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Forum Name: Viral Infections

Question: was it really a spider bite??


 spider lady - Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:33 am

about 5 weeks ago, i woke up one morning with 5 little tiny punctures on my stomach. i assusmed that i'd been bitten by a spider or something while i slept. i really didn't pay attention to the bites but within 24-36 hours i have 2 red lumps on my stomach, both were sore, hot to the touch, and were hard, like there was a "core" inside, i also had a low grade fever 99.4. my primary dr. started me on an antibiotic for cellulitis, but after 24 hours the pain, reddness and size of the wounds increased (one was the size of an almond, the other almost the size of an oreo cookie! i went to the ER (since it was saturday) and the dr. on duty tried to drain the 2 "cysts" --she had no luck with the large one and she did get lots of pus out of the small one. she took a culture of the pus. she also changed my antibiotics to dyoxy-something. i returned for a dressing change the next day and she said the culture came back as "staph". on monday i was in much pain from the larger "cyst" and once seeing the infected area my primary doctor sent me to a surgeon....within hours i was in his office. he took one look at the big, oreo shapped "cyst" and said i had a spider bite. he would cut it out becuase there was a lot of necrotic fatty cells. he took a huge chunk from my belly...i had a hole of a 50 cent piece...gapping and nasty looking. he cauterized it with a silver nitrate stick and sent me home to continue the dyoxy antibiotics and comeback in a month. i called him everyday with telephone updates (i was scared to death with this huge gapping hole on my belly!) and he finally saw me 4 days later and said it was healing, it was OK and he re-cauterized the wound.
after that i saw my primary dr. because the 7 days supply of dyoxy-antibiotics was finished....and the wound was a still red, nasty looking. she gave me a 10 day supply of the dyoxy-antibiotic....last week the wound really started to heal up rapidly!! the huge gapping hole filled itself and now i have a small brown scab. amazing! but....on saturday night, nearly 5 weeks later, i got another spot on my stomach...no tiny puncture marks, just looked like the red cysts i'd had before, with a small pimple like head. i ran to the dr. office....but also at the same time, i felt is was getting a pimple inside my nose....it started small then it became HUGE and even my face/nose swelled and the pressure from the pimple gave me a terrific head ache. ALSO i was scared because i have been having chest tightness, like someone was pressing on my front and back...and low back pain...my primary immediately sent me to the ER again...although she thought my chest pain was acid reflux and maybe panic related, they ran an EKG--which turned out OK.
they took 8 vials of blood from me and said the result were all negative...white/red cells ok, no diabetes, no heart attack...my blood work said i was ok....they lanced my pimple and applied bacitracin or bactran and sent me to see the surgeon again to cut out the "cyst"...they also gave me 2 different antibiotics (one turned my urine bright orange)
by the time i got tothe surgeon's office 2 days later...the cyst looked like it was shrinking a bit. he said it didn't have anything to drain....at suggested i see an infectious disease dr....and said maybe the first cyst he cut out wasn't a spider bite!!!
now i am scared....could i have MRSA???(oh, yes, i had athrascopic knee surgery for torn cartiledge in nov. 2004) my appointment is in 2 weeks with an ID doctor...and i have a 2 month old grandchild and my daughter and i have decided i shouldn't see him until we find out what's the matter (by the way, the baby had conjuncatvitis when he was 2 weeks old) . my questions are....can i give the baby a staph infection?? can i give an infection to my friends or pass it along unknowlingly to others i meet in church or the store? is my husband in danger? am i in danger? are the stomach cysts and the nose pimple coincidences like the ER said, or are they related? could the chest pressure i am feeling be a lung or other type of infection? they gave me an acid -reflux cocktail in the ER and it did nothing to relieve the tightness. i am 56, a non-smoker, and overweigh and i am scared to death...i feel like a leper...i don't want to contaminate my friends, i am afraid to go to my health club pool and gym (could i have picked something up there?).....i wash my hands CONSTANTLY and wash my towels immediately after use...BUT i sneeze, use tissues to wipe my nose, i touch my nose--sometimes without thinking about it...can i be giving every body this infection?.....please SOMEBODY help me . i'll go crazy waiting for my infectious diseaase dr. appt.....the spider lady
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:08 am

