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Post slightly delayed as I hit a speedbump

I’m very nearly done what is a very multi-faceted post on the Port Mann..but have hit what I hope is a minor speedbump.

Over a week ago, as I was puttering in my garden, I felt a sharp pinch on the back of my calf, and looked down to see a brown spider on my leg. As I moved to swat it off, it bit again.

While the bites burned a bit at the time, I came in and cleaned them well, expecting that to be the end of it. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and within a couple days there was a swelling that quickly became a one inch open wound, badly infected despite all my efforts.

A trip to the doctor resulted in a scare of MRSA – the wound is terrible to look at –  but the lab tests revealed Strep A had colonized the wound instead. Some spider bites can be nasty enough on their own without the bacteria that can cause serious complications and this spider appears to have had a necrotizing type venom.

I’ve been taking antibiotics for several days and while the wound seemed to be healing nicely, this evening my fever has spiked and the area is hot and red, which means back to the doctor in the morning.

Spiders. Bah.

I hope to have this post within the next couple days, energy permitting.


  1. IODINE!!! Take the sting of the iodine by using a blow dryer with the setting on cool. I found that easier than hyper ventilating!
    Get well soon, hop-a-long!


  2. Laila, you may have been bitten by a Brown Recluse by the sound of things…their bites can be nastier than nasty as their venom is actually more poisonous than a rattlesnake’s. They say they don’t reside here in BC, but that’s bunk.

    Watch it very closely for necrotic tissue, and get to a doctor if you see any no matter how small – most doctors in BC mistake this particular spiders bite for MRSA…they look very similar. The symptoms you’re describing fit that particular bug to a “T”…and having seen a friend with it once…I can tell you it’s nasty, and takes a darn long time to finally heal. Crossing my fingers that I’m wrong.


    • Thank you all, and Leah, you are likely right about it being a recluse – the spider that bit me is an exact match to online descriptions. Such a random event. I’ve been bitten once before, rolled over on a spider who got into bed with me once, and it bit my hip while I was sleeping. While that one was painful, it never looked anything like this!

      They did test for MRSA,which was negative ( it was the doctors first thought actually, because of how this wound looks), but Strep A can cause flesh eating disease and other nastiness, so I am not taking any chances. I’m on a very strong antibiotic and off to the doctor shortly. I would post a photo but seriously, it would turn your stomach, It’s a horrible looking wound, not unlike a large bullet hole, and yes, very very painful today, which is about day 10 since the bite. Seems to actually get more painful as time goes on. Thank god for painkillers.
      I’ll update after I see the doc this morning.


  3. Laila…UMF Manuka Honey from your nearest health food store – expensive…and one of extreme few things that will help to heal this. Use it in conjunction with your doc’s treatment, it is totally non-toxic and edible…does not harm healthy tissue, but kills the bad stuff. It completely cured an ulcer on my Dad’s leg…that a year of antibiotics in various methods wouldn’t touch. Google it…for your own peace of mind. Just don’t wait too long hon…these bites go sideways real quick.
    Note: Do NOT use regular table honey on any spider bite!


    • Back from the doctor and it’s going to take some time to heal it looks like. It’s well cleaned and drained, so just time for the rest. But wow.. it really hurts, the whole calf. I have it propped up to the side under my…

      Thanks for the tip Leah, I will check it out. I have heard that from someone else too, as well as Tea Tree , which is supposed to be a pretty good bacteria killer. I posted a letter on the main page for reading till I get this port mann deal done…lol.. it’s hard to do nothing, you know?


  4. It seems when the weather gets cooler, the spiders move into your house. I have had spider bites that itched for two weeks. I have never had a spider bite like yours though. Nor do I ever want one.

    A friend of mine was bit by a Hobo spider. The bite wound venom traveled all the way to the bone, the pain was horrific. She even had to have skin grafts, she didn’t seek help quickly enough.

    Make sure you check your childrens beds, and your own. If you have outside clothing and shoes by a door, check them too. The spider that bit my friend was in the sleeve of her sweater hung by her door.

    You have my sympathy Laila. When I saw my friends spider bite I freaked, her arm was very swollen and a very angry red. She was crying with the pain. I took her to Emerg.


  5. Get well soon, Laila!! Insect bites can be dangerous or just plain painful. My husband was bit by a little brown scorpion down in Mexico a couple of years ago. I hurt like hell for about a week, but I guess he was lucky that the bite didn’t become infected, which sounds like what happened in your case. Take good care of yourself, please.


  6. Get well soon Laila. Your bite is worse than mine were. There is something I have to ask though. You have a stated penchant for gardening in the nude and….



  7. This bite occurred on the back of my left calf, kind of in the blind spot where it is hard to see, unless you are Gumby. I was wearing knee length athletic pants. Be warned…


  8. Everyone else has sait it all. Take care. We need you and your blog. As an aside from this. I just heard of a local fellow who died from a dog bite!

    For whatever reason, he didn’t tell his doctor. It could have been he genuinely thought he had cut his hand on glass. He got a tetanus shot and antibiotics but because the doctor wasn’t alerted to the dog bite, the doctor didn’t check. The fellow as dead in 48 hours. His daughter asked for an autopsy and started doing research on the internet after her neighbour told her that her dad had indeed been bit by a dog when he was defending the family pouch.

    The cause is a natural bacteria found in the mouth of dogs and cats. The most affected are those who are male, over 53 years old and have had a spleen removed or some other underlying illness. In the case of the fellow I am talking about, he was healthy and no obvious history of other illnesses.

    The bacteria has a fancy latin name that don’t remember. I am not writing this to scare you Laila, I am writing this to alert your readers–you are not male or over 53years old–I am writing it because the young woman asked me to warn people about this and lots of people read your blog.

    I really didn’t take it all in when the wife came into the office to arrange for a memorial bench. It was only when the daughter came in later and started telling me what happened and sent me articles about this rare event.

    Anothr home remedy that I read in a Reader’s Digest years ago, was about a patient in England who had an open sore that would not heal with antibiotics.

    There was an intern there from the West Indies. He said that back home they used papaya skins on wounds to heal them. They tried it and it worked. It has to do with the papein (?) in the papaya.

    If nothing else, you can enjoy eating the flesh of the papaya and then slap the papaya skin over the wound.–in your case your probably will have to tie it on–then you can have fun explaining to your neighbours why you have a papaya skin wrapped around your leg.

    Right after the Port Mann article or if you feel the need to write and research something that is not as strenous while recouperating, you can do research on the internet on alternate healing methods.
    just for fun.

    Take care. We need you and your insightful mind.


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