I abruptly yanked my hand back when I accidentally touched the hot kettle. I quickly stuck my finger under the cold running water and smiled. Now, this might seem weird, I just burned my hand, and yet, I am smiling. The usual protocol would be to yell, cry, or be shocked quiet. And, no, I am not a sadist. Here’s the reason why – I am glad that I still have my right hand. The pain is just a reminder that I could have lost this arm.
I am a biology teacher and an avid photographer. Combine this two qualities, add a nice forest – by my house – to the mix, and you get a person that regularly takes hikes in the wooded area.
On that fateful day, I had taken my camera out and went towards the forest, in hopes of spotting this flower that I had spotted in one of my earlier hikes. I wanted to see if it were not fully bloomed.
I tramped towards the spot, brushing aside overhanging branches, preventing them from slapping me, and ferns that threatened to sweep my face. At last, I came to my destination.
The flower was gorgeous! It measured about ten centimeters from the furthest opposite end of each petal. It had a bluish hue to it, almost going into a violet color, but not quite. Even from a few feet away from it, I could smell its wonderful, flowery scent wafting towards me.
I walked forward and reached out my hand to push aside the small bush that was blocking part of the flower. That’s when the snake decided to bite. I gasped aloud and abruptly pulled back my hand and blindly shuffled backwards, as far as I could from the snake. All the while, trying to take in as much descriptive information of the snake.
I looked down at my right hand and saw the tell-tale snake bite marks. It was starting to swell. The color was slowly turning towards an angry red. I was starting to feel nauseated. I realized with dismay that I had left my phone and car keys at home.
But, first things first, I had to stop the venom from spreading, especially since I was going to be walking. I quickly undid my belt, tied it around my hand – slightly above the wound – and tightened it as tight as I dared. I then set off to my house.
By the time I reached the house, my hand felt like I had dunked it into a cauldron of boiling oil; I was staring to gasp for breath, and my vision was starting to get blurry. I snatched up my keys and phone. I fumbled a bit with the phone before I managed to dial the local clinic near my house.
“Hello, Florida State Clinic, how may I help you?” a female voice answered.
“I just got bitten by a snake. I am on my way to the clinic now. I am quite sure that it was a copperhead. It was about seventy centimeters in length, of a reddish-brown, coppery color, plump.” I blurted as I started pulling out of my drive way. I know, it was probably hazardous to drive and talk on the phone – even more so when you have just have been bitten by a snake. However, all these seems trivial when you start hyperventilating, wondering if every breath you take would be your last.
“All right. We will have the anti-venom ready for you, and a medic team present as soon as you arrive.”
Thank God that the roads were fairly empty. I only encountered two cars on my way to the clinic. I saw the sign for the clinic and swerved into the drive way. The medic team was present and as soon as I tumbled out of the car, they hurried over.
They lifted me up to the gurney, but not before I lurched to the side and vomited. When I lay back down, I felt the gurney being pushed forward, and then I lost all consciousness.
Needless to say, I made it back to good health. The doctor had been mildly surprised that the poison hadn’t taken my arm. He did pointedly say that it was probably because of the quick actions that I took.
I merely smiled for I knew that it was not by my strength. When I went back home, I cautiously went back to the flower. This time, I brought my baseball bat and a long pole to push aside that same bush which the snake had been hiding in. The coast was clear.
Finally, I managed to take the photos of the flower that started it all.
AN: I have never been bitten by a snake, never had any experience with handling snakes. Therefore, I do not have any firsthand experience with this kind of scenarios. This original short story is just based on the first aid that I have learned, and from research regarding poisonous snakes. For those with experience, please feel free to comment on any mistakes!