Tonight’s News

January 8, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Posted in Emergency Room Visit, Spider Bite, Stress Stinks!, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Tonight I fixed my Linguini Alfredo.  Yum!

I needed to fix something simple because I’m rather loopy and out of sorts.  This past Saturday morning, when I woke up and went into the bathroom for my shower, I discovered that SOMETHING – probably a brown recluse spider – had bitten me during the night.  The bite was just a tad bit bigger than a quarter yet smaller than a half dollar.  I’ve been bitten before – it’s been a few years – and when that happened, my family doctor had to cut the area open and drain it and put me on antibiotics.  So, I’ve got a little experience with spider bites.

Of course, being Saturday, there was no doctor in the office, so after waking up my hubby and showing it to him, I went to the ER.  Saturday afternoon in the ER is no picnic, let me tell you….they took me to triage immediately and then told me to wait.  I mentioned to the nurse that I hadn’t eaten yet and she suggested a visit to the cafeteria since it would be a very long wait.  So, I marched down the hallway and had a turkey sandwich and a bottle of water.

Three hours later, they took me back to a room.  Thirty minutes later the ER doctor came in and without even looking at me, asked what brought me in.  I told him that it was a spider bite; he remarked that many people think that they have been bitten by spiders when in fact it’s a staph infection.  Hmm.  Okay, well, that’s nice to know.  He looked at the hole in my left flank and said, “Yes, that’s definitely a spider bite.”

Good.  My self-diagnosis was right.

He gave me an antibiotic but said not to fill it unless the bite worsened in appearance.  If I wanted to, he said I could come back to the ER and visit just the nurse in triage for her opinion before filling the prescription.  Otherwise, he said, not to worry, it was just a localized reaction and should clear up in a couple of days.  I drove home, feeling hopeful, and had my teenager take a picture so that we could keep track of the bite.

That night, I noticed that the bite area was a bit more red and larger plus there was a streak of redness from the site, aiming north.  The next morning, it was even more pronounced in redness and size.  I had my son take another picture; adding more money to a hospital bill was not a good idea, so I skipped the triage visit and got my prescription filled.  It was for Keflex, 500 mg and the instructions were to take it twice a day.

My family doctor is part of a medical community with a great communication system, so I sent her an e-mail, letting her know what happened, asking her to look for the ER visit paperwork when she got in and wondering if she would see me on Tuesday.  Mondays are her days off from seeing patients; she usually pops into the office for paperwork and other assorted things.

Monday morning came and the bite was bigger and even more angry looking and the streak seemed wider.  Hmm.  I took more pictures and wondered what to do.  My doctor’s nurse called – perfect timing!  I gave her the update.  The doctor wanted to see me on Tuesday, but if things were worse, the nurse had instructions to send me back to the ER.

I sat around most of the afternoon debating on this.  Not wanting to spend hours in the ER caused a delay in action.  My husband had gone to Springfield for the day; my son was at school and I would have to pick him up around 4:00.

I ended up leaving home around 3:30 and called school, telling the principal that I’d be coming early for my teen.  He and I ended up stopping at Sonic for a quick bite before heading over to the ER.

We arrived at the ER and explained why I was there; they immediately took me to triage, then back to a room.  Good!  Action!  I was feeling hopeful that something could be done for this nasty looking, painful bite.

My husband called once he arrived at home, and he came and picked up the teenager, knowing that he would get bored sitting around the ER with me.  The two of them left and I promised to call as soon as I knew something.

Eventually, the same ER doctor that saw me on Saturday afternoon walked in.  Oh.  Hello again.

He put on a rubber glove, took a peek and said that it was just a localized reaction.  I mentioned the streak and he said that he had seen things like that before.  Oh.  Nice.  What does it mean to me, though?  He said to fill the prescription.  I told him I had been taking the meds since Sunday afternoon.  Oh.  He said he could give me a second one, to take in addition to the first, but that it could cause problems for my gut plus you know, taking too many antibiotics wasn’t healthy, I could build up a resistance and that wasn’t smart.

Hmm.  Ok.  No, I passed on the second antibiotic but asked for something for the pain.  He gave me a prescription for a pain pill on Saturday but once I filled it, discovered that it’s on the “do not take” list that my bariatric surgeon gave me.  So, he left the room telling me that the nurse would be back in a few with paperwork and that I should be fine in a day or two.

I left without the prescription for pain meds.  I was too upset to let the nurse take my vitals again.  The doctor wasn’t taking this seriously.  I wish there had been another ER doc available but living in a small town, there’s only one.  Even though it was her day off, I called my family doc and told her what was going on, explained that I wasn’t being cared for properly, and asked her what she could do.  She was in the middle of something – I apologized, crying, but, something had to be done.  She told me to come in Tuesday, she promised to take it seriously, just go home and try to relax.

So I did.

I saw my doctor this morning.

I have an infection.

It’s not a localized reaction.  She measured the area, from one side to the other it’s 12 cm wide.  The bite area has two blisters next to it; those are new as of this morning.

She gave me a new antibiotic, one that I’ve never taken before.  And, thankfully, pain meds that I can take (they make me loopy but hey, loopy can be fun).  I have to go back and see her tomorrow afternoon.  She is concerned.  Thank you!  Someone in the medical profession is concerned!

I found a website that the State of Missouri has, for the Board of Healing Arts.  I’m going to file a complaint about the ER doctor.  My doctor asked me if the site looked like this yesterday; if the ER doctor measured the red area; if the streak was present.  I answered, “Yes, no, yes” plus she asked other questions.  I’m going to e-mail her office tonight and ask for the records of both ER visits, so that I can mail them in to the Board of Healing Arts with my complaint.

As of now, the area looks the same – I’ve only had two doses of the antibiotic.  My doctor said it might not look better; in fact, she said it might look worse before it gets better – ugh!  But, she is taking care of me, which is what a doctor is SUPPOSED to do.

Thank God for good doctors.  And my camera; I’ve been taking pictures or having my husband and son taking pictures daily.


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  1. Patty, I’m so sorry to hear about your experience…Really, that’s awful. I hope it does not worsen and that you’re back to 100% soon. And thank goodness for your doc!

  2. Thank you! I am feeling better now, thanks to the antibiotic and now an antibiotic ointment. My doc is great, isn’t she? I only wish this had happened on Friday, so I could have gone to her instead of the ER.

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