My posting was waylaid this week due to scorpion sting. This is the fourth time I’ve been stung, but it’s the first time the spider was large enough to warrant the anti-venom injection. In the past I have waited twenty minutes to see if I’d develop symptoms warranting an injection, but this time the thing was so enormous it obviously a mad dash situation. Fortunately, Felipe was still home with the car.
“First” he said “drink as much water as you can, in case you can’t drink for a day or so.”
“A day or so?” I whined.
He looked at me like I ought to know this by now. I downed a liter of water and we hightailed to the clinic. Because our medico was M.I.A., (It’s his last month in La Tigra and as is often the case he’s become irresponsible in his duties) I was ushered to the bedroom of one of my neighbors and told to drop my pants and lie down.
I have to say that I don’t scare easily, but intense pain gets your adrenalin going. As I watched this non-medical assistant prepare a huge intramuscular dose of an anti-venom I had never had that can cause severe allergic reactions, in a syringe with a three inch needle, I was feeling a little squeamish. But the alterative, which was experience ALL of the symptoms of the poison was defiantly not the route I wanted to go. I turned my head and waited for the needle. She was an expert, I barley felt it.
By this time the poison was traveling up my inner thigh, like a molten electrical charge. The sting was on the top of my foot. I would describe it as, an ice pick jammed between my toes, hooked up to a car battery, the charge dispensed by a naughty, capricious child. Within seconds the anti-venom encountered it, and it felt as if a medieval battle fought with morning stars and battle axes, had ensued in my femoral vein. Also really painful, but reassuring. This went on: the battle axing, the ice picking and the battery jumping for about six hours. It then dissipated to the sensation that my foot was REALLY asleep, but the part where it’s pins and needles and starts to wake up,– that feels like actual pins and needles and it doesn’t wake up for about 48 hours. The evening was highlighted by torso-wrenching cramps in my intestines and heart that felt as if god was trying to squeeze the life out of me.
I pulled out my emergency novel to get through the night. I was too sick to read! And I have read through vomiting, vision impairing headaches, and allergic reactions requiring a damp washcloth to unglue my eyelids periodically. Duration of this portion of the ordeal; 12 hours.
Fortunately, I only got the sore throat of the respiratory effects that can also include excessive mucus, sneezing, difficulty breathing and intense aversion to swallowing, thus the inability to drink.
Very occasionally, I wonder why on earth, I live here. This was one of those times.
Though most days, like this one, I am amazed by my good fortune.
© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer