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black widow bite survivors?

 
Sage Boyd
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Hello out there.

i was bitten by a black widow about 2.5 weeks ago. i was wondering if anyone here has been bitten. and if they could share their stories of recovery?

there is not much accurate info online, and very little stories of the long-term effects. any thoughts from survivors would be appreciated.

be well,
sage

(typing one handed while nursing. )
 
Adam Klaus
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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wow, I dont know anyone who has been bitten, but I have always been very curoius about the effects of black widow bites myself.
would you care to describe more about your bite and symptoms? What have you learned about the toxins effects on the body?

I wish you well in your recovery, speedy healing.
 
Sage Boyd
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My experience has included:

First, I want to note that I caught and identified the spider, AND had an obvious bite site reaction that i will add a picture of.

> Extreme fever within the first 12 hours... lasting for 4 days. (got to 104.2 and DR recommended acetaminophen to bring it down to prevent brain damage)
{I don't usually use any kind of pharmaceutical}
> Muscle aches all over my body from my toes cramping to the top of my head throbbing with pain at every movement.
> "Tetanus-Like symptoms" 48 hours after the bite. (This included my spine stiffening/arching, jaw clenching, and foaming at the mouth)
> The fever was done on day 4 and left behind severe migraines. Electric shock was attempted on day 5, and *did* stop the migraine. http://venomshock.wikidot.com/
> Circle-shaped rash-like patches all over my body, ranging in size from "apple" to "basketball"
> Swollen eyelids from day 6-present (day 18 at this posting)
> Nerve pain that began to be noticed on day 4 when i stopped taking the pills to reduce the fever. The pain is intense, systemic, increases in intensity with movement/activity, seems to be centered in the same areas as the red circles, and responds well to anti-inflammatory meds.

Part of my reason for starting this thread, and for posting my symptoms here is to see if others have different information that I have been given. The information I have ranges from "the venom is out of your system in 3 days" to "it could take weeks to recover" to "it could take 18 months" ... and I want to know what other people have experienced.
Most research I have done says that most adults don't respond at all to the venom, save for the uncomfortable bite location and possible fever for a day or so. Since, for me, these are all new symptoms and it came right after I was bitten, I assume those two things are related. no one (medical professional or otherwise) is really giving me good information, and i just wanted to hear from someone else what it was like for them.
bite.jpg
[Thumbnail for bite.jpg]
Bite location, the size of my hand.
 
Kathe Mayhugh
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Sage Boyd, whatever happened with your bite? I have the same problem. Got bit, got treated with steroids and antibiotics, seemed to go away, and now a month later--it looks just like yours and it hurts again! I don't even know where to go to find help Thank you!
 
Casie Becker
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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I don't have any experience with black widow bites, but when I had a brown recluse bite the necrosis stopped spreading immediately when I took a oral dose of Echinacea. Poking around online I see it also recommended for snake and hobo spider bites.

Does anyone here know of any reason it might hurt to try here?
 
Charice de Vidal
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I've not been bitten but my mom used to keep a tube of Ichthammol Ointment for everything from splinters to spider bites. It's very disgusting and smells awful! Every time a bug got us, out came the disgusting black salve. You can get it at most pharmacies via special order but our CVS carried it.
 
Nancy Troutman
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Location: Swanton, MD
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books food preservation goat hugelkultur tiny house toxin-ectomy
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I was told that this is a black widow spider web.   They apparently create their webs about 2' from the ground.

I have seen them on my front porch and had them a few times inside my home.   Not recently though.   Outside I view them as bug control, inside I view them as unwelcome visitors worth of instant death by foot mashing.
100_1507.JPG
[Thumbnail for 100_1507.JPG]
Black Widow Spider web
 
Miranda Converse
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Most of the black widows I've come across were in dark crevices and quite well hidden. I've never seen one in a web out in the open like that (not doubting it can happen though). My beehives seem to be black widow magnets. We had huge losses of hives last year and while going through the yard to clean up empty boxes, we must have killed 30 of them. They like the cracks in between the frames and underneath the pallets the hives were sitting on. We also had some hives on cinderblocks and a couple had black widows living in the holes. I had even carried a few of those cinderblocks, with my hands in the holes and no gloves, before realizing who was inhabiting them! Luckily I haven't been bit yet and I wear gloves anytime I'm messing with the bee equipment now.

