Spider girl: “cursed” woman suffers months of hell after gruesome spider bite
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
A woman has been left feeling cursed, as she endured months of agony after being bitten by a MONSTER SPIDER which left a gaping HOLE in her LEG.
Carelle Mowatt, from Farnham, Surrey, woke up one day in March with a giant blister on the outside of her left calf – but initially dismissed it as nothing.
The pretty radio presenter, 24, suffers with numerous allergies and put the blister down to a bad reaction to a house spider bite.
The blister, around the size of a 50p piece, continued to swell – but Carelle put off going to the doctors due to a phobia of hospitals, instead taking antihistamines for the ‘allergic reaction’.
Eventually the blister burst, leading to months of hell and pure agony for Carelle – which is still ongoing.
She said: “I wasn’t even aware the bite had happened at the time, when I looked at the pictures I didn’t even recognise my own leg – but the pain was unbelievable.
“I hate spiders now and I hate what’s happened to me – but I actually feel lucky that this wasn’t more sinister.
“The pain has been horrible but I feel lucky this has happened in many ways. I am conscious and grateful that I haven’t died.”
After finally visiting her GP, Carelle was given antibiotics for the infected bite. But two weeks later she took a turn for the worse and was rushed to A&E, where she was pumped with morphine and super-strength antibiotics.
After countless trips to numerous doctors, Carelle began seeing a dermatologist – and the severity of the bite became clear.
“I found these visits extremely traumatic,” she said. “When the nurses would change my dressings I would howl in pain. One nurse would be dealing with my leg whilst my boyfriend and a second nurse would be pinning me down on the bed. I had an actual hole in the side of my leg.”
Experts have said that the necrotic nature of the bite suggests Carelle could have been bitten by a brown recluse spider.
Generally found in southern American states, brown recluse spiders build their webs in warm, dry, generally undisturbed spaces – but they have been found in shoes, dressers and bedsheets.
Unable to have her house fumigated due to her allergies, Carelle has turned to plug-in spider repellents – but she still doesn’t feel safe in her own home.
“For so long I thought it was a house spider – if I’d known it was venomous I would have acted differently, I would have turned my room upside down looking for it.
“Allergies are my middle name, and it’s not unusual for me to react badly to insect bites. It just didn’t occur to me the bite could have come from something else.”
As well as the excruciating pain in her leg, Carelle suffered with sickness and nausea, and was left feeling groggy due to her weakened immune system.
Not only has it damaged her physically, but the aftermath of the bite has left Carelle emotionally drained and suffering from post-traumatic stress.
“I’ve suffered from night terrors. I can’t sleep in my bedroom anymore, and will sleep in the spare room or on the sofa, or at my boyfriend’s house,” she said.
One night Carelle woke at around 2am after falling asleep on the sofa, and went into her bedroom to find a huge house spider on her bed – which she bravely managed to trap. But after the incident she broke down, hyperventilating.
She said: “I feel so unlucky, it’s like I’m cursed. I don’t want this fear to develop into a full-blown phobia of spiders. I’m not like that – I’m very logical and methodical.”
Despite her trauma, Carelle tries to look on the bright side. The bite was the catalyst that launched her blog – where posts on her spider bite hell have had more than 6,000 hits – and the incident has cured her phobia of doctors and hospitals.
The singer-songwriter turned presenter has interviewed top bands including the Saturdays, the Vamps and Union J – and hopes to one day land a job on MTV or This Morning.
She said: “I’m going to have a scar for the rest of my life, and it’s in the worst place – but this isn’t a sob story.
“I’ve realised there’s a lot worse that could happen and it’s always great to gain perspective. I feel very fortunate to have not had a worse experience. I have to be grateful for something.”
Carelle, who is due to go on holiday to Croatia next week, hoped the bite would have healed by now – but was told she will need to go back to the surgeon again in a few weeks, as well as keeping the bite out of the sun and bandaged up while on holiday.
She said: “I need to stop getting my hopes up, and I need to prepare myself that this could go on for a few more months – how long is a piece of string? I’m still getting my head around it.”
For more information, visit Carelle’s blog: http://carellesayshi.blogspot.co.uk/