stung by a bark scorpion – now what!?
T he other week Pebbles and I were joyfully walking out to the garage to go to a friend’s birthday party when suddenly the most intense pain hit my foot. I was wearing flip flops of course and my foot was right near a crack in the cement near our front tire. The sting turned into a 100% loss of feeling of my external foot right up to my ankle and yet the pain was searing constantly inside of my foot.
At first I thought I was electrocuted or something since we had an extension cord there too. I told her to run and get Dad while he looked around the car I jumped on one foot back inside the house and lay on the sofa with my foot up. My first thought was ‘OH NO we’re going to miss the party !!!!’ and then my next thought was we’d better call the toll-free AZ poison control and sting line. We have such lovely critters here that we need a line that takes calls for stings and bites from black widows, snakes and scorpions etc. 😉
Trying to remain calm hubby said why don’t you talk to them yourself. I described the exact pain description and timing etc. and they said without a shadow of a doubt – bark scorpion. No surprise. We’re backed up to a desert mountain preserve and we get loads of them. Over the years we’ve caught them with double sided carpet tape on the floor to catch them as they cruise the house! Hunt for them in the dark with black lights.
The pain was unlike anything I’ve experienced before – I would say about equal to natural labor with a sunnyside up baby ! You know that feeling of holding an ice cube, or frozen stainless steel baking sheet that you might have had in the freezer? Well it’s like holding that without being able to let go …. that sharp coldness… but yet it’s as hot as fire at the same time. It started off as constant and then went to rolling pain – like labor contractions. Felt like my toes were going to self-combust they were so hot and swollen feeling…. despite the fact that I couldn’t move my foot or wiggle my toes. For the first hour, I swore that it felt like I had a critter hanging onto my toe that I kept asking Chad to make sure nothing was still on me !!! LOL
The toll free line explained that it is a neurotoxin and to expect the possibility of:
- pain spreading throughout limbs and body
- numbness of throat (perceptually, not in danger of swelling though)
- uncontrolled eye movement
- muscle spasms
- 6-12, poss. 24 hours of intense pain; and don’t expect the numb limb to get better anytime soon
- digits stung like fingers and toes… the worst of places…. most nerve bundles
- younger scorpions unload more neurotoxin
- dead scorpions can still ‘sting’ you by touch up to 8 hours after their death
- nothing you can put ‘on’ like you would a bee sting will help because it’s an internal neurotoxin, not a surface bite
- to clean the area to mitigate infection
- not to use ice – can cause kick-back intense pain
The silver lining?
- they don’t leave a mark, but there might be redness
- for most people, not dangerous, just have to ride out the pain 😉 but to go to ER if you get throat numbing or facial pain and all they can do for you is drug you up so you don’t care as much 😉 and still ride it out
- doesn’t affect the heart and should NOT cause allergies – doesn’t trigger anti-histamines
- the call center is SO GREAT and comforting … they call back every hour if you want them to make sure you’re ok!
- something about severe pain is almost funny – I don’t know why but we were laughing about it…. nervous reaction maybe. ;D
So what do do ?!
They said all I could do is pop a pain med – like advil, tylenol or ibuprofen… and put a cool, but not icy, wash cloth on the area. That’s it.
Gratefully hung up. After texting our birthday party friends that we just weren’t going to make it sadly – and why…..
I told hubby and Pebbles to run to the computer and do a ‘search’ for scorpion stings on www.oil-testimonials.com … which was hopeless… because they kept yelling ‘what’s your password mom ?!?’ and I was like …. “I DON’T KNOW ?!” …. not having the presence of mind to help them figure it out….. so that was a bust….
so next – called a couple friends who use essential oils.
- they asked what oils I had; assessed my inventory and they recommended that I use YL Purification and Lavender and have my hubby massage from the knee down my calf and towards my foot to keep the toxins from spreading upwards through my body – I think it was every 15-20 mins?
- I didn’t have YL Copaiba or Frankincense – both were recommended also
So – there I lay for the rest of the evening riding out the pain – calling out to dear husband to massage my calf 😉 every time he touched my toe felt like a jolt. Had some muscle spasms….
Movies on Netflix or Amazon Prime couldn’t even distract me, couldn’t catch up on reading… or Bible study homework.. nothing. My comfort came from my darling 4 yr old who did not once leave my side (who quietly said to me “Mom, did you die?”) …. and my dear dog who lay upon my lap warmly. My daughter read in the corner, her loving presence constantly there. I’m blessed by my family truly.
Despite the fact that the ibuprofen did nothing for me…. I can report that after 5 hours the pain amazingly STOPPED. My foot was numb still, couldn’t move it. But I didn’t care ! Just happy that I could rest. Hubby knocked me out with some zzzzzQuil 😉 and off I slept on the sofa throughout the night til morning. Upon awaking, doggie was still with me…. and I could feel my foot and move my toes again.
I can’t say for sure what helped most, the prayers of my dear friends, or the oils, or the cool cloth, or the massage… or the constant blanket of love by my family – but very thankful that I was spared the extra hours of agony predicted by the call center. I’m also thankful that is was ME and not my children. Pebbles walked in front of me, could easily have been her. Would be very hard for a child to endure that.
If this is you right now….. I know how you feel. Just know that it WILL END. I know that I’ll never walk into our garage without looking A G A I N. ;D
P.S. Also, my friend told me she found a strange tip on the internet… mixing equal parts laundry soap powder with sugar ?!?! hmmmm Hey, when you’re in THAT much pain, you’ll do anything. 😉 Somehow being internal though, you need something that gets deep into your system and cells fast.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Young Living Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.