You may not realize how many caring friends you have until you have a problem!
We went shopping on Tuesday, and my “going out clothes” were hanging on a hook in the bedroom. When I put on my pants I felt a sharp burning sensation in my leg, so I ripped the pants off. I thought it was a wasp or ant or some biting insect, but I never though I’d see all the baby scorpions that fell out of my pant leg! Yes, I know the picture is bad but under the circumstances….
Those little devils were running everywhere! Where was mom??? We never saw an adult. Usually the mother carries the babies on her back, which I have seen, but maybe these were bigger and didn’t need mom any more? (here’s a mom we saw in the past)
So anyway, pants off, leg burning like fire, 4 bites that I could see…. the Panamanian remedy is to squash the scorpion and rub the insides on the sting. If that’s not possible, I have dead squashed scorpions in alcohol, which is to be used to treat a sting. But, unfortunately, I didn’t even think of it until hours later. The leg burned all day and another effect of the neurotoxin, your lips and fingers get numb and tingly, very weird.
The shopping at least distracted me from my hurting leg and other effects. We got lucky at Pricesmart, a very short line that moved quickly, and not too much waiting to check out. They only let in one person per family though so I was on my own. When we left the line extended the length of the building and around the corner! We got lucky. Then, we went to Super Baru for a few more things. There was no line or one person only restriction, but the store was uncomfortably crowded and there were lines at the checkouts. Everyone wears masks and follows social distancing but it’s still uncomfortable to be in a store with too many people so you can’t help but get too close to some of them. But, we got the shopping done and shouldn’t have to go out for a few more weeks.
But, back to the point of this post… I shared the story and picture of the scorpions on Facebook, and got dozens and dozens of caring comments! People I hadn’t talked to in weeks or months came forward to wish me well. We all complain about social media and the negativity, with good reason, but it also connects us with friends and lets us know that there are people out there who care about us. That’s important for our mental and even physical health, and it just feels good to know you have good friends. I really appreciated everyone who took the time to respond to my post.
And, by evening I was all good again! The symptoms went away, and you can’t even see where the bites were. And, we haven’t seen any more scorpions, big or small, since that morning.
I know the drill…. shake out everything before you put it on! Don’t put your hands where you can’t see in case something is lurking. Be aware that we share the world with wildlife, which may not be friendly. My clothes were hanging on a hook in the open so I didn’t think to shake them out. I won’t make that mistake again.
But we really don’t have much dangerous wildlife here. You would think, living in the tropics, right next to a woods and a river, that we would have problems but we really don’t. There are few mosquitoes here, way less than anywhere I’ve been in the US. We have a bad snake, the fer-de-lance pit viper, and I’ve seen a few but they don’t want to see you any more than you want to see them. There are dozens of varieties of ants and bees, some of which will sting if you bother them, but if you leave them alone there is no problem. I’ve heard about and seen a few furry caterpillars which are said to be very bad if you touch them. In 8+ years though, this is the first serious problem I’ve had.
The banner photo is a typical scorpion for this area. We saw this one in the past living in the wood pile out back. Like everything, if you don’t bother them they won’t bother you. They don’t know that hanging out in your clothes is a bad idea for both of you!