Saturday, September 15, 2007

Spider bite*Cellulitis*Shingles

I am slowly getting there. Very slowly. Still struggling with fatigue all the time. My shingles are still in the 'active' stage nearly 5 weeks after they erupted (along with cellulitis, as a result of a spider bite on my forehead). I didn't intend to harp on about it here, but I've been very surprised to find that this trifecta of mine is not an isolated occurrence. In checking my site stats I've seen several occasions when my blog was visited by people searching a combination of these ailments! So I thought I'd post just a little about what I'm doing about it and how I'm going.

The week before the bite I was feeling very well, culminating on the actual day of the bite with feeling positively great! I'd been eating well, exercising, I was happy and looking forward to the future. My research tells me that a spider bite will only cause consequential cellulitis and/or shingles if your immune system is already low. I don't have a fabulously strong immune system, but it was at its peak at the time. Some alternative health practitioners I've spoken to have said that the bite itself is enough to affront our immunes; when you think about what spiders eat, they must be filthy and then there is the added burden of the injected toxins.
The cellulitis was fixed by a couple of days of IV antibiotics. The shingles has remained and been slow to progress. It has traveled from the site on my left forehead, up across the top of my head, down to the top of the back of my neck and now across to the right side of my head near my ear. I have been lucky that the early medical intervention involved anti-viral drugs which has meant I haven't had to suffer the awful neuralgia most shingles attacks bring.

But its been weeks of extreme fatigue, headaches, itchiness and hot and cold flushes. I am having Kinesiology treatments and have taken homeopathic remedies, but right now I've settled into a routine of taking mix of 5mls of an astragalus herbal tonic and 5mls of olive leaf extract with a little juice and following that with a liquid mineral supplement in a glass of water. I take this 1/2 hour before breakfast and lunch. With my breakfast I take 1000mg of vitamin C, a womens formula multi vitamin (chosen because it includes extra B vitamins), 5mg of folate and 'good bacteria' capsule. I'm contemplating adding a l-lysine supplement to the regime. At lunch and dinner I take additional 1000mg vitamin C's. I also take paracetamol with each meal because I find it makes me more comfortable. I'm eating lots of vegetables, eggs, cheese, beef, chicken, fish, legumes and yoghurt while avoiding nuts, seeds, dried fruit, wholegrain bread, chocolate, coconut, oats, brown rice and soy products because of the amino acids in each group of foods. And I'm drinking St Johns Wort tea and lemon balm tea because both are have good antiviral actions. Both also promote an anxiety free state of mind, which is helpful as stress is also a factor in shingles (Wisdom of Healing has an interesting article). And the last few days I think I'm finally beginning to see the benefits of all this with a slight improvement in most symptoms in spite of more spots still emerging.

14 comments:

caseytoussaint said...

I'm so sorry you've had to go through all of this - glad to know that you've been feeling better lately.

sydney said...

I've heard that shingles takes a long time to go away. I'm glad you're starting to feel better.

I went with my husband to a diabetes education class a few years ago. He had just found out he was diabetic. There was an older man there, in his 60s or older maybe, who had just found he was an insulin dependent diabetic and had lost his leg. It's unusual at his age but they think it was all caused by a spider bite that caused his immune system to go haywire.

Jan said...

Thanks Cassey and Sydney. I've actually felt a bit better each day for the last 3 days! I think I'm turning the corner on this one, thankfully.

Linda said...

Oh my gosh, a friend of mine got a bee sting or spider bite (she wasn't sure which) about 2 weeks ago, and it turned into an infection with cellulitis. I shudder to think that shingles could be the next thing for her. One of the things you might check with your doctor about it getting a TENS unit (electricity) to go over the shingle area to reduce the pain. It doesn't get rid of them, but makes them much more bearable. So sorry that you've had a bad run of things.

Plain Jane said...

oh my gosh! ayk. how awful! One day you're feeling great and the next you down for weeks with pain and fatique. My heart goes out to you. Glad you're starting to feel better and it sounds like you've been wonderfully proactive about your care and nutrition. ayk. shingles.

