I seem to have developed a new disorder, but at least this one I understand why. Last Sunday evening, around 7pm, I had just returned home from a long day. Wanting to relax, I took off my shirt for a more comfortable, older, I’m at home kind of tee-shirt. I then turned on the TV and laid back on my bed with a half-joint that I had gotten from a good friend. By the time I began to finally relax, I began feeling odd. My heart rate was racing too fast, I was beginning to itch everywhere, I was having a difficult time taking in a deep breath, and then I started coughing and coughing.
One hour later, my coughing finally begins to cease, but now the middle of my chest is on fire, and I’m getting the hot and cold chills. At my age, I freak out a little bit, and decide to go online and read about the symptoms of having a heart attack. (Instead of going to the ER right then and there....dumb me!) The main pain at the time was staying in the center of my chest and not spreading outward, so my thought was it was just from all the coughing I had done. And it was only hurting when I moved or twisted, so I felt safe that it wasn’t my heart, but something was wrong.
By 11pm, I was down. My body was completely drained and I could barely move. It was then that I noticed the large area on the underside of my left breast was swollen and discolored. On the right side there was a small, but still very red, irritated area. I still wasn’t putting it all together that I was having a reaction to being bitten by anything, let alone a Black Widow Spider, and decided I could ‘sleep it off. ’ I was quickly asleep, but within a short time, I was having the most extreme pain (rated it right up there with child birth) in my left breast.
Still, I kept thinking it would just go away, because I really didn’t have time to deal with what was happening. I was suppose to ride along with my older son the next day to show him how to get to his college campus at Spartan. He has never drove in the area, and was afraid of getting lost, plus I needed to come along and fill out more financial aide papers. Problem was by morning, my body had begun to shut down.
I couldn’t force myself out of bed, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I slept until 5 p.m. before a friend bought me some soup and water. I only managed to get down a couple bites of soup and a sip or two or water, before the nausea slammed my body. With the urging of my good friend, I got dressed and went to the ER.
By the time I arrived, the pain was unbearable. I only waited a few minutes, but it seemed like forever. I remember thinking, that I wished I had been brought in by ambulance so I could receive faster treatment. Finally, the nurse called me back and began asking me several questions and took my vital signs, which weren’t very good. My heart was racing 158 beats, my temperature was 103*, my blood pressure was high, and I was sweating. I showed her the spot on my breast, and told her my chest was hurting. She quickly got a wheelchair and took me to a room.
Everyone quickly rushed around me and began hooking up monitors, blood pressure cuff, oxygen, EKG, while one nurse hooked up a IV in a vein that kept collapsing. They gave me morphine for the pain, which helped for my chest, but the pain in my left breast was steadily intensifying. They then gave me more pain medication, and began running numerous test and x-rays.
My entire body ached from head toe, and it was very difficult to move or breathe comfortably. Inside my breast, it felt like someone was squeezing the inside tissue with a handful of needles, every few minutes. A little after midnight, they took another large vial of blood, to make sure no damaged was being done to my heart.
Around 1am, my son came to pick me up after they decided it was safe enough to release me. They gave me a round of steroids, more pain medication, a heavy duty antibiotic, and the scripts to get more filled. I crashed hard the minute I got home, but sleep was never deep. I repeatedly had fears of being bitten again, because I hadn’t found what bit me, and along with all the pain, sleep was not an option.
At least I now fully understand what the deal is with steroids, and why men like them so adamantly. But damn, it doesn’t let me sleep much, and I think I’m eating way too much. Still, if that is what I have to do to deal with this infection, then I’ll just worry about how I’m going to react to coming off of them later. (Watch out police department...just a joke....or is it?)
Tuesday I went to see my own doctor who put me on even more steroids and stronger antibiotics, along with what I’m already taking. I developed a severe rash from the pills, but if I can’t take them, then it means going to the hospital for IV antibiotics, so I’m fighting through the horrible itching.
Anyway tomorrow is day 7, and the wound looks horrible. I’ve been doing some research on what is expected to happen, but my doctors reaction alone tells me, its not going to be better for a very long time.
So, I now have arachnophobia... A extreme fear of spiders.
(To my followers...please forgive me if I'm not around for a little while...thanks for stopping by.)
Warning graphic photos: