19 September 2008

Just Call Him "Snakebite"

Jackie: "Hey, Mama, you've got to come check out the snake that bit me!"

That's what I heard as soon as I pulled into the driveway coming home from horseback riding.

Jackie told me that he was out on his bike when he saw this cute little baby snake and thought he'd bring it home to show me. Sure, I've told him tens of times that I wouldn't BUY him a snake, but he thought that just maybe if he caught it would be OK to keep his little pet. So he grabbed the snake and rode home on his bike.

After playing with it for about 10 minutes, it got tired of all the fun and bit him. Jackie, my guy with a very high pain tolerance and not enough fear for an eight-year-old, just kept holding him until he noticed that his thumb was bleeding pretty badly and that it was starting to look like a plump Ball Park frank.

So, he put Baby Sammy the Snake (if it has a name, Mama will be far less likely to make you put it back, right?) down on the driveway and put a plastic bowl over the top. That's about the time that I drove up. Now, we've had our share of accidents, cuts, bumps, bruises and ouchies, and I tend to be the calm parent in emergency situations so I didn't really worry much at first. Not until I noticed that the cute little baby snake was shaking its little snakey bootie did I get concerned. Oh my, it just happened to be a rattlesnake.

A venomous rattlesnake.

And Jackie's thumbdog had become a Michelin Man hand. It's a good thing we have a fire department just across the road because after calling 911 they made record time arriving in less than 3 minutes. My helper, Rosie, stayed with the other four kids and Jackie and I hopped into the back of the ambulance and off we raced to the ER with the lights and siren blazing.

The EMTs told us that baby rattlers are actually far more dangerous because they've not yet learned how to release their venom in bursts, so they just inject their whole load at once.

That's why they were preparing the defribillation paddles just in case Jackie went into cardiac arrest.

And, that's why they were ready to intubate him in case his air passage closed up.

So, when we arrived in the ambulance at St. Joe's/ CHOC there was quite a crowd of doctors and nurses (around 35) who were very anxious to attend to Jackie. By the time they got him started on an IV push and anti-venom the swelling was up to his elbow and his lips were ringed in white and felt tingly. That would be from, you know, the deadly poison.

Thank Jesus, after entertaining all the doctors and nurses and staff in the ER joking about charging $1 to see his snake, whose head by the way had been smashed by a fireman and yet it still writhed around disgustingly for a long time -- Ick! Just the thought gives me the shivvers! -- Jackie started responding to the anti-venom. The swelling started to go down and his normal coloring came back.

We still had to spend the night, but the ICU had very cool games and decent pizza so he was pretty happy. The therapy dog, Duke, visited which was super fun. