Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I have this bump on my shoulder that I can only assume is a bug bite. The bump showed up a few days ago. I was playing outside with the children when I begin to feel this burning itch on my left shoulder. I scratch and scratch and scratch and think what’s going on?!

I go in the house and rip off my shirt to take a look. There, on my shoulder, is a swollen red bump.

A BIG bump.

Scary big.

This is no mosquito bite...

When Hubby gets home from work I rip off my shirt to show him THE BUMP.


Being a typical man, he’s distracted by other things so I bonk him on the side of the head to refocus his attention.

When he sees THE BUMP his eyes widen. “Whoa,” he says, clearly impressed.

Which, in my mind, quickly translates to “THAT BUMP IS THE MARK OF DEATH.”

I start to hyperventilate and visions of MY ENTIRE LIFE flash before my eyes.

If Hubby (who never worries about ANYTHING) says “whoa,” then this bite is SERIOUS.

That night I lie in bed, unable to fall asleep. I reach up and feel the bump. It’s puffy and hot. I feel dizzy, tired, achy. Are these the precursors to violent death by spider bite? Will I swell up? Leak fluids? Turn purple? Lose limbs? Lose my SANITY? Oh wait... that is already lost.

It was probably a Black Widow that bit me, I think. Or maybe a Brown Recluse… I hear those are deadly. They’re not exactly common, or possible, in Minnesota but still…

The next morning I wake up slightly groggy but surprisingly alive. Yes! I’ve survived another day!

My sister stops by and I whip off my shirt to show her THE BUMP. “Whoa,” she says.
Uh oh…

My eyes widen and my mouth falls open. I feel a flutter in my heart. Long and painful death drawing night? Maybe. I feign bravado. “I doubt it's anything to worry about,” I say, “It’s probably nothing.”

“I don’t know,” sis says, “Maybe you should go to the doctor.”

As soon as she leaves I leap for my computer. I’ll go to the doctor, alright… DR. GOOGLE! Because everything you need to know (and everything you don’t) is there for FREE on the internet.

According to Dr. Google my bite could be caused by many things including a Black Widow spider or a Hobo spider or a tarantula (ewww!) or a venomous snake. I don’t remember any venomous snakes crawling up my shoulder but it’s possible because I have been awfully busy.

My whole shoulder is aching now like after you get a tetanus shot and I’m pretty sure I’ll lose my arm. At least it’s just the LEFT arm, I think. It’d be awful to lose the right one.

I find a handy SYMPTOM CHECKER and type in my symptoms.
Bump on arm? Check.
Painful hurting? Check.
Dizziness? Well, sort of. Better check that.
Sleeplessness? Check.
Delusions? Mmmhmm.
Headache? Check.
Nausea? Totally.

Before I know it I’m diagnosed with either a spider-bite-allergic-reaction or something called HYPOCHONDRIA.

Which, from what I can tell, is pretty deadly.

No comments: