Sunday, May 26, 2013

Diagnosis Of the Week

Here you are, 24/7/365.

What you have is a shiny, red, painful, growing-like-a-goldfish-in-a-Doctor-Seuss-story bump, somewhere on your body. Your neck, arm, armpit, or some less public region.

What you think you have is how you sign in: "Spider bite".
What the doctor will tell you have is an "Abscess".

Thus, the correct diagnosis can only be "MRSA Spider bite".

Regular spider bites are relatively fairly rare.
For the entomologically tutored, the only venoumous spiders on the North American continent at least, are two:
Black Widows (lactrodectus mactans), and
Brown Recluses (loxosceles reclusa).

So unless you physically sighted one of the two above-named species at the scene of the crime, tiptoeing off with a guilty look on his or her multi-eyed face, and furthermore have, now and in your body, the signs and symptoms of insectoid envenomization with arachnid neurotoxin, please, stop blaming your little problems on spiders.

MRSA, carried not by the imaginary MRSA Spider, on the other hand, is a particularly disease-resistant strain of the bacterium Staph aureus, which someone you've come into contact with has given to or deposited upon you, and which may even now have colonized your body. We know this because you've been seen here for three other "spider bites" in the last six months. Laymen not medically trained often refer to this little factoid as a "clue", not a license to impugn the motives and culpability of every arachnoid in your world.

There's a way around this. Actually several.
1) Wash your nasty ass, ideally daily, and using not only fairly warm water, but also a decent scrub brush or cloth, and any number of personal hygiene products hitherto strange to you, most specifically soap. Lather, rinse, repeat.
2) Encourage the unheard of approach of similar behavior amongst your spawn, your clan, and your significant others.
3) Get a prescription for the antibiotics to kill the MRSA, and actually follow the directions and take the pills, on schedule, until they're all finished. I know how hard this is, but make an effort.
4) Do the same for every one of your spawn, clan, and significant others who have a similar history of recurrent "spider bites".
5) Scour your nasty hovel, with any number of bacteriocidic products, like Lysol, Pinesol, etc. Going as far as to actually burn your shanty to the ground is a bit extreme, but as I haven't seen your living conditions, I'm not going to rule it out immediately, sight unseen. Desperate circumstances may indeed demand desperate measures.
6) While you're at it, avail yourself of such radical notions as sweeping, vacuuming, throwing away garbage, and killing all bugs, rodents, and other vermin in your hovel. Clean out the places they live, and deprive them of the food they eat.

I know how hard it is to not live like a hobo in a third world roach motel, but think of it this way: an hour with a mop and a bucket of warm water, followed by a long hot shower, hurts a lot less than having our P.A. slash into that big nasty welt on your butt and dig around to get all the pus out. Your efforts, unlike ours, won't usually make you let out blood-curdling screams, and housework seldom, if ever, leaves lasting scars. Unlike an I&D.

It's your hide, and so is the choice.

But the needles and scalpels are all us, baby.


  1. LOL we literally just had this conversation at work the other day. One of our nurses had what she thought was a spider bite on her leg and several of us were all like "Oh, come on!! You know it's MRSA! Everyone ALWAYS thinks it a spider bite, and it's ALWAYS MRSA! "

  2. No mention of MRSA spiders, though.

  3. We'll, I'll fix that then. thanks for the tip.

  4. Not nit-picking, just had to look that up for some reason. I really enjoy your blog!

  5. Thanks.I got a cluster of zits high on my forehead. I'm 35, zits? Fine. A few days later, one appears on my fist. WTF? Memory brought me back to this post and to the doc I went. Septra DS down the cake hole twice a day, a topical on the bumps and as nasal swabs twice a day.

  6. Da-yum.
    Even minding my own business and spouting off on occasion, I'm still saving lives.
    Thanks for sharing, Best wishes on a speedy recovery, and hey, FINISH ALL YER MEDS please!

  7. Finished the course. Thanks.