|Portuguese man of war|
|Written by Derek Kingaby|
|Thursday, 12 February 2009 16:31|
I had a confrontation with a Portuguese man of war, yesterday while snorkeling off the reef in Bermuda. I think he won. I got his tentacles round my right arm. It is very difficulty to pull the tentacles of my arm as they stick like and octopus or thin cold spaghetti and stung like a thousand bees. I go some off but then had it on my left hand and my right knee as I swam backwards away from Porty. Then I decided to swim in from the reef. I was breathing too heavily for the snorkel tube which I had spat out and swan frantically for a while. Then I calmed down and began to breath steadily. I put the snorkel mouth piece back in my mouth and started swimming breast stroke using the mask and snorkel. Settled down with the pain now. which was bearable but I was still worried how my body would react next. The adrenalin was flowing and I swan hard all the way in.
Ran up the beach , dropped the mask and snorkel with Lynda, Stuart and Julie and ran very fast to the restaurant. The waiters were very helpful and poured vinegar on my arm as I tried tearing more of the tentacles from my skin. The tentacles started losing the blue colour and also reducing in diameter. The waiter said "get a taxi to hospital." Another waiter went off to find my friends for me but I caught him up, spoke to them. The partial relieve of the vinegar soon wore of I was in so much pain, burning now, that I could not face a taxi ride and ran back to the apartment and put my are in the bath, with cold water running over it. This cooled it down but did not ease the pain. Lynda found various bottles of vinegar, which I applied to my arm and the pain became bearable. In Julies car I had a cloth soaked in vinegar over my arm and one underneath catching the surplice. In the hospital they applied loads more vinegar. Then shaving foam and scraped the remaining tentacles off with a wooden spill. I had a large audience for this, as the first nurse had not done this procedure before and another nurse wanted to show the others. They recalled previous patients, big grown men crying, with the pain of Portuguese man of war stings. I felt very brave. Then they wrapped my arm in hot towels and the pain started to subside.
The doctor, Peter who had experience the same misfortune, said that he had tentacles on all four limbs and they bleed. He wet suit saved his torso. He had the scars for two months and he expected mine to be the same. He also added that although painful it was not life threatening provided you do not get an allergic reaction. They checked my blood pressure and I paid the $300 bill. That is the most expensive swim, I have ever had.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 23 March 2009 10:29 )|