Sometimes I ignore the messages my body is sending. Especially when the word “STOP!” is part of the communication.
Like yesterday, for example, when I had plans to pick up my brother and visit Dad. And when, on the way to Dad’s, my brother and I were stopping in to help Christi finish sifting through the final boxes of our parent’s lives. After five dumpsters, we are all ready to call this phase of our work ‘done.’
So what if I’d contracted a nasty insect bite on Saturday, that caused me to lose sleep, my face to swell up like a red toad, and my entire body to flush pink heat? And what did I care about the lovely purplish-black, hard-as-a rock swelling on my upper right thigh, that even now throbs to let me know it’s there.
The bite site looks as if the culprit may have been a Brown Recluse Spider — though the doctor thought it might also be the work of a Black Widow Spider. Either loves darkness and thrives in cluttered spaces.
I thought I had learned these lessons in my Master Gardening training. But somehow, out of the classroom, and immersed up to my eyeballs in the stuff of my sister’s scary inheritance, I forgot everything I thought I knew.
I hate to be ill, to be less than one hundred percent, especially when there’s much to do — so much I want to do. So yesterday, when I began to feel somewhat better after taking a couple of Advil, I called my brother. And he told me I sounded disoriented and that we should stay home — something about how it’s not good to drive while disoriented. Then I called my sister and she too, offered me an out. Then she upped my brother’s ante by telling me I needed to check in with Kate and Glen — our family’s resident medical community — for further advice.
Boy, I really did not want to call my daughter and son-in-law. Perhaps because I knew I needed to get myself looked at by an expert?
Of course, they advised me to go the Emergency Room; and after I slightly balked at that, we settled on an Urgent Care facility. Do I need to say that I went like a sheep to the slaughter?
But to my pleasant surprise, I found it rather painless, as far as doctor’s visits go. A short thirty minute sentence allowed me to walk out with two prescriptions in hand and a standard recommendation to follow-up with my primary physician.
So here’s the test: What have I learned from all of this? Just this. Everyday life offers many lessons. Sometimes I think I’ve learned them. And other times I don’t even bother fooling myself. And in this one tiny compartment of my life, I know myself too well — I will always balk at seeking medical care, unless I’m pushed to go. It definitely helps to be surrounded by safety valves.
However, some areas of my life need little pushing. Lessons aside, I’m hoping to be back in service Wednesday. Because I have a really hot date with a paintbrush and the outside of my sister’s house.
You’re the second of my friends from the blog world to be bitten by a spider recently.
I will say what I said to her: the spider is the totem of the writer as Grandmother Spider created the alphabet that enables written words.
I use pure lavender oil on insect bites; there is also some evidence it can help even with the bite of the black widow.
get well soon, dear.
Thanks for your well wishes — and the inspiring story of Grandmother Spider.
For now, I’m not feeling too creative. I told my husband tonight that I can’t concentrate right now.
Instead, I find it helps to ‘do’ — and even though I’m moving slower — I’m keeping my mind off the pain with a little gardening, a little painting, those things I love and can do without too much brain power.
BTW, loved you in your beekeeper veil.
You were very lucky. I was bitten by an unidentified spider on a boat in Port Aransas some years ago. My leg began to throb and hurt, and I decided to drive myself back to Clear Lake.
By the time I got home, I couldn’t walk up the stairs to my apartment. I went up on my rear end. By the next morning, my leg was immobilized with red streaks running hither and yon. I managed to get myself to a local clinic run by a Pakistani, whom I wasn’t sure I trusted, but he was the only one open on Saturday.
As it turned out, he was the perfect guy to see. “Ah!” he said. “I KNOW spiders! We had many in my country.” Sigh. Anyhow, massive antibiotics by mouth, ice, elevation and strict orders to get me to the ER for IV antibiotics if it didn’t improve. It got better, but I got a depression in my leg that serves as my personal reminder: don’t mess with Mother Nature!
I’m a bit like you re: medical care, but I’ve had my own bout of late. I’ve been nearly absent from the blogs, despite my opsts, due to on-going vertigo and what I finally discovered was (ahem) a torn rotator cuff. Oh. So that’s why my arm hurts….
Oh, I could go on and on like Job – but the lesson’s pretty clear. When reality bites – better pay attention!
Being out of commission myself, I hadn’t noticed your absence.
Your spider bite story could well have been mine — but for my intervening family insisting I have it checked out. I am thankful they ordered and I followed their orders.
Perhaps lessons on personal health are something we must constantly relearn — we may learn about spiders but need to learn about rotator cuffs. Or whatever.
I hope you are now on the mend.
Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said:
I’m sorry about the spider. Blankety-blank poisonous spiders. I had a bit like that on my thumb once, and I also denied it was really a problem. There’s definitely a lesson to be learned about asking for help and paying attention to our bodies. Thanks for the reminder.~~Dee
We are in the season of presenting our capstone projects to fellow students and leaders at HeartPaths. The first presentation, a few days before I received the spider bite, focused on how we are embodied spirits — and how it is good to listen and respond to the needs of our body.
Well, obviously I did not take my lessons to heart. But Mr. Spider surely helped reinforce my classmate’s presentation!
But a thumb bite? I can’t imagine how your entire hand and arm must have swollen with the effects of the venom…