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Linda's Bite Journal
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Journal: Week 1  - Week 2 - Week 3 - Final Healing - Bite Analysis

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The most frequently asked BRS questions we get are  "I just got bit. What do I do? Is it a BRS bite? How bad is this bite going to get?  Should I go to doctor?"
I can't tell you how bad your bite is going to be nor can I confirm the bite as a BRS or give you medical advice, but I can share with you my recent experience along with lots of pictures. My bite and the recovery process I believe is typical of most "somewhat severe" to "severe" bites.   This adventure is something I never want to repeat!

"Nothing is certain but the unforeseen."  --My Fortune Cookie, Dinner 6/29.

Week 1 - June 29 thru July 11, 2002

June 29 or 30th (Sat/Sun) Ė Approximate date of bite.  I had been working outside laying flagstone.  Due to the extremely hot weather I opted to wear shorts with bug spray instead of my usual jeans. Sunday evening noticed a rash on back of left thigh that itched and looked like poison ivy.  Up to now I havenít been allergic to poison ivy.  Calamine lotion was applied to the rash.

July 5, 2002 - rash on thigh

July 2nd (Tues) Ė Became aware of welt behind my left knee on thigh.  The rash had about a 4 inch elliptical shape. It did not itch.  Thought it was a tick bite since I had pulled one off the same leg on Saturday.

July 4th (Thurs) Ė Welt became a small dime-size blister.

July 5, 2002 (am) - welt
July 5th (Fri) Ė By evening the blister began having a bulls-eye appearance and a dark center.  At this point I realize it is probably a BRS bite but I'm in denial. July 5, 2002 (pm) - Bulleye appears
July 6th (Sat) Ė The area was becoming more irritated.  Put a baking soda paste on it.  By evening it was growing in size - both the redness and blister area.  An ice pack was applied through the evening and all night. July 6, 2002 - Center Blistering

July 7th (Sun) Ė Woke to incredible throbbing pain at the sight of the wound.  The overall size was bigger than the palm of my hand.  The necrotic center was growing. Huge blisters. The site was very hot and hard.  Excruciating pain! Kept thinking what would the doctors do and I can wait until Monday to see a doctor.  Didnít take long for me to change my mind and be on my way to Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital in Sauk City, WI.

Dr. Shultz saw me in the ER.  I told him I thought I had a tick bite.  He told me tick bites donít cause necrosis.  Well, is it a BRS bite?  Yes.  Dr. Shultz had only seen 2 of these bites in his career.  He made a point to call the Poison Center for the latest treatment information.  All I knew was I wasnít going to let him cut into it.   Everyone in the ER came in to take a look at the wound.

Lab Work: CBC, Protime, Chemistry Panel, Urinalysis, Swab for Subcutaneous Anthrax
Note:  Anthrax was the only other possibility that could cause such necrosis.
Temperature:  99.2

The Poison Center recommended antibiotics.  Their studies showed that cutting into the wound didnít do any good and suggested Ďdo not touch itĒ.

Prescription:  Cephalexin (antibiotic), Vicadin (pain), and Triple Antibiotic Ointment.  Lots of rest with the leg elevated.  Check in with my regular doctor on Tuesday.

The rest of the day I did nothing. I didnít have an appetite.  Medications were taken every 4 hours religiously.  Intense shooting pains when I stood up and tried to take a step. Started using a cane to help walk.

Had night sweats.  Temperature of 102.5

July 7, 2002

July 8th (Mon) Ė Mark offered to stay home with me but I said Iíd make it.  Drove to town to get the prescriptions filled.  Everyone at the pharmacy shuddered over the looks of my leg and couldnít believe a spider had done so much damage.  Several people commented that they had read or watched something on TV in the last year about the spider.  They were scared by what they had learned and even more so after seeing my bite.

The rest of the day was spent sleeping fitfully and waking up to take the meds.  No appetite. Pain.  Fever reached 101.  The excruciating shooting pains continued when I would first try to stand up and walk (with the help of a cane). 

July 8, 2002

July 9th (Tues) Ė  A repeat of Monday.  Couldnít do anything even read. Give me my pills!  No appetite.  Fever was down.  The site went nuclear!

We didnít have a modified stun gun so I tried Markís muscle zapper unit he uses on a muscle that contracts up.   Donít know if it did any good but turned the voltage up as high as it would go. Decided to wait a couple more days before seeing the doctor.  Drew a new line around the site.  The redness had spread an inch over the ER line drawn.

 July 9, 2002

July 10th (Wed) Ė  A repeat of Tuesday. Did 2 zapper treatments.   The doing nothing was very hard on me. Iím use to being on the go. Everything came to a dead stop. Depression set in hard.  I donít know how far the wound is going to spread.  Knowing all the collected information in the BRS database Iím scared.  Iím not out of the woods yet and things could still go drastically wrong.  Panicky.

It is such an angry wound.  Mark looks at it and grimaces. 

July 10, 2002

July 11th (Thurs) Ė Went to see the doctor.  Dr. Osman thought it was quite ugly.  His first thoughts were debridement.  I wouldnít let him touch it.  Since the redness and swelling were way outside the line I drew on Tuesday he said I needed a different antibiotic.  I was given a shot of Rocephin (ceftriaxone sodium) and a 10-day supply of Avelox (moxifloxacin HCL).  Iím to call him if I get worse. 

The wound is really oozing at the bite site and from the ring of huge blisters.

Tired from the lack of good solid sleep.   Crying.

Black hash-line shows how far the redness has spread up my leg.

July 11, 2002

Linda's BRS Bite   -   Week 1  - Week 2 - Week 3 - Final Healing - Bite Analysis

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