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Surviving a Scorpion Sting

scorpion antidote scorpion sting

I have had a good wake-up call about scorpions, in a hot, desert climate in Mexico, where I had not previously taken them so seriously.

It is said that the larger black ones do not have such a dangerous sting, but the smaller lighter colored ones do. Honestly, they are not out to sting you – but if you endanger their life by stepping on them or squeezing them with a wayward finger – that is when they sting to preserve their life.

They also tend to be nocturnal – so I learned this fateful night that many people get stung walking to the bathroom in the wee hours. As I was treading a path, I had many times before barefoot, searing pain ran from my middle toe up my leg, and I realized I’d been stung. However, we never found the creature, so I did not realize immediately it was a scorpion.

A great solution to this which we did in retrospect, is to have a UV flashlight - as the scorpion exoskeleton is phosphorescent, and they become visible in the UV light.

After the sting, my toes went numb, my hands numb, my lips numb, so I kept taking remedies (both homeopathic and antihistamine) hoping I would defray the symptoms,. But to no avail. When I got up a tried to walk a couple of hours later, it was like walking through pudding and I realized I was losing my motor skills and when I woke my husband to take me to a med center, I was barely able to speak due to swollen tongue and throat.

He helped me get to the car, and we rushed the 20 minute drive on empty roads at 2 a.m. to a clean little Emergency Med Center.It is very likely that besides scorpion sting symptoms I was also having an allergic reaction, so we used an epi-pen on me and my husband hilariously managed to stab himself with the other one.

Upon our arrival the 26-year-young doctor and her nurse assistant, immediately said, “scorpion” in Spanish – moved me in a wheelchair to a gurney and promptly started an IV with anti-venom. It took 3 vials of anti-venom before my vitals returned to “normal”.  10,000 pesos later (about $575 USD) in Mexico (not sure what it would be in the US) we were just grateful medical help was readily available.

Hopefully there will not be another next time – however if there ever was, I would not wait to go for medical attention. This was just too close to the edge of feeling like I might not make it.

While on the IV I asked my husband to play Sai Baba chanting the Gaitri Mantra (which he did on his phone), and heard later that a scorpion sting was what activated Sai Baba on his journey of service.

I’m so glad that I was able to remain in this world as I have much to do yet with this valuable life of mine! For fun I made images with the AI – to add to this post, as we were not taking photos that night.

Once I was recovered at the Med Center, (they only keep people 2 hours) and many of their primary patients are late night scorpion stings, after arriving home, I slept the better part of 3 days. I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a Mack Truck – with my mind a bit groggy, and after a few days, began to feel back to “normal,” and exceedingly grateful for the recovery.

Wikipedia has some excellent info on Scorpions – if you would like educate yourself further. Here is some basic info:

Scorpion stings can range in severity depending on the species, with larger scorpions generally causing less harm compared to their smaller, more venomous counterparts. However, all scorpion stings should be taken seriously due to potential allergic reactions and individual sensitivities.

When stung by a less harmful, larger scorpion, the symptoms are often localized pain, redness, and swelling around the sting site. In some cases, individuals may experience numbness or tingling sensations, along with mild muscle spasms. These symptoms usually subside within a few hours to a day, and medical attention might not be necessary. However, monitoring for any signs of allergic reactions or severe symptoms is crucial.

On the other hand, stings from smaller, more venomous scorpions can lead to more severe effects. Symptoms can escalate rapidly and include intense pain, muscle twitching, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and in extreme cases, convulsions or paralysis. Immediate medical attention is vital in these situations as the venom can affect the nervous system and lead to life-threatening complications, particularly in children or individuals with underlying health conditions.

The importance of seeking medical care promptly cannot be overstated when dealing with scorpion stings. While first aid measures like cleaning the area with soap and water and applying a cold compress, and elevating can alleviate pain and reduce swelling, professional medical evaluation is crucial.

In cases of severe symptoms or stings from venomous species, treatment often involves administering antivenom intravenously (IV). This specialized treatment counters the effects of the scorpion venom and helps manage the symptoms, preventing further complications.

Therefore, swift medical intervention is critical when dealing with scorpion stings, especially from smaller, more venomous species. Timely access to proper medical care, including the administration of antivenom, can significantly improve outcomes and mitigate the potentially life-threatening effects of scorpion venom.

NATURAL REMEDIES: I have since learned that taking 2 grams of Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate or Ascorbic Acid) every 15 minutes (for up to 4 hrs) can help stop histamine reactions of anaphylactic symptoms, and reduce reaction to bites or stings. A Dr. Klenner did extensive research on this around 1930, and a Californian Vet, Dr Wendell Bellfield, carried on the good work with impressive results on all sorts of dog ailments that are generally considered incurable or fatal. Also a Native American remedy is Echinacea, which they called "snakeroot" because it would remedy snakebites. These may be worth researching for those who are interested in natural remedies. 

DISCLAIMER: The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.