Spider Attack

Spider ClipartI love life! It is ever changing, and ever challenging. We never know what the day, week, or month will bring. It’s like we get up in the morning and are handed a whole passel of gifts. One day that gift may be a surprise box of happiness, another day may bring bad news, or, that phone call in the middle of the night that makes you break out in a cold sweat.

I had sort of one of those surprises two weeks ago. While cleaning up some property down by Byrd’s Branch somehow a sneaky old spider crept up my pant leg and took a generous bite out of my right calf. Actually I didn’t feel a thing, my leg just started itching and upon inspection a blister about the size of the end of my pinky was present. There was also a black dot in the middle of the blister. I thought, oh well, another mosquito bite.

By the next day it was obvious it was not a mosquito that had feasted on my O+ blood. The bite now had a blazing red area around it as big as a quarter. Not being one to enjoy going to the doctor I patiently waited for six days for this bite to get better, but it progressively got worse, so, I bite the bullet and call the doctor.

Sure enough it is pretty badly infected and the doc says the four-letter, or, in this case the ten-letter word that I hate hearing, antibiotic. Drugs and myself do not gee-haw. I can’t take penicillin so I am given another form of antibiotic, that was last Wednesday. All seems well until Friday night when I notice my upper lip tingling, I think, I’m getting a nasty fever blister. By bedtime half of my upper lip is swelled. I go on to bed not thinking much about it.

Around 5am I get up and go into the bathroom. Flipping on the light I glance in the mirror and jump back wondering what kind of monster has invaded my house and taken up residence in my gown. Sure enough the freaky image in the mirror is none other than myself. My lips are so swelled it looks like I have been pumped full of Botox by a really bad plastic surgeon. I do a little self-exam, I can swallow, tongue is not swollen, so I decide to lie back down for a while and give the hubby a few more minutes of beauty sleep.

By 6am I am up again and now I have a pocket of fluid under my left eye and I just feel sort of funny, time to bite the bullet again and head to the ER. Long story short, I get a maximum dose of Benadryl in one butt cheek, and a maximum dose of a steroid in the other butt cheek, plus, a pill of some kind, and four prescriptions to take home with me.

I wish I could say that was the end of it, but the new antibiotic that the ER doctor put me on to finish clearing up the spider bite didn’t agree with me either, so, by Tuesday I am back in the doctors office with ugly red whelps all over my arms. This time the doctor gives me a topical antibiotic to put on the bite, and a new ten-day supply of Prednisone.

We never know when a creepy old spider will invade our life. The old widow, or recluse may come in the form of cancer, kidney stones, heart disease, or a toothache. Sickness is a master of disguise. Sometimes it rears its ugly face with swollen lips, and other times it hides deep inside us for weeks, or, maybe months before it entangles us in its grasp.

Facing an illness makes us realize that we are destructible. We are simply skin, bones, water, blood and sinew. During my little ordeal I felt completely out of control. My well-being was in the hands of doctors and medicine. I was venerable, not a place I enjoy being. Something as small as a spider bite had swept me up in a whirlwind of Prednisone highs, and antibiotic allergic reactions. But I have no doubt that everything happens for a reason. And, I know that when I am spiraling out of control, my God is in control. So, whatever happens to me the Master is holding me by the hand.

Isaiah 41:13

For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

(On another note, I am so excited about the release of my new novel, The River Keeper. Hopefully I will have a launch date soon, and set a time and place where you can stop by and pick your copy up. In the meantime, just email me at, sbyrd@embarqmail.com if you want an advanced copy.)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Patti Chulick October 20, 2014 at 6:32 am

I love your posts. Enjoyed this one so much. Al that from a little spider bite. I love how you tie your experiences to the Lord.

diedre October 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Oh! I was so frightened for you I chewed my own lip as I read. And yet, you managed to write a splendid post anyway – amazing!
I hope by now all that spider drama has subsided. Be well and write on!

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