Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Something has bit me

It must've looked quite bizarre -  I was walking up the hill yesterday afternoon when I suddenly stopped, bent over, grabbed my calf and even let out a yelp – but I was in such pain and shock! It was as if someone had stuck a red hot needle into my leg. I rubbed it through my jeans but it just felt worse... awful... searing...  Don't believe I've ever felt such an intensely sharp stabbing sensation, worse than a wasp sting. Then I think I saw something drop out from under the hem but I didn't even consider checking what it might be, just had to get home as quickly as possible, panting.

Every rushed step made me wince and the burning feeling was spreading up my leg making walking even more painful too. What on earth?!

I was so relieved to shut the front door behind me at last – had to get my jeans down asap – could hardly pull them off quickly enough! There was a small red, raw mark on my calf, and a circle of inflamed skin rapidly expanding around it. Quick – Google search – insect bites...? Spider? False widow...? What to do!

Must admit I was a bit concerned when the prickling pain didn't stop after several hours (although it started to feel oddly quite nice after a while, you know how some can) and the inflammation got to about 4 inches across.  But by the end of the night it began to subside, so it seems no harm done. Now, just slightly red but not hurting any more, it looks as if there are tiny bite marks in broken skin. Still not sure who the culprit was but if it was a spider trapped in my jeans - the "dreaded" false widow? - then we walked together in very close proximity for an hour or so before it decided to sink its fangs into my flesh (and these jeans are tight!).  I'm checking / shaking all clothes before I put them on in future...  Or maybe it was a horse fly, which flew up my leg as I walked along?  Bicycle clips could come in handy.

Bit peeved though, to be honest: (a) I was just coming back from having done a good deed when it happened and (b) I'm always trying to give spiders/creepy crawlies some positive PR, endlessly saving them from death-by-hoover/drowning/flattening, etc. and this is how I'm thanked...  Does Karma really exist?!

I hope I haven't made you anxious about biting critters now; here's a song to cheer you up if so.  I found myself singing it last night (with slightly tweaked lyrics).




14 comments:

  1. Glad it has settled down. Maybe let your healthcare provider know, whatever that is in the UK. The ever changing face of healthcare in this country leaves us all puzzled. Bicycles clips sounds like a great idea.

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    1. Thanks Gin G - it's NHS for me here, but luckily I didn't need to see the doctor. We're fortunate in the UK having so few harmful creatures and allergic reactions are very rare, but some of our newspapers love spreading sensationalist stories about them - the false widow spider is getting a lot of bad press at the moment!

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  2. You know I sympathize, C! As fascinated by insects as I am, I prefer that they keep a respectable distance from me. I'm a little phobic - especially in the countryside where deer ticks (that carry lyme disease) are prevalent. As uncool as it looks, I tuck my jeans into my socks and liberally spray with Off! (My husband rolls his eyes, but when I take those precautions I can relax and not drive him crazy with my anxieties during the hike.

    How is it doing now? Is your leg still swollen around the bite area?

    The Action's records weren't played over here, but I did read about them in the English magazines (FABulous and Rave) that I purchased every week/month respectively. They did a great cover of The Marvelettes' "I'll Keep Holding On" and Maurice and The Radiants "Baby, You've Got It." If you want to hear them, let me know. ;-)

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    1. Thanks Marie, as you know I love insects and I'm normally so blasé about them! But now I'm more cautious about a biting one getting trapped in my clothes, I don't want that to happen again - jeans tucked into socks could become a new trend! Just glad I wasn't too far from home, otherwise I think I'd have had to simply pull mine off in the street ;-)

      You be careful out there in the woods!

      I was interested to hear that the Action weren't played over there. Thanks for your kind offer - as it happens, over here in the early '80s when there was a lot of renewed interest in 60s bands. the album 'The Ultimate Action' featuring the great songs you mention was put out by Edsel... I bought it back then and loved it. I replaced it a few years ago with a CD collection called 'Action Packed' - which I still have and love!

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  3. Blimey! You give these things all your love and care and this is how you are repaid. Likewise, I'm always very careful to not cause harm to our creepy crawly pals but when they bite they feel my wrath! Seems yours was particularly nasty and I'm relived it's healing up. Bicycle clips from now on for all of us.

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    1. I know, SB. The times I've put myself out for them and this is my reward! Never mind, all's ok, even the thing that did it may have crawled or flown off unscathed, who knows.
      Better buy the bicycle clips before there's a run on them...

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  4. Maybe it was a tick, we have them here too, although I think those carrying Lymes are rarer... is there a stinger in the centre of the soreness? If so, don't try and remove it, if it's a tick someone who knows what they are doing needs to get it out for you... I wonder if it was a Horse Fly though? I was bitten 2 summer's ago and the bite was sore, inflamed and hot to the touch for months after, even a year later you could still see the bite and get an occasional itchy sensation around it!

    Well, as for Spiders, they are little monsters. I have given in to guilt and allowed some smallish ones to live on the ceiling of my spare bedroom.... all was fine, I even felt quite smug about our new entente cordial.... but now they are taking the P*ss! They have all laid eggs in the corners and there will soon be hundreds of the bloody things everywhere.... unless the hoover extension gets them first!!!!

    Good look with the bite, I hope you are not morphing into a radioactive crime fighter even as we read this. ;o)

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    1. I wondered about ticks too...I've looked up so many possibilities now that my head is full of stinging, biting beasties! There doesn't seem to be anything left in the wound though so I won't worry about it, just a bit itchy now, but I cleaned it up straight away. Your horse fly bite sounds awful... aargh, poor you!

      I still love 'em all though. I know the egg sacs are a worry but you might be able to gently put them out too! Depending on what species they are they may not hatch until Spring, so you've time!
      We are currently sharing our bedroom with a house spider which we can't get to (she's found a gap behind the door frame to retreat into when we approach). We even bid her goodnight now... I don't think she'll bite!

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    2. No she won't bite, she just plans on cocooning you up while you sleep one night ... tee hee ;o)

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    3. Now there's a story for Cult of Doll! If I mysteriously disappear, you'll know how...

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  5. There's me been trying to convince the rest of the household all this nonsense about false widows etc. was a dumb sensationalist story and now you shatter my attempts to contain the panic! I can see any poor blighter in the house now being pummelled beneath a slipper before I can get a cup and a bit of paper to gently coax him back to the hydrangea in the front garden.

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    1. Please keep up the good PR for them Graham - spiders get a rough deal in life! The allergic reactions, whilst horrific, are very rare and more people have serious effects from wasp stings and peanuts...
      Vigilance is the key, I think.... if it was a false widow spider then it must have been in my jeans for some time. I'm scrutinising everything now.

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  6. Ouch! I'm a latecomer to this post, so hopefully the bite has cleared up by now. On the downside, there's probably no longer a pair of bicycle clips to be had anywhere in the land following your suggestion. Curses. Trousers tucked into socks it is then.

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    1. Thanks, TS, yes just a bit itchy at times and left with a dark red mark, but I can live with that! I'm wearing the same skinny jeans today (without bicycle clips) and still can't figure out how it happened as they really do fit so snugly around my whole leg. It must've been a very intimate encounter (but thankfully no higher up)!

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