County living is something that my family and I have grown to love. The only noises at night we hear are the long distant howls of coyotes and the musical rhythm of insects. Along with the simple quiet life we have grown to love, we’ve also had to learn to live with it’s not so pleasant perks. Raccoons, foxes, opossums, and snakes.. Copperheads are highly common out here.
In April of 2013, shortly after we moved out to this land, I was bit by a baby copperhead only 10″ long on my left hand. 5 days in the hospital, anti-venom (cro-fab) with a night in ICU. I’ve learned to be careful out here. Taken in every free cat or kitten available, bought some chickens, and cleared the land as best as we could keep it. Since then we have only found one copperhead.. he didn’t make it very far. My youngest son found him and stopped his sister from picking up a ball that landed right by him..
May of 2015 was a wet month! We ended up with over 20″ of rain here is South Texas. Flooding was major and lives were lost due to this excessive downfall. This flood water stirred animals of all sorts up. Dogs, cats, turtles, and snakes were all looking for higher ground. The first week of June the rain stopped. The ground was wet and the grass was high property wide. Good ole Betsy our tractor was fired up and ready to go. For a week, we shredded the land. We were all aware that snakes would be lurking.
June 11th I was outside picking up trash and other debris that had floated around for a month.. 3 feet from our house I found a copperhead curled up in a striking position. I hollered at a child to grab my shovel and quickly sent the other 4 kids inside. I lean in and chop his head off….then I felt the sharpest burning pain in my foot I had ever felt. Yup, dummy me. There were TWO snakes!! I just killed the little ones mate. Big momma in all her beautiful copper color nailed my big toe with a pain that about brought me to my knees. Adrenaline kicked in and I was able to get both snakes in a giant tub. Big Momma was one of largest Copperheads I have ever seen. She was every bit of 2 foot and nice size around..
I knew the drill, I had done this before. When being bit by a snake, it is important to take the dead snake with you in a secure closure to the ER for verification of species. Both copperheads to a trip with me to the ER this time. The ER staff remembered me… some jokes were made but the pain was too intense for me to be bothered. This time I was not given anti-venom. Since I had received it the previous time, my chance of a serious allergic reaction outweighed the effects of the copperhead bite. Pain management and monitoring of the leg/foot.
After 5 days I was released from the hospital. I cannot describe how bad this dang bite hurt. I have given birth 3 times, had about 6 root canals… this was in the top of the pain scale. These little snakes mean business when the do inject you with venom…
3 weeks of recovery and I am almost 100% back to normal. I must admit, I haven’t been outside much lately. Which is sad. I’ve become a little overly paranoid about snakes now.
I’m happy to be back up, active, blogging, and working my Pink Zebra business full time again. The normal everyday life is something I craved while being held up in bed or on the couch with my leg in the air..
Be safe out there, know which snakes are in your area, what to look for and remember..copperheads are companion snakes.. where there is one, there are other.. sometimes right in front of you!
Here’s the progression of my first week after being bitten.
After 7 days, the swelling had gone down considerably and after 14 days, only mild swelling. Recovery was difficult on me physically. I’m still recovering as I write this. I get very short winded and tire easily. Maybe my body is still fighting out the venom or I am just that out of shape.. Maybe both…
Glad to be back in the land of the living!!
Blessings Upon Blessings,