Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Spider Diary

Update: May 15, 2010
Day 57
I am updating my spider journal again, in hopes that someday I can figure out what it was that bit me. It has now been eight weeks since the bites and in the past week more swelling has gone down. I can now see a small scar that had not been visible since the bites. It is located about an inch away from the bottom bite.

Two weeks ago I took pictures of the scars. There was still plenty of redness inside the holes, and I still had swelling around my eyes.

 This picture taken two weeks later on May 15, 2010.

As you can see, there is some puffiness around the bite area and the holes are getting deeper and narrower the more the swelling goes down. This is the first thing that people notice now when they see me. Most people don't say anything but I'm glad to talk about it to anyone that has asked about what happened.

I'm hoping that someone who knows about spider/insect bites will see this and shed some light on what it might have been that bit me. I'm convinced that these holes are not going to be filling in with tissue as the doctor said because the tissue inside has healed.

Updated: April 12, 2010
Day 22:
My spider bite saga continues, so I am going to keep on documenting it here. When I first got these three bites, I wish there had been a place for me to check in and see how long this whole thing was going to take to heal up, what kinds of symptoms to expect, and how big my scars were going to be. I never expected that it was going to be such a long, drawn out process!

I am very happy to say that I have not see any spiders. I'd like to think that it's because of the electronic insect repellent devices working really well, but I didn't see any spiders before my bites, so I'm not sure where that leaves me. I'm still sleeping better knowing that they are there. Sometimes at night when everything is quiet, I'm sure that I here them humming, but I should probably see a Dr. about that!

WARNING: The following picture was taken on Day 22. I'm warning you, it looks really gross!

As you can see, the top scab has come off but I'm still carrying around the two largest ones.

Wiley sits on my lap with a very concerned face, while looking at my scabs and says, "Why did that spider bite you, Gramma?" I tell him I don't know why that spider bit me. "But why, Gramma? Why did he bite you? I don't like that spider, Gramma!" I agree with him that I don't like it one bit either. "But why, Gramma? Where is he now, Gramma! I don't like that spider to bite you Gramma! How did it get in your house?" All that love and concern makes me feel so much better as I'm carrying these scabs along with me, everywhere I go!! 

Day 24:
I'm  very happy that the final two scabs fell off today, but I was shocked to see how big the holes/scars were! I'm hoping that over time they fill in a little more, but then, I'll just have to take what I get, won't I!
As you can see, there is still some swelling and redness involved. At least there isn't any pain at this point. I'll post another update in a couple weeks and I'm hoping it will be better by then!

Originally Posted April 1, 2010
My Spider Diary

Thirteen days ago, I woke up with a huge, elongated bump on my forehead. It hurt like crazy! I couldn't figure out what had happened. It continued to grow and hurt more over the course of the day and so I decided that I had to go get it checked the next day, a Saturday morning. My dear hubby left the house at 7:15 to get my name in early when the Urgent Care opened at 8am. I cruised in at 7:55am and thanks to him was the first one to check in and the first one to be seen by the doctor.

When the Dr. came in he wasn't sure what it was. He looked with the large magnifying glasses and still wasn't sure what it was...other than large, inflamed and very red! He sent me home with antibiotics and told me to check in with my Dr. on Monday if it got worse. Fortunately, he gave me a wide range drug that would cover just about everything possible. The pain grew steadily worse, and it seemed to keep growing. 

Sometime during the weekend I began to wonder if it was some kind of a bite, specifically, a spider bite. Just the thought of a spider being on my face, that close to my eyes, made my skin crawl, but I knew with every hour that passed that something really intense was going on. The swelling had a definite bordered edge, like my body had walled off some serious poison. I had a bad headache and the intense itching/pain/swelling was not letting up for even a second, it was constant throbbing pain.

Day 1: Friday, March 19th - Woke up with a large elongated weld. Very painful. Put Clinique Acne Solutions on it thinking it was a super large boil. More pain than itch.

Day 2: Saturday March 20th - Went to Urgent Care. I couldn't tell if it was a bite or a boil, or something else. Started antibiotics and Benadryl. Intense pain and itching in spit of Benadryl. Said follow up if it gets worse.

