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Re: RC: Black Widow Spiders

Thanks for the heads up - I grew up with these beasties and didn't know the
symptoms.  And I need to know them!  A few weeks ago I removed a running shoe to
find a mushed Black Widow on the top of  my foot - I got it before it got me.

When I was a kid we'd drop a few moth balls in our shoes; which were always
dirty and were left in the garage or by the back door. I need mothballs! Mom
kept a tupperware container of mothballs handy.

  -- Linda

Visions of the Wind wrote:

> Don't ever say "That won't happen to me..."
> We used to live in Tucson AZ where there are black widow spiders EVERYWHERE!
> And scorpions, and tarantulas, and rattlesnakes, and other nasties, but we
> never had any problems. No bites, no stings, no mishaps. Then we moved to
> the Rockies, west of Denver, in Golden Colorado at 8400 feet. No problems up
> here... right? WRONG! We've been up here since last August, and never
> thought about something like this. Mountain lions and bears, yes, but not
> spiders.
> Yesterday, my daughter Katlyn went out in the morning to clean the horses'
> pen with my husband. She put on her hiking boots like she always does when
> working with the horses. She was out working for about an hour when she
> exclaimed "Ow!" and my husband asked her what was wrong. She said that she
> thought she had a splinter in her shoe, and she pulled her shoe off to look.
> She didn't see a splinter in her toe, so she shook out her shoe, put it back
> on, and finished cleaning the pen. Half an hour later she came in with
> slight abdominal cramps. She went into the bathroom, but when she came out
> she started cramping worse. Then she said that her lower back hurt too.
> My first thought was that puberty was hitting (she's 12), but she seemed to
> be in an awful lot of pain... I called the doctor who said to come down
> right away. It took us  hour to get there, and by then Katlyn was in
> serious pain. The doctor thought it might be kidney stones and had me rush
> her to the hospital. Once we were in the ER, they pulled blood and did some
> urine tests. In the meantime, poor Katlyn was in excruciating pain! He gut
> had stopped hurting, but her lower back and her legs were cramping up
> horribly! :-( I called my husband at work to tell him that we were at the
> hospital. We didn't know what the problem was, and the doctors were
> puzzled... My husband says "this may be nothing, but she had either a
> splinter or a bite this morning..."
> BINGO! The doctors contacted poison control, who said that Katlyn's symptoms
> were classic for black widow spider bites. They rushed over a bag of
> anti-venom and within 10 minutes, my daughter was resting comfortably. <big
> sigh of relief> She was released from the hospital this morning after
> undergoing a few more tests to make sure that her kidneys were not damaged.
> She should be 100% in another day or so.
> WIDOW POISONING! They are as follows:
> 1. Bite
> 2. about  hour you start feeling crampy - almost like gas
> 3. lower back ache - almost like PMS here
> 4. within 1 hour, the pain gets pretty bad and you starting having some
> serious cramps
> 5. by 2 hours, you are trembling violently and uncontrollably. Gut cramps
> have passed, but gut is very rigid, and muscular cramps get very bad. In
> Katlyn's case, it was leg and back cramps since she was bitten on the foot.
> 6. rapid dehydration
> 7. cold sweats - no fever, but very elevated white blood cell counts -
> almost looks like an infection!
> 8. slightly elevated blood pressure - extremely elevated heart rate (Katlyn
> went from a normal heart rate of about 70-80 to 140)
> 9. pain meds were only slightly helpful
> 10. anti-venom administered (after a series of allergy tests) and within
> 10-15 minutes, the cramping stops!
> We are hoping that maybe someone might be helped by what we went through
> here. I'm not trying to frighten anyone - just help them to be aware! :-)
> Stephanie McCray
> Golden, CO
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