Holy Spider Bite, Batman!

"Hello, my name is Recluse...Brown Recluse."

“Hello, my name is Recluse…Brown Recluse.”

I am always warning people here in Arizona about the wild critters that will bite you without malice of forethought and to always be careful when cleaning up brush, wood and junk piles. I should have followed my own advice.

My wife and I were doing a cleanup project on a small ranch by the Verde River which included using a chainsaw to cut up hardwood branch piles for firewood. Some of this wood has been laying around for quite a spell and I was concerned about rattle snakes, scorpions, centipedes and Black Widow spiders. These critters we can spot a mile away and we both have a healthy respect for the power of their bites.

There is one little devil that didn’t enter the equation and that is the Brown Recluse spider. While I have experienced most of the above species bites after 50 years in the construction industry, I had been (up to this point) spared the bite of a Brown Recluse. That is no longer the case.

Last Thursday after work I noticed a pain on the right side of my left kneecap that felt like a pulled muscle, but not exactly like the multitude of pulled muscles I experience daily. Not thinking too much about it, I rubbed some Vaseline on the spot and went about my business. The next morning I woke up to a rather disturbing lump that was red and angry, but again I didn’t think it was something I should be concerned about.

By Saturday morning I knew something had bitten me and I started getting a little concerned. It was unlike the Black Widow bites I had experienced in the past and besides, when this black critter bites you it is not unlike a bumble bee sting and it hurts like hell. Whatever gnawed on my knee did not leave a painful bite because I was totally unaware of its presence.

I made it through Father’s Day limping slightly while winding my way through the buffet line at a fabulous Chinese restaurant. I didn’t have time to worry about a stinking critter bite – there was chow in front of me that needed to be eaten!

By Monday morning the wound had expanded to the size of a saucer plate and the tissue underneath felt all lumpy and squishy. While still painful, the site was not as red but was itching like crazy…so I decided not to seek medical aid.

It is now early Tuesday morning and I’m planning on calling my doctor today for medical advice. While the wound is itching, it is still very painful and there are weird things going on under the bite site. I’m thinking the macho crap needs to go and I need to be prudent lest I have worse problems later.

So the moral of this story is obvious. Men are idiots and don’t fool with Mother Nature!

I’m just saying,



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