I woke up a few days ago with an odd sensation on my hand. It felt partially sore and swollen, and at a closer glance, there seemed to be a fairly nasty looking blister at the center of a quarter-sized, circular, red area. It didn't itch, or even sting… it just felt odd when I moved my little finger, as it was closest to it. Hmmm, what in the world… some kind of bite?
After researching a number of very unpleasant photos on the internet, it was clearly from a spider. I am not phobic about spiders, but do not want to see one on my body, and the idea that one was on my hand while I slept in my bed definitely put a tension on my already-interrupted-sleep-patterns.
I read a bit about spider bites, even found out that the dreaded brown recluse can leave such a fairly minor reaction, rather than what I was seeing in some of those horrific photos. Not to say that being bitten by one would ever be considered small, but I learned a few things about this fearsome spider, as it is quite common in my area of the world.
Needless to say, after searching my sheets, pillows, blankets, mattress, underneath the bed, closets and the entire room, I found not one spider, which is unusual in my house. I am the kind of person that tries to put them outside whenever I find them, but I will sometimes leave a few house spiders to stay in their little areas. They seem to be fairly harmless, and I know they eat bugs.
It seems that most common house spiders have fangs too small to break human skin. That's good news. That means that whatever bit me was probably more of a heavy hitter. My imagination can go wild here.
I have spared you any photos, deciding that taking one of my spider bite is not an image I wish to be remembered by. Today, it looks much better, although still slightly reddish and the area where the bite occurred is kind of hard and raised. Pervious to today, it drained fairly often. I kept it clean and applied anti-biotic, but read that spider bites may not heal as quickly as a cut… just that the venom seems to linger a bit, and, oh yeah, destroys tissue. Lovely. Never fear, those white blood cells came in to do their work!
It seems when something happens in our lives, there is an odd, coincidental pattern of other similar events, reminders, or what I like to think of as "signs". A friend on FB mentioned her daughter being bitten by a spider. She ended up in the ER overnight… scary. I was watching something on TV and someone mentioned spider bites. Another friend told me she had an uncle who died from one. Wow. I am feeling very fortunate, but also wondering what I am to take away from this?
In my entire life, I do not remember ever being bitten by a spider. Intrigued, I looked up the symbolic meanings of a spider, finding such descriptive words as "mystery, power and growth" along with the choices we make (the web we weave). My favorite one is from Native American lore - the spider is personified as Grandmother, who was the teacher and protector of esoteric wisdom. If only these attributes could be transferred by a simple bite.
There is also the brief fantasy of Spider Man's coming into his stronger more resilient self after he was bitten, able to climb any obstacles with amazing agility, confidence and intention. Perhaps empowering oneself is just a matter of shifting one's belief system, just a quickly as the spider makes the decision to bite one's hand. One, being me, could learn from this.
For now, I will nurture this unwanted head cold, and eventually ponder its meaning as I try to gather some energy for studio time. Oh, and watching out for spiders.