I’ve always heard it said that things come in threes. It certainly did at my house last week with one thing as a “bonus.” The worse thing to happen was when my husband, David, was bitten by a brown recluse spider sometime in the night while he was sleeping. Things began happening after that.
At first we thought the red bite on his left back was a mosquito bite, until it kept getting worse and the pain became more intense. Next morning we went to urgent care for a doctor to check it. He prescribed a cream and said if it got worse to go to the emergency room.
Next morning it was much worse and the round, red place now had a black center about the size of a quarter. So it was off to the emergency room at Texoma Medical Center where it was diagnosed as a brown recluse spider bite. A picture was taken of the wound and sent to a surgeon who agreed to the diagnosis. We were given a prescription for pain and antibiotic medicine and told to make an appointment with the surgeon.
Now, we are up to day three and called to make an appointment which had to be on Monday because the surgeon wasn’t available. By this time a big black bubble had appeared in the center of the black quarter-size circle inside the, by now, very large red place on his back. In the meantime, we were told to keep it clean, take pain pills and antibiotic and if the bubble burst to cover it lightly with a gauze pad.
It was very painful, causing the loss of sleep for several nights. Then on Friday, my birthday, our son and wife had planned to take us out to eat for the occasion at the new restaurant, Papa Nick’s, but that didn’t happen. The restaurant parking lot was full and David didn’t feel like standing and waiting, so we went a little further down the highway for a birthday meal.
On the way as I was driving — and David said hitting every bump and crack in the highway — the bubble broke and the pain increased. After a very unusual dinner that was not at all as we had planned, we decided to head back home so we could clean it up and put a gauze bandage on it lightly.
By Saturday, the redness on his back had diminished a little, but the black place was hanging on with a lot of pain and soreness. We waited for time for his appointment with another doctor who referred us to yet another one (the fifth one). We will wait and see what happens next. I wouldn’t wish a brown recluse spider on my worst enemy.
I started with the spider bite because it was the most painful happening, but the crash of my computer hard drive was the worst thing to happen to me personally. That’s why I did not have a column on Wednesday last week. Being a person who depends so much on her desktop computer to write for the newspaper, this was terrible news.
I called a tech service that helps me with computer problems over the telephone and we worked all afternoon checking everything the serviceman knew to check. The computer just sat there with a black screen staring at me no matter what we did to get it started. As the clock ticked, I became more and more frustrated. Finally after about three hours, he decided that the hard drive was dead and that I should have someone locally take a look at it.
So off to Best Buy and to the Geeks I went with the tower. One of the guys came out and did a quick check that confirmed that the hard drive was indeed dead. I had to buy a new one and leave the tower for it to be installed. Guess this may have been good because it gave me more time to fuss over David, but everything of mine was put on hold.
On Wednesday I retrieved the computer and it was like a brand new one – meaning the only thing on it was Windows 10. I had lost all the data, including columns for the past year or so and all my hundreds of pictures stored there, including grandchildren and historical pictures. The Geeks had tried but were unsuccessful in retrieving them. My only option was to send the burned out hard drive off and the cost of making the transfer didn’t suit my pocketbook.
You can bet your bottom dollar that I am going to purchase another external hard drive so that I don’t lose anything I put into the computer now. I had several through the years and the last one got full and for some strange reason I didn’t replace it. Woe is me. But as time passed this last weekend and I have found some valuable pictures and data on previous external hard drives, that eased the pain a little.
This brings me to number three adventure. Early last week before all this happened, David started to town and drove across a clump in the road caused by the rain and having vehicles going over it. He heard a scraping noise but went on to town. As he returned, he got about half way home when the car stopped. Fortunately, it was near a high school classmate of mine who drove him home, leaving the car in my friend’s driveway.
After several calls from friends who recognized David’s Saab sitting beside the road, a couple of his friends went down and found the problem before towing it. The clump had knocked a hole in the oil filter. Fortunately, David had oil and a filter in the car, anticipating an oil change soon, so they changed the filter and moved the car.
All I can say is:
1. Stay away from brown recluse spiders if you see them. David reminds me that this is why they call them “recluse” and they are hard to find. I stripped the bed and washed everything in hot water, but didn’t see a sign of one.
2. If you have a computer with important data and pictures on it, get an external hard drive to save everything you put on it.
3. Don’t run over clumps in the road. We never get too old to learn new things.
Donna Hunt is formed editor of The Denison Herald. She lives in Denison and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. She has been a longtime contributor to the Herald Democrat with her column. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Herald Democrat.