Day 3: Sunday, March 21st - Intense pain and itching. No let up. Still very swollen. Headache.

Day 4: Monday, March 22nd - Intense pain and itching. No let up. Headache. Forehead and eyes very swollen.

Day 5: Tuesday, March 23rd - Pain and itching still very intense. No let up. Headache. Very swollen and two black eyes. The holes are starting to emerge from the swelling. I can see 2 distinct holes.

Day 6: Wednesday, March 24th - Today I can clearly see that there are actually three holes and it definitely looks like bites. A little less pain but lots of itching. In afternoon, started itching on face, neck, shoulder and upper body. Uncontrollable. Some if it was topical, but most is under the skin intense itching. It lasted for 4-5 hours. Went back to Urgent Care and Dr. agreed, it was three distinct bites. Very unusual to see three bites clustered together. Said the venom was being released into my system. Said it could take up to 10 days to get out of my system. Changed the drugs, wanted to give me a shot and Vicodin for the pain. I said no thanks. Good thing, he looked it up on the computer and said I couldn't have the shot. Extreme itching.

After I got back from the Dr., I decided I would finally take a picture:

The picture doesn't indicate the depth of the bites!
Day 6
This isn't my best look with the puffy eyes and face!

Day 7: Thursday March 25th - Really low energy, headache, itching. Took pictures. Arms, chest and neck covered in rash. Felt like I was coming down with something all day.

Day 8: Friday, March 26th - Headache all night. Woke up nauseated and bad headache. Still itching and rash.

Day 9: Saturday, March 27th - Headache, nausea, still itching, rash starting to subside.

Day 10: Sunday, March 28th - Headache, nausea, still itching, looks like it is starting to heal over, rash all but gone.

Day 11: Monday, March 29th - Headache, itching is less, definitely starting to heal, swelling is starting to go down.

Day 12: Tuesday, March 30th - Took the last antibiotic. Holes are covered with scabs. Very little itching or pain.

Day 13: Wednesday, March 31st - First day without a headache. no itching or pain. There is still a little swelling, but not bad.

Decided to take another picture. This is what it looks like today:

Day 13
The Dr. says I won't have scars. That is yet to be determined!
I now feel like I have the worst behind me. I will be honest about one of the hardest parts of this whole thing. I had a hard time sleeping in our bed. I knew it had happened there and wasn't wanting it to happen again. Just the thought of that spider being on my face, right between my has been a hard image to deal with and I have slept most nights with the sheets over my head! The Dr. told me that spiders are not aggressive unless the feel threatened. I will never know what I did to that spider in my sleep but I hope he is sleeping with someone else and doesn't ever come back!

At a friend's suggestion, my husband picked up a three pack of Black and Decker plug-in electronic pest repellent devices and we plugged in all three! I actually slept better last night, knowing that they were there!

This is my last post until after Easter weekend. 
Have a very Happy Easter!


  1. Wow that is something about the spider bite. Glad that you are better and I hope that spider is long gone from your house.

    Great blog btw. I am going to bookmark you so I can come back again

  2. That looks a lot like a hobo spider bite. The venom tends to rot the flesh around it after swelling. And depending on the age of the spider depends on the amount of venom. It looks like it could have been an older hobo spider because it didn't leave a lot of scaring (not a lot of venom). They like to hide in cool somewhat damp areas. It's just a guess by the images and the symptoms you described but maybe it will help.

  3. Hi Coni, Thank you for posting about your spider bite. I am going through something very similar myself, right now. I also have three bites clustered on the middle of my forehead. I am heading to the doctor for the first time today, to get some help. I didn't have as painful symptoms as you had, so I probably left going to the doctor a bit late. :-(. I was just wondering, how your scar looks today, 4 years later? Happy new year…. Marisa

  4. I realize this bite occurred years ago and you probably haven't given it a second thought, but I'm wondering if you ever figured out what bit you? I've been recovering from a bite myself for the past 3+ weeks and it looks EXACTLY the same and it's even located on my forehead close to my left eyebrow-just like yours! I discovered your blog while searching for images of spider bites and this was the only one that resembled mine. Anyway, I do appreciate your post and time. What an ordeal this has been between antibiotics that weren't working and now scarring, ugh!