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March 18, 2009 9:54 AM   Subscribe

21 years after a crippling motorcycle accident, a paraplegic man is miraculously cured by a spider bite, then promptly gets arrested.
posted by empath (60 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am soooooo glad that I don't have to draw that on a virtual Post-it with an unreliable mouse.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:55 AM on March 18, 2009 [11 favorites]


I know it's uncooth to link to one's own comments, but I'm just gonna say this again.
posted by The Whelk at 10:03 AM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Correlation does not equal causation.
posted by jester69 at 10:06 AM on March 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


You mean getting cured of paraplegia doesn't cause arrest?
posted by creasy boy at 10:10 AM on March 18, 2009 [8 favorites]


Spiderman, Spiderman, beats his wife whenever he can..

.. nope, it doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:12 AM on March 18, 2009


You mean getting cured of paraplegia doesn't cause arrest?

No, I think he means getting in a motorcycle accident does not cause paraplegia. And being bitten by a Brown Recluse doesn't cure paraplegia. And being cured of paraplegia doesn't cause domestic abuse. And domestic abuse does not cause arrest. No, that's not it. I think what he really means is that any man who is in a motorcyle accident, paralyzed for 20 years, bitten by a brown recluse, and cured of paraplegia will beat his wife and/or kids. Twenty years is a long time for rage to build up.
posted by trueluk at 10:17 AM on March 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Kind of a good news/bad news thing.
posted by DaddyNewt at 10:20 AM on March 18, 2009


Perhaps I could have been more obvious, but the guesses were fun. I mainly meant that there is no proof of any kind offered that the spider bite is in any way related to the walking, other than that they happened within 8 months of one another.
posted by jester69 at 10:22 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


They couldn't find him to arrest him while he was still in a wheelchair?
posted by QIbHom at 10:23 AM on March 18, 2009


They couldn't find him to arrest him while he was still in a wheelchair?

I'd just tip him over. "There he is, officer!!"
posted by educatedslacker at 10:26 AM on March 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


Honestly, I have a feeling that he was never paraplegic.

I am picturing him in the hospital, trying to pretend that he can't feel the spiderbite doesn't hurt like a motherfucker so he can keep getting those fat disability checks, and the nurse notices his leg twitch, and he's like "HOLY SHIT A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE"

Or not, I dunno.
posted by empath at 10:27 AM on March 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


Well, now he can stand for trial... *

Thankyoo! I'll be here all night.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:32 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I have a feeling that he was never paraplegic.

I get the same feeling. Not necessarily that he was faking it, but was exaggerating the severity, and perhaps the treatment for the spider bite included some other medical treatment (psych meds?) and that, along "eight months of physical therapy," actually pulled him out of clinical depression.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:40 AM on March 18, 2009


Honestly, I have a feeling that he was never paraplegic.

I am picturing him in the hospital, trying to pretend that he can't feel the spiderbite doesn't hurt like a motherfucker so he can keep getting those fat disability checks, and the nurse notices his leg twitch, and he's like "HOLY SHIT A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE"


That is a lot to go through for disability payments, I mean two decades feigning disability? Plus he'd have to be on guard all the time, not just for movement, but feeling, like he hit his knee accidentally, he can't cry out.

But wouldn't the muscles atrophy so much that walking would be near impossible anyway without a lot of physical therapy?
posted by xetere at 10:40 AM on March 18, 2009


With great power comes great responsibility . . . or at least a modest expectation to refrain from committing abusive acts against family members.
posted by MasonDixon at 10:41 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am so sick of this exact same story playing itself out in the streets of American cities. Something must be done.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:51 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am so sick of this exact same story playing itself out in the streets of American cities. Something must be done.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:51 PM on March 18


Clever.

I would wait for Paul Harvey to give me the rest of the story, but he died from a spiderbite or something.

Also: not paralyzed.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:58 AM on March 18, 2009


It's less likely that he was faking it and more likely that he was never permanently paraplegic, that the doctors immediately wrote him off as someone who would never walk again, and when he was back in the hospital for the spider bite, better technology and better doctors gave him the proper diagnosis and treatment. He probably always had spasms but just never thought they meant anything. When the nurse saw them, she realized it was a sign that he could get better.

