So, we had an eventful evening yesterday: Ed joined Anna in the ‘Perrys who’ve been stung by a scorpion’ club.
We’d been sitting in the downstairs living room watching TV, and around 9pm got up to make a drink, shoo Nick into the bathroom and bed routine, etc. Two steps across the rug, Ed stopped and said ‘weird, something just stabbed my foot… OWWWW! PAIN! PAIN!’
Turned out to be this little fellow:
He – she? who knows? – is an Arizona Bark Scorpion, which is (a) the only dangerously venomous one in the US, and (b) the most prevalent one in Arizona. Obviously… sigh…
We bustled around excitedly, sending Ed off to the bathroom to wash the sting site with soap and water (to remove any surface venom and stop it leaking in further), got him paracetamol and an antihistamine, then switched off the light and hunted the scorp down with the blacklight and tongs (he was hiding under a Playmobil car, so the whole thing was clearly the Universe’s way of telling me to tidy up the floor more often).
Ed’s much more able to articulate exactly what a scorpion sting feels like than Anna was last year when she got stung; she didn’t tell us anything other than ‘it REALLY hurts!’ Apparently it’s like tiny burning pointy knives stabbing into your veins in a twisty fashion, moving gradually up your leg, and rising to new levels of excruciatingness if you lightly tap near the sting site. The pain lasts several hours, then fades away leaving a tingly, pins and needles interspersed with numbness sensation for… well, we don’t know how long for, as that’s still the current stage. The internet reckons a few days, perhaps up to a week.
So that’s another family member not allergic, which is good to know. Being allergic would involve a much more systemic response: all over twitching, blurred vision, vomiting, fever, inability to breathe properly, coma, etc. It’s rare, though, about 1 in 10,000, and most of those will be tiny kids or frail old people. And even then the allergic response comes on over a couple of hours, leaving plenty of time to get to the hospital which has anti-venom; no-one’s actually died of a scorpion sting in the US for years.
It’s been quite an eventful week for creatures all round. On Saturday, we found a tiny black snake swimming in the pool in a graceful sidewinder motion. We watched him for a bit, then scooped him out with the leaf skimmer and dumped him over the wall into the vacant lot. I must be acclimatizing to all this wildlife, because I didn’t even make the kids get out of the pool. And I’m still walking around the house barefoot.
Ed’s taking his new friend into work tomorrow to do Show and Tell. That should nicely freak out the visiting Europeans. :-)