My eyes are perfect and, I quote, “beautiful”. No signs of retina detachment, nor any indications of future problems. The doctor agreed with my diagnosis that the condition Emm is suffering from is clearly recessive and might just be linked to his color-blindness, as well.

Also, continuing with the good news, I am not dead.

But I think maybe someone has a Voodoo Doll of me. Seriously. I managed to get the Flu in summer (wtf?) and now have set a new standard for myself – 2 weeks of sick-leave taken in one month.

Best guess is I got a nasty bite on the Sunday before last, whilst trekking through the high grass in Lebanon, Oregon (basically the middle of nowhere). 3 nights later and my leg started to itch. By Thursday evening I was displaying this: Erythema Migrans. After being rushed to the ER (yippee), I got to sit around and listed to the nurses and doctors argue over the prognosis. One was certain I had cut myself and had a secondary infection. Another speculated a Brown Recluse bite. Nevertheless bemused, my PA circled the central edema and dotted around the outer ring with sharpie and prescribed Bactim.

After a day of antibiotics, the outer ring went away and looked something like this:


Okay, the center hadn’t shrunk that much. I took this on Saturday, on day 2 of antibiotics. But you can sorta imagine the rest. I also have a close-up, for those of you who love the medical stuff.

Anyway, continuing the story… I felt really icky (don’t fare well on antibiotics, being an organism myself) but didn’t start to show serious signs of an allergic reaction to the Bactrim until Monday afternoon. Hives creeping up all over me. Ugh. I’m telling you, someone has a Voodoo Doll of me!

Soo, we managed to get an appointment with my primary care doctor on Tuesday. ‘Nother yay. While the NP was convinced it was Lyme’s (as is my mother, an RN), the doctor remained unconvinced because:

“Lyme Disease does not occur in Oregon.”

Right-O. Mum started debating the statistics with him (I shan’t bore you, but you can do that yourself), and finally they agreed on a bet. Charming. $10 to the winner. His diagnosis: Brown Recluse bite. Mum’s: Lyme Disease. The NP then referred my case to a higher authority, OHSU Infectious Diseases, woohoo, and they’ll be the deciding vote. In the event of either prognosis being correct, I’ve been put on two weeks of Doxycycline. And, clearly it’s working, since I’m already nauseous and generally peaky.

Cheers. To lighten the mood a bit (and the slight annoyance over these two quarreling), I’m setting up my own informal poll…  Just leave a comment to this post within the next week, and maybe there’ll be a random winner or two.  You don’t need any medical experience (clearly the professionals aren’t doing too well), and it’ll keep me amused while I wait for Infectious Diseases to call.

The next post will have knitting or something interesting.  I promise.


  1. I think it is a spider bite. We get brown recluse here (in fact hubby killed one in the garage a few years ago) before that he was bitten and we had to find out if it was a brown or not. It was not (thankfully) but I got the lucky chance of seeing lots of pic and it looks like some of them.

    Whatever it is I hope you get better soon, I really miss your blog. It was one of the first knitting ones I found. Of course I understand you have a ton going on =)

  2. That’s a tuff call. All the medical knowledge, most of it gained from tv, tells me it’s a close toss up. I’m likely to agree with the doc, not your mom on the lyme disease. But the brown recluse would usually be raised up a bit not just a red circle…clearly indicating lyme disease. Yep, definitely lyme diseas. I think. maybe…

  3. Oh no! That sounds simply awful. I also have to throw in that it’s a toss up. A few weeks back I had what was determined to be cellulitis from a spider bite, but not a widow or recluse, both of which inhabit my immediate area in SoCal. But I was prescribed Doxy too, through not for Lyme. Unfortunately I had an allergic reaction to the Doxy. Those strong antibiotics are crazy drugs.

    Whatever it is, I do hope it mends quickly and really, really is not Lyme!

  4. soi amunoi loimon Asklepios.

    I hope you feel better soon, and that it’s not Lyme disease (!). keep hope, and would that it’s only a spider bite as your doctor thinks.

    I hope you end up enjoying the rest of your summer. I just started school and all. Hopefully my last semester here.

  5. Are you sure that it isn’t just an allergic reaction to a regular spider bite? I used to get those all the time when I was growing up in Portland. They looked a lot like that, including the redness and swelling. My mom would put charcoal poultices on them and they would go back down and heal up.

  6. New tat, Sara? :P

    I think it’s a bite, not a recluse bite but a dermatitis from a bug of some kind….hydrocortisone cream and your good as new :)

  7. To be perfectly honest, I think you were drunk on Scumble and let a random stranger give you a hickie.

    Let’s see OHSU figure that one out.

  8. Woohoo! Leg hickies!! :D

    I am hoping that it was a mosquito bite from a vampiric mosquito….

    Because frankly both lyme disease and a brown reclouse bite would both suck.

    “I vant to suck your blood… bzzz bzzz”

  9. I want it to be a spider bite because lymes sucks and I really don’t want you to have that. Frankly I don’t want it to be a spider either but .. of the two.. actually I like stephieface’s thoughts.


    may you have a speedy and complete recovery!

  10. It looks a bit like the yicky reactions I usually get to mosquitos or horse flies (although not as swollen) … I hope the Infectious Diseases bods figure it out.

  11. I got bit by a spider and yours looks similar. I am also allergic to Bactrim. I never used to be…but then I was. I was told that allergies to Bactrim are fairly common. Lyme disease? I don’t see it…sorry Mom. The swelling has clearly gone down significantly which is a good sign….I wish you well and I will be on the lookout for any voo-doo dolls or otherwise!

  12. Looks like a spider bite, probably brown recluse by the way the bite area skin is deteriorated, black widows will also do that. Lymes disease looks a bit different, you can find photos on google images. My mother was bit by a tick and got Lymes, I saw it, they treated her quickly and she is fine.

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