It was a quite morning
at 5:00 am on May 6, 2002 and I was lying in the bed with my fiancée.
I felt a slight tickle on my upper thigh of my left leg under the
covers and proceeded to brush it away. As my hand struck the blanket
I felt a slight stinging sensation on my leg. I lifted the covers
to see the outline of a small, brown quarter size spider on my bed.
My fiancée woke up startled and asked me "What is it?"
I said, "It looks like a spider. Hold on".
ran to the bathroom, grabbed some tissue and quickly grabbed the
spider and threw it in the toilet. My fiancée came into the
bathroom to look at the spider and all we said at that moment was
"Wow, that is a big spider". I flushed the toilet with
a feeling of personal victory. Almost within the hour the bite area
swelled to a quarter size area. That afternoon I went to the doctor
and he asked me if it was a brown recluse. I have never seen a brown
recluse before but both my fiancée and me agreed that it
quite possibly was after hearing the description of one but I had
always thought those spiders were in southern Illinois. The doctor
gave me some antibiotics and circled the area with a marker and
sent me on my way.
Later that evening a white infected area formed
in the bite site. I am told this is called the "bulls eye"
and is a definite tell tale sign of a brown recluse bite. The area
around the bite site turned blue, dark red and had gone outside
of the circled area. My fiancée took me to OSF Emergency
room where they rushed me to surgery. I spent eight days with an
open cut at the bite area to drain the spiders toxins from it and
almost 24 hours a day on IV antibiotics and pain medication. It
the end I had a 5 inch in diameter area of dead tissue, a result
from the toxins, cut out of my upper leg. My next step in 8 days
is skin grafting, which I am told is skin taken from another part
of my body and place on the cut away area. But that area will never
look the same. Never would I have thought this type of spider was
right here in Pekin or central Illinois. It seems most people know
little about this spider. If I had waited a day longer I might have
lost my leg to this spider.
2435 Lakeshore #2
Pekin, Illinois 61554