7 Quick Takes Friday - July 12, 2013 - Close Encounters with Scorpions Edition


--- 1 ---

One of my worst fears was realized this morning. One of my kids was stung by an Arizona Bark Scorpion (a.k.a., the most venomous scorpion in North America).

--- 2 ---

Poor William was the unfortunate victim. The scorpion was hiding in his shoe (!!). While we try to remember to shake out our shoes in the morning, we often forget in the rush to get out the door. So, William put on his shoes as usual this morning, and just as we were heading out the door he started screaming that something was poking his foot.

My heart filled with dread as I guessed what was happening. I ripped the shoe off his foot and shook it out over the floor, and, sure enough, a scorpion fell out. It was still alive, and he and I both screamed. I yelled at the other kids to stay in the garage (they had already gone out), and used William's shoe to pound on the disgusting thing as hard as I could. We were in the laundry room, adjacent to the garage, and I was terrified it would escape.

--- 3 ---

Once I was sure the scorpion was either dead or injured enough so it wouldn't move, I carried William to the couch and then raced up the stairs.

Collin was still asleep. It's his day off, and since I worked from home today, I'd offered to take the kids to daycare so he could sleep in. I yanked open the bedroom door and shrieked at the top of my lungs that William had been stung by a scorpion, which made him wake instantly and leap into action. He told me to call Poison Control as he ran down the stairs, and at that point I was so thankful I already had their number programmed in my iPhone so I didn't have to look it up. (I've since put it on my speed-dial list, just in case.)

The other kids actually came back inside the house while I was upstairs getting Collin, and I was not pleased. Elanor apparently opened the garage door (which she is not supposed to do unless an adult is in the garage with her) and Gabriel, of course, tried to run out into the street. Thankfully, Elanor grabbed him before he could, but she also brought him back inside. I don't think she realized what was going on or why I'd told them to stay in the garage, so I guess I can't really blame her for doing what she thought was best, but I just about died when I saw Gabriel standing in the laundry room right next to the freaking scorpion. I herded them all into the living room with strict instructions to STAY THERE AND NOT MOVE. Thankfully, they listened this time.

--- 4 ---

I called Poison Control, pressed "2" for bites and stings, and blurted out the situation once they answered. A very nice lady named Jennifer talked me out of my hysteria and told me that William would be okay, and that it wasn't necessary to rush him to the ER unless he seemed to be having a bad reaction to the venom, which he wasn't. She instructed me to keep cool compresses on his foot (no ice), give him ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain, and gave me a list of worrisome symptoms to watch for (full-body muscle twitches, like shivering or shaking; excessive drooling; vomiting; vision changes).

While I was talking to Poison Control, Collin used Raid Scorpion Killer to ensure the scorpion's demise and then put it in a plastic bag just in case we did have to go to the ER (we wanted to be able to show the doctors exactly what had stung him, if needed).

--- 5 ---

We were still freaked out so we called both our insurance's Ask-A-Nurse line and William's doctor. All the research we read online said to take someone to the ER immediately for a scorpion sting, so Poison Control's instructions confused us. While Ask-A-Nurse confirmed that they had the same information re: the ER, they recommended calling our local doctor first as he might have more experience with scorpion stings, especially in children.

William's doctor seconded the recommendation of Poison Control, which relieved us. He said to watch for the same symptoms Poison Control had described, and, if they appeared, take him immediately to Banner Thunderbird ER (they're the nearest facility with access to bark scorpion antivenin). 

--- 6 ---

However, it's been more than 6 hours since the sting and William is fine other than a sore foot, so we're past the danger zone for a potential reaction (again, according to Poison Control - they've called me back several times today to check on him). He's spent the day laying on the couch, watching whatever he wants to on TV, and basically getting waited on hand and foot and pampered shamelessly.

I have learned my lesson, though - I'm going to set up a shoe rack by the front door (one of these, where you place the shoes upside-down over tines) so no more scorpions will be tempted to crawl into them. We're going to get an exterminator out here ASAP, and we're also seriously considering getting another cat as a deterrent. That might not happen until after the baby's born, but I think it's a strong possibility.

AND I'm going to declutter as much as I can this weekend so the little b******* don't have as many places to hide.

--- 7 ---

Anyway. I'll use the last Quick Take to post some pictures from our vacation to Mexico, which is what I was originally going to write about.

That's Collin in the pool with Elly & William. I took the picture from the balcony of our condo.

The view from our balcony.

Old Port in Rocky Point by night (taken from balcony of a restaurant called The Lighthouse).

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  1. Scorpions and huge spiders are the reason i won't live any further south than I do. Between this story and all the ones Jen Fulwiler has shared, I've eliminated Texas as a place to live for us...ever

    I am glad William is okay!

  2. I'm glad William is okay! I know most scorpions are relatively harmless, but I do know that you have the nasty ones in your neck of the woods, so I'm really glad that it was all no worse than it was.

    Those pictures are lovely!

  3. Ugh. So glad he is okay. We just had a near-miss with a venomous spider that attempted to bite my 10-mo-old on his SOFT SPOT. (Yellow sac spider... aggressive and bites unprovoked and somehow got onto N's carseat and was making a beeline for him. Thank goodness for my 6-yr-old niece screaming and alerting us).

  4. Talk about a heart pounding day! I am so glad that everything turned out okay. I think that shoe rack is a marvelous idea, thought with how much your family is grown, something this size may better fit your needs.


  5. I know this wasn't funny to you but I had to smile because I've done the same things after a bite. That was 20 years ago. We still have lots of scorpions but have found a product that controls them!! Bengal Roach Spray. Once a year we spray the house from top to bottom. We still see a few but they are dead or almost dead. Nothing like before when the exterminator would come out once a week to put out new glue boards. They said they didn't have anything strong enough to kill scorpions. I hope William is better now. We also use a product called Thieves Oil on stings and bites. It works great on Mesquite thorn pricks also.


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