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Discomfort woke me at 4am on Sunday and I found myself stumbling around the bedroom with a really swollen hand. And it really, really hurt! No visible marks on the wall so I wasn't sleep-punching (not that I ever have done) so I checked in the bed and there was a medium-size, dead, ugly, hairy... SPIDER! A cold sweat and cotton-mouth took over me as the swelling and discomfort spread further across my knuckles and was tingling down towards my elbow and, as I thought at the time, presumably towards my heart. "What the... A SPIDER... PAIN!.... what do I do!?". My mum didn't answer the phone and these were the words I whimpered to the person who asked, "Police, Fire or Ambulance?". NHS Direct was the curt response I got before embarrassingly hanging up. Then my mum rang back.

I didn't know that casualty was even open at this time. "Can we see the spider", they kindly asked without laughing at me. So I had to drive back home to scoop it into a pot at arms length with an envelope. When I returned to the hospital they had a spider classification website ready to identify the rare and deadly species. No - a common house spider! My intense agony was due to overproduction of histamine as an allergic reaction to the spider venom. I didn't even know they could bite people. Anti-histamine. Pain killers. Home. Check bed for more spiders. Sleep.

My hand hurt the rest of the next day. Much more painful than any bee or wasp sting I've ever had. But the worst thing is that I've developed a paranoid, obsessive spider checking compulsion. Quite rationally if you ask me. But after a week I still have to check everything / shake all my clothes out / bang my shoes upside down / turn the bed sheets five times / freak at the slightest itch. It's ridiculous.

Therapy! Some of the more manly men at work caught me a lovely specimen to handle (sod that!) - to look at under a microscope and photograph in the hope that by understanding and getting used to spiders I'd become less paranoid. BUT THIS ONE'S GOT MASSIVE FANGS AND LOADS OF EYES! I took a lovely shot of 'Therapy Bob' the spider and Phlibbed it really big in my front room. Has the treatment worked? No... I don't go in that room any more.

The Therapy Bob PhotoSet is only £6! And it's MASSIVE!

Legal: Therapy Bob wasn't harmed before, during, or after his modeling debut.

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