Comfortable Shoes Studio said...

This summer I was bite by a spider, here in my area it's unusual, so I didn't think it was a spider bit until my leg was swollen and hot after 6 hours. I did a little research and cleaned the area well and hit it with antibiotics and kept an eye on it for 48 hours. I felt like s&^t for days afterward. A coworker of mine was bit on his foot a day later and almost lost his toes when the swelling and blackness was misdiagnosed by the emergency room. It's hard to think that something so small as a spider bite can turn into something so nasty. Stay strong!

Anonymous said...

I was bitten by a spider not long ago - believed to be a white tailed spider and would you believe where I was bitten...on the cheek of my bottom while I was on the toilet ! I have never been so ill in my life . After a very high fever and aches in all my mucsles I developed cellultis then was hospitalised for over a week on IV anti-biotics . The bite has left me with awful lymph node problems and I seem to catch evey cold and bug thats going around now . One small event can really change your whole life . Spider bites are no fun and you're not alone .
Cyndy .

Jan said...

Cyndy, I'm sorry to hear of your experience. Yes, it is amazing how it can change your life. While I am now 'well' (3 months later), I still have some lasting problems. It has somehow screwed up many of the hormone and chemical functions in my body. But these problems are small in comparison to the other ones which have now gone. I believe it will be a long road to true wellness. I plan to keep on using supplements for at least the next year, to boost my immune system and build reserves. It's funny how I've changed my attitudes to many things since. I'm finding I'm being really cautious - risk adverse really. But I'm in touch with some really good health practitioners who are helping me understand my situation and work through it. I can't wait to see the other side! I wish you all the best Cyndy.

Jan said...

Cyndy, I'm sorry to hear of your experience. Yes, it is amazing how it can change your life. While I am now 'well' (3 months later), I still have some lasting problems. It has somehow screwed up many of the hormone and chemical functions in my body. But these problems are small in comparison to the other ones which have now gone. I believe it will be a long road to true wellness. I plan to keep on using supplements for at least the next year, to boost my immune system and build reserves. It's funny how I've changed my attitudes to many things since. I'm finding I'm being really cautious - risk adverse really. But I'm in touch with some really good health practitioners who are helping me understand my situation and work through it. I can't wait to see the other side! I wish you all the best Cyndy.

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affexs said...

I was bitten by a spider (on my breast..not as bad as on the bum),
developed cellulitis a couple of weeks afterward. Received antibiotics. It is about 6 weeks after the bite and the doctor says I now have shingles. Did I get both cellulitis and shingles from one spider bite?

Jan Allsopp said...

With hindsight I would say that the spider bite was the straw that broke the camels back that was my immune system. Shingles is as a result of a low immune system. It lies in wait until... The weird thing is this happened a couple of years ago and I have actively pursued a better immune system ever since. I STILL have shingles today. They come, they go, they meander across my head. They are rarely absent from my head, maybe for a couple of weeks at the most then they are back. They doctors say this doesn't happen either. And yet...

Anonymous said...

I had shingles last summer - I discovered a spider, similar to your photo on me. It started with a few red spots, but evolved into shingles.

My mom told me to use alcohol wipes
(when you do not have open sores.)
I used them multiple times a day and they really helped. Also, I got a topical OTC anitbacterial ointment from CVC - it helped.
Best is to rest a lot!!! Bless you.

kanchandora said...

Hi, I went to stay with my parents for a few days. My dad had a bite on his forehead on first day of my arrival. I sprayed some anti insect liquid and a spider came running out of the bed my dad had slept the night before. Few days after doctors confirmed him developing shingles. I wonder it was caused by a spider bite!!! A week of high temperature he was feeling a bity better. But few days after he complained about getting bit cold. And he slept that night to never wake up again. He passed away in sleep. It made me question so many things ... Could that spider bite caused shingles which in turn caused severe weakness in his body... He was a heart patient though but his immune system was hit so hard. I donno if ever I'll get any answers to know how did this happen!!! RIP dad. I wish I could have done something to save you from that spider bite or shingles! Love your daughter kanchan x