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May 09, 2011

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Comments

Kalynskitchen

So glad you didn't find another rattlesnake. And there are some pretty successful books with titles that start "The Girl ..." Food for thought?

Misti

Wow! I can't believe you were bit by a snake! I had a copperhead crawl from beneath my legs a month ago. eek!!

Carol

You have come full circle. Congratulations!

Jacqueline

Awesome! I wish we had had a camera to capture the cobra-like garter snake today.

I tell you, it's NEVER dull knowing you.

xo

chigiy

Hey Kalyn,
I am sort of in the middle of writing my first book and It keeps breaking in to more and more books. Maybe I should just stick with blogging. Thank you for your idea and your faith.xo

Misti,
I don't know very much about copperheads. I hear they are nasty. We don't have them in California but I guess they are really common in the east. Aren't they related to the cotton mouth? Be careful.

Carol,
Thank you.

Jacqueline,
Ohhhh, that ssssnake was sssooo cooool. Yes J we will have many stories to impart on the grand kids.

Janice Burnham

happy snake bite anniversary Chigiy! Very fitting (and awfully brave!) that you're picking up a snake on this anniversary!

chigiy

Hi Janice,
Hey I miss you. The Bachelorette starts soon, hmmmm

Cindy~My Romantic Home

Your post last year is one I have never forgotten! I thought of you when I watched the news this morning and saw a vet in Sunnyvale that has treated two dogs that were bitten by rattlesnakes recently. Since I'm out hiking every weekened it's a little un-nerving to me!!!

chigiy

Hi Cindy,
I still hike every day. I still see all kinds of snakes and lizards and various wild animals.
I try to be as careful as I can but I can't let what happened to me keep me from doing the things I love. Keep Hiking and just be careful. Thanks for visiting.

Katie

Amazing how the universe works sometimes.

chigiy

Katie, The universe is a wonderful place. I'm so glad you're back.

Nancy

I just found your blog today and read all six installments. I was bitten by a rattler while hiking in Big Sur 12 days ago. I guess I had it easy because I was only in ICU for one night. I really wanted to read about someone else's experience, so thank you for posting. I love your sense of humor! It's the best medicine.

Nancy

Also, how long did it take you to recover? I was bit on the top of my pinkie toe and the toe next to it and was walking for short periods of time after about a week. The swelling was getting worse so I am back to sitting around with my foot propped up.

chigiy

Hey Nancy,
I'm glad you found me. It was a year ago today I was bitten. 5-12-10. How long did it take you to get to the hospital?
Have you been back to the hospital since your leg has been swelling again? Have they been taking regular blood tests? Because the venom can stay in you system a lot longer that the antivenin. Make sure your blood work is near normal.
It took me several months before I started to feel normal. I slept a lot during the day and I was tired all the time.
I was on crutches for many weeks and my leg hurt a lot.
My leg was swollen from my toes to my lower back.
I had a very large envenomation so my recovery was a little gnarly.
Take your time!
I would love to hear your story.

Nancy

Wow, your bite was so much worse than mine. Here's what I wrote up last week:

My husband turned 60 in April. To celebrate, he wants to go on a 60-mile backpacking trip near Mt. Lassen this summer with some friends and family. We are planning several one and two day hikes to prepare. We were in Monterey for the weekend, so we decided to go on a 10-mile hike at Andrew Molera State Beach on the north end of Big Sur. We were about four miles from our car when I felt a stabbing pain in my toe. I never saw anything. I sort of stumbled to the side of the trail and John took off my shoe (Vibram Five Fingers, not much protection on the top of the toes). My pinkie toe and the one next to it were bleeding and there were puncture wounds on the tops of both toes. We hadn't seen anyone hiking all day except one group of three people hours before. We said a prayer and then we were deciding what to do because the pain was getting worse and I started getting numbness and tingling in my lips, then face, hands, other foot and little bit all over my body. I just felt really weird. Unbeknownst to us, we were hiking next to a private gravel road outside the park. John decided he would start walking down it. There was no way I could walk. He would have had to carry me and it was kind of steep downhill and then along the beach to the car. We were both nervous about him leaving me there. Then we heard a car drive by. He yelled, and they stopped. They live at the end of the road, and said hours go by without anyone driving by. They drove us the 20 minutes or so to our car. John would not have been able to come get me via that road because the entrance had a locking gate (like a gated community). Then we drove to the hospital in Monterey. By the time we got there it had been about 1 1/2 hours since I was bitten. The hospital ER staff was great. They took me right in and determined it was a rattlesnake bite. They were a little concerned about all my drug allergies so they started the antivenom slowly and when I didn't react, they sped it up. I had to be admitted to the ICU overnight so they could keep a close watch. The antivenom was infused via IV in four separate courses, every six hours. During the night the numbness and tingling went away and I just had the leg pain, but it gradually subsided as long as I was laying down. As soon as my leg went vertical, it throbbed. John couldn't stay with me because the ICU is stricter about visiting hours. The nurses would sneak him in some of the time but he had to spend the night at our room at Asilomar. Their food was much better than the hospital food, so he brought me all my meals. My appetite was just fine. I was discharged at 4 pm and we drove back home. Since then, I keep measuring my leg in three places to make sure the swelling is not getting worse, just like they did in the hospital. It's finally getting a little smaller.

