When Spiders Attack…

Or at least we think it was probably a spider…

In any case, on the morning of Lent 1 my foot hurt. By the afternoon it was swollen and had a little black mark on the side. I thought it might be a bruise or that I’d kicked something the night before.

Sunday night I tried to get up in the middle of the night and it wouldn’t support my weight.

The next morning, M took a look at my foot. Not only was it swollen and hot to the touch but there was a rash all over it that was heading up my leg.

By the time we were seen at the Urgent Care Clinic the rash was up both legs; by the time I left in an ambulance for the nearest hospital it had spread to my chest and back.

They tell me my body was in a state of septic shock when I arrived at the Emergency Room but that something they did there gave it the chance to overcome the sepsis (If you ask me, it was putting in the catheter; I’ve learned that “you may feel a little pressure now” is medical jargon for “we’ve developed this fascinating new way of infliting pain and want to give it a try on you…”)

After that I spent three days in the ICU and another four on one of the regular medical floors before being discharged. The central problem throught was a strep infection that entered my body in my foot and moved into the bloodstream. The ambulance crew id’d it as a brown recluse spider bite right off. My infectious disease specialist says that’s likely, but it could have been a strep bacteria on the foot already that made its way in through some kind of puncture.

In any case, that’s why I haven’t been around recently. M has been doing a tremendous job taking care of me and tending to the girls while in the midst of dealing with a pretty nasty sinus infection herself. Having her in the hospital with me was wonderful; Despite the pain, the inconvenience, the IV meds and everything, I think this Valentine’s Day was the best we’ve ever had because I got to spend the whole day there with her–and I knew (and know) just how lucky I was to get to spend the time with her.

Although I’ve been out of the hospital for five days, the foot is mending slowly at best. It’s still swollen (though not as much as it was), and there still some infection lurking in there. We’re trying to knock it out with IV anibiotics. The doctor’s hopeful that I’ll be able to walk and drive on the foot by the end of next week, but he’s continuing to monitor it.

Thanks for to LP and Anastasia for helping with food and children and bls, the Lutheran Zephyr, Fr. Chris, Christopher and other for your thoughts and prayers. We’re better, but not out of the woods yet, so we’d appreciate y’all keeping our family in your prayers.

22 thoughts on “When Spiders Attack…

  1. Scott

    Wow…hearing from you has made my day! So glad most of this event is behind you now; how frightening! Prayers continue for your healing and well-being.

  2. Fr Chris

    You’re definitely still in my prayers and I hope you have a very fast recovery. Hopefully those spiders will stay away in the future!

  3. Michelle of Heavenfield

    Yikes! Strep is indeed the superbug. Nothing to mess with now or in the future, so be careful and don’t delay return trips to the docs office. I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers.

  4. John-Julian, OJN

    Yeah, I know what you mean — strep and I are sadly well-acqauinted — I sympathize with you vastly.

    And I counsel you to keep in VERY close touch with your doctor. Don’t think that you can just “bear the pain” because that kind of “pain” edges towards being fatal pretty fast.

    No wonder the days have been so gray while you were away! The sunshine is back today.

  5. meg

    Ye bogs! That’s the best reason for blog silence I’ve seen in, well, forever. Keep on mending, and plaudits to all your caretakers, direct and indirect.

  6. Caelius Spinator

    Best Valentine’s Day ever, eh?

    I’m glad to see you well enough to blog. I hope M. gets some rest, too.

    And you all, of course, remain in my prayers.

  7. JTFS

    Oh man…wow. So glad that you are better. Glad to hear that you are “ok.” I’ll add this to my prayer list.

    Grace and Peace,

  8. Pingback: Pray for Derek « A Thinking Reed

  9. Tobias Haller

    Oh my! Watch out for those recluses… almost as dangerous as anchorites.

    Thank you for your comment on “you may feel a little pressure.” My favorite medical phrase that sends shivers up the spine is, “Take a deep breath.”

    God bless you; and we all look forward to how you will employ your new superpowers.

  10. RFSJ

    I’m sorry I’m just catching up. You’ve been through a lot. M is obviously an angel. Blessings and prayers for a full recovery!


  11. Derek the Ænglican

    Thanks for the thoughts and prayers, all. I’m on the mend. The doctor said he thinks we can stop the daily iv antibiotics tomorrow which would be great; M has had to drive me to the office for them everyday which takes a big chunk of her time.

    I’m up for an MRI today to make sure there are no pockets of infection in the foot. Still sitting around with the foot propped up but my boss is letting me work from home. Yay spreadsheets!

  12. josh


    I’m horrified at what’s happened, which I only learned about with the post on Episcopal Cafe March 4. A fine post, but man, I’m stunned. I will immediately add you to my prayers and those of the dailyoffice.org community. We’ve never met, but I feel like I know you a little because of your writing.

    You got it right, love the ones you’re with while you can, starting with M and your girls. “O God, give that family joy and a healthy daddy for Easter.”

    Josh Indiana

  13. Drew

    Came here via Thinking Reed. Hope you are OK. When I was looking at my massive Lyme rash this summer trying to determine what it was, I first looked at brown recluse bites. My own reaction was… “Damn! Thank God it is not that!” So I have seen what the little buggers can do. Good to hear that all of your body parts are still with you… And I mean that in all seriousness too.

  14. Pingback: Final Spider Bite Update « haligweorc

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