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Old 08-27-2008, 08:15 AM
Location: Kennesaw, GA
9 posts, read 36,932 times
Reputation: 14


I live in the suburb of Atlanta. Last week I came down with the worst migraine for 3 days. On the 3rd day my left arm and hand became paralyzed. I went to the ER where they did brain scans, looking to see if I suffered a stroke. The Dr. said I have a compound/complex migraine which mimics a stroke. I am still numb and it's been 4 days. Today I noticed a red bodied spider in our bedroom and now I am wondering if I could have possibly been bitten and didn't know it. I have googled red bodied spiders but not having luck with limited mobility as I am typing this one handed.

I know this wasn't a brown recluse. Can someone please help me with some information about this. It would be greatly appreciated.


Old 08-27-2008, 08:34 AM
Location: Norman, OK
3,479 posts, read 6,070,262 times
Reputation: 1187
Did you catch the spider? If you do, then you can bring it with you to the doctor's to have them see what type it is and if it is poisonous.

If you're not better already, you need to go back. Regardless.
Old 08-27-2008, 08:45 AM
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,190 posts, read 29,151,832 times
Reputation: 5061
You need to take the spider in question to the hospital and show it to the ER people. The only two spiders we have in this area that are poisonous to people are the Black Widow and Brown Recluse.

The Widow will cause strong aches and pains in joints and muscles, and make it hard for some to breathe. While some may require hospitalization due to a Widow bite, there have been very few (if any I think) deaths due to them in the U.S. The Recluse has more toxic venom of a different type that will "rot" away areas around the bite, or travel through the blood and cause rotting areas in other parts of the body in extreme allergic reactive cases. Neither of these will cause an arm/hand to be paralyzed locally, unless, you're having an odd allergic reaction to perhaps some OTHER type of spider that isn't normally poisonous to people.

This is of course, if it is an allergic reaction to a bite at all - as it could just again be exactly what the doctor told you (migraine). Migraines can be completely dehabilitating to some folks.

Regardless, No one here could (or should) offer medical advice in the room to someone with a serious condition like this. If your arm and hand are still knumb, you need to go back to the doctor immediately - or a different one if you're not confident the first one was correct. Show them the spider or describe it just in case it IS an allergic reaction, but again, it might just be a bad migraine reaction too. Either way, if it's gone on this long, you need to have a professional look at it.
Old 08-27-2008, 08:49 AM
Location: Kennesaw, GA
9 posts, read 36,932 times
Reputation: 14
Originally Posted by wxjay View Post
Did you catch the spider? If you do, then you can bring it with you to the doctor's to have them see what type it is and if it is poisonous.

If you're not better already, you need to go back. Regardless.
omg no, I didn't think of that. My husband killed it and flushed it down the toilet as I am petrified of bugs. Oh my, we should have saved it

I am so sorry, I do not think I can answer any more posts because my right hand is getting tired due to typing one handed. I'll be back tomorrow.
Old 08-27-2008, 04:39 PM
10 posts, read 64,763 times
Reputation: 16
Have you traveled anywhere else recently? Been out in the woods?? If I were you, I would follow up with a neurologist. You may have to be referred from your primary care physician. Although this could be a complex migraine, it could be other things as well. As many times as I have heard patients stay "I think it was a spider bite", I have yet to see them bring it in or be 100 percent sure.
Old 08-27-2008, 05:10 PM
Location: Triangle, North Carolina
2,815 posts, read 9,062,833 times
Reputation: 1487
The only other "red bodied" spider I know of is the Widow. This would be a Red Hour Glass design on her belly. The Widow does have a nerve toxin. On this one though I have to agree with Hapshey
Old 08-27-2008, 09:29 PM
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
6,700 posts, read 9,317,012 times
Reputation: 5083
The Black Widow is a very shiny black and only has the small red hour glass on the belly. The Brown Recluse is small and an indistinct brown. If the spider was red, I don't think it poisonous; as stated before, these are the only two venomous spiders native to Georgia.

I got bitten by a brown recluse about ten years ago. I never felt the bite, it must have been in some workboots in my basement. The next morning after wearing those boots to do some yard work, I noticed a sore on the back of my calf, it had a head in the center and then an area about the size of a sand dollar around the bite that was red and swollen and feverish to the touch. I thought it an ingrown hair and ignored it. After a couple of weeks of it not getting better, I went to the doctor (I hate going to the doctor). The center started turning black. A second doctor native to GA surmised brown reculse. They cut out a chunk of skin about the size of a quarter from my calf and I still have a lovely scar to show for it.

I never got any of the other symptoms, no headaches or numbness, just that sore that started to fester and then tissue that started to die. If I had waited longer it could have turned into gangrene (sp?)

Your symptoms don't sound like that at all. But I am just sharing my experience and we never saw a spider, the doctor by her experience said that is what it was, so that is the diagnosis I stuck with.

My niece was bitten by a black widow and it was immediately more painful and was treated immediately, but the basic scenario was the same. She was given an antibiotic and the immediate area of the bite was cut out and stitched over.

I believe if you had a bite like this, you would see a definite place where the bite took place. But that is based on these two experiences, I am not an expert.

Last edited by Saintmarks; 08-27-2008 at 09:39 PM..
Old 08-28-2008, 06:51 AM
Location: Dunwoody,GA
1,833 posts, read 4,459,060 times
Reputation: 1836
Not sure if this applies to the OP or not, but outbreaks of MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) often looks like a spider bite (a red, swollen area with a "head" and pus-filled). My daughter had two outbreaks of this in 2006, and we had to go to the ER to have the spots drained. They can definitively diagnose MRSA with a culture and treat it appropriately with antibiotics. We also had to do some IV antibiotics because the standard stuff does not knock the MRSA out.

Just something to consider...
Old 08-28-2008, 07:27 AM
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
19,796 posts, read 31,655,069 times
Reputation: 11469
Jazzique, are you better? Did you get treatment?
Old 08-28-2008, 08:42 AM
269 posts, read 930,388 times
Reputation: 94
It's not a brown recluse, and it's not a black widow. My guess is that your phobia of spiders is clouding your judgment.

Keep after the doctors, they know a lot more than anyone on a bulletin board who hasn't seen you and run tests.
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