Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A (Not So) Lovely Surprise in a Christmas Box......

If there’s a part about Christmas decorating that I don’t like, that would be all the boxes and Rubbermaid tubs full of decorations that await me. I don’t like the clutter and I’m a little impatient to get to the enjoy-it-part. We do usually try to get the main (big) tree up and decorated in the living room over the first weekend that we pull all the decorations out. Then the following week, I just work on it as I can. I can happily say that everything is pretty much decorated for Christmas here in our home, and we are in the enjoy-it-part. I can now move on to The Cedar Loft this weekend!

However, I guess you could say I had an unexpected surprise that awaited me in one of those boxes. After I made Monday’s post to my blog regarding Christmas decorating, Jason came home and insisted that I get to the doctor, and right away.

But here’s the events that led up to that.

I also mentioned in my last post that Luke had a stomach bug and had passed it along to me. Therefore, on Saturday, I assumed I was having symptoms from the stomach bug, although Luke never had the exact same ones. Saturday, as the day stretched on, I began feeling nauseated, and more so as time passed. By evening, when we were settling down to watch our Christmas movie, I was really feeling more nauseous, and just felt bad in general. Then I started to have chills and fever. Still thinking this was the stomach virus, I took some ibuprofen, bundled up (because I was freezing), and went to bed. The next morning I noticed my knuckle on my right hand was itching. I looked down and saw a tiny festered blister. I still thought nothing of it.

I was home from church that morning (because of our stomach virus), so when Jason came home, I showed him the little blister, but because it was itching and not hurting, we still didn’t think a lot of it. I mean it was really tiny.

Now fast forward to Monday. By this time, my hand, knuckle, and index finger were hurting a little, and the redness was beginning to climb up my hand more, and beginning to swell. This was when Jason came home from work. When I told him my hand was hurting some, he insisted that I get to the doctor. He realized at that point, I think, that it was similar to what happened to him a few years ago. His suspicion was that I was bitten by a brown recluse spider. So I went. And he was right. The Dr. knew right away. Because it was later than 24 hours after the bite, it was too late to get the steroid shot in the location of the bite, so I had to get one in the hip. She then put me on Cipro, one of the two best antibiotics for treating a brown recluse spider bite; the other one I’m allergic to. She said that being bit on the knuckle is “a good location”, (if there can be a good location), because there is not much tissue or fat in that area.

If you’re not familiar with brown recluse spiders, they are one of the most poisonous types, and we have a lot of them around here. We try to keep the house sprayed. Evidently, one was hiding out in a Christmas box. You also never feel when a brown recluse bites you, according to our doctor. And I know this was true for both Jason and me. And the little blister was so tiny! What really stumped us was that my knuckle didn’t hurt at first.

When Jason got bit, he also had no idea. Looking back, he never knew when the bite occurred. He had respiratory issues during the night that we thought were related to that time of year (bronchitis). But then his leg hurt that day. That’s what sent him to the doctor. They misdiagnosed him because they didn’t see a blister of any sort, or at least if he did, we missed that step. He was told it was possibly a busted varicose vein. However, things worsened over the next week, and to say it was a major ordeal is an understatement. He went through a long process of healing in his leg and it all came from a little brown recluse spider.

So when Jason showed concern and told me to get to the doctor, I didn’t hesitate.

I discussed with Jason whether to post this or not, but decided I wanted to warn folks about these little creatures! They look a lot like some of the harmless ones . The biggest difference is that the body (very small)has what appears to be a “stamp” of the shape of a violin on the upper portion.

Can you see the tiny violin at the top?

My hand is already much better. This is a photo of what my bite looked like, and it is also two days later. I didn’t think to get a picture in the beginning, since I didn’t realize what it was.

If you look closely, you can see the center pin point where the blister originally was located.

If you ever notice a blistery or pimply type bite that itches or hurts, go to the doctor! If you go within 24 hours, no matter where it is located, they can give you a shot in the affected area, and follow it up by antibiotics, and it will greatly reduce the amount of damage it can cause! What it does is attack fatty and muscle tissue and “eats it out”, leaving a hole or blackened area.

And just to show you the damage that a brown recluse can do, I am going to show you the scar Jason has from his bite.


This scar is about inches 2 1/2 "across and 2 1/2" inches tall. 

So from this, I am so thankful that it wasn’t any of my children that were bit. And I am thankful that if I was going to be bitten, it was on the knuckle. And finally, that my husband had enough insight to persuade me to get to the doctor!

So please be careful as you’re digging in those boxes with your Christmas decorations!

And I promise, my next post will not have any graphic images! I really try NOT to do that, but did want to warn folks of the results of a brown recluse spider bite! Please be careful!


Don’t forget, for this one last post, you can still make a reasonable offer on any of the remaining auction items to help bring Leiney Grace home! You can click here to see what is left!

I’m not that far away from 500 followers – just 9 more…..and then it’s giveaway time! Don’t you just love Christmas giveaways? Speaking of followers, I prefer to use the terminology, faithful readers. So thank you to my faithful readers, those that have been with me for awhile, as well as the new ones! I appreciate you so much!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Carmen C. said...

OH MY Tammy:O, I just about jumped out of my chair when I saw that spider!!! I know *hate* is a very strong word and I don't use it often BUT.....I hate spiders:/ so glad you got to the Dr. My mom is allergic to many different bites and once she was bitten by *something* and had really bad, long lasting symptoms from it:(

Patty Sumner said...

Oh my goodness Tammy. Thank God it was your knuckle. It is amazing how something so tiny could be so dangerous. I can remeber a time when we were pastoring in Ok and a lady got bit on the leg and almost lost her leg and her life. I pray your bite continues to heal. Blessings and I will be extara cautious when I get out all my daecorations. Thanks for the info and warning.

Lee Hill Primitives said...

Tammy, Thank you for this post. As I mentioned in my blog I moved few years go to VA and I am not familiar yet to venenous animals like spiders or snakes that I can find here. I will be taking more caution from now on.

Sandi @ The Primitive Skate said...

Oh my goodness, Tammy! I HATE spiders. Glad you are allright, and went to the Dr. Thank You for posting this. I will be extra cautious now. I will be praying for you and a speedy recovery!

Shelley said...

My niece was in the hospital for over a week from a bite on her leg. I watch for those things and am always afraid they may be in the old home has many cracks and such for varmints to come inside. I pray them away :) I pray your hand heals soon and doesn't give you much pain....blessings

Sheila said...

Sharing your misfortune Tammy is important to educate others. Thankfully your hubby insisted you seek treatment. I've heard about and seen pictures like Jason's of the horrible damage a tiny little spider can do. A mechanic friend was bit by a brown recluse on his hand and he didn't make out quite as well. Spent 3 days in hospital on IV and other treatment to make him better and another friend was bit by a HOBO spider on his shin, and lets just say Jason's looks pretty good compared to my friends!
Dang spiders anyway!
I sure hope you are feeling better and can enjoy the rest of your decorating. Bless you!

Lilly's Family said...

I can't believe you have been through all of THIS and still made our Auction for Adoption such a priority. Thank you, dear friend. I, too, am so thankful you heeded Jason's warning and that you are getting well. Thanks for the warning too. I did not know much about the BR bites.

Carmen and the Primcats said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My Primitive Creations by Tonya said...

Oh are very lucky you caught this quickly..Hopefully any damage to your knukle is very little.Those pesty spiders pack one heck of a mean bite..that can realy do some damage as you well know..
Spiders were everywhere this summer especially on the Island I worked on..They seem to think I was a tasty morsal as I was bitten many times..Thank God not by the Brown beast..none the less they hurt and blistered badly..
You take good care of that hand..I hope you feel better soon!!


Carmen and the Primcats said...

Oh Tammy. I'm so sorry to hear this but I'm glad so far you are ok. Brown recluse are bad here too. My cat Tracy got bit and almost died 2 years ago. I took daily pics of the progression of dead skin spreading... and then pics all the way up to when she healed. I really can't believe she lived. Such a tiny thing being filled with that much poision. :( She's down a few lives after that one.

And my best friends husband got bit on his upper knee and almost lost his leg to it. They almost had to amputate. It was insane.

Hubby saw one in his shop just last week. They are just so dangerous.

I hope you heal well and don't end up with a scar.

Carmen and the Primcats

At Home With Amy said...

I am so glad you are okay Tammy. Things could have been so much worse for you for sure. Jason is a very smart guy and I'm glad he insisted you be checked out. I will pray for a complete healing from this bite with no future complications.

I can't wait to see all your decorating. Especially in the loft. Don't make us wait too long please.

Hugs and Blessings,

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Oh I'm so glad you're doing better now! And that your hubby knew right away to get you to the doctor. I'm glad you posted what happened, because I never really knew a bite from a spider could cause this many problems. Thanks for the knowledge! Please continue to get well and enjoy the beautiful decorations in your home!

Never So Simple said...

What a terrible bite. I hope you get better real sooon. I know how much you like Black Friday and you will need two hands to grab those bargains.
Thanks to you and Joy for all of the E Cards. I appreciate and love them.


Hollie said...

Oh wow! Not a great surprise indeed! So glad Jason made you head on to the doctor! He has a huge scar doesn't he!

SweetPepperRose said...

Wow, nasty bite indeed. Really is a good thing you caught it in time. I had heard about those things delivering a bad punch, but after seeing that pic, I know I will be spraying my house this weekend! thanks for sharing!

basketsnprims said...

Tammy, how dreadful but so grateful that Jason insisted on you going to the dr. Now you have me nevvous getting my totes out, though those spiders are very rare here. Take good care and have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

bettyj said...

Oh my goodness! so glad you are okay now. What a scare.

jennifer768 said...

Tammy,I am so sorry that you were bit! Spiders are the one thing that I just can not handle.I am so glad that you sought medical help and are on the mend.It is so scary to see what one little bite can lead to.Thanks for the info and will be praying that your hand heals fast.Hugs,Jen

renee said...

I am very glad that you are alright! OUCH! I didn't realize that they were around~ hmm, I wonder if they reside here in Minnesota, I will have to look into that. I mostly get daddy longlegs downstairs.
I appreciate you sharing this information, and I hope that you are on the mend

LynnMarie said...

Tammy, I'm so glad you went to the doctors so fast. My husband was bitten too and thought it was a black fly bit and didn't do anything for 3 MONTHS! Finally he went but the damage is huge. That was over a year ago and his leg is still swollen! He is on another rounds of meds trying to kill the poision. Those little suckers are really dangerous. Thanks for the warning as everyone takes out their decorations.

jhopes70 said...

Oh my goodness Tammy. Thank God its really so sad

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Melissa said...

Tammy! Yikes! I am so glad it wasn't any worse...and hope you are feeling better. Thanks for sharing because it's that time of year when things are coming out for the holidays/season change. Good reminder!

Allison said...

Glad you're okay!