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Some years ago while replacing insulation in the attic I was bitten on my left elbow.
The arm around the elbow swelled to double its normal size and became locally
feverish, really hot to the touch. A doc at the emergency room told me it was a
brown recluse bite. He was going to lance it, but decided to get a second opinion.
Doc #2 looked at it and said If you open it, you might as well cut his arm off now,
because gangrene will set in. Thanks to doc #2, I still have a left arm. After many
days the swelling went down. I found that the poison had dissolved much of the
cartilage in my elbow. Even today, I can feel the little bb-shots of leftover
tissue. The moral of this tale: if bitten by a brown recluse, do not allow anyone to
open it. Furthermore, learn to recognize this critter. They are far more common
than most would believe.
Omitted from the article was any mention of crab spiders. Yes, they actually look
like little crabs. Usually green. They are ambush hunters. I have often found them
in flowers, waiting for a pollinating insect. I once found one living inside of a tube
on a pitcher plant. The local "spider lady" told me that was a common find. How
many of you spend time looking down into pitcher plants?
Last item: When still working for a living, for some time I shared my office with a
jumping spider. Many times I found it sitting atop my computer monitor staring
at me with its many eyes. I had a note on my office door for the cleaning lady
that said "Do not kill my pet spider".
Thanks Garden Geezer. I have heard multiple horror stories about brown recluse bites and the resulting body damage. Glad you came thru it mostly ok. It's frightening that such a small creature could do that. Best advice is that if you're working in an area like an attic, crawlspace - anywhere that is usually dark and undisturbed - wear long pants tucked into thick socks, heavy shoes, long sleeves secured at the wrist with rubber bands, a hat and thick gloves.
Love your story about your "pet" jumping spider. They are adorable and lots of fun to have around.