) and that it was infected. I started a course of antibiotics and had to have it bandaged every day for the foreseeable future. 



The pain was absolutely unbelievable and the antibiotics made me feel so sick. I spent the next couple of days in bed with nausea and went to see another Doctor that changed my antibiotics and a nurse started re dressing my leg every few days. As soon as the air would touch my bite tears would stream down my face. I became very nervous about anyone going near my leg and the pain was getting worse. I wasn't sleeping as I associated my bed with the location in which I got bitten by the spider and I was really starting to get frustrated that no one was giving me any answers as to what was going on! The look of the bite and the pain I was in was getting worse.



Two weeks and countless trips to the nurse to get my leg redressed plus two courses of antibiotics shoved down my throat later, I experienced a really terrible turn. One evening my leg was incredibly swollen and that night I got no sleep. I was lying in bed crying with pain and I could hardly walk. I was immediately rushed into A&E, saw four different doctors and if I had a pound for every time one of them said 'Bear with me whilst I get a second opinion on this' I'd be stinking rich! I was given a third set of antibiotics for my spider bite and was warned these were STRONG (I later found out that they were antibiotics you'd give someone with TB!)I was taken home with a bottle of Morphine and was told to have at least 2 weeks off work with bed rest. I was given MediHoney (Honey patches to keep over the bite).


I was now off work, completely bedridden, my leg was constantly elevated above my heart and I was pumping myself with a third set of antibiotics and also the morphine. By this stage I was really struggling to sleep in my bed at home. With my background of suffering from severe allergies AND no medical professional being able to tell us a huge amount about my 'spider bite', we put my pain down to a bad allergic reaction to a regular house spider bite. I didn't even know house spiders could bite! I must have rolled onto it in my sleep and it bit my leg in self defense. Although we had previously turned my bedroom inside out when looking for the 8 legged bugger and found nothing we did eventually find one... One night I decided to hobble downstairs and make myself a hot water bottle, on my way back to my bedroom a spider ran towards me along the corridor outside my bedroom. I immediately started shaking and crying and my super hero Mum managed to calm me down. It was a bitter sweet feeling... Sweet because I'd like to think that this was the exact spider that bit me and now it's been caught, but I felt bitter because I was psychologically distressed and traumatised by seeing it just before I went to bed.


Weeks later of much of the same thing, I visited my Dad and showed him my leg for the first time. He was pretty horrified I was still being majorly affected by it nearly a month later and he immediately organised me to see a Dermatologist to get a further more specialised opinion. Dr Rosebotham took one look at my leg and signed me off work for a further two weeks. I had another blood test to make sure I hadn't contracted Lyme Disease (which I hadn't. Phew.) 
I found these visits extremely traumatic. When the nurses would change my dressings I would howl in pain. One nurse would be dealing with my leg whilst my boyfriend and a second nurse would be pinning me down on the bed. By this stage the severity of my bite was clear. I had an actual hole in the side of my leg.


The dermatologist was hoping in a week's time (5 weeks into the ordeal) the hole in my leg would close up, scab and the healing process would finally start. A week later I went back to visit her and unfortunately my leg hadn't scabbed at all. The area around the bite was getting smaller which was great but the actual bite had become necrotic. This is when your body cannot recover from a trauma, there is an inadequate local blood supply to the area and the cells have totally died. The necrotic tissue was very dark and incredibly hard. By this stage I was also starting to suffer from neuralgia, intense nerve pain from my new skin knitting back together.



Another week passed and off I went to the hospital once more. By this stage the dermatologist explained that the longer the necrotic tissue stayed on my leg the skin underneath the bite would not be able to heal. She was hoping the necrotic tissue had loosened and she'd be able to start teasing the dead tissue away from my leg. My leg flinches every time someone's finger goes near it, you can imagine the state I was in when she was trying to dig at my leg with a scalpel! The pain was unbearable, I had five people in the room pinning me down on the bed but unfortunately the necrotic tissue was firmly glued to my leg. It was not going anywhere fast. It looked like I was facing surgery to remove it :(

I have decided to write this blog post in two parts. It's now been nearly 9 weeks since I was bitten and I'm still really suffering. I AM certainly improving but I still have a way to go. There's a lot more to explain and some more gory pictures to update you on and I thought doing it all in one post would have just been far too gruesome. I never really intended on discussing my bite on my blog or social media. I have recently found that so many people have been asking me about it so I thought writing my story down would be a good way of explaining it all.

My blog has been an amazing outlet for me to keep my mind busy and I've used it as a great way to forget about my leg and remain positive. I've realised there's a lot worse that could happen and it's always great to gain perspective. I've had some really frustrating and sad days and creating this blog has really kept me going. I am so thankful to those that have read my blog posts so far, you didn't know at the time how much it meant to me.

I will be uploading part 2 of my spider bite in the next couple of days. I'm now about to lay on the sofa so my Mum can bandage me up once more. It's become quite a daily routine!

Thank you for reading and I do hope my pictures didn't put you off your dinner.

Click here for Part 2. Lots of love.

C x

30 comments:

  1. You are amazing and very strong xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Goodness Rellie, this is a horrific story and a kick up my butt not to leave bites like I usually do hoping they'll go away. I do know years ago I left one until the whole of my upper leg was inflamed, I sauntered into the doc's and said "My leg's a bit red" Doc took one look and after he picked his jaw up off the floor gave me telling off for not going sooner, prescribed strong antibiotics, and told me to come back in 24 hours if there was no improvement. Fortunately my tale ends there. I've had other peculiar bites - the dreaded 'Blandford Fly' being one of them. A knee like a football after a pleasant day trip to Brownsea Island and required a hefty dose of antihistamines on top of the ones I take every day.
    Anyway, you are being incredibly brave and I'm sorry you are going through so much pain. I hope you are fully recovered very soon. Hugs x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Prayers your way on a rapid recovery!! May God bless Te llamo enseguida)!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh Rellie you poor thing! I've only just heard about this on the news but I hope you're well on the way to recovery now. Sending lots of love and good wishes your way! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am now in week 4 of a spider bite and yesterday was the first time a doctor acknowledged it was a spider bite and removed the dead tissue from the hole in my leg. I still have a long way to go but hopefully healing has begun. I have seen 5 doctors, two trips to the ER, two round of IV antibiotics with severe cellulites and two antibiotic prescriptions and no one diagnosed it as a spider bite until yesterday! I knew when I was bit but didn't look for a spider, just thought it was some random bug. It did NOT feel like a sting, just a mild bit that was itching like crazy but became red and swollen in an hour. Your pictures look just like my bite. It must now stay covered, be bandaged daily and not get wet for two weeks. I am 67, had cancer 8 months ago, and this has been very draining on my health but I am thankful for the doctor yesterday who finally diagnosed the problem and for the healing I am seeing. Don't ignore a bite!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What kind of spider was it my daughter has got these from age of 5 and yes they take mths to heal my partner has just gotten one too im heartbroken that both my loved ones are suffering from this please help me

    ReplyDelete
  7. What kind of spider was it my daughter has got these from age of 5 and yes they take mths to heal my partner has just gotten one too im heartbroken that both my loved ones are suffering from this please help me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emily, I have the same problem in my family and some doubt whether it is a spider or sth else... could you please contact me at my gmail: nataliaogorzalek at gmail.com

      Delete
  8. What kind of spider was it my daughter has got these from age of 5 and yes they take mths to heal my partner has just gotten one too im heartbroken that both my loved ones are suffering from this please help me

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello. I came across your blog (incredible what you've been through) as I woke up with a similar large yellow blister on my arm 4 days ago that the doctors are saying is a spider bite. The thing is that it doesn't hurt, isn't inflamed or itchy but hasn't burst and is still on my arm. It looks similar to your blister pictures. Was your blister painful and itchy at the start? Any advise very much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Chamomile is one of the best home remedies for spider bites. More Info: https://goo.gl/3hc4yN

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds like a brown recluse.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Carelle. I am currently in the stages of what I am now sure is a brown recluse spider bite similar to the one you have documented here. I am on clindomycin and having an ultrasound in hospital to establish how deep it is. Mine is also necrotic and I'm on bed rest. The hospital currently are adamant they can't confirm what it is and I am seriously freaking out about losing a chunk of my calf to surgery!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This spider is very common around us...
    Wolf spiders are unique in the way that they carry their eggs. The egg sac, a round silken globe, is attached to the spinnerets at the end of the abdomen, allowing the spider to carry her unborn young with her. The abdomen must be held in a raised position to keep the egg case from dragging on the ground. However, despite this handicap, they are still capable of hunting. Get Rid of Wolf Spider

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, you really went thru alot. After 3 years is all well with your leg? Are you free of the nerve pain as well as the nightmares and terrors? You were/are very fortunate to have so many loved ones willing to help. Best wishes!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh my lord bless your heart I cried my bloody heart out

    ReplyDelete
  16. I was just bit my either a spider or tick last night and it looks just like the beginning stages of yours! Hoping it doesn't get worse :(

    ReplyDelete
  17. I feel your pain..im on my 7th day of antibiotics.. It is still a huge blister.. I know the major pain is to come once it pops,I just hope I'm as strong as you and manage to deal with it..i hope all is well with you..

    ReplyDelete
  18. Where can I read part 2?? I have the exact same bite

    ReplyDelete
  19. HERE IS PART 2: http://carellesayshi.blogspot.com/2015/05/my-spider-bite-part-2.html?m=1

    ReplyDelete
  20. Please give more info. Healing and scarring?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Is there a part 2? I have 2 bites I am dealing with that looks exactly like yours

    ReplyDelete
  22. Help
    My wife has a blister that looks exactly like yours we are on day three
    Anyone know what to do?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Help
    My wife has a blister that looks exactly like yours we are on day three
    Anyone know what to do?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Help
    My wife has a blister that looks exactly like yours we are on day three
    Anyone know what to do?

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have the same bite on my arm and I'm freaking out. Day 2

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you for your article!! Last week I woke up with the same thing and was very confused. Then I went to google and found this and realized it was indeed a spider bite because the progression of your pictures are EXACTLY what mine looked like. I live alone in France, all family back in the states, and no one here in France believed it was actually a spider bite (there are hardly any spiders in Paris so people here don’t see this often). And when they thought I was exagerating, I showed them my bite and your pictures side by side and then they believed. Today I went to the doctor and indeed mine is infected as well. What an interesting adventure trying to describe all this in French to a doctor I’d never met before ! I start strong antibiotics tomorrow. In sum, thank you so much : being alone in a foreign country and not knowing what was happening to me is not easy, but your article helped me understand. Let’s hope I don’t have to have a « part 2 » like you!

    ReplyDelete