Spiderman, Spiderman…

Okay, so in the movie “Spiderman”, Tobey MacGuire gets bitten by a spider and becomes Spiderman…Some guys have all the luck!  I got bitten by a spider and ended up the the hospital overnight.

tobey-maguire-spider-man-imageA few nights ago I was resting in the van and felt a sharp sting.  That’s nothing new when you live in a van.  Mosquitoes bite all the time.  Then I felt a little tickling and slapped the shirt against the belly, apparently killing whatever it was, presumably a spider.  Exhausted from work, I fell back to sleep.


Spider Bite This is the arm on the third day.   The welt in the picture is just below the armpit (lower right) and it is the skin on the underside of the arm.  It was so swollen that the docs at the hospital decided to numb it up and try to drain it.  Thankfully, they didn’t have to start carving into it.


After several does of I.V. antibiotics, the docs let me go this morning although I think they were reluctant due to the size of the area and how it had spread.  That means antibiotics 4x a day for the next ten days.  Is the area painful?  Yes – particularly when the shirt rubs on it.

Raid FoggerJust in case the creepy crawler had some friends and relatives living in the van, I washed the bedding and set off a bug fogger (aka bug bomb).  It just seemed like a good idea.  The local Ace Hardware had a package of four of the Raid Concentrated Deep Reach Foggers for about $6.  It might be a good idea to set one off every month until the cold weather hits.

Of course, the CPAP machine was taken out and counters will be cleaned to make sure there is no chemical residue.

Beware of the creepy crawly bugs.  They sure are bad this year!  If bitten and the site looks ugly, get medical attention as soon as possible.

So what is next?  The doctors said to rest.  No problem there.  I’m likely going camping and fishing on Wednesday / Thursday and will share any fun pictures or interesting destinations.  The older cat (Serena) loves the woods so she’s going along on this trip.  Hopefully both of us will stay out of the spiders, fleas, and ticks!

Thanks for following along!  Take care!

Bradford, aka the “Van Trekker”

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

14 Responses to Spiderman, Spiderman…

  1. Steven Lee says:

    Ouch! I’m hoping that it looks nastier than it feels for you. Heal fast and hope you have a bug free camping trip also.

    • Brad says:

      Thanks Steven. It’s doing better today. I cannot remember a worse year for bugs and such but then again. Then again, vandwelling means being outside a lot more – it’s worth the risk

  2. tinycamper says:

    Oh, man! That bite looks bad!

    I’m nursing chigger bites all over that don’t want to heal and are getting infected. I decided I’d rather deal with the dangers of deet and bug spray than be eaten alive.

    I’m sure the bug bombs will take care of the van. Just be careful in the woods. (I’m old enough to give motherly advice.) 😀

    • Brad says:

      Motherly advice is a good thing! I think on the next trip, immediately putting the clothes in a garbage back and taking a shower might help… Ticks, poison parsnips, and spider bites… It’s been a dangerous year!

  3. Meg says:

    Wow, that looks bad. I had something similar (but maybe not so big) on my chin a few years ago; no idea where I got it, I was living in an apartment in Denver at the time. I remember it itched really badly and for a while looked just like a burn. I couldn’t afford to see anyone about it so I tried different things and what finally worked was tea tree and lavender oil. This is an essential oil blend that I use on cuts all the time because it has antibiotic properties so I was surprised it would work on a bite, but now hearing that you were treated with antibiotics – well, it makes sense. The thing took weeks to heal and I thought I would have a scar but I don’t.

    I remember I went to the local Whole Foods to look for remedies and when I was checking out I got in a conversation about it with the cashier and the customer behind me. I thought it was just a bad mosquito bite, which didn’t make a lot of sense since there are very few mosquitoes in Denver, but they both said it looked more like a spider bite. Now that I’ve seen yours, I’m almost positive it was. So – thanks for confirming that information, although I’m sorry it had to happen this way 🙁 . I wish you much faster healing than I had.

    P.S. The anti-bug spray I also bought that day at Whole Foods ended up not getting used until I got to PA, where I have used it all up and had to buy more. The bugs here are awful. Oh, and one more thing – did the docs have any idea what kind of spider bit you?

  4. Brad says:

    The doctors did not say what kind of spider it was. They said it is a spider bite though. Without having the dead spider there to confirm it nobody knows for certain. I did feel a tickle under my shirt that night and smashed it – something very light in mass. Lately there have been spiders in the van. I bombed it good! I think from now on I will bomb the van every couple of weeks, just in case! 🙂

  5. Pleinguy says:

    Yikes! That bite looks painful. Hope it gets better quickly. Like the new blog look; it should be a good upgrade.

    • Brad says:

      Thanks for the kind words. The bite is better tonight. I’m still on lots of antibiotics for another week.

      Thank you for the comment about the blog outline. I wanted it to look kind of familiar.

  6. Jerry says:


    Dangerous Spider Bites. Looks really bad & expensive for hospital visits OUCH !! Hope you don’t have to pay the bill.

    Anyway there is never a lack of exciting new junk on your blog. Hey can you talk a little about how the blogging works on the new.com site vs blogger ? do you have to know or use html or does your hosting site have a program similar to blogger ? and what does that cost vs. making a few pennies ka ching from advertisers ?

    Hope your recovery is going well.

    Thanks Jerry


    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jerry,

      The bite is doing much better thanks to antibiotic horse pills four times a day. Thankfully, I have IowaCare – a program for low income Iowans. It covers everything.

      You brought up a great topic! I would be happy to post a little about moving the blog, steps that had to be taken, costs, etc. I’ve got a couple of days off this week. That would be a great topic for conversation. Thanks for the suggestion.

  7. Jerry says:

    Hey brad

    Could you make it a little easier to post comments too ?

    I think I need to become a low income something – somewhere ? Your life looks pretty good, a little work, a little fishing & a little blogging. The only bad part is your dad is really sick. Im falling apart at 57, dont really see how everybody can make it to 67 to collect SS. I have nothing but headaches, making no return on the money or rentals – just problems, problems, problems. Wanna trade :-))

    I guess the grass always looks greener on the other side ?

    I started to see lots of spiders in my trailer. Be careful with those bug bombs – they might explode if there is a spark in your truck from somewhere. I heard of a guy blow up his house with 20 bug bombs. You might be safer with spray – they have some that does not smell. I got spiders in my house too, so you can get bitten anywhere. Waiting for your blog transfer update –

    Thanks Jerry

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi, Jerry. Sorry about the form that a person has to fill in to comment. It seems to be a WordPress thing. I think I’ve got the thing set on approving the first comment – then you should be able to do it without moderation thereafter. I’ve left it set to where if there is a URL in your response it will need moderation because of all the spam comments (30 or more a day!)… I’ll start working on the post about hosting your own website… Hopefully that will be done later this week.

  8. Jerry says:

    Hey Brad

    Here is a story you might not like, looks like at 40 now we are the new over the hill already ….


    • VanTrekker says:

      Not surprising… I saw some of that type of thing when I was in IT. The managers were getting younger and younger and their houses getting bigger and bigger. I miss the big money but have been watching my former peers age very rapidly from the stress. if a person was lucky enough to live long enough, he/she might die a sudden, premature death. I don’t miss those days… Life is happier now.