Fuck Little Miss Muffet

So little Miss muffet had the wrong idea and snuggled up with me on New Year’s Eve. It is not unusual to wake up on 1st January with an enormous headache, shaking body and a dry mouth. I was still contemplating the “getting old part” and “I could drink more ten years ago” and the fact that I only had a few glasses of wine and a moderate amount of hard liquor.

The culprit? Certainly a spider, although I could not find trace of it — I hope that the cats ate the fucker! According to my symptoms, it appears to be a Violin Spider which has a cytoxic venom, affecting the cellular tissue (read: makes your flesh rot) usually restricted to the area of the bite but can spread. The bite is at first painless with symptoms developing about 2-8 hours after the bite. It starts by resembling a mosquito sting, becoming more painful and swollen.

There are not many poisonous spiders in SA – button spiders, black/brown widows which produce a neurotoxin and the violin spider which produces a cytotoxin. The spider itself is no bigger than a R 2 coin and looks similar to a daddy-long leg:

On the 2nd of January I noticed a mosquito bite on my calf and was chuffed with myself as it didn’t even itch. On the 3rd the mosquito bite turned into a mother-fucking sore and my calf turned numb (check the red rash, which pretty much covers the back of my leg – and wherever it is pinkish there is pain):

The picture above was taken after I applied nyostatin (antibacterial cream). The bite-mark is the size of a R5-coin and the whole back of my calf is inflamed. Is it sore? Hell yeah – Imagine someone whacking you with a hockey-stick on the calf and then pours hot oil over it – this is how it feels when you slightly touch it.

At this point in time I feel like I am on speed – 4000mg of antiobitics per day, coupled with 2-4 Myprodol is really making my day! (Not to mention the crawling sensation of a million little spiders all over you) – I can only wish to turn into Spiderman (/me tries again to cast a spiderweb across the room – fail).

To be bitten by a spider is rather rare and in many cases it happens while you sleep and roll over to squash miss muffet – so make sure that you at least shake out your clothes and watch out for those creepy creatures. So heed my advise, if you wake up with a strange mark and you can rule out a mosquito bite, rather be safe and check it out by a doctor (and make sure you get antibiotics – at least 2000-4000mg/per day over 5-10 days).

Update 2009-01-08: You might want to read the follow-up.