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Brown Recluse Spider Bite in Minnesota?

Frustration and Pain Rule this Reader's Struggle to Find Answers


Updated July 13, 2010

Brown Recluse Spider Bite in Minnesota?
lindalou246, About.com Member

From lindalou246, About.com Member:

"I have seen several doctors for this unusual bite, and have been told by 2 of them that this has to be a [brown recluse spider] bite, as nothing else could cause this type of rapid tissue necrosis and continuing nausea, chills, and leg pain."

This bite occurred in Minnesota, and lindalou246 has heard several different medical opinions about whether this is a brown recluse spider bite or something else entirely. Her account of the bite is filled with frustration and pain. No doctor could explain the dying tissue. Blood tests to determine if it was a skin infection were negative -- meaning there wasn't any infection found.

"For 3 weeks, I could barely get out of bed, couldn't sleep (due to the pain) and was vomiting to the point that I couldn't keep water down. I was given IV fluids in the emergency room. More tests were run and again the doctor was stumped by my symptoms -- the necrotic skin wound -- and again no diagnosis. (My hemagram and blood cultures were still normal) Again I was started on another antibiotic."

Unfortunately, this isn't the only case of a difficult to diagnose skin wound. What lindalou246 is going through happens all over the country. Brown recluse spiders have a limited habitat that's well known to spider experts (arachnologists). Brown recluse spiders aren't very likely to bite people in areas where they like to live, let alone in areas where none are known to exist.

The ordeal of this possible brown recluse spider bite is not over yet. As lindalou246 continues to heal, she shares her ongoing struggle:

"I continue to feel very ill and still have no wound healing after 2 months. I have now seen 2 surgeons, 4 family doctors and 2 infectious disease specialists. So far they are divided on the brown recluse spider issue, some saying this is absolutely a brown recluse spider bite, the others insisting there are none in this state. (But interestingly, they have been unable to come up with any other diagnosis.)"

This just a portion of lindalou246's horrific story. Read the entire submission of lindalou246's possible brown recluse spider bite and if you've got a spider bite story of your own, submit it here.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

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