Thursday, June 11, 2009

spider bites

Early Saturday afternoon, I noticed an odd shaped series of small painful bumps along my abdomen, where the top of my pants are. There were five of them, in a square shape, one in each corner and one approximately in the middle. I assumed they were spider bites. Remember how my dryer broke and I strung up the clothesline in back of my house? Well, I felt so environmental and virtuous that even after the dryer got fixed, I kept on using the clothesline. (at least until the weather pattern brought in low clouds, fog, and drizzle for days at a time.) Apparently a spider found its way into my jeans and didn't like it when I also found my way into my jeans.

The area around the bites was a little red, but I kind of expected that with five bites and didn't pay much attention. On Monday I started feeling weird. Kind of off balance and just weird. On Tuesday, back at my class, I still felt that way, and on the way home I got a chill. After Jupiter went to sleep I borrowed the farm animal thermometer and checked my temperature. Yup. A fever. And the red rash was definitely bigger. So Wednesday, two hours after I got to work, I called the doctor. Three hours after I got to work, I left to take myself to the doctor. 20 minutes of while I was at work I spent trying to print out a temporary copy of my health insurance card since I don't have new ones yet (see previous post..or following depending on how they actually post). The health insurance CSR's, btw, don't have access to a copy of my health insurance card. How's that??? Keep in mind, I'd been out of work all day Tuesday at a class, today I'm leaving early to take my bug bites to the doctor, and on Thursday I'm leaving at noon to take Jupiter to her Neuropsych appt. (and on Monday I have the day off for kindergarten screening and on Tuesday I have my class again. good thing I have eleven years of service and lots and lots of paid time off.)

I had explained everything to the triage nurse when I called them. Then when I got in the exam room, I got to explain it again to the intake nurse. Who, when I showed her the rash, went "GOOD LORD!" Dear intake nurse, sucking in your breath and saying "GOOD LORD" is not reassuring to a patient who is convinced she may be dying from spider venom. (just so you know.) She left and the doctor came in. Yup, I got to explain it all again. He ruled out shingles and determined I have a "skin infection" from whatever it was that may have bit me. He also thought the bite pattern is pretty. He prescribed augmentin. He outlined the rash in black sharpie dots so I would know if it continues to spread. If by Friday there is no improvement, I need to come back to they can give me an antibiotic injection.

I left there and drove to the pharmacy to get my antibiotics, so I would be able to squeeze two doses of antibiotics in before bedtime. Since it's been a few years since I've needed to fill any prescriptions for myself, I had to go through the new customer dance with the paper copy of my insurance card. The pharmacy substitued something in place of the augmentin. Dear insurance company, If the doctor had wanted me to have whatever it was you chose to give me, that's what he would have typed in the electronic transmittal. Just so you know.

I've been on the antibiotics for 30 hours now. I'm not dizzy and I don't have a fever, so that's an improvement. The rash was bigger this morning, but I think it's starting to recede. I think it's gone back within the limits of the sharpie outline, and it's a little less scary red too. So I'm hopeful.

My new plan is to hang the clothes out to dry, then stick them in the dryer for just ten minutes on high heat, to kill bugs.

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