A Bite in the Night

It was a dark and stormy night.  When all of a sudden, the power went out.  There were four of us at the volunteer house: Katie, another staff member, myself and two volunteers V and L.  Katie and We tried to find candles but they had been moved from their usual spot or thrown out in a recent clean/reorg.  Two flashlights were on hand but neither worked and batteries didn’t really work.  We used our phones for some light and continued just hanging out.  Katie got up from the table and all of a sudden yelled out in pain.  It was like a Murder Mystery come true. Katie yelled that she had been bitten by a snake and to that we needed to find it and take a picture and she had to go to the hospital.  

I used my super strong iPhone flashlight and looked for the snake.  V got her mag light flashlight and also searched.  We couldn’t find it.  I am petrified of snakes so my skin was crawling but I definitely wanted to know where it was to avoid it.  Katie said she had flung it as its fangs hung on to her foot.  I called another coworker, Max, to come with a flashlight or torch and explained what hallened.   He has a motorbike so it was easier for him to make the twelve minute bike up in the crazy downpour and lightning storm.  In the meantime I tried to call our tour guide who Katie said has a car to go to hospital.  Tour guide wasn’t available so I called the Thai equivalent to 911.  Emergency ambulance services. 1669.  They couldn’t seem to hear me or understand and hung up on me so I called a taxi.  Max arrived as we were waiting and spotted the offending biter.  It was a centipede, not a snake!  It was big and thick and red and moving fast.  I had been warned about them in Japan as well.  They are next to impossible to kill and can cause death. 

 I got as close as I felt comfortable and snapped a few pictures.  I cleaned the wound.  L’s Dad is a doctor so she asked him for advise.  Transportation came and Katie and I headed to the Takuapa hospital.  
Once at the hospital, Katie was whisked away in a stretcher at the ER and I went to check her into admitting.  Got all the paperwork out of the way and a lovely young Doctor examined Katie to say it was okay. It would be painful and there is a possibility of allergy but if no allergic reaction, she would be fine.  She was given pain medication and cleared to go home.  If she had an allergic reaction such a breathing trouble, a skin rash or the like, we were to come back. The allergic reaction could happen anywhere between six hours to three day later.  But likely if she was in the clear after six hours, then the allergy was not present.  
On our way back we got word that Max and another colleague Alex had killed the offending centipede.  Alex on his first day had found a centipede in his shorts after sitting on the ground in the evening so he seemed to have a personal vendetta against the centipede. 

Yikes!  Katie survived the night an all turned out okay.  We are prepared with the “centipede killing” frying pan if any more appear in the future!  


2 thoughts on “A Bite in the Night”

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