Lesson of the day: when barefoot in Arizona, watch where you’re walking.
My evening got a bit of unexpected drama a few hours ago when, stepping out of the bedroom into a dark hallway, my left foot landed very near to an unseen scorpion who had apparently been scampering across the floor. Undoubtedly scared to death by the sight of this giant foot descending upon it, the scorpion did what comes natural: it stung me.
It hurt like hell. I immediately started yelling, “Oooowwwww!!!! Ow!! Ow!! Ow!!” Unable to see much of anything, I assumed at first that I had stepped on something really sharp, like a piece of glass, in the hall. But upon turning on a light and inspecting my foot, Becky (awakened by my yelps of pain) and I were unable to see anything on my foot near where it hurt — no splinter, no blood, nothing. As the sharp pain persisted longer that I would expect from a splinter or puncture wound, it dawned on me that maybe I had not just stepped on something, but rather had been stung by something. After all, there generally aren’t sharp objects on the Zaks’ prestinely clean hallway floor, but there are scorpions in Arizona.
I began speculating about this, wondering aloud if I could have been stung by a scorpion. Becky, who by now was in the adjacent room trying to coax Toby out from under a bed (the kitten had made a mad dash for the door when I opened it after getting stung), said she doubted it. But then I turned on the hall light to get a better look around, and sure enough, there it was, clinging to a nearby wall: the evil scorpion of death.
Becky awoke her parents to get their medical advice. (Her dad is a doctor; her mom is a nurse.) I took over the task of trying to coax Toby back to her room. But then it dawned on me that Becky’s dad would undoubtedly kill the scorpion in short order, so I took a brief break from Toby-catching duty, grabbed my digital camera, and took a picture of the offending scorpion, as seen above.
After killing the scorpion, Dr. Zak advised me to put ice on the sting area and take some Benadryl to guard against any possible allergic reactions, both of which I did, with Becky’s help. He and Mrs. Zak both assured me, however, that the sting was unlikely to be too serious, since the largest scorpions have the least venom, and this was a relatively large ones — an inch-and-a-half long, Dr. Zak estimated.
Toby was fascinated by the plastic bag of ice on my foot, and quickly began licking it.
I soon tried to go to sleep with ice on my foot, but this was somewhat difficult as the tingling sensation from the sting spread up my left leg a bit. After a while, though, this subsided, and I was able to fall asleep. I woke up a while later, noticing that the leg tingling was gone, but also noticing that the combination of foot numbness from the ice and foot numbness from the sting felt really weird. I had trouble getting back to sleep, which is why I’m posting to my website now.
At this point, my foot feels very similar to the way it does when it has fallen “asleep,” but the feeling is constant, and a bit more painful. The pain now isn’t too sharp, though; it’s just rather annoying. Hopefully I’ll feel better in the morning.
All I can say is, getting stung by a scorpion wasn’t the most pleasant experience in the world, but at least it was something different. Now, when people ask me what I did for Spring Break, I call say, “Watched a lot of basketball… and got stung by a scorpion.” Hehe.