And while I like the karma at work here, of a guy getting better and then getting arrested, I think it's important to point out that the arrest was for a contempt of court charge, not domestic violence. The contempt of court charge *stemmed* from a domestic violence case, but the status of the domestic violence case is unstated and we shouldn't jump to conclusions that he's a wife-beating douche simply because of that detail. I also doubt that if the subject were less brown and less lower-middle class and had less funny-looking facial hair that people here would be as inclined to accuse him of faking for the sake of disability pay.

Then again, he was injured 21 years ago and he has 14 year-old twin daughters, so something must've been working down there.

And by something, I mean his penis.
posted by incessant at 11:00 AM on March 18, 2009 [16 favorites]


I had the misfortune of having been bitten by a brown recluse spider. It's not pretty. (That link is not for the squeamish and was the first google link to pop up, hit google images if you really want to be ill. I'm not going to spend the time looking).

I was 6 and got pretty sick. My arm swelled up to twice it's normal size and I was in a state of extreme lethargy. My mother was getting remarried while this was going on, and during the ceremony I was perfectly behaved for the first time in my life (I fell in the fountain at her college graduation). I just sat next to my grandmother, eating half sticks of gum, and not moving.

There was some talk that I could have lost the arm. The treatment involved antibiotics, but honestly I remember little else about this aspect. I was allowed to take as many hot baths as I wanted (a special treat for me). To this day whenever I get sick I retreat to the tub for hours.

When my arm drained it came out with the consistency of toothpaste and probably the same quantity as a full tube or two. Pieces of flesh, little balls, and a long brown sliver looking thing are imprinted in my memory. It was pretty disgusting.

In the end I have a small scar about the size of a diameter of a drinking straw on my right arm.

I wrote a cycle of poems about this and other aspects of my life. I'll throw the URL in my profile if anyone cares to read them.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:03 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


A spider bite fixing paraplegia is just like getting hit on the head a second time curing amnesia. Which is to say that it happens all the time. In cartoons. Maybe that explains the domestic violence, too, he thought he was in a Tom and Jerry cartoon.
posted by bitslayer at 11:06 AM on March 18, 2009


If you follow geek news, you would have seen the first part on Slashdot, and possibly read this clarifying comment:
For those of you who are thinking that deadly spider poison is some sort of elixir of mobility I have some bad news. Basically what happened is that he got sent to the hospital and the doctors noticed that his legs were in better shape than he thought, and with some physical therapy he was able to get them working again.
Or, RTFA (they're both pretty short). But speculation on disability fraud is also fun.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:06 AM on March 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


The medical diagnosticians on this site are awesome. Worthy of Bill Frist in the Schiavo case.
posted by rocket88 at 11:07 AM on March 18, 2009


Spider venom is a neurotoxin (poison) and neurotoxins can be used for medical treatments. Sounds like he got the right dose at the right spot. Sort of like bee stings helping arthritis. Hopefully someone is looking into this accidental discovery.
posted by stbalbach at 11:11 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


My grandfather used to drink Pepsi. Then he died.

I drink Coke, so I'll live for ever.
posted by Mister_A at 11:13 AM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


When you are linked to Slashdot to calm the wild speculation with some real facts, you know you've gone off the rails.
posted by DU at 11:14 AM on March 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


filthy light thief, "RTFA" isn't fair, since neither of those links were posted, so none of the wild speculation was too far out there. Well, except for incessant's who is assuming the kids are biologically this guy's.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:14 AM on March 18, 2009


Honestly, I have a feeling that he was never paraplegic.

Lou and Andy at the Swimming Pool
posted by carter at 11:25 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Let me tell you something else. I've seen a lot of spinals, Dude, and this guy is a fake. A fucking goldbricker. This guy fucking walks. I've never been more certain of anything in my life!

