Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sentimental Sunday... The Hero and a Spider Bite

Grandchildren, I will digress from our orange bus stories to tell you a story of our spider bite anniversary.  The story came to mind when we were talking about spiders in the T's room.  I was telling her about her mom's spider bite... that will be for another story.  Discussing it with Em, brought to mind the story of the Hero not telling me about a spider bite. 
I keep essential oil at all times. The spider picture came in an email, no person to attribute to, the bite is in keeping with what the hero's bite looked like when I first saw it, the map is from National Atlas

We had planned for several months on going to Oklahoma for  our anniversary.  I wanted to find my great grandfather B D Langley's grave in Frisco, OK and visit the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.  The first mission was accomplished and I will blog about it at another time.  We headed on to Tahlequah for the Heritage Center. 
When we arrived, the Hero said his leg hurt.  I thought he meant from tramping around the hilly graveyard.  No, I found out that evening (6PM of course on a Friday night) that he meant his leg HURT.  I looked at the area he was talking about and my head spun with "what do I do with this?"  I asked him if anything had bitten him.  He said that he had felt a bite two days before at the office.  He had looked under his desk and saw a small spider. The bite had not looked to be anymore than a small red dot, so he had forgotten about it.  Well, when I finally saw it, the color of the skin was purple reddish with a black necrotic (dead tissue ) area in the center, swollen and a red streak starting up his leg from the bite.  Big sigh.  It looked like a brown recluse spider bite. (I was a RN at the time).  It was too late to go to the pharmacy, actually everything was closed in the small town by that time. We did not have insurance to go to the hospital, which he wouldn't have done anyway.  I was his nurse, I should fix it.   I racked my brain for a home remedy I could use to stop the apparent infection that was starting.  Looking in my bag, I found 3 essential oils, lemon, clove, and lavender.   I had some alcohol, and band aids. I had a needle and tweezers.  Big sigh.  First, I put clove oil around the bite to reduce pain (it helped), then I scrubbed the area with warm soapy water.  After cleaning it, I took the needle and tweezers and began to debride (take off the dead tissue) the wound.  Yes, it was painful and he was awesome at handling it.  After I had removed most of the dead tissue, I cleansed it again, applied clove oil and then lavender oil followed by olive oil to the wound to protect it, the put on a band aid. I applied lemon oil diluted with olive oil to the red streak down towards the wound.  He took three asprin and fell asleep. 
The next day it looked better, but we repeated the steps above.  This continued for the rest of the trip.  It did not stop us from enjoying the Cherokee Heritage Center and exploring the surrounding areas.  We loved Eastern Oklahoma.We loved being together.
When we got home five days later, the area was scaring, but the red streak was gone.  I talked him into going to see our family doctor.  The doctor was a friend of mine and said "good job, but let's do one round of antibiotics just in case."  The scar never went away, but we had been able to prevent a horrible infection with awful consequences that I have seen with Brown Recluse Spider bites.  I found out later, if we had had raw garlic that that would have worked too. I used it with my children later and it worked like a charm.  Useful knowledge when you live in an area inundated with spiders.  (Funny note:  your uncles will use the garlic, they will not use the essential oils. )  : P  Hope you never have a problem like this, but it is good to have a bag of home remedies that you can fall back on just in case.


  1. What a great story and even greater information! I may just print out part of your info and stick it in my homeopathic first aid binder. (Took a 2 year course in that a while back). Very useful information! But I gotta say, I'm surprised a nurse would know about alternative medicine. Most of the nurses I know would blow it off as idiocy. Now, I need to think about adding a couple of those essential oils to my small collection!

  2. Thanks for this post, it seems that lately spider bites are a big problem around here. I have had at least 2 friends with serious bites, and this is unusual. One had to visit the hospital every day for antibiotics until the infection cleared up.

    I am writing down the raw garlic, and the clove oil, along with the lavender oil remedies. Never heard about that, but thank you.

    Sounds like the Hero was a amazing man, you were blessed to have him in your life.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  3. Good to know this information - we have all sorts of biting critters in our yard. "First-line defenses" are always useful - it's a good thing you were prepared!

  4. Is the raw garlic to be put on the wound? It is an interesting tale. Most of our remedies come from homeopathic treatments.