All This from A Spider Bite

Three years ago while working in our yard I was bitten by a common spider. Little did I know what was in store for me.

Spider-bite symptoms

First were the huge bumps, every bite (there were 6 of them, 3 one the right arm and 3 on the left) swelled to the size of baseballs in just a few minutes.

So hubby took me straight to our local ER, after running a multitude of test it was decided that I was having a severe reaction to the spider venom. NO KIDDING, WHAT WAS THIER FIRST CLUE.

Shots were given, and was told to go home and apply ice to bumps. With in hours both arms were swollen to twice their normal size. So back we went to ER, more test, 3 days in hospital, and many, many shots later the bumps were gone without any real diagnosis.

Back home after a week of excruciating pain, I notice stiffness in fingers and other joints of both arms, but after what I had been through one would expect some residual joint problems.

Over the following weeks the stiffness moved to other joints in my body, I had increasing fatigue and trouble performing the simplest task. Yet again back to doctor, more test, then finally he did a rheumatoid factor test.

They told me that it was the highest they had ever seen. Mind you that just 3 weeks prior my RA factor was within normal range. That was the start of my RA experience, since then I have "bad" joints on every limb, in my spine, and hips.

I have had to give up working, and most physical activity. I am able to function most days with the help of pain meds and Enbrel. The hardest part for me has been the looks from "healthy" people, along with the comments like (what is your problem today) on the days when I am just too tired or have too much pain to function at a level above a slow crawl.

Most don't understand RA

The most frustrating comments are when someone says things like--can you get your dr to give you something to help you have more energy? I just want to scream--come over here and let me hit every joint in your body with a sledgehammer then you see if you have energy. Some people think if they can't see any cuts, bruises, or any other kind of wound then there must not be anything wrong with you. It is just so frustrating.

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