Thursday, April 22, 2010

Barefoot in the Kitchen


The first time a scorpion stung me, it was almost a relief. My being stung seemed all but inevitable, given the number of stories my jungle neighbors told about their encounters with the bug. I was anxious to get it over with, just so I’d know how my body would react.

I got my answer early one morning while walking barefoot into the kitchen. A piecing pain suddenly shot through the big toe on my right foot. I turned on a light, saw the scorpion on the floor, and bolted for the bathroom where I had stashed a bottle of antihistamines with this occasion in mind. After gulping a couple of the pills, I sat and waited for a reaction.

It was a short wait. In a matter of seconds, beginning with my now hot and throbbing big toe, the pain rolled up my right side like a wave and left nerves numb in its wake. I felt nauseous. My throat constricted but only slightly. Not enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. Besides, that might have meant missing our “girls’ weekend” in Guadalajara; a friend was picking me up in an hour.

I wobbled a bit the first day of that shopping trip. But three days religiously swilling liquids and I bounced back. Three months later, I regained feeling in the big toe.

Since then I’ve been stung twice more. The third time I acquiesced to my children who told me I looked green and drove me to the hospital, where seasoned staff put me on an antivenin IV drip.

“We do this routinely,” they said. “Don’t hesitate because you think your case isn’t serious. We rarely see a case that is. Just come in; you’ll appreciate the quick relief.”

Two hours and 250 pesos later, I walked out feeling fine. My kids were right; that’s the way to go, I now advise. That and don’t go barefoot, not even in the kitchen.

3 comments:

Luanne said...

Love your website and the tenderness of the Sweet Things List. You had me from "Every Valentine's Day...."

Dave Landis said...

Ellen,

Glad that you are wiser from the experience and feeling better. How much is 250 pesos in dollars? What sort of footware do the locals wear? Something high topped that can prevent stings?

AnaVar said...

You are really lucky, but still....be careful! Take care! AnaV.