A bug's welcome to Texas
Welcome to Texas. Welcome to Texas, *y'all*! In your house today, you will be accompanied by one of our indigenous spiders. You like spiders, don't you? Spiders are our friends. Spiders are always preying on something else that we'd rather not have in our houses, right? A big spider with eight legs eats a lot of little things with six legs, yum, yum, and keeps them away from us. No more creepy crawlies for us, eh?
Well, sure. But let's not go too far. This one that's accompanying you today, the indigenous one I mentioned, well, he bites sometimes. He looks cute, and he has a really cute name, the brown recluse spider. He just has this bad habit of biting. He bites the things that he eats, and he bites people, too, which he doesn't eat. I mean, I suppose maybe if the size relationship were reversed. . . . You saw that movie, The Incredible Shrinking Man, years ago, right? Okay, okay, let's not think about that.
Bad bite? Well, kinda. Oh, no, no, not poisonous. No, no, no, no, not at all. Well, maybe just a little. I mean, no one dies from it. Well, not *no* one exactly, but not many. Yes, some. Yes, you could, I suppose. It really bothers people who are allergic to it. You aren't allergic to a lot of things, are you? Oh, every week. You see an allergist that often, really? I see. Well, I wouldn't worry about it, it's just a little, bitty spider.
What? You've already been bitten by it? Oh, my. Well, that does put a different complexion on things doesn't it. Where? Oh, that does look, um, kind of nasty, doesn't it. That little volcano thing on your arm, it'll clear up in a while. But you really ought to have it looked at. This particular spider's venom, well, it, uh, it dissolves tissue. You know, dissolves the cells into a goo that really isn't live cells anymore. And so the gunk turns, uh, black. Yes, the white stuff at the top of the volcano turns black. Well, yes, it is just like gangrene, though we prefer to call it, um, necrotic tissue. And that's the problem if you're particularly sensitive to it, it doesn't stay in a confined area but tends to spread unless it's cleaned out. I had a friend once who didn't pay any attention to the thing and then woke up one day and his left leg was all discolored and we took him to the emergency room and they said that it was a good thing he came in that day because the next day he would have been dead.
Oh, um, you probably didn't really want that much detail, did you. Sorry. I'm sure you'll have no trouble with it, but just in case, you probably should have it looked at.
Oh, what's that other thing there, on your leg?
Three weeks later.
Yes, the dermatologist said, they are brown recluse spider bites. And, yes, they do tend to be nasty sometimes. You probably ought to take these antibiotics for a week and blah blah blah blah. So four-plus weeks after the bite, I still have a lump there and a permanent scar. Two. And I'm stocking up on Raid.
Welcome to Texas.