Walk, you fucking phony!
posted by COBRA! at 11:30 AM on March 18, 2009 [11 favorites]


Maybe another spider bite can cure him of Raging Asshole Syndrome.
posted by Edgewise at 11:39 AM on March 18, 2009


yeah, i was totally not serious about my wild speculation
posted by empath at 11:41 AM on March 18, 2009


Usually freak news stories you never hear about again. Awesome!
posted by norabarnacl3 at 11:50 AM on March 18, 2009


I gotta frikken muscle spasm in my back. ( NSFW)
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:51 AM on March 18, 2009


Basically what happened is that he got sent to the hospital and the doctors noticed that his legs were in better shape than he thought
This is exactly what would give away someone faking too, FWIW. You can sit in a chair all you want, but as long as your legs are innervated with working nerves they will have more muscle tone than someone with a severed spinal cord. I agree with others that faking is likely not the case here, 20 some odd years is a long time to do that. The kids should have been a clue that he wasn't a truly paralyzed, as stated before.
posted by jester69 at 12:02 PM on March 18, 2009


One way for the paralyzed to have kids.
posted by jester69 at 12:05 PM on March 18, 2009


Wouldn't it be great if this guy walked from the courthouse having beaten the domestic abuse rap only to be squished by a gigantic frickin' spider from outer space falling to earth. Go figure the odds of that happening.
posted by digsrus at 12:06 PM on March 18, 2009


Damn, if my husband was in a wheelchair and beating me, I'd just run outside and call 911 from my car with the doors locked.

after I got in some TOO BAD YOU CAN'T STAND UP TO ME LIKE I AM TO YOU NOW, ASSHOLE! statements, because domestic abusers deserve to be treated as such
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:16 PM on March 18, 2009


This news story unreadable. I don't understand the writing. Was the spider bite part of the treatment? They are letting the guy's soundbites tell the story, which leave odd gabs. Is it really so difficult to create a simple chronology of the facts? And obviously not proofread, either. Did the news anchor read it like this on the air?
posted by asfuller at 12:19 PM on March 18, 2009


from jester69's link: [...] "surgically extracting sperm from the testes," and "[...] a device that triggers ejaculation with a low-voltage impulse of electricity..." All I have to say is I'd better be paralyzed!
posted by cjorgensen at 12:29 PM on March 18, 2009


Spider venom is a neurotoxin (poison) and neurotoxins can be used for medical treatments. Sounds like he got the right dose at the right spot. Sort of like bee stings helping arthritis. Hopefully someone is looking into this accidental discovery.

Most spiders have neurotoxic venom. Brown recluses venom is necrotic -- i.e. it causes your flesh to die and rot away. Hardly the kind of thing that will jump start your nervous system.
posted by randomstriker at 12:47 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


This news story unreadable.

It's a transcript from the local TV news segment, which is why it reads poorly, but I agree with you on the clunky reportage.

...none of the wild speculation was too far out there. Well, except for incessant's who is assuming the kids are biologically this guy's.

I considered mentioning that maybe the kids were stepdaughters or something, but that totally would've ruined the punchline of my post...

...which was penis.
posted by incessant at 12:49 PM on March 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


A necrotic could have been exactly what this guy's spine needed at this exact moment, just to kill away all the dead nerve cells so the good nerve cells got get to talk to the spine again. Yeah.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:59 PM on March 18, 2009


It just goes to show you can't be too careful!
posted by Kloryne at 1:11 PM on March 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: odd little gabs
posted by dirigibleman at 1:27 PM on March 18, 2009


Yes, Slashdot is far from the bastion of logic and staying on topic, but eventually someone will read the article and clarify a point or two. In this case, there was no curing going on. His couldn't feel his legs after the initial accident, and post-spider bite tests displayed that his "nerves are alive. They're just asleep" (from the linked article). But the problem wasn't only in the OP text here, it was also the news headlines.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:33 PM on March 18, 2009


Mein Filter, I can walk!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:43 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's how people grow up
posted by Free word order! at 1:57 PM on March 18, 2009


That is a lot to go through for disability payments, I mean two decades feigning disability

Dude saw the financial crisis coming from wayyy off.
posted by mannequito at 2:04 PM on March 18, 2009


are you people blind or just willfully ignorant?

haven't any of you realized the implications here?
paraplegic gets bitten by a spider and can walk and becomes supervillain.

what would have happened if he'd actually been faking it?
would we have to call stan lee and ditko for commentary?

