Tuesday, July 22, 2014

For what it's worth...

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?


NHcycler said...

Good news, this!

I was pretty worried about the original diagnosis, since I was under the impression that MRSA was rare outside of a hospital setting, and very difficult to cure!

Steve A said...

Whatever the original cause, it sounds like you're on the mend. Spiders are almost as common as deer in Ocean Shores. Almost as common as lizards in North Texas.

cafiend said...

The MRSA thing was scary, but not as scary as if they'd come in all masked up with scalpels and told me I had flesh-eating bacteria.

The way all humanity is a dumped petri dish, apparently there are other ways to get MRSA than in a hospital or nursing home. It takes up in locker rooms and other communally sweaty locations. I don't go to places like that. Gradually, like nearly every sickness, it's finding its way around more easily.

Steve, spiders are extremely prolific here, too, just not the usual big names like Black Widow and Brown Recluse. There is a Northern Widow, with different little red marks on it (not an hourglass). Widow spiders deliver a neurotoxin that has much more profound systemic effects and smaller skin lesions.

We may never know exactly how this happened.

RANTWICK said...

"Nice Macho Rattlesnake"! I know precisely how you meant it, but an image has popped into my head now.

Oh no. There may be a WTF incident now.

Glad things are improving!

cafiend said...

Can't wait to see the WTF inspired by this. A couple of points of view occur to me.

Right now I seem to suffer more from the surfeit of antibiotics than from receding symptoms of the original problem. What sounded like a relatively short course when prescribed is stretching out into a long haul. More of a nuisance than anything.

RANTWICK said...

WTF episode complete.