I have read recently that activated charcoal is a great way to stop the poison from spreading, for any kind of spider/bug bite. Sounded like it should be used fairly quickly after the bite though. I did read this on a site that was selling the stuff so take that as you will. I tested it with some yellow fly bites my boyfriend got and he claims it works well. He usually get really bad reactions from them so that is promising...
 
Nancy Troutman
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Location: Swanton, MD
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books food preservation goat hugelkultur tiny house toxin-ectomy
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I should have mentioned it was not out in the open until I moved the garbage can you see at the bottom left.   I rotate my poop cans in March, and that spot had a garbage can in front it that sat for 3 years undisturbed.   And there is a crevice behind it that could easily hide spiders. 
 
Jen Stew
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I lived amongst a tremendous population of black widows for a few years.  First, the web is characterized by a "chaotic" pattern, odd zigs and zags that look disorganized.  I have never seen one similar to the picture posted above.  Often you don't see much of a web because it is tucked away into a crevace.  I have seen them mostly up high or in dark corners, under box flaps that haven't been moved in a long time, and twice on gate/ door latches (that oddly were very often used and yet the spider didn't seem to mind).  Most black widows will not bite, in my experience, though obviously they can and they do much damage.  One gate latch experience involved a garden gate accessed multiple times a day.  (These stories make us seem like weirdos for living so closely with the spiders, but this was a very buggy place and spiders are good bug control!) My daughter had tied a piece of cloth on the gate that had to be pushed out of the way to unlatch the gate.  We had noticed a spider but didn't pay it much attention because it ran into a crevace when we moved the cloth.  We eventually realized it was a black widow and killed it.  Another similar story was a storm door.  That spider definitely touched my hand more than once when I would forget about it.  Again, eventually realized what it was and killed it.  Another time, we were moving heavy boxes and when my husband set his down, he realized he had carried this box with his hand a couple inches from the black widow.  We literally saw hundreds of black widows, a couple dozen living on our seldom used front porch, and never were bitten.  This is not at all to diminish the experience of the posters who were bitten!  I would love to hear an update on that, as well as details on how they were bitten!  But my point is that they aren't generally terrifying creatures.  Wear gloves when handling areas that aren't accessed often (garages, attics) and don't be a moron like we were and let spiders live in places you do touch often.  If you live in a place prone to them, I wouldn't have pillows on your porch furniture. Knock out your shoes before you put them on.  They aren't likely to seek you out.  
 
Bonnie Johnson
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That looks like a typical wolf spider web.  Well we called them wolf spider when we were kids.  That is not a black widow web. The web layed in almost a matt formation with a tunnel in the back is
hunting spider type web.  Pretty harmless.  I have lived in Ohio and in Arkansas. I don't see black widows so much in Ohio, but I did see them a lot in Arkansas. Also had a lot of brown recluse in
Arkansas along with tarantulas and scorpions. 
 
Sunny Aldrinos
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Location: Central VA
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My ex's brother was bitten a few years ago. He had the tetanus-like symptoms almost immediately, from what I understand. Most of what he remembers about the experience was laying in the ER with everything locking up, having extremely painful muscle cramps and seeing all these different people enter his room while he was waiting to receive the anti-venom. He realized later that it was all the residents/interns being trotted through to see what a black widow patient looked like! As far as I know, he hasn't had any lingering after-effects from the whole experience (and I've been told he can be a whiner so if there was anything bothering him months down the road, we'd all hear about it...)
 
Joy Oasis
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My nephew got bitten by one (however he didn't see it at the bite time, but saw them around), and he had fever for a few days with diarrhea. He didn't go to the doctor. Then he came over and the bite spot was pretty deep,  like a small hole. It was on his leg and he had trouble walking. I had DMSO on hand, so I put some oregano oil on it with DMSO on top (DMSO is healing on its own, but it also helps to carry deep into the tissues whatever happens to be there.) Then I gave him some immune herbs (Echinacea, usnea and possibly others) and told him to take lots of vitamin c. Not sure how much he continued with, but a week later I asked him about it, and he said everything was good. The hole would indicate recluse spider, but we do not have them in California.
  I would say one has to take strong immune system herbs in large amounts every few minutes at first, then every half an hour, then an hour, etc. Charcoal too immediately, that's why it is good to have activated charcoal powder on hand.
 
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