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"We didn't know if he was going to pull through at all"
May 2, 2012 8:02 PM   Subscribe

Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman will not tour with the band this summer as he continues treatment for necrotizing fasciitis contracted from a spider bite in 2011. Hanneman was bitten on his right arm, and picks with his right hand. The band's official statement describes Hanneman's long recovery, which includes a medically induced coma and an extensive series of skin grafts.
posted by catlet (51 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Going on a hunch, should I not click these links shortly after eating?
posted by schmod at 8:03 PM on May 2, 2012


As a (crappy) guitar player, the thought of anything happening to my right-hand is horrifying.

I had no idea he was still battling this. I hope all ends well.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:06 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first link only has a picture of Hanneman on stage, and the second two don't have images (except for the painful design of Slayer's site). The Wiki page on NF has images, so be warned.
posted by catlet at 8:07 PM on May 2, 2012


should I not click these links shortly after eating? - Nah. All the links are safe for lunch.
posted by crunchland at 8:07 PM on May 2, 2012


Hardcore, man.
posted by bardic at 8:08 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guitar player's -- or just plain human's -- worst nightmare. *shudder*. What kind of spider? Was it Australian? Tell me it was Australian. (I live in Texas... and fear the brown recluse). Peter Parker was one lucky SOB.
posted by smcameron at 8:10 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


To lose his arm would surely upset his brain.
posted by davebush at 8:12 PM on May 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


I don't mean to diminish this and I hope he recovers and all, but "necrotizing fasciitis" is, like, the most metal name for a disease ever. Maybe a bit more Cannibal Corpse-ish than Slayer-ish, though.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:13 PM on May 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


Hanneman was bitten on his right arm, and picks with his right hand.

If he were to lose his hand, I don't think it would matter (for his guitar playing) if it were his left or right. Either way, he wouldn't be able to play guitar anymore.
posted by John Cohen at 8:21 PM on May 2, 2012


The U.S.A. has the good-old Brown Recluse spider, whose bite causes necrosis. (Warning: unpleasant picture.)
posted by Hither at 8:21 PM on May 2, 2012


I suspect he didn't have a spider bite; a lot of bacterial infections like MRSA will be misidentified because the initial stages look extremely similar to an insect bite. But that doesn't mean a spider bite led to the infection, only that it at first resembled a spider bite.

Brown recluse bites, as Hither links to, cause necrosis but that isn't the same as necrotizing fasciitis. NF of this severe sort is usually some kind of streptococcus bacteria. I believe staph has been on the upswing as well but I wouldn't want to be quoted on that.
posted by Justinian at 8:24 PM on May 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Poor guy to suffer through all that (A medically-induced coma as well as skin grafts? Wow), but at least he's recovering now.

If you want another story of NF, there's What Happened to Peter Watts. (Link goes to my MeFi post from last year. All potentially distressing links in the post are clearly labelled.)
posted by maudlin at 8:24 PM on May 2, 2012


I've actually read that some people go so far as to say unless you actually catch a spider on your skin biting you, it isn't a spider bite, it's a bacterial infection.
posted by Justinian at 8:25 PM on May 2, 2012


SLAYER!
posted by straight_razor at 8:29 PM on May 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Necrotizing fasciitis is terrifying. I didn't know there even were treatments short of amputation.
posted by stopgap at 8:29 PM on May 2, 2012


Graze the skin with my fingertips
The brush of dead cold flesh a piece of me
Provocative images delicate features so smooth
A pleasant fragrance in the light of the moon


Get well soon, Jeff.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:32 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


A family friend just got necrotizing fasciitis from having, at the same time, some kind of strep throat and a scratch on his leg. He lost his leg and part of his hip, though last I saw him he was doing really well on his prosthetic.

It got me neurotic about coughing into my hand for a while, honestly.
posted by jeather at 8:33 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


A family friend just got necrotizing fasciitis from having, at the same time, some kind of strep throat and a scratch on his leg.

So sorry for your friend. Biology is designed to totally fuck with us, isn't it?
posted by maudlin at 8:35 PM on May 2, 2012


The question is, without Hanneman, will God still listen to Slayer?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:38 PM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Complications has an essay on nectrotizing fasciitis from the author's perspective (he's a surgeon). A young woman presented with symptoms that were likely to be caused by something common and relatively non-threatening, but he had a hunch and pressed for a biopsy. It turned out she had quickly progressing necrotizing fasciitis, and if they had waited much longer she would have probably died (and certainly would have lost her leg if she lived). He chalks his hunch up mostly to luck -- having had the disease on his mind from a recent case.

