Monday, May 25, 2009

The Case of the Stinging Caterpillar

This is an old story- but to me at least, a good one! It is a redneck story because of the injury and cure.

Last year, RNH and I went fishing. We do this a lot at our pond. Sometimes when we're feeling brave, we put on head-to-toe covering, the wading boots, and trek through the woods, through the swamp, and to the river on our property line. The river is usually only a "river" when hurricane rains come through, but we like to call it a river because that just sounds good! Getting to the "river" means that you have to trek through the tick and snake-infested woods, to the swamp, where you then have to trek through high swamp grasses that are snapping turtle and snake-infested, to where the swamp and river meet. There are two big trees that have a small bank, where you can sit and fish for days. Or when we drag the boat to the swamp, its good fishing too! There are tons of catfish beds and even bass!
So we felt brave. I had been sitting under those two big trees and wasn't having much luck. I decided to press my luck and go on down the river towards the solid ground where the swamp disappears into woods. As I was going down, my wading boots kept getting stuck in the mushy underground of the river. I kept loosing my balance. At one point, I almost fell into the river. But instead of falling and getting soaking wet, I grabbed for the nearest thing- a branch of an oak tree. Immediately I felt a stinging sensation and yanked my hand back. I looked at what I grabbed and found a very scary looking caterpillar, later known as a "Stinging Saddleback Caterpillar." Well the stinging sensation was so intense that I was yelling out in pain. RNH came to my rescue and I showed him the caterpillar. I made him take a picture with my camera (which I always have because I'm a picture-taking-fool!) just incase I ended up dying from this injury- he could tell medical people what happened.
The stinging sensation was SO intense that I was almost wanting to panic. I told RNH that we should head back to the house just in case. I didn't want him having to drag my limp body through the swamp and woods, and then be able to call 9-1-1. I sat down under those two trees to rest and just try and "listen" to what my body was telling me. The pain was shooting up my finger, into my hand, and gradually getting worse and worse, in my arm.

RNH, being the redneck that he is, gave me some "t'baccer" to put on my finger at the stinging site. The nicotine immediately relieved the pain right at the source, but didn't stop it from shooting up my arm. I was trying to be "tough" and not a girly-wimp, so I told him I was fine. We continued to fish and have a (sorta) good time. (I was still in much pain!)
When we got back up to the house I looked up the weird caterpillar on the Internet. I found out its name, and the fact that it has caused deaths from its stinging. Awesome- glad I tried to be "tough." Well the deaths usually come from the shock that people put themselves into because of the pain.

Basically lesson learned- watch where you're grabbing, before grabbing! And rednecks have some pretty good and odd home-remedies!!!

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