I fought fate and I won
Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin died today from a stingray wound. I have no real connection to Steve Irwin, although I have been to his hometown in Australia, but his untimely death makes me see now that I fought fate--and I won.
Several weeks ago I went down to Port Aransas and was playing in the ocean with my family. Only five minutes into it, I felt something attacking my foot. I admit now that I overreacted in the first two minutes of the incident, but had I known the amount of pain I was going to be in, I would say that I reacted in perfect proportion. Screaming like a girl and high-stepping through the water, I finally made it to the shore where I could examine my foot. I could feel the poison travel up my leg, and only about 15 minutes after I was stung, my stomach started to hurt, I felt woozy, and I was sweating heavily. My family rushed me to the EMS, where I was relieved to find out that the remedy for stingray wounds is simply to put the affected area in very hot water and let the water break down the stinging protein that has been injected.
"I mean, I thought I was going to die," I told the EMS lady truthfully.
"Oh no, that happens only very rarely," she said, not knowing that the Crocodile Hunter would be a victim of the stingray in less than four weeks.
"If the stingray gets his barb stuck in you it can happen then," added the other EMS lady, "but I've never seen that happen and I've been watching stingray wounds come in for 27 years."
I was glad to hear that. Over the next two weeks I limped around thinking I was being healed, but finally one night while I was cleaning the wound, I noticed something. Curious, I sliced open the wound, stuck my tweezers into the hole, and made contact with something hard. I pulled it out. It was the barb from the stingray, about 1/2 inch long, and stuck in my foot for the last two weeks.
Since then, the wound has begun to heal more, and I feel fine. I only hope my feelings of bravery in the face of a life-threatening injury as well as the death of an Australian superstar will educate people to do one thing: never go in the ocean because it is a pool of death, teeming with animals who would love nothing more than to kill you.