I have a lot of memories from when I was a kid involving spiders. But I have no recollection of ever overreacting to them, I mean I didn’t like them but I wasn’t exactly afraid of them like if my life was in danger. No phobia.
Now, I do.
One day I went with my mom and my cousin to visit some family up north, and when we were at the airport coming back home, we discovered that there were some issues with our luggage.
It was late at night and I was really tired so while my mom was arguing with the airport staff about the luggage, I fell asleep on the floor with my cousin.
When all of it was sorted out, my mom woke me up and I noticed that I had like a mosquito bite in the index finger of my right hand, but I didn’t give it any importance whatsoever because I mean, it was a mosquito bite.
Until we realized it was not.
While we were waiting outside for my dad to pick us up, I saw that my finger was getting really swollen at the tip. And it hurt a lot.
By the time we got home, the whole hand was swollen. Also red and really hot. So my parents gave me some antihistamine and told me that in the morning we were going to see a doctor.
Our general physician is specialized in animal bites because, at the beginning of Cancun, the city was no city, it was basically a jungle.
So there were a lot of cases of snake bites, spiders, insects, etc. So he needed to do some research and ended up specializing in the matter.
And thank God he did, because this story would have ended up worse than with just a phobia.
So the next morning my parents took me to see this doctor and told him what had happened. I will never forget the look on his face when he saw the bite on my finger. He knew right away that it was a spider bite.
The Dr. took my hand and twist it over so he could see the inside of my arm and there was a red line going from my wrist all the way to my armpit. He told us that was the spider’s venom through my bloodstream. The spider had probably bitten me while I was asleep on the airport’s floor.
He proceeded to check on some book and called only my father. My mom and I didn’t give it the importance I then realized I should’ve.
At that moment he told my dad exactly what spider had bitten me, and the side effects, but we didn’t know that till days later.
To my mom and I, he only told us that it was a spider bite from a spider called Violinist Spider (Loxosceles Reclusa is its scientific name, which I am not capable of forgetting) and that I couldn’t go to school in one week, and that I had to go to his office twice a day during that week. We both found that really extreme because besides me having borrowed Hulk’s hand, I was feeling fine.
We followed his instructions and went with him twice a day. At his office, he would closely examine the bite and the arm, and then let us go. But he still had an extremely worried look on his face.
When a few days had passed, his look finally changed. He was happy and normal and everything was improving smoothly. My hand was coming back to its usual size and color, and left was only the spider’s bite. Which started to look again only like a mosquito bite. He told me I could go to school and back to normal because we were past the danger.
And I was like what danger?
At that point, my mom knew the truth already because my grandpa had some sort of knowledge on spiders too. And one day he called my mom to see how I was doing, and to ask what spider had bitten me.
She told him the Violinist Spider and he basically freaked out. My mom was like wtf is going on. My grandpa told her that it was basically impossible because that spider was from South America, and there were no registrations from it in Mexico. And if it was true that it was that spider, that I would probably lose my hand.
My mom almost fainted. But like a normal 21st-century woman, she went online to do some research (never do this kind of research online, my god).
There were very dishearting images. This spiders venom after a few hours starts necrotizing the skin to the point of amputation.
She confronted the doctor and my father, which already knew everything. And they told her she was right, and that they wanted to keep us both in the blue so we wouldn’t worry that much.
That day at the doctor’s office when I finally saw a change in his face, was the same day they told me the truth. I couldn’t believe it.
He explained to me that I needed to go see him twice a day because he had to closely examine and control the bite. If the bite started to become a blister, bad news.
If that had happened there would not be a way to stop it. And I would have lost my hand because the necrotizing starts with a blister that pops.
But because of my parent’s fast reaction of getting me to see a doctor as fast as they did. The doctor medicated me before 24 hours since the spider had bitten me. And that saved my hand. Only a couple hours more and it would have been too late.
Since then I am not capable of looking at a spider. Photo of a spider. Drawing of a spider. Anything with lots of moving long feet. Anything that comes near to a spider resemblance.
My phobia gets worst as the years go by. At first, I couldn’t see a spider in real life. Then it was as simple as seeing a photo for me to get a panic attack. Then a drawing or animation.
And its gotten to a point where I can’t even see a freaking crab walk because it reminds me of a spider.
I lose control of me and my reaction. I scream and I cry, and if its bad I even have panic attacks.
There are times when I consider seeing a phycologist. But I end up not going because I am afraid that to remove this phobia or at least control it, I would have to confront a spider at some point. And the idea of it makes me lose it.
So that’s the story behind my phobia.
I am a fashion designer, a photographer and unfortunately, an arachnophobic too.