Karolyn Sherwood, Author

A Scorpion In Your Bed

Go on, name the scariest things you can imagine.

Earthquakes and car wrecks and fires, for sure. Sharks, snakes, lions, tigers, and bears, oh my. How about a scorpion? How about a scorpion in your bed that stings you in your sleep?

That’s what happened to my husband last night. Sound asleep, nearing the end of our peaceful, relaxing vacation ~ only it’s been so long, so nice, that we don’t consider it vacation. “We live here,” at least for part of the year, we say. “We’ll live here even longer next year.” But, back to last night… sound asleep we were when my husband screams out, “I’ve been bit! I’ve been bit!”

Everyone has a scorpion story, we’ve learned. People here compare their scorpion stings stories like veterans compare war stories. Apparently, (thank goodness I can take others’ words for the truth) it hurts like an SOB… Excuse me, it hurts like having a knife stabbed into your body.

So, back to my husband’s war story. There we are, sound asleep, dead of night, and BAM. On his hand, pain like nothing else. He screams; I jump, run for the light, and up onto a chair. He thinks it was a snake. But as he’s leaning over to pull back the sheets and find the python, I see a scorpion crawling up his back toward his neck. I scream even louder than he did, and start swiping it away with a pillow. The nasty creature falls to the floor, but barefoot, I wasn’t about to step on it. My husband grabbed an errant shoe and smashed it. My hero.

Wikipedia, my hero web site, told us there probably wasn’t anything to worry about. We washed and dressed his wound. Next year, we’ll have Benadryl handy, but the venom isn’t deadly unless you happen to be allergic to it.

The WORST part (okay, for ME) was trying to fall back to sleep. Are scorpions like cockroaches and deer? If there’s one, there’s sure to be more? Do they have nests with babies? Or lifetime mates, like swans and vultures, so there’s sure to be at least one more lurking under our bed? We pulled back the sheets, looked under the bed, stomped and banged on the walls to scare any hidden cohorts out from hiding, but fortunately or unfortunately, got no response, no scampering flashes of slimy critters, no proof one way or the other. It took nearly two hours before exhaustion made the decision for me and I fell back to sleep.

This morning, my husband gallantly asked, “So, still want to come back next year?” I replied, “If you do,” considering myself magnanimous since I wasn’t the one who got stung by a scorpion in my sleep.

We have now just returned from the Property Management office (unpaid plug: a wonderful company: www.milagrorentalscostarica.com ). We signed a lease for this exact same house for next year.

Pura vida.

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