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Spider Bite?

I put a question mark on the title as I have no proof of a bite other than the symptoms. Proof requires a sighting and better yet, capture of the little critter. The pictures are a bit graphic. Don’t click to enlarge if it bothers you…  🙂

I like Dr. Pepper and now drink mostly the diet version. It helped me loose 35 pounds. We bought a large case of 36 cans in one box. I put a dozen cans in the fridge. The rest of the case went into the food closet (pantry).

The diet DP was defective. It tasted like pure unflavored soda water. It was either over carbonated (if that is possible) or the flavoring was somehow left out. I was concerned if it was safe to drink. I consumed two cans before I was certain it wasn’t just me and a freak taste problem.

We decided to dump it all out. Placing full cans in the recycle or trash bin didn’t seem like a good or safe idea.

(BTW – I contacted the manufacturer and they are replacing the soda with purchase coupons.)

I opened 34 cans into the kitchen sink and it all ran down the drain. Maybe helped clean the pipes. It seemed to be almost explosive as I opened them, so I suspected over carbonation may be the problem.

24 of the cans were still in the large carton taken from the pantry. I was reaching into the dark carton through a hole made for removing the first 12 cans. Not paying attention to what was inside, just grabbing a can.

Opening 34 cans of soda at one time in the sink is a big mess. Especially when they have a huge fizz factor. Soda fizz contains carbonic acid. I noticed my little finger of my right hand (the one reaching into the carton) felt a little tingly on the outside edge.

I thought little of it. Just completed the task of draining the soda cans. I figured the carbonic acid had found a scratch or something on my little finger. The pop-tabs have sharp edges.

Dumping the soda occurred about mid-morning. For the next eight hours or so, my little finger still had the slight burning sensation. I have a little psoriasis on the back of my right hand near the area. I was thinking the carbonic acid had irritated the skin on my finger.

But my finger was now getting quite sore and was swelling. The finger became stiff and painful to flex. There was something else going on here. I thought, maybe an infected hair follicle or a splinter or something in my finger. A defined red area developed. I looked very closely. Later in the evening a very tiny white pus blister appeared. I decided it was an infection for sure.

My finger was now very painful, and I couldn’t stand to bend the joint. I cleaned out the micro blister and applied antibiotic ointment and a band aide.  When I went to bed, the blister was larger and needed cleaned again, and I re-dressed the now suspect wound. Now, I am thinking spider (Texas Recluse) bite.

The Texas recluse is reported as less venomous than its cousin, the brown recluse.

No proof of the spider, but symptoms closely match descriptions of the reaction to a bite. The situation of the soda carton provided a suitable hiding place. So far it seems to be a minor and non-critical reaction.

By morning the pain and swelling had gone down, but the spot was still sore and seeping lymph fluid. I have been keeping it clean and applying the antibiotic to keep an infection away.

The pictures are about 48 hours after opening the cans. The finger is a little stiff but very little pain. I think the worse is over. There looks to be slight necrosis (skin death) in the center of the bite.

A spider bite? Maybe… There is no treatment other than cutting away the dead flesh if there had been a major reaction. Most of the time it is like what is shown here. It can be much worse and even fatal to some. That is extremely rare.

If it had progressed, my plan was to let a doctor see the wound. Not having proof of the spider, there is no way to determine the cause. For now it is no worse than a fire ant bite.

A lone fire ant in a carton of Dr. Pepper doesn’t seem likely, but a reclusive spider might call it a home…

Update: 8/27/18  All healed. More than a week ago. Left a tiny scar which of course is no issue at all. Joins the many others on my working hand.

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