who's gonna play this guy in the movie? my money's on mickey rourke.
posted by artof.mulata at 2:28 PM on March 18, 2009


What's with the bad guy mustache? Nothing says "hey, I'm a bad guy, maybe I rob liquor stores, maybe I beat my wife - investigate me!" like the bad guy mustache, especially with the outlaw soul patch. Did they make him grow that? What's the story? I bet the spider said "Gotta bite somethin' - don't want to bite a kid, might as well be the bad guy." Just one more facial hair style ruined. Fortunately the goatee was wrested from the Satanists. But now its passe' or it's the chubby comic/Ren faire guy goatee. People gotta stop screwing up facial hair for others.
I had a beard for the winter, shaved it off the other day to a neatly trimmed, short on the sides mustache. My wife and mom and kids couldn't stop laughing because I look like a contractor or a cop. So it's a cop 'stash, not good grooming. Maybe that's what happened here, the guy shaved, his wife couldn't stop laughing at how he looked like a bad guy...that and the spider bite...he was probably all weirded out about his facial hair.
What... It could happen.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:37 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I know this is about the most stupid thread ever, but being paraplegic doesn't necessarily prevent you from getting an erection. And even losing all motor function below the waist doesn't prevent you from having children that are biologically yours.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 2:38 PM on March 18, 2009


Brief derail:

I'd actually like to nominate this as the most stupid thread ever, at least that I participated in.

Okay, back to crippled spiders or whatever!
posted by Skot at 2:49 PM on March 18, 2009


Incessant, isn't penis always the punchline?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:16 PM on March 18, 2009


DAMN YOU COBRA! I was only a few hours too late...
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:25 PM on March 18, 2009


Honestly, I have a feeling that he was never paraplegic.

I imagine this is how he would respond.
posted by nangua at 3:40 PM on March 18, 2009


I once cared for a quadriplegic at a nursing home who said he had had sexual encounters (while quadriplegic). I did not ask if he ejaculated. I did not want to know. Changing his condom catheter was unpleasant enough, I did not want to have to think about his penis at all really.

He was parylized by encephalitis caused by a mosquito bite. At the age of 12. At least he had a computer. Although, he did use aol. I pity him for that.
posted by marble at 5:59 PM on March 18, 2009


Whatever became of Jack Saturn?
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 6:53 PM on March 18, 2009


spaceman_spiff [...] "being paraplegic doesn't necessarily prevent you from getting an erection. And even losing all motor function below the waist doesn't prevent you from having children that are biologically yours."

Being paraplegic also doesn't prevent you from beating your wife.

I knew a dance in MN that danced in a wheelchair, and if you;ve even watch the videos of the guys in wheelchairs playing basketball, well, they get pretty intense. I would imagine that like with many domestic assaults it wasn't a matter of "getting away."
posted by cjorgensen at 8:13 PM on March 18, 2009


Incessant: "that totally would've ruined the punchline of my post..."

"Penis" is too often the punchline. But I did LOL.
posted by sneebler at 9:28 PM on March 18, 2009


Unicorn, I have to second the fact that being paraplegic doesn't keep someone from beating the crap out of their SO.

A close friend of mine was beaten pretty badly by her psycho boyfriend, who happened to be in a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury that occurred when he was a young adult. I saw the blood all over her apartment and took her to the hospital for stitches and then to the police station.

Unfortunately, the cops in that hick town had the same attitude of disbelief that she could have been beaten by someone in a wheelchair and also "didn't know how to arrest someone in a wheelchair" for the usual post-domestic violence cooling off period.

He came back later that night with a knife. Fortunately she was at my house, so he just slashed the tires on her car.

Wheelchair doesn't necessarily equal "Stephen Hawking" - this dude was over 6 ft tall, young, and strong (pushed his manual chair all day long, imagine the upper body strength). She possibly could have fled if there were stairs or some other barrier to his chair, but in a typical one level apartment, with him between her and the door, much easier said than done.
posted by superna at 7:03 PM on March 19, 2009


Man, that is fucked up, superna. I have asthma and would probably be crushed by a dude in a wheelchair, now that I think about it!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:04 AM on March 20, 2009


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