Scary disease. Apparently scary for doctors, too.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:38 PM on May 2, 2012


And what effect will this have on the International Day of Slayer?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:40 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


When he got that spiderbite on his hand, I thought they would have to break up the band.
posted by Benjy at 8:40 PM on May 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yeah, spider must have been from Mars.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:42 PM on May 2, 2012


I'm glad it didn't destroy him, how sad that would be, cause if it destroyed it, it would destroy me.
posted by furtive at 8:43 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I see what you did there
posted by John Cohen at 9:00 PM on May 2, 2012


What kind of spider? Was it Australian? Tell me it was Australian.

Come on. Who knows in which country he was bitten? Surely a brown recluse bite does not take an arm? Save me from decluttering and vacuuming all day tomorrow, I'm begging you.
posted by Camofrog at 9:02 PM on May 2, 2012


Eek. A long-standing myth about skin damage caused by the bite of the Australian white-tailed spider was debunked a few years ago.

This doesn't mean there aren't spiders out there than can do this, but I hope he's not getting the wrong medical treatment because of a myth.
posted by fonetik at 9:09 PM on May 2, 2012


Save me from decluttering and vacuuming all day tomorrow, I'm begging you.

You feel better knowing that any little nick or scratch you get can cause this to happen under the wrong conditions?
posted by Justinian at 9:23 PM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


There are some spider bites that will cause tissue damage. His condition could be from multiple sources. He'll be really lucky to save his arm. I can't imagine the psychological and physical torment this is causing the guy, this is the type of thing nightmares are made of.
posted by Chuffy at 9:40 PM on May 2, 2012


Most large biting spiders can inflict this. They bite through the skin, and a nasty infection results below the skin. I would assume they harbor such aggressive bacteria to help digest their prey.
posted by Brian B. at 9:56 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had a very nasty spider bite earlier this spring, here in temperate British Columbia. I had a temperature and could not get out of bed for a full day. The doctor outlined the inflamed area with a Sharpie - I paid close attention to it, to be sure. Tough break for this guy.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 9:59 PM on May 2, 2012


I live in Texas... and fear the brown recluse.

Me too. I was bitten by a young one several years ago and it ate a hole in my hand about the size of a quarter. It healed up all right but I will forever have two puncture wounds (from the fangs) for a scar as a memory of that lovely encounter.
posted by Malice at 10:02 PM on May 2, 2012


In other sad metal news, Max Cavalera recently had a bout of Bell's Paulsy (story).
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:23 PM on May 2, 2012


Quoting the Flaming Lips is about as unSlayer as you can get.
posted by item at 10:44 PM on May 2, 2012


Necrotizing Fasciitis is a soft tissue infection. It is caused by bacteria not spiders!

Here's some Australian data for you:

Necrotic Arachnadism is a different beast (pardon the pun), and even that is poorly understood and not definitely proven.

Here are some Australian numbers for you:

- ED Presentations for insect bites approx 240,000/year
- 7.3% are spider bites = approx 17,500 reported spider bites each year (nationally)
- 40,000 identified species of spiders in Australia
- Of these 40,000 only 60 species are capable of biting humans
- In Australia only 6 spider species have been implicated in causing significant harm to humans
- Only 3 have been associated with causing significant tissue damage

Get a grip people... put some ice on it and take some pain killers!
posted by mule at 11:31 PM on May 2, 2012


Metafilter can always use more Slayer related posts.
posted by hellslinger at 11:47 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


You feel better knowing that any little nick or scratch you get can cause this to happen under the wrong conditions?

I've been nicked or scratched thousands of times. So far, no medically induced comas or amputations. Doesn't seem weird to me to be curious about the specific whats and wheres.
posted by Camofrog at 12:20 AM on May 3, 2012


Steven Drozd later admitted that the spider bite story that inspired Spiderbite Song was a cover for his heroin-related abscess. Here's hoping this one's legit.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 12:31 AM on May 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


- In Australia only 6 spider species have been implicated in causing significant harm to humans
- Only 3 have been associated with causing significant tissue damage


True, but at least one of those is big, black, and mean.

Funnelwebs can DIE IN A FIRE.

[not arachnidist]
posted by But tomorrow is another day... at 2:00 AM on May 3, 2012


Perpetual demise
On a fast decline
Killing tendency
Epidemic, permanent disease

[LEAD: HANNEMAN]

Incapacitate, fall into your fate
Pain results in screams, bleed internally
Years will pass before it can be cured
posted by Renoroc at 5:03 AM on May 3, 2012


If he were to lose his hand, I don't think it would matter (for his guitar playing) if it were his left or right. Either way, he wouldn't be able to play guitar anymore.

