Patient Comments: Spider Bites - Black Widow

Question:

Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by a black widow spider? Describe the experience. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Very lucky, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 21

At the beginning of 2007, I was lying down watching a football game before work. It was cold so I was wrapped up in a blanket. About halftime of the game I started feeling very flu-like and decided to soak in the tub. I noticed a softball sized black mark that was pale in the center, and two fang marks could be seen. I ended up with chills and pain over my entire body; almost like I had a press around each bone. I came close to passing out several times. I found out two days later it was a black widow spider bite.

Comment from: leabrit, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

On Friday l got bitten by a brown recluse spider (this is my 4th time of being bitten by this spider) and l normally pop the area so the poison drains. This time l just did not do it this as it was on the back of my leg. That night l went to bed and l got the shakes and could not stop. That’s when l realized what had bitten me, had my husband pop it and drain out the pus. Only by this time it was in my body, the shaking stopped but l felt like l needed to be sick and got to the point where l could not breathe and my temperature hit 100.2F. So I went to the emergency room where they gave me an IV and some medications to help with the sickness and then did a bunch of blood tests. My blood pressure was 170/96, normally 110/76, now l am doing a bit better but still feel sick 6 days later. I am exhausted every time l do anything and am sleeping on and off through the day. It is hard to eat anything but if l don’t l get really faint and that is another worry. But my temperature is almost normal. The worst thing is my stomach swelled up and was inflamed and hot, it is slowly going down but got huge and hard for a few days which was very scary.

Comment from: Green V, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

Out in the afternoon felt something on my foot like I bumped it while I was walking. I paid no more attention to it. I came home about 3 hours later. My foot (ankle) started really hurting and had read that blood clots hurt and was considering going to the emergency room (ER). My foot started getting bigger and I noticed that there was a lump near my ankle more swollen than the rest of my foot. It was very painful. Finally I decided to take a big Benadryl, meaning a whole pink one, not a capsule. I had my foot up. In the morning it still hurt (not as badly) but I could see the bite better. I took Benadryl for two days. It finally got better and less painful. It took two weeks or more for my ankle to get closer to normal. I live in Florida in an area with lots of brown widow spiders. It had to have been that, from all the research I did. I have been bitten by a brown recluse too and they offer two different experiences. The brown widow hurts a lot. The brown recluse hurts but it is not a sharp or jabbing pain like the brown widow.

Comment from: Bobbie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 17

I was bitten a year ago by a black widow spider. It was a very painful burning pain. Still today I am having pain and swelling.

Comment from: Nancy J., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I was bitten by a black widow. It got into my scrubs (I was working at a hospital) and bit twice between my breasts. I ran into a bathroom to see what it was when I felt the "prick" of the bite. I was able to capture the spider between two medicine dispensary cups. I had to write up an incident report, and by this time I was having difficulty breathing and was feeling dizzy, had blurred vision, and was going numb. I was sent to our employee nurse, who sent me immediately to the ER. They didn't have a clue what to do, and I didn't get proper treatment for hours. I was screaming from the excruciating pain, abdominal cramps, I felt hot, and could not breathe. Eventually, they sedated me and I was vomiting profusely. They transferred me to ICU, and eventually I received antivenin. I was given antibiotics and pain meds, and discharged the following day to drive myself home. I was still very medicated, and prayed all the way home. Two days later, I was hurting badly at the site of the injection and was covered in an itchy red rash over my belly, chest and arms. I went back to the ER, where I was treated for "serum sickness." I was also approached by a "spokesperson" from the hospital while lying on a hospital bed and told that the hospital would not take care of the incident. As months went by, I developed arthritic symptoms, muscle weakness, and exhaustion. An outside doctor ordered me to take medical leave, restricted me from heavy lifting, etc. I was told I could no longer work there by the director of nursing. I am continuing to experience constant pain in most joints, numbness through my left side, muscle weakness, vision problems, all of which sometimes cause me to fall. I have not been able to work, and have exhausted my savings. This occurred about four years ago. I should have sued them, but, I didn't expect this to continue, and to not get better. As of this date they have 16 ongoing law suits against them. It has been a nightmare; my life will never be the same.

IMAGES

Spider Bites (Common, Black Widow, and Brown Recluse) See a picture of spider bites as well as other bites and infestations See Images