Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Well, friends: I'm almost--almost--back to normal.

Last Thursday, at 7 A.M., I took the dogs out to our backyard and noticed that the downspout of our gutter system on the side of the house--the L joint--had fallen off, along with the black hose that takes water away from the house. I reached around the L joint to put it back to place, and with my right hand moved the black hose when I received a sting and blood was drawn on the left middle finger. I rushed into the house, washed it off, took off my ring, and ran outside to see what it was that hit me. I thought it was yellow jackets because I killed a nest of them a week ago. And there, underneath the L joint, was a copper head snake.

A snake bite!

I ran in and flipped open the computer to find out what to do: the hospital! I went to the Family Clinic and they said I had to go to the hospital ER because they didn't have any anti-venom.

For six hours I had to sit in the Emergency Room. They did a blood test to find out if my blood was OK. By OK I mean that the red blood cells were working fine. Venom tends to make the red blood cells expand and explode, making it impossible for water to move among the cells.

Lesson learned: baby copperhead injects 100% of its venom, and are thus more dangerous. Mature snakes have more control of the venom and only inject part of the venom in the first bite as a warning, saving the rest of the venom for real prey.

Two Tylenol tablets later, I was sent home.

But the swelling was bad: went all the way "up" to my elbow.

Today, only the middle finger feels some pain.

Back to writing...and healing.

My friend Alan said that it was possible that what the snake imparted to me is venom of wisdom. Here's hoping that there was some wisdom injected into me.

Good to be back.




manxxman said...

Could it possibly have been an "evanglical" snake trying to rid the world of evil queers?

Carrboroguy said...

What's the difference between northern and southern Presbyterians? Snake handling