E.R. in Philly

Night 1:

Im in the waiting room of the Penn hospital e.r. because I have 9-11 (yes, that number again) spider bites on my forearms and hands.

I say spider, but I didn’t see the creature who bit me. It looks like she started with my left arm, injecting her strongest poison there in 4 to 5 bites with one right on my pulsing vein. Then she worked my right arm, hitting my pinky, wrist, and outer arm. Or something else happened…

I got tricked to come here, told the line was short and I could be in and out. I’ve been here an hour, immersed in the misery of emergencies. Folks are being nice tho…we’re all vulnerable, we all need advocates.


Im in so much pain, my arms swollen in a hot, tight way that makes me wish they would both burst open and loose their caught venom.

Im running a fever, have chills and feel tired and poisoned.


The way I hate hospitals and doctors is learned behavior. I like them in theory, and sometimes in person. Help and save me, cool. But the practice of admitting to being unwell is a new one. Even now I am writing a blog and tightening my jaw when I kind of want to puddle, cry and call my mama. Ouch.


On the t.v. there’s a special on healthcare, which is reminding me of what a privilege I have, to have insurance, to be able to come here and know I am covered. But I would rather be home, or at the hotel where I likely got these bites, trying one special scheme after another.

I crafted a baking powder paste to suck the venom out, applied cleansing eucalyptus and calming lavender, hydrocortisone…and it just got worse and worse.

They’re admitting me now. For the night at least, perhaps the weekend. 🙁 Totally and completely Regretting that I got tricked into coming here, tho its probably best for avoiding a crisis. I thought the worst that could happen here was topical pain relief… they are poking all over me trying to find blood and talk about ‘systemic’ and ‘abcesses’.


I’m remembering now that I had this reaction in October, 2 months ago, to what I decided then were spider bites. I also remember that most alien invasions start kind of this way. Looking for silver lining, that’s a kind of big awesome one.


Now I am drugged up, watching harry potter and the sorceror’s stone. They had to prick me 5 times to hook up an IV and get blood out for bloodwork. Ouch. They marked up my arms to show the swelling, and gave me painkillers and antibiotics through the iv and since then I’ve had chills and felt a serotonin release.

ER nurses are a special breed, everyone here is being so nice and patient as I go through the process of realizing there’s no wireless, I may not get to complete my gig tomorrow, and I am not in control. Not to mention no one has any idea the level of bad that my situation is…but im remembering mark twain’s quote about worrying about things that haven’t happened. Being present, I will meditate on my health. They brought warm blankets to counter the chills that came along with the glorious pain meds. Sweet.


Slept through the night one-two hours at a time. Woozy, hungry, and wishing they knew what was wrong with me, wish I was responding better to the antibiotics, wish tv didn’t cost xtra, wish I could have more pain meds.

Fortunately, my sweethearts going to bring me a burger, the folks at Leeway who I am supposed to facilitate today are being incredibly kind and generous, and pain meds are wonderful. And I have a new novel to read when im not spinning off the meds.

Fortunately I can write on my little phone and feel connected to my loved ones.

They’re taking me for ultrasound now…wish me luck!