Friday, August 22, 2014

Five Things on a Friday: Looks Like I'm Gonna Live

1.  I got bit by a spider, but it didn't make me a superhero.
It happened last Friday.  I'd just gotten on the train for home after a really nice ride up from my office on my bike.  I sat down on the floor because the train was full, felt the bite, but didn't think much of it at the time.

2.  The rash didn't seem like a big deal.
I saw it first on Friday night and didn't think much of it.  Got up Saturday, was annoyed to find it still there, but still went on my Saturday group ride with my Tri Club--where I was dropped!  Did some grocery shopping and other chores and then decided, hey, I should really go get this rash looked at.

I assumed it was contact dermatitis.

3. It wasn't contact dermatitis.
The first doctor thought it was an infection--either some kind of MRSA or Lyme disease.  He prescribed two antibiotics, but they didn't do squat.  I spiked a fever overnight and headed to the hospital first thing Sunday morning.  They called it cellulitis, ran an IV with antibiotics to jump start the recovery, and sent me home with some different pills. 

4.  Those pills didn't work, either.
My fever came back, and by Monday night I was back in the hospital. My "rash" had turned thick and purple, and I could barely move my leg.  I felt like shit.  Monday was not a good day.

I was admitted Monday night and have since become a human pin cushion.  I've learned that I really don't tolerate having an IV in a single spot for more than a day and a half, especially if that spot is in the crook of my arm.  I've had IVs in both elbows, both hands, and one failed attempt in my left forearm.  It has not been a good deal.

The final diagnosis was cellulitis, which induced sepsis.  The cellulitis was caused by an antibiotic-resistant form of the strep bacteria, which is better than it might have been, I suppose.  However, it was still aggressive and tough to eradicate.  This, I think, is the kind of bug you can only catch in New York City.

5.  The scary thing is, it's becoming common up here.
My doc said he's seen six cases this year, mostly from spider bites, and that's just in this one practice.  You'd think that if any kind of spider-related catastrophe was going to occur, it would have occurred while we were in Maine, but in reality, New York is a much deadlier place.  More people, more crap, and our crap fights back.  

They're releasing me with oral antibiotics again this morning.  I am literally praying they will work this time, that a week of IV antibiotics has killed the infection.  Sally and the kids have been great, but I don't want to scare them like this again.  This week hasn't been easy for them.

Finally, one of my friends nominated me for the ALS ice-bucket challenge, and that's great. But guys, you're gonna have to give me more than 24 hours. Sorry for the inconvenience.


  1. Were you able to see what kind of spider it was? It might very well be that an invasive species has come in and is hitting people with a venom that isn't being recognized yet.

    1. I didn't see it, but I don't think it was the venom. I think the ground was dirty where I was sitting, all sweaty from having just ridden up from work. Regardless, it was a freak thing, even though it made me quite ill.

  2. Danny, we are just to glad to have you back. Who knows? How long did it take for Peter Parker to start noticing changes?