He could always switch to playing bass.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:52 AM on May 3, 2012


40,000 identified species of spiders in Australia

nope nope nope nope nope nope nope
posted by elizardbits at 6:15 AM on May 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been nicked or scratched thousands of times. So far, no medically induced comas or amputations. Doesn't seem weird to me to be curious about the specific whats and wheres.

My landlord nearly died from a strep-based skin infection. He got it from an old wooden lawn chair--he sat on it, it broke, and a thick splinter stabbed him in the leg. He didn't treat it right away, but once he went to the ER, he was in the hospital for six weeks.

Staph and other skin infections can live in the soil--staph is more common for people who are in the dirt a lot, and tend to have small injuries--like soldiers at boot camp.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 7:51 AM on May 3, 2012


Exodus' Gary Holt will replace him on the tour. Gary Holt is a fucking stud. Maybe he will show Slayer how not to mail it in every show.
posted by TheRedArmy at 9:06 AM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I love Slayer.)
posted by TheRedArmy at 9:07 AM on May 3, 2012


Exodus' Gary Holt will replace him on the tour. Gary Holt is a fucking stud. Maybe he will show Slayer how not to mail it in every show.
posted by TheRedArmy


He's a monster.

I saw videos from a Big 4 concert where Gary was sitting in for Jeff. He reproduced all of Jeff's solos very well. Which I wouldn't have thought possible. Slayer's solos often sound like so much in-key, random, spitfire wankery that I'm surprised Jeff and Kerry can reproduce them. It's most impressive that Gary could reverse-engineer those blurs of notes and squeals.

He has a unique way of headbanging.
posted by Boxenmacher at 10:44 AM on May 3, 2012


*, too.
posted by Boxenmacher at 10:45 AM on May 3, 2012


Necrotizing fasciitis is terrifying. I didn't know there even were treatments short of amputation.

My oldest brother got a scratch on his upper arm while cleaning in a flowerbed. He was not even aware of it until it turned red and swollen that evening. Within a day and a half. he experiencing organ failure, intubated to the max, on a respirator and undergoing dialysis in an ICU.

The doctors removed his skin from elbow to shoulder. And changing the dressings was equivalent to changing the dressings on a 3rd degree burn: the body tries to heal, tissue grows, attaches to the dressings and changing them daily is, as a consequence, extremely painful. My sister-in-law told me that she could see muscle and bone when they did this. He described it as the worst pain he ever experienced -- a 9.5 on a scale of 10. And he was a pretty stoic guy.

I love to garden. Now, I am extremely careful, wear gloves for almost everything and everytime I get a scratch or cut, I run inside, scrub away with surgical soap and wash everything in betadine. Sympathetic magic, perhaps, but his experience has made me so paranoid.
posted by y2karl at 1:12 PM on May 3, 2012


I've decided to never go outside again. I'll let y'all know how it goes.
posted by Justinian at 4:01 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


My step-dad died about six months ago from an internal MRSA infection. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, and a few days later he went to the ER because he was feeling worse. Within hours he had a heart attack, kidney and liver failure. He was on dialysis in the ICU for the next couple weeks, but he was sedated and on a breathing tube the whole time, and things just didn't get better. We didn't know he had MRSA until about a week into it when the full lab tests came back, which was after we had spent a lot of time in the room with him (I personally stayed with him overnight four times) - after that nobody was allowed into the room without robes, gloves and a mask. Anyway, yes, staph infections are scary, at least the resistant kind. We're not entirely sure whether the bacterial infection was a cause of his pneumonia, or if he came into contact with it in the ER. He was 78 but in very good health. But as far as I understand, my step-dad's experience with an internal MRSA infection is the expected outcome, because usually by the time you know what it is, it's already caused sepsis, cardiac arrest and organ failure, and it's far too late. External infections are generally easier to treat, because you can see the infection when it's starting to take hold.

By the way, he did have good insurance, but they send you the bills anyway so you know what the insurance is covering. The bill for his first day in the ICU was nearly $120,000 - that's right, one day in intensive care with initial lab tests and dialysis, $120K. Other days were cheaper, somewhere around $60,000 - $80,000 per day.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:45 AM on May 4, 2012


Trivia: There are about 40,000 known species of spiders in the world, around 3700 in North America, and about a dozen in my house.
posted by Brian B. at 11:15 AM on May 5, 2012


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