Saturday, June 18, 2011

I’ve been bitten

One thing I’ve learnt is that it is hard to take a photo of the inner inside of your elbow.  Inner inside?  OK, I’ll try again.  When I look at the inside crease of my left elbow, on the right hand side, a little towards the back is a nasty red inflammation and in the middle of the red inflamed area is a blister with lots of tiny blisters around it.  I can see the profile of the blister but can only see the whole area by holding my arm up to a mirror.  But I’m a two handed photographer and the one handed results show zilch.  I got the best result with the half turned inside out elbow resting on the armchair.  Who would have thought my skin could be
 such a pretty colour, it's actually a bit redder than this.

spider bite 

The question is what bit me?  I had no idea but have been doing some investigation on line.

When I lived in North Queensland I learnt to always check my shoes before I put them on and I always gave my clothes a bit of a flick before I put them on.  But I’ve long forgotten those precautions against spiders.  Change that to I had forgotten…the bath towel and clothes flicking will become part of my routine from now on.

On Tuesday morning when I was towelling myself after a shower I felt a pin prick on aforementioned elbow.  It really did feel like a pin prick and because I’ve been doing a bit of sewing lately, I searched the towel for a pin.  How would a pin have got into the towel?  Anything is possible when there are children around.  So I thought it must have been a spider and forgot all about it.

It wasn’t till Thursday afternoon when I left soreness when my long sleeved blouse rubbed against my elbow that I even looked at the area.  I got such a fright!  The nurse at the Health Centre at work gave me an antihistamine pill and some cream which soothes it. 

New Zealand is relatively free of things that bite and cause harm.  There are three species of spiders in New Zealand that should be avoided - the Katipo, the Redback and the White-tailed Spider.  From what I’ve read it is likely to have been a White-Tail.  They don’t build a web but wander around looking for prey.  Guess I was prey of the day.  And their favourite hiding spots are in beds and in towels and clothes. Like us, they like to stay warm.

The consolation is they are unlikely to cause necrotising arachnidism.  Now that’s a relief.


  1. This looks awful Pauline! I'm glad that it won't cause you too much harm. Probably a bit of pain and swelling but not poisonous. Thank goodness! We have those Brown Recluse Spiders here and you really have to watch out for them and what damage they can do to your skin. Glad you are OK.

  2. This gives me the creepy crawlies. I'm so afraid of spiders and the thought of one crawling on me is even more frightening.
    My sister got bit by a Brown Recluse years ago and she was so sick on top of the necrotising arachnidism. It left a big hole in her thigh and a scar.
    I think you are OK, but watch the bite. If it gets a ring around it or looks darker and starts to hurt more, get to the doctor
    I check everything I wear and towels all the time.... even the bed before I go to sleep.
    I'm paranoid about this.

  3. That looks so painful! I hope it goes away soon. I guess your outdoor adventures come with a price... Ha ha.

  4. What you've posted is a familiar sight to me, Pauline. That is how I react to spider bites - very unpleasant. Keep an eye on that!

  5. I'd go hunting with a hammer. Antisocial wee blighter. Get well soon.

  6. Hello Pauline,

    If that is a white tailed spider bite please look after it. Carmody was bitten by one of these spiders and it actually eats into the skin. She ended up having plastic surgery after. Don't be scared by this but please look after it!!!!

  7. Oh my that does look nasty Pauline, and I do agree with Bev, if it is a white tail spider keep right on top of it, we had a friend that was bitten on the leg and it got quite bad. (I too don't mean to scare you xo!) Take care sweet lady!
    jen xo

  8. That does look painful Pauline. Glad to hear that it isn't any worse. We have Black Widows and Brown Recluses over here but I haven't seen a Black Widow in years and have never seen a Brown Recluse. Don't want to either, but I would probably reach for my camera before running in the other direction.

  9. If it was a white tailed Pauline, be very careful. Don't scratch it.

  10. Growing up as a Chinese, I always pop my blister, but last week, a student showed me her blister and I gave her a plaster, I didn't want to pop it. Today, she said," Ann, the blister popped."


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