Sunday, June 1, 2008

Saturday in the ER for the "Bite"

So I know you all are thinking, "Is she really going to do ANOTHER post about her spider bite?? " The answer is yes, yes I am. BUT I am pretty sure the saga is coming to a close and hopefully this will be the last you will hear of it...

So when I woke yesterday morning my arm was looking seriously nasty. Like all crusty and oozy and just...yuck. I decided to call up the old doc and see what he thinks. I mean, clearly the antibiotics were not doing much. The center point of both bites had expanded to the size of the tip of my pinkie finger, and the ooze zone was now bigger than a quarter. I get a hold of the doc on call and describe the situation. He says I need to head on into the ER for a culture and to get it cleaned out. He said it sounded like I had a staff infection. I was not sure the ER was necessary, but it's a Saturday and I guess that's what you gotta do...

Nick and I get to the ER and amazingly, we are the ONLY people in the waiting room. Around here your ER waiting room visit can take like eight hours, so this was a big score on our part. In about ten minutes we were being taken into a room. The nurse also felt that it looked like a nasty staff infection, but she sent the doc on in. The doc took one look at it and said...poison sumac or poison oak! I nicely (according to Nick a little not so nicely) informed him that both the pharmacist and my PCP had thought it was a bite and had ruled out any kind of contact dermatitis and wouldn't he like to wash it off and see what is under all the crustyness that has built up? He said he would not like to do that, that it was the crustyness that made him sure. I said I was not allergic to poison ivy or the likes, and he said everyone is allergic. I asked if he would like to take a culture of it like my PCP office wanted and he said he would not like to do that either. He gave me a steroid cream and sent me on my way.

So...first off, I do know that clearly one of the doc's I have talked to is wrong. I know that it could be my doc, and not this ER doc. So then why was I so annoyed with the ER doc? I mean, the idea of NOT having some nasty poisonous spider in the house sounds WONDERFUL. Knowing that it just needs to run it's course is comforting. And yet...annoyed. I think it was that I feel like nobody is taking much time to REALLY look at this. He made up his mind and that was that. I want to TALK about it! How do you KNOOOOOW. But I guess he's the doctor and he seemed sure (but so did my PCP). Let's hope he's right and the steroid cream clears it right up! He did keep me on the antibiotics because he said even poison sumac gets infected, so I am covered on all bases I guess...

So...after your hundreds of requests (one) for a picture, I have finally caved and figured I would let you all see the nastyness. I figure you all have seen a lot of spider bites and a lot of contact dermatitis, so you should be able to let me know what you think. Why would I trust you all more than the doc?? not sure, but if you say it looks just like poison sumac or oak, then I will believe you...

Here it is on Friday night, so day two of the antibiotic. A lot of the redness had gone down by this point.
And here it is yesterday before the ER six from when I first noticed the spot.

Damn...that second picture does kinda look like a poison ivy-ish rash, but they said they needed to culture it so I let the crustyness build before I went...and the top one looks like a big bite...gaw...Sorry for the infection pics. I will be back to normal posting next time around!!


  1. Ok, after looking at photographs of poison ivy rash AND spider bits, thanks to Google, (ew) I can't tell what it is either. Hopefully, the ER doc knows what he is talking about.

  2. Uh, and the librarian meant bites. Duh.

  3. heeheeheee...

    thanks for the pix. totally not as gross as i thought it would be. i thought it would be more ... goopey.

    totally understood about your annoyance at the er doc though. he clearly has bad bedside manners. some docs just doesn't like to take suggestions what so ever.

    get well soon!