User avatar Hi spider lady,
There are two types of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) hospital aquired and community aquired. MRSA is resistant to certain antibiotics and can't be effectively treated with penicillin, methicillin,nafcillin, or cephalosporins. Diagnosis is identified through a culture of the site of infection. Careful handwashing is the most effective way to prevent spread. MRSA in skin infections may look like a pimple or boil and have pus or drainage. Keep in mind that staph bacteria is present on healthy people skin and unless the culture results specifically stated (MRSA) I would consider that it was staph and not resistent to certain antibiotics. If the cuture specifically stated MRSA the best preventative measure are careful handwashing, avoid sharing personal items, razors, towels etc., keep open areas covered with a bandage until healed. Don't feel like a "leper" doing the previously mentioned precautions prevent spread. Good luck with the Infectious Disease consult and I hope you will consider when your time, permits posting an update :)
Sincerely,
Rntdj
 spider lady - Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:44 pm

dear Rntdj,
thak you for taking the time to answer my questions....let me see if i understand this whole MRSA thing...there is staph and there is ALSO MRSA (a resistant staph). a skin infection of MRSA can look like a simple boil or pimple or "cyst". a culture of the drainage must be taken to determine if it is just plain old staph or the MRSA variety. if it is just the plain old garden variety staph....that can be treated with an antibiotic like keflex...BUT if it is culture and comes back as MRSA , then the big guns types of antibiotics must be used? right? also if it IS MRSA, there are 2 kinds of MRSA...the hospital acquired and community acquired--what does this mean, how can you tell them apart? why and how does this matter?
also after taking 2 treatments of antibiotics, shouldn't the staph infection be eliminated??
the recent cyst on my stomach and the pimple in my nose are another indication of infection again....no one cultured either of them, but they did prescribe new and even more powerful antibiotics....will this get rid of the staph infections for good???
i am anxious to talk to the I. D. dr. and will report what he says at a latter date...
thanks again. spider lady
 Theresa Jones, RN - Mon Sep 05, 2005 3:02 am

User avatar Hi spider lady,
You are correct in your understanding. The basic difference in hospital and community aquired MRSA is the hospital aquired is contracted by direct contact from other patients, certain equipment and staff due to improper handwashing, etc. This type is generally located, for example, surgical wounds, catheter sites, dialysis shunts or equipment, etc. Community aquired type is seen in people who have not been hospitalized in the past year and have contracted this infection out in the community and usually presents with skin infections. If your syptoms do not improve after this cycle of antibiotics then these areas should be cultured as well. You should also be able to get a copy of your previous culture reports to take to the Infectious Disease appointment. Again, on these reports it will specifically state MRSA. I hope you find this information somewhat helpful.
Sincerely,
Rntdj
 spider lady - Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:40 am

dear Rntdj, thank you for answering more of my questions!
i guess, because i haven't been hospitalized, i must have picked this staph infection up within the community...and possibly as a result of the spider bite weakening my immune system or providing a source to enter my body???
i am very certain that my original problem was a bite from either a spider or something else...and that the 2 "cysts" appeared. one large and unable to be drained and a smaller one, that was able to be drained and cultured. i guess i am trying to play doctor- detective, but it seems to me that the large one might have been the result of the spider venom( since the surgeon excised necrosed fatty tissue) and the smaller was the result of staph infection(because pus came out of it when drained)...and the most recent skin infections (the cyst on my stomach and the nasty pimple in my nose) was a re-occurance of of unresolved or reocccuring staph....hmmmm? i'd either better get to medical school or see and I.D. physician!
thanks again and i will get as many reports as i can to hlep the I.D. dr. diagnose my problem. i'll be in touch.
spider lady

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