Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I had a lovely chat at the beach in Destin the other night with Mary, an emergency-room nurse who was born in Yugoslavia. Mary grew up in the Orthodox Church and is now an evangelical Christian, and our wide-ranging conversation eventually turned to menacing aquatic creatures, especially jellyfish and stingrays. She's seen a lot of jellyfish stings lately. (A lifeguard corroborated her story; I asked him early one afternoon what the jellyfish score was, and he said they'd treated seventeen stings.) Mary told me how stings are treated at the emergency room, and I'm passing the information along. It may prove useful.

Here's what Mary does. First she soaks the afflicted area with white vinegar. (The lifeguards do this, too.) Then she applies shaving cream and "shaves" the wound with a major credit card. That's it.

I was stung once on South Padre Island and wish I'd known to do what Mary told me. True, after the tears dried, I was proud of the red stripes that left my lower leg looking like a barber pole and I enjoyed unveiling them at school, particularly to girls. It's not an experience I'd care to repeat, however. But should I do so, I plan to have vinegar and shaving cream on hand, as I did this past week.


Blogger Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

Has to be a major credit card, eh? But I suppose I couldn't expect a jellyfish to honor a department store account or a local grocery store's bonus club card. ;-)

2:05 PM  

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