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Anaphylaxis and a Brown Recluse

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By sarah

Updated April 24, 2010

Anaphylaxis and a Brown Recluse

7 hours after bite

Anaphylaxis and a Brown Recluse

36 hours after bite

Tell us where your bite is (arm, leg, nose, whatever)

Back of right arm

Why I think it's a spider bite

My husband found the dead brown recluse on the couch after I got to the hospital.

What happened

I was sitting on the couch giving my 8 month old a bottle at 5 in the morning and I felt the slightest sting on the back of my arm. I rubbed my arm on the couch trying to scratch the little itch and I think that's when I must have killed the spider.

I did not know at the time that I'd been bitten by a brown recluse. I went back to sleep and woke up 3 hours later feeling like I had the worst case of flu possible. By 10am I knew something was wrong with me and I needed to go to the emergency room. I felt like a giant python had wrapped around my body and was trying to suffocate me. Turns out I was having an anaphylactic reaction to the bite.

The doctor said If I hadn't gotten there when I did, I probably would have died.

At first the doctor thought it was a black widow bite, but while I was at the hospital my husband found the dead brown recluse on the couch where I had been sitting. He brought it up to the emergency room.

This is day 2 now and I am in so much pain. The wound had a giant venom pocket and my arm keeps getting darker and darker and spreading.

I'm really scared.

I'm on Levaquin antibiotic now, along with prednisone steroid and Lortab for pain.

Advice

None yet. Would love to get some on how to treat this!

Rod Brouhard, EMT – P ,About.com First Aid, says:

This reader caught a spider in the act, and that's about the only way to know what bit her. In this case, hubby and the doc think it's a brown recluse. While they might be right, actually identifying brown recluse spiders is harder than it sounds, especially if it's been squished.

Anaphylaxis is a dangerous condition. This reader says she's hoping for advice on how to treat it, but it sure sounds like she's got the docs working for her already. The most important thing is to get to a doctor when the symptoms have you worried.

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

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