Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jelly Belly

And people wonder why I hate the beach.... Nothing gets my attention quicker when I'm floating around in the ocean than someone racing out of the water screaming.

"JELLYFISH! JELLYFISH!" - Suddenly I felt a sting on my leg. I was nowhere near this person screaming so apparently my psychosomatic empathy was kicking in. MaLe and I had been relaxing in the ocean for a while so we decided to head out and as I pushed my way towards shore I felt an electric buzz drag from my bellybutton, around my side and across my back. No doubt what that was.

The photo is the rash from belly to back. Nasty. And the rash is nasty too.

Having an allergy to bee stings - I was immediately concerned with the effects of a jellyfish sting and made my way to our beach chairs to find my epi-pen - a needle-injected dose of epinephrine that prevents severe allergic reactions and potential death. I looked through the bag. No epi-pen. I raced back to the car, side swelling, rash burning. No epi-pen in the car. I ran over to the ranger station - no ranger in the ranger station. Peeing on it won't work. My throat was not swelling but my heart was beating twice as fast as normal. When I finally found a ranger he explained to me how rare it is to find jellyfish here, but I was the 10th victim of the day. He explained I'd have to hang upside down while he attached leeches to my skin as a remedy. Seeing as I wasn't believing that nonsense - he used an After Bite stick - apparently the ammonia neutralizes the sting. No anaphylactic shock to worry about anyway. The burning subsided and we retreated back home.

I wouldn't have needed it but it was only the third time I have been without my Epi-Pen. Must remember - Epi means "upon" in Greek. Must have the Epi-Pen upon me if I ever need it.


  1. Yeah, I was stung once swimming off Marathon key. Damn thing made me lose me snorkel because I came out of the water so fast. I wish I knew the pee on myself because I sure would have done it.

  2. Apparently urine activates more of the toxin and can make it worse. Also hard to pee on my back.

  3. In all my years of beachgoing, I've never had a run in with a jelly fish.

    Of course, having said that, the next time I go to the beach, I'll get stung by dozens as soon I get ankle deep.

  4. We had a big scary moment, I'm glad you found the ranger and he had the medicine right there.
    The beach day was awesome though. (don't forget)

  5. WOW the 10th victim?! Congratulations! They should have been handing out some sort or prize for that..not the 8th, not the 11th. I'm also glad that you txtd me to let me know when it happened. Hooray technology!