Monday, October 1, 2007

It Takes Talent to Stump Poison Control

Our's is the only family I know of that can potentially leave poison control totally stumped...and live to tell about it. The good news is that every bazaar incident that happens in this house is just one more thing for me to blog about.

Last week, Number One was outside playing with the dogs in the backyard. You need to understand that the dogs' side of our backyard is really more of a jungle, and you can never be entirely sure what sort of deadly animals might be lurking there. Some of the weeds are tall enough that I often wonder if our chihuahua will ever find his way back to the door when it comes time to eat. Unfortunately for me, he appears to have an amazing sense of smell, and always returns without trouble.

Anyway, Number One had been outside having a lovely bonding time with his dog, Miztur Biggz (that's the chihuahua), and they wound up playing on the dreaded jungle side of the yard. Since he found his way back inside the door, I figured it was a bonding time without incident. About twenty minutes after he came inside, I realized that I was wrong.

I was sitting on the couch moaning about the pains of pregnancy (a whole other blog entry), and enjoying the peace and quiet when suddenly a blood curdling scream came from the playroom. The King figured Number One was just crying wolf, but the tone of that scream was enough for me to know something was clearly wrong and pain had somehow come into the situation. I threw my huge body off the couch and waddled as quickly as possible to the playroom. The King decided to sit back and wait it out until he was sure there was something involving blood happening.

When I got in there, Number One told me he couldn't move and it really hurt and pointed to his ankle. (This is the part where I realized I was right, and summoned the King to come in and offer his fatherly assistance). Apparently, some sort of crazed killer caterpillar had attached itself to Number One's shoe or sock while he was out in the jungle. This thing was bright green, and had spikes covering every inch of its body. Oh, and it had a bright red stripe on it's side toward the bottom. Whatever it was, I quickly realized I couldn't touch it because those spikes would wind up in me. Number One, however, had managed to make contact with it and his finger was swelling up as I watched. This made the King and I both nervous because we know Number One is deathly allergic to pretty much everything except chicken and steamed asparagus.

The King quickly ran and got some tissue to remove it from the sock and headed to the toilet to flush him. Being the quick thinker that I am, I yelled to him to put it in a ziplock baggie, so we could go to google images and try to identify what we were dealing with. Realizing that I must be a genius, the King agreed and followed my instructions. Before going to the computer, he was smart enough to suggest giving Number One some Benedryl. (Hey! He's gotta' be a pretty smart guy. He did marry me, afterall).

After a few minutes of looking, it was very clear that we were dealing with the Io Moth caterpillar. There was no doubt at all. Once we knew what this crazed thing was, we did a little more research to see if he was horribly dangerous. We quickly learned that each spike had poisonous venom on the tips, and that we should consult with Poison Control.

Here's a newsflash, people: Poison Control doesn't get many calls about venomous attack caterpillars sticking their spikes into small children. They were able to tell me that the spikes didn't have enough venom to kill him by entering his bloodstream, but that they did need to be removed from their skin or else it would feel like he had fiberglass under his skin and in his muscles. Um, that sounds painful.

So, we called Urgent Care and made an appointment to get the spikes removed. It's a good thing the venom wasn't spreading to his bloodstream because we had to wait almost an hour and a half after his appointment. And to top it all off, the doctor couldn't see the spikes in his finger anymore. So, she sent us home and credited our account.

I know you're all wondering what happened to the spiked villain in this story. Well, I'll tell you. We brought him with us to the appointment so the doctor could see what she was dealing with. It was creepy crawling all over the inside of the baggie. Yuck!!! I think it might have flipped me the bird once, but I was fine with that. I knew I had the power to flush him at any time. I didn't have to flush him, though. He met a much better fate. I believe he was lovingly placed in one of those bright red biohazard trash cans. So, whatever happens to the contents of those cans is what happened to this bug. I don't feel bad. He cost me most of my night, caused my kid's finger to swell to the size of an overstuffed Polish sausage, and has forced us to consider weed whacking the jungle in the backyard. I simply repaid him the favor.

1 comment:

heidi and tom said...

Some people have ALL the bad luck!!! Ha-ha. Glad things are okay for now...well until your next big adventure.