Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Don't pick it up!

Well, it's been a while since I've written anything. Quite often it is because I don't have enough photos of the past months. I have been in Durban, I climbed in Umgeni. I had a lot of fun there onsighting a 25 and a 27 as well a getting a 28 second go and 30 in a day in 4 tries. Great weekend.

After that was the Roc Rally which I spent some time training for. I reworked beta for Godzilla and for Strata and Lab Rat. Dave was on Rodan and looking strong, he inspired me to get a new high point on it.

I racked up 3 sends at the Roc Rally, Lab Rat in 30 min, fell off of Godzilla a few times and finally got Strata the next day. I managed to onsight Coach at the last possible minute.

It was all fun and games and I pulled out a second place in the difficulty comp just behind Andrew. The party was epic. It went well into the night. The next day was going to be a write off but I sent Jack as a bonus.

Good times. I was too tired to take draws off of Godzilla. So I sent it first try next weekend.

Since then I've been at Chosspile working Anduril and Chossfather. Colin sorted out new beta for Anduril and he capitalized on it. I didn't manage till this past weekend. It was an empty victory seeing as it took so long to do a 29/30.

The fun started after that. We drove through to Bergheim to camp and it was great till it started to hail and the Bronkenator was leaking. Fun times. We were just about to go to bed and I went to say hi to Frankie and co. On my way back I came across a little black snake. I thought I recognised it as a blind snake. I took some pictures and then I picked it up. It was totally chilled at first and I carried it a bit then it bit me twice. I thought it was weird. It didn't hurt though so Yvette and I chatted about it for a while but when the pain started I asked Yvette to see if I could have been wrong.

It turns out I was wrong. I was very wrong.

The culprit 

The bite

Yvette spoke to our friend Arno, one of the leading specialists of snakes in South Africa.  The snake turned out to be a Stiletto Snake as know as a Mole Viper or a Burrowing. Asp. Oops. Shit. Hmmm what now? Turns out I'm in for so extreme pain and swelling. Damn it. As I walk over to Jono to wake him up the words "we have an emergency. I was bitten by a venomous snake" come out my mouth. They sound stupid. But they are accurate. I wake up Andrew. I start feeling really stupid because I know I have to tell them how I was bitten. My bad.

They get me to lay down in the Bronkenator and as they take down the canvas and we got on the road. I was starting to feel the pain big time. My body was starting to shake. And the pain was building. The swelling in my hand was getting worse and my fingers could not move anymore. I was starting to realize what a big mistake I had made. We were halfway there and I was in so much pain, I was kicking and thrashing. I was realizing more and more that I am an idiot. Yvette and Arno told me and Andrew to make sure not to let the surgeons touch me.

We walk into the hospital and Andrew gets me straight to the back of casualty. The doctor walks in and he is immediately worried about the swelling. I immediately say that surgery is not an option, much to his irritation. Doctors generally don't like being told how to do their job. But snake bites are not really a doctor's speciality, they are Arno's domain and I trust him a lot. He'd seen many Stiletto snake bites and I was dead set on listening to him. Cutting into the skin without true compartment syndrome causes irreparable damage and has little to no effect on the snake bite.

The sister put a drip up on my arm, gave me some shots and instantly I was feeling better. There was a debate about whether to leave me over night for observation or take me home to Yvette. I wasn't being very helpful. Eventually I was signed out RHT (refused hospital treatment). The pain killer the doc gave me was meant to last 8 hours, it lasted about 30 more minutes. Halfway to Hartbeespoort the pain was immense and I was really unhappy again. Yvette was bringing me some tramacet from home to fight the pain but she was still 30 minutes away. All I could do was grit and bear it.

Eventually we got to the total garage in Hartbeespoort and I crawled into Yvette's arms and then into the car. The tramacet helped in about 15 minutes and then we got home. My whole arm was swollen and the pain got worse.

Sunday wasn't good. Monday was a little better. Tuesday showed marked improvement. Wednesday is today. I feel better but I'm still in a lot of pain. I'm really sore but the skin on my hand is intact. I might go back to work tomorrow if the pain is under control.

Monday morning

Wednesday afternoon

Photos from Monday night

I would like to thank everyone who stood by my side on this one. Jono and Andrew for being there from my dumb moment till late at night and into the week with warm heart-felt messages. Ebert for perking me up and making me smile. Colin, Dirk, Greg and Illona for checking in on me and keeping me encouraged. To Yvette for holding on to me and keeping me sane. Lastly, to Arno for helping make the identification and advising us in making the right treatment decisions. Your expertise helped keep me sane and has inspired Yvette to present a paper to her hospital to help spread awareness.  Thank you all...

Yvette and Arno commented on the SA Reptiles forum regarding my case...