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Black Widow Spider Bite

Question:

What symptoms and signs did you experience as a result of your black widow spider bite? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Rookie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 11

Evening of a Florida cold front I reached into the mailbox and felt a sting on my wrist. I had a meeting to go to so I drove off. During the meeting the black widow spider bite turned into hot burning and stinging, and people applied ice. I hung out quietly, then my wrist swelled up, I was dizzy, had stomach cramping, was almost incoherent and had heart pounding from the symptoms. I drove myself to the emergency room and the doctor gave me a shot of Toradol and sent me home. His attitude was non-caring. Five days later I improved but still am not 100 percent.

Comment from: The Boss, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I was clearing some dry grass and came across 100s of black widow spiders living under a fallen large branch. I thought to myself, ok, I should get my garden boots on and then I felt a prick behind my left knee. I knew it was a spider but hoped it was my mom's cactus fruit needles. I could feel the venom surging in my shin capillaries and put pressure on my quadriceps, and I stayed on my feet the rest of the day. I had feverish chills that night, sore throat and muscle aches in my neck the next day. Day 2 I had fatigue, sore throat, neck pain and stuffy sinuses.

Comment from: israelphoenix, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

I am a 58 year old female. I was moving a box of clutter. I was bitten on the upper arm by a black widow spider. There was a red round swelling about the size of a silver dollar. The next morning, my entire upper arm was extremely swollen. I went to the emergency room. I was very sick, my blood pressure was sky high with a pounding headache. I had and still have extreme sweating, muscle rigidity and heart pain. The doctor gave me antibiotics of 2000 mg per day. Coffee tastes horrible now. I keep dropping things. A sick feeling.

Comment from: Bill, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 10

Helping a neighbor in his shed which was heated by a wood stove I leaned against a stack of firewood and felt a pain like getting a shot on my lower back where my flannel shirt had hiked up and the skin had come in contact with the woodpile. I reached back and swatted the area and when I looked down at my hand there was about a half of a black widow spider squashed on the back of my hand. 'Don't panic' I thought and for some reason I tried to play it down. Twenty minutes later I felt a need to escape and as though I could feel the blood flowing through my armpit, and started to think this was not going to be simple. I returned home, felt mild general malaise, the site of the bite changed color and swelled to about the size of a golf ball, and soreness set in. As the day ended and darkness set in I found myself sitting in a chair in a corner of the room scanning back and forth with my eyes with a general feeling of vigilance I had not experienced before. I sat up the night in that chair, only dozing for short periods of time and as the sun came up I fell asleep. When I awakened my lower back was in pain, I noticed a wet spot on my shirt tail and so looked with a hand mirror and saw the site of the bite swelled and oozing pus. I had been spider bit as a child and fell gravely ill but I read that such exposure can build a sort of immunity to the symptoms in future bites should they occur so I hoped for the best and cleaned the wound with peroxide and bandaged it. Days passed, I cleaned the wound daily and applied clean bandages after which time my day/night schedule returned to normal. I went to my doctor and he prescribed me a 10 day course of antibiotics during which time the swelling subsided and the weeping wound dried leaving a deep puncture scar but healed well. I will never forget how my automatic neurological routines were disrupted by this experience and I know that I was not acting as I had before the bite but perhaps that is par for the course when impacted by our neurologically toxic insect friends. I didn't mean to disturb her and after the fact remembered that my Boy Scout manual had taught me to be cautious around wood piles because that is black widow realm. Dang, if only I'd remembered that before leaning back that day; such is life.

Comment from: redwolfe, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 25

I was bitten by a black widow spider, 4 weeks ago. I don't know how it happened. I first noticed a soreness on the left side of my forehead when I was taking a shower, one morning. At first, I didn't think of the soreness as being from a spider-bite but, later, I did, and I could see the two fang marks, a sign of a black widow spider bite. I have been bitten by brown recluse spiders 3 times, in the past, and I knew that this one was different, from the way the pain felt. I had never heard of anyone dying from a black widow spider bite, and I know that I am not especially allergic to things like bee stings, so I wasn't very concerned about it. I just waited to see how things worked out. I noticed that, at first, I had a weird feeling behind my left eye (I was bitten right above my left eyebrow), and it seemed to progress down into my chest and abdomen. I had weird feelings in my heart, like stress, and I had some weird cramps in my shoulders, typical for a black widow spider bite. It was more than two weeks before the soreness around the area of the bite went away, but there is no more scab there now, and I don't see any scar from the bite. The day that I first discovered the spider bite, I noticed that I had a craving to drink orange juice and so I have been drinking orange juice ever since. I did notice some itching around the bite but I didn't scratch it so that the sore wouldn't become infected, and I treated the sore with rubbing alcohol, to try to keep it from getting infected. After a period of time, I noticed a feeling of numbness around my left wrist which, I believe, was from the poison's working its way through my body. I don't notice that feeling of numbness, now, but I did notice it, one day, when I was out walking.

Comment from: kennyM, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 07

I first noticed the symptoms of black widow spider bite as a muscle cramp similar also to a pinched nerve. This also had a lot of pain from my neck on the left side to my left shoulder and down my back to my shoulder blade only on the left side. The bite appears to have been on the left side of my neck. I then developed welts at various locations that are around moles and skin tags. I cut my jaw on my left side shaving with an electric razor which immediately became inflamed, I also had two large knots come up on the back of my head. I first treated it with a muscle relaxer which helped only a little, and then with Benadryl and ibuprofen. I went to the doctor when things did not improve in a hurry, and he has me on steroid shot and tablets with antibiotics for the next week. There is at this point still red welts and itching. It is coming up on one week today. It is not pretty, and still has a small amount of pain. I thought at first it was muscle spasm, then pinched nerve; I had slight headache, no fever, and numbness in overall area very quickly to begin with. I even thought about possible stroke, I am looking forward to this getting over.

QUESTION

Emotional trauma is best described as a psychological response to a deeply distressing or life-threatening experience. See Answer
Comment from: Leon, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 28

I was bitten on top of my foot by a very small black widow spider. Two small puncture holes were visible after a couple of days. The small area around the holes was very sore. Also that area would, at various times, feel like it was hit with a hammer or electric shock. The first 24 hours, I had severe pain in various joints and at various times. Also during that time, I was very restless and could not sleep or get comfortable and did not want to eat. For the first two days, I experienced various muscle spasms (arms jumping uncontrolled etc.). My blood pressure was 25 to 30 points higher than normal on both readings for the first three to four days at least. Weakness and loss of 4 to 5 pounds in 4 days accompanied these symptoms.

Comment from: DeeDee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

The black widow spider bit directly into forearm vein and caused a huge bruise that turned black and hid the fang marks till bruise faded to wine color a week later. In the first 3 days, it raised my blood pressure (BP) very high, heart felt tight, and left arm hurt. Now BP is lower but still high for me after 2 weeks. Two months later there is no more inflammation in blood tests, but echocardiogram regarding continuing occasional tight heart feel revealed moderate pericardial effusion (water around heart) which was not present before bite.

Comment from: smartesusieq, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 05

Well, I just ran to the clinic after reading that I had to go to the emergency room right away. Nope, small skin lesion and soft tissue damage. As long as it doesn't get infected I will be fine. So you don't have to freak out over a black widow spider bite as long as it's not near your heart or your brain. After all.

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