An Unexpected Visitor

One hot summer day, I was working on my yard.  This was my first year in my own home and I was excited to get to work on my garden.  The lady that I bought my house off of had left everything overgrown and looking dreadful.

A giant weed was giving me a hard time. I pulled and pulled until the root finally broke. With a sigh of relief, I tossed it on the weed pile. I went to wipe an escaping drop of sweat from my brow when I felt a sharp pain on the back of my arm like a pin prick.  I didn’t see an insect, but I quickly scratched and rubbed the sore spot. Ignoring it, I continued with my work.

The next day the sore spot became very red and itched like an infected mosquito bite. Each day the circumference of the spot grew. By the fourth day it was the size of a half-dollar and the skin was bumped up about a quarter of an inch.

The evening of the fourth day, I was reading in bed and happened to glance at my arm.  I hadn’t noticed it before. Perhaps the light was hitting it just right, but I could see a red line the size of a number two pencil coming out of the half-dollar spot and traveled upward along the back of my arm towards my armpit.

Confused and curious, I called my mom and had her google the red line (there is no way i’d be able to google that without passing out). She tried to keep calm but found out it was probably infection and that I could lose my arm.

We rushed to the ER and right away a doctor took a look at it.  He said we must act fast because the poison was headed for my heart and could cause a heart attack.   He grabbed a rolling tray with scalpels and syringes, slapped on his latex gloves, and started to cut into the bite attempting to extract the poison.

Finally, he rubbed ointment on the bite, pressed it with gauze and medical tape and gave me a pill.  He told me I made it just in time. He didn’t know for sure what type of insect had bit me, but we all assumed it was a poisonous spider.

He sent me home with a prescription and said to watch that it doesn’t look any worse over the next couple days. Two days later the red line was gone and the next week, there was nothing left but a mark from the scalpel.

From then on I wore bug spray and long sleeves while I did yard work.  Never underestimating the insects that were in my yard again.



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