Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Cherub 3 vs. Black Widow

We have good news to share.  And we are Praising God for His Protection of Cherub 3 !!

 Cherub 3 is doing well this morning after a rather frightening experience last evening.

He was helping with mowing at a friend’s home and was bitten on the forearm by a Black Widow Spider who was hidden inside a log laying in high grass.  He flipped the log over with his boot and rolled it around before reaching down to move it (watching for snakes and black widows), but obviously didn’t see the Black Widow until it was too late.  He thinks she was inside a knot on the log.  Incidentally, he did say that the black widow’s bite felt like he was stabbed or cut with a razor – much more painful than usual bug bites or stings.

Thankfully, he managed to kill her just after she bit him.   So, with spider in a sandwich bag so that hospital staff could make a positive ID (even though we already knew exactly what she was) ………  Ewwwwwwwwwww.

DadToCherubs immediately took Cherub 3 to our local hospital after the bite (bite occurred at 630pm), and then I arrived shortly after.  After 2 hours there, Cherub 3 was transferred to a Children’s Hospital as a precaution.

The bite site was red and hot and swollen, and the affected area was spreading. At both ERs, lots of labs were drawn and then were repeated several times, vital signs were taken every 10-15 minutes, a large bore IV placed just in case, and the outline of the reaction was marked every few minutes.  Then, the waiting game began ….

Cherub 3 had a brief period of tachycardia last evening in the ER, but stabilized without medical intervention after about 45 minutes.  Otherwise he had no organ system issues.  HOORAY !  His labs remained great the whole time, his vital signs remained stable, and 8 hours after the bite the docs decided the “worst case scenarios” were unlikely to happen.  The docs suspect that because Cherub 3 killed the spider almost immediately after it bit him, and he probably only received a low dose of venom.  PRAISE GOD !!

The docs were thrilled that he was seen by medical personnel so quickly, with the spider “in hand” …. there was no guesswork, his baseline labs and other precautionary tests were completed very early in the “game”, and so all of this helped the docs monitor him more effectively.  His reaction to the venom could have been soooooo much worse.  Black Widow bites are very serious, more serious than most people realize because there is no “anti venom” available for black widow bites.  Doctors just have to deal with any issues that arise – issues that arise very quickly within the first 8 or so hours, often involving the heart, lungs, other critical organ systems, and major muscle groups.  And docs also have to be prepared to deal with rapid tissue breakdown (necrosis) at the bite site, which can bring on serious infection.

Cherub 3 was discharged early this morning from Children’s ER, and we arrived home just after 4am.

Today he is exhausted.  He has a very hot red area on his arm, 4” x 8” around the bite site.  He continues to have some minor muscle cramping and pain in his abdomen and back (and his arm hurts a lot of course), but we’re told this is appropriate as his body tries to process and dispose of the venom.  The docs said he may still have some bouts intense nausea, severe vomiting, severe migraine-type headaches, severe rigid muscle cramping in his stomach and back through tomorrow.  He has medication for pain control, but so far he is doing ok with just Tylenol and rest.  And a good book to read while he relaxes, of course.  (Cherub 3 is a major bookworm !)

The docs expect that he will be back to normal tomorrow …… or at least whatever is “normal” for Cherub 3, anyway.  HA !

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts, prayers, and assistance.  We are so blessed .... we are thanking God today for a great local hospital ... a fantastic Children's hospital .... experienced medical professionals ... friends and family ... and PRAYER WARRIORS.


Andrea said...

SO happy to hear it turned out good! How scary!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Wow! That was close! I am so grateful things worked out so well.

Christine said...

Glad he's okay! Knowing him, I'm sure he's got his characteristic smile on his face despite it all! Prayers for a good week for you guys... will he get to go to BS camp?

grandmama potter said...

So glad to hear he is doing exceptionally well! Blessings to all of you and hope you all get a good rest tonight!

Missy said...

I don't know if I would have been that quick to think of the right thing to do. So glad he is doing great! I'm sure it was scary! Missy

School for Us said...

Praise God that things worked out so well! And, great job, Cherub #3, for thinking so clearly!