Monday, April 12, 2010

Heebie Jeebies at 5 AM

There I was at 5:00 a.m. this morning, minding my own business, half asleep and turning over in bed when...ouch! The back of my leg hurt. OW! The pain intensified. I grabbed my leg and cried out, "Something bit me!" as I was frantically scrambling up the bed under the covers. I was desperately trying to get every part of me away from the middle of the bed where something I definitely did not appreciate was lurking.

It got me behind the knee. I'd just rolled over and felt a little sting that slowly increased. As I was scrambling to sit up and get away, I leaned on my opposite elbow and felt another smaller sting. I threw off the covers in a panic and reached for a flashlight. Living in the pitch dark woods, we always have flashlights at our bedsides. I also always have extra pillows hanging around me. I moved one of the pillows and scanned the light to see what had gotten me. "There's a SCORPION in the bed!" I blurted it out with a combination of fear, disgust, and anger...all while I was clamoring out from under the covers in one direction and climbing off the end of the bed in the other direction. Eew! Gross! And huu-ah-ah (said with a shake of the head and a complete shudder of skin crawling creepiness!) I'm shuddering just typing about it! I gave my husband a book and he promptly killed it.

We called the hospital Emergency Room to inquire about what to expect. I understand from my brother, an E.R. Doc, they don't really do anything for scorpion stings anymore because they found people were getting sicker from the anti-venom than from the sting itself. They told me that it's a neuro-toxin and I'd probably experience jittery jumpy eyes and a tingling in my mouth when I drank. She told me to put ice on it to slow the progress of the venom.

The fact that I'm posting rather nonchalantly about it lets you know that it was not a bad sting. I understand they can be very, very painful...for days and days. I am fortunate. I've always heard that it's the little scorpions that are the most dangerous, the most venomous. That's what we have, little ones. I'm starting to suspect, however, that "little" could be a result of either breed or age. This sting was not bad and the pain didn't last very long at all. My father-in-law was stung by one and he was in terrible pain for 3-4 days. My dad was stung by one as he reached into his laundry hamper and his hurt pretty badly, too. By the time I was talking with the doctor, I couldn't feel the pain of either sting anymore and I never experienced the symptoms. I am very thankful this was so insignificant.

But a scorpion! In my bed! I tell you it's going to be hard to go to bed tonight. I'm tempted to sleep fully clothed and with my shoes on! And a scarf around my neck. And mufflers on my ears. And safety glasses over my eyes. I've been feeling skin crawlies every now and then all day today. I've been checking everything and this morning I shined my flashlight into my jeans, my shoes and my socks before putting them on!

This is not the first scorpion I've seen in the house. We've seen a number of them. They mostly come in through our basement. We set out these glue traps and catch them. Once I actually took a shower with one. It was in our "jug shower" days - before we had running water here off the grid. Thinking it was a little cluster of hair and, not wanting to wash it down the drain, I left it there but kept looking at it. "Huh," I eventually thought to myself, "that little bit of hair is in the exact shape of a scorpion. There's what could be the tail and there's what could be the pinchers." I sprinkled some water on it and it stayed in the same shape, but it moved. As in, with life. So, yes, I took a shower with a scorpion once. And now it seems I've slept with one in my bed, too. (There go those crawly chills up my leg and down my arm!)

When my Mom and Dad first lived in Phoenix it was back in the 1950's during Dad's residency. They lived in a little apartment on 36th Street and Indian School Rd. (so named long ago because there was once a school for native Americans back when no one thought it wrong to call them Indians.) My brother was just a baby and Mom was advised to put drinking glasses underneath each leg of his crib because whereas scorpions could crawl up the wooden legs, they could not crawl up glass.

I'm basically pretty miffed that we have scorpions here. We do not live in the desert. (Do you hear me, scorpions?!) We do NOT live in the desert! We LEFT the desert for the mountains, the cool wooded mountains with pine trees, not cactus. But we have scorpions nonetheless. And rattle snakes, by the way, but that's a complaint for another time that I'd really rather not get into anyway.

At any rate, we've called exterminators today and have selected one to come out this week. He will spray around the outside perimeter, the foundation, the basement, and the interior. AND we're going to have him "dust" the crawl space with a special insecticide dust that clings to the woodwork and should kill any creepy crawlies clinging there. We will feel much better once that is done.


  1. Wow! Great story. And very well told.
    But so sorry you got bit Judi. I hear it's not fun.
    We can honestly say that we have never seen nor been bit by a scorpion in all the years we've lived in the desert. We are very thankful.

  2. OH Judi my toes are curled right now and it may be days before they uncurl. I remember seeing my first scorpian in SD in my bathroom. I saw it when I was brushing my teeth without my glasses and bent over to spit and saw something and then it curled its tail!! I spit toothpast all over the bathroom and down the hall and into the kitchen. I put a trash can over it and screamed when I did it. Put books on top of trash can and got a chair and sait and stared at it. Paged Ryan and made him come home. he was so mad at me but I pulled the mom card and as much guilt as I could muster to get him to come home. Scorpians make me gag!! I am so sorry you had a run in with one especially in bed. What a stupid scorpion. Wear long jammy pants and wear sox pulled up over the bottom of the jammy pant legs. Gloves too. I will be thinking of you tonight. hugs to you and rusty

  3. Hi Judi, bad must that have been? Fortunatel we don't get them in the UK, however, you told the story so well I may just have to check under the covers anyway...just in case! Glad the sting wasn't too bad,a lucky escape I think.