Now, a week later, the swelling is a lot less. I overdid it on Monday because I felt so good and did more housecleaning than I should have. My leg began to swell more and hurt again. Since then I've been staying off of it for the most part and it's much better. I just need to figure out how much I can do without doing too much. I will try to be more patient now that I know about your ordeal!

chigiy

Hi Nancy,
I'm glad you are O.K. Just be kind to yourself. A snake bite is a big deal.
I love hearing other people's stories. I am a little concerned however, about how fast they discharged you. Was your blood work normal when they let you go? Have you had any follow up blood draws? Four or five days after I came home from the hospital the first time, I was readmitted for blood clotting issues. Have you spoken to your regular doctor?

It sounds like the snake gave you a bite. Sometimes they don't wind up and strike they just reach over to what ever foreign object that just invaded their space and give it a little chomp.

Please take care of yourself.

P.S.
How do you like the Vibram Five Fingers?

Nancy

My blood work was normal, even when I first got to the hospital. My INRs, in particular, were never high. I had a moderate invenomation. It was somewhat systemic, i.e., numbness and tingling, but even that went away during the night at the hospital. My bite marks are very shallow. It didn't penetrate deeply at all.

And I love my Five Fingers! My granddaughter calls them foot gloves. I can't imagine hiking in shoes and socks. If I don't wear my foot gloves, I will probably just wear Keens. The toes are protected, but there are all kinds of open areas on the top so it could still happen. I would really be a freak of nature to get bitten twice!

chigiy

Nancy,

I'm glad that your bite was moderate and your blood work was normal.
I would still take it easy if I were you.
It took me many months to feel normal. It took a good six months before the tingling stopped in my fingers, and mouth. Icky.

My friend has the five fingers and she likes to hike in them. I don't think they work very well for her when we run.

Take care.

Alys Milner

I keep coming back to your blog. I really enjoy your writing, your stories and your wonderful attitude.

It was nice to read your rattle-snake update. I referred a friend here who was also bitten by a rattler in April while training for a triathlon. She was air lifted by helicopter but all is well and she's back teaching.

chigiy

Hi Alys,
Thank you for the compliment. Did your friend read my story? I find other people's stories fascinating. I would love to hear her story. Thank you for visiting.

Brian

Did your dog get bit the same day you did?? DO you hike with your dog off leash?? How did the dog react to the snake?? Could you tell us the story of the dog getting bit and how you hike with the dog now??

chigiy

Hi Brian, My dog was bitten eleven months before I was. Here is the link to the article:
http://www.chigiy.com/the_gardeners_anonymous_b/2009/06/live-and-learn-how-my-dog-survived-a-rattlesnake-bite.html
When I wrote the article, I didn't know that there were no coral snakes in this area. I still hike with my dog, sometimes on leash, sometimes off. Getting bitten by a rattlesnake is more rare than getting struck by lightening. I don't like to let the fear of something that might happen change the way I live.
Thanks for visiting.

jen

WOW! I stepped on a rattlesnake on July 24th, 2010 and it was the most painful and traumatic experience of my life! It took a long time to heal..the most shocking thing about the bite is people's attitudes towards the experience,, I've had a few friends tell me "it's no big deal". They aren't people I have in my life anymore. Rattlesnake bites ARE a big deal. Thanks for sharing your story!

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