HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - David Ford says he learned a big lesson about spiders last summer.
"June of last year, I was actually moving some boxes out of a shed to my truck and picked up a box and was carrying it. I felt a sting. There was a lot of bees and wasps flying around, and I thought I was being stung by a wasp, but I never did see what bit me," he said.
He went about his day and finished working his shift.
"This was about noon when I got bit. About 7 o'clock I started getting chills," said Ford. "I started seeing some blue in my arm and started running a fever."
A trip to Huntsville Hospital's ER netted a diagnosis - brown recluse spider bite.
"He told me I was going to be in the hospital a couple of days," said Ford, "and that I was probably going to have necropsy in the arm and the tissue would start dying."
He said they sent him home and his arm swelled tremendously. He experienced a harsh burning sensation and the tissue around the bite began to die.
"There was actually a hole where the bite was and it started spreading getting bigger and bigger," Ford recalled.
He had been given a medicine for leprosy to help keep tissue from dying, but it didn't work. Eventually he saw a plastic surgeon.
"I guess about a month after the bite when I went back and he had a scab on it and he pulled the scab off and cut the tissue out," he said.
For some people there is more surgery. Some patients said they didn't have any surgery.
The bottom line? Before you go digging into anything make certain there are no little creepy crawlies around. You could save your skin... you might even save your life.