It was a quiet morning at 5:00 am on May 6th, 2002. I felt a slight tickle on my upper thigh of my left leg under the covers and proceeded to brush it away.
As my hand struck the blanket I felt a slight stinging sensation on my leg. I lifted the covers to see the outline of a small, brown quarter size spider on my bed. I ran to the bathroom, grabbed some tissue and quickly grabbed the spider and threw it in the toilet. I flushed the toilet with a feeling of personal victory.
Almost within the hour the bite area swelled to a quarter size area. That afternoon I went to the doctor and he asked me if it was a brown recluse. I have never seen a brown recluse before but I agreed that it quite possibly was after hearing the description of one.
The doctor gave me some antibiotics and circled the area with a marker and sent me on my way. Later that evening a white infected area formed in the bite site.
I am told this is called the “bulls eye” and is a definite tell tale sign of a brown recluse bite.
The area around the bite site turned blue, dark red and had gone outside of the circled area.
My fiancée took me to OSF Emergency room where they rushed me to surgery. I spent eight days with an open cut at the bite area to drain the spiders toxins from it and almost 24 hours a day on IV antibiotics and pain medication.
My next step in 8 days is skin grafting. But that area will never look the same.
Never would I have thought this type of spider was right here central Illinois.
It seems most people know little about this spider.
If I had waited a day longer I might have lost my leg to this spider.
In the end, I had a 5″ diameter area of dead tissue, a result from the toxins, cut out of my upper leg.