Just to Keep Things Interesting…

Okay, so I really don’t like spiders.  When I see one my first objective is to make sure it is not going to jump on me.  I am not cool when spiders are around.   My next objective, if it is in my house or my car, is to make sure they are dead.  Like, immediately- dead.

But what if you don’t see it- but it apparently finds you attractive, or something.  That is what happened to me.  And the spider even has a name:  Mediterranean Recluse.  Seems there are only two poisonous spiders in Israel- that one and the Black Widow.  But, it seems Mr. Med Recluse decided I was the target.

I had no idea I had been bitten. (I understand they are known for hit and run and you never feel a thing!)  I simply noticed later in the day my arm was itchy and hurt.  I pulled up my sleeve and WHAT IN THE WORLD?  On my arm, near the crook of my elbow, was a blister about the size of a Half Shekel / Half Dollar with two bright red puncture marks.  Over the next 24 hours it became inflamed, my arm swelled and got hot and I got a bit concerned.  Being Shabbat, I waited until Sunday, then went to the emergency room.   They confirmed it was a poison spider bite.  So, 5+ hours later after blood work, tetanus shot, sample antibiotic, I left with a prescription for the rest of the antibiotics and care instructions.

As I read about this infamous spider, I discovered this particular arachnid bite can take up to 8 weeks to heal.  Deciding not to wait on that, I mobilized some prayer.  Utilizing my iPhone I established a daily update of the bite site and medical advice from a friendly doctor.  A new world for sure where you can have a cyber visit with an MD and get advice and direction on care and prayer to boot.  Pretty cool.

I watched as this bite site changed daily, oozing some gross stuff, bubbly stuff forming, swelling, sore and the skin turning bright red.  I mean, this critter carries some serious poison!  It looked different each day.

But now, less than two weeks later, I am pleased to say it is healing nicely!  A few strange reactions on the way but then it WAS a spider with venom!  Personally I am hoping he died after biting me.  I am sure it happened outside and the gardener has now sprayed all over for such kinds of bugs.  Even so, ask me how intimidated I am to go under and in our orange tree to pick the fruit…

Everything else in Israel has been much more pleasant and less scary.  Meeting up with old friends, enjoying new ones, and getting back into the groove of working with the Survivors once again- I am quite busy.  Though I must say, I approach everything a bit more cautiously than I did before.  Now that I am aware… I am on the lookout!

Proceeding with a keen eye and throwing prayers ahead of me…


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