Sunday, September 26, 2010

Recipe for a sleepless night

There are some things you just should not look at before you go to bed, chief among them is Brown Recluse spider bites. If you are the kind of person who in that brief moment in between consciousness and sleep has been known to occasionally imagine insects crawling on you, leap out of bed and run out into the hall, if you have ever woken up with these (number 3 in the list) in your bed or if you have ever been attacked by a swarm of these before, this is definitely not a topic to research before you go to sleep.

So why was I researching Brown Recluse spiders at midnight anyways? Well it all started with a little itchy bump on my neck. Now, my first response to various health problems which aren’t quite severe enough to warrant a doctor’s visit is to go to the internet. I mean, before you shell out $50 to see a doctor you want to at least be sure that you won’t sound like a total idiot describing a problem for which he’s just gonna prescribe some Tylenol and rest. And when it’s the end of the month and you have a lot of internet time left to use up, WebMD symptom checker is the place to be. After you enter all the symptoms, it gives you a neat little list of possible causes and of course the hypochondriac in you always jumps past the obvious “minor skin irritation” straight to “thyroid cancer” or “Crohn’s disease” or “Hyperalkinsons syndrome” OK, I made the last one up. But you know what I mean. And before you know it you are convinced that you are dying of an incurable disease. Admit it. Who hasn’t Googled a headache and ended up with three months left to live?

Anyways, my search for the cure led me to insect bites which led me to spider bites which of course led me to deadly spider bites and in no time I was researching the most deadly spider bites (just in case) which is the Brown Recluse spider if you didn’t know. It’s pretty bad. I mean the pics of the effects are so gruesome they look more likely to be inflicted by a roadside bomb than by a tiny little brown spider. But I had to check just to be sure. And just as I was starting to wonder if my neck tissue was actually dying and picturing myself with a gaping whole in my neck, I discovered that Brown Recluse spiders are only found in the Southeastern United States. Phew. Close call.

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