How to Survive a Scorpion Sting

Imagine....dropping on you in the shower...

Imagine….dropping on you in the shower…

April 23, 2009: Ometempe Island, Lake Nicaragua

The boat ride to the islands was quite lovely, with spectacular views of the two volcanoes: Volá  Maderas (1349 m / 4,425 feet) and the active Volcán Concepcion (1610 m / 5,282 feet).  I couldn’t wait – a couple of days on the beach to relax, do a little hiking and biking and playing in the waterfalls. Unfortunately our first night there, we had a bit of a nightmare scenario.

See, my travel buddy Clara got bit by a scorpion while showering. (Evidently, they like dark damp environments). I knew something was terribly wrong when Clara came screaming out of the shower stark naked. She’s usually pretty darn modest.

So I spent the night on point ensuring Clara didn’t start frothing at the mouth and convulsing. (It was a bit twisted that she was the one bitten and not me since she’s the nurse, but fate’s funny that way.)

Gimme a maggie over a latte any day

Gimme a maggie over a latte any day

Quite frankly, I’m not sure what I would’ve done if she did start convulsing since there was no hospital or clinic on the island and the ferry back to the Nicaraguan mainland wasn’t for another 12 hours or so.

In hopes of calming her down, I assured her I would tie on the tourniquet and attempt to suck the poison out if need be. And I would have. I’m pretty sure.

Luckily, the local advice to “just drink some coffee” worked. At first we thought they were just telling us to go to some café and chill out (which would’ve sort of been appropriate, ‘cause Clara was starting to freak out a little).  Then we read on the internet that caffeine restricts your circulation, decreasing the flow of poison throughout your body.

Ours were fake tattoos

Ours were fake tattoos


Perfect! A round of lattes for the ladies! (I was sympathy drinking at this point because everyone knows you should not give me coffee.)

I’m not too proud to say I actually tried to use the incident to get us a discount on our room that night. “But there are scorpions in the room!” Didn’t work, but I made a valiant effort.

Oh yeah, Clara survived and we both picked up temporary tattoos in the shape of a scorpion to mark the occasion.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 and is filed under North America.

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