The doctor who examined me for my follow-up IV, 24 hours after my initial examination and treatment, disagreed with the MRSA diagnosis. He said the lack of infection reaction shown in the blood work and the character of the inflammation itself suggested a toxin of some kind, probably from an insect or spider.
I've been more or less contentedly coexisting with the creepy crawlers all my life. Except for a brief and debatable period of apparent allergy to bee and wasp stings I've never exhibited more than a normal response to bites and stings.
None of the big name spiders or snakes live around here, not to mention our lack of scorpions or unusually large centipedes. We hear of vagrant Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders that hitchhike in on grocery store produce, but chance had kept me out of produce departments for days prior to this incident. Because we're in a local CSA, we haven't brought in much that wasn't locally grown.
If you try to defend yourself against every little thing that crawls it will drive you insane. Sitting here on my couch with my ugly ankle elevated on a stack of pillows as ordered, I looked over at the table next to me to see an impudent Parson Spider patrolling its edge. I see them all the time in here. They've never really bothered me, though they do like to crawl into beds. This is not a reflection on how often the sheets get changed. These little runners don't spend too long anywhere. But the write-up I found on line did mention that their venom could cause an allergic reaction. What I got seems like a hell of a whammo to take from a dinky little spider not known for being fearsomely toxic, but I have nothing else to go on.
This would be a lot easier to take from a nice macho rattlesnake. But that doesn't mean I want to do it again.
For now I have a patch of skin about four inches in diameter that looks like a peach that was left in the fruit bowl too long. The fever has subsided. The lymph nodes have calmed, mostly. Whatever it is, it seems to be receding. How soon can I get back on the bike?