TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Angela Forshee was just goofing around at her mom’s house when she tried on her junior year prom dress.
“I was kind of being a smart aleck,” said Forshee. “I came feeling pretty good about myself.”
But it wasn’t until shortly after that she physically didn’t start to feel as well.
Just a day later, she started experiencing bizarre symptoms, like a full body rash and a mysterious bruise on her shoulder. It had doctors stumped.
Forshee had chills, that turned into aggressive sweating and the next day it turned into a full body rash. A day after her doctor visit, Forshee discovered it was a brown recluse bite.
“I was having such bad nerve pain I couldn’t even have my hair anywhere near my shoulder,” said Forshee. “I couldn’t touch it, I was cutting t-shirts just to not have it on that spot.”
In the worst case scenario hemolysis, rupturing of red blood cells, or kidney failure can be possibilities, but paralysis and death can happen if you’re extra sensitive to venom.
While bites might be rare, Topeka Zoo Director Brendan Wiley says the brown recluse spider itself is actually very common.
In fact, it took him just minutes to find one in the zoo offices. But they’re also hiding in dark places in your home, according to Wiley. Plus, they’re good at staying under the radar, hence their name.
“A lot of times when we think of that spider web we think of that ornate ‘Charlotte’ style web that’s beautiful and suspended,” said Wiley.
Recluse webs look like cob webs. This fall and winter keep this in mind as you reach into the attic or storage spaces.
Now Forshee hangs up all her clothes inside out, as a way to force herself to check what her kids and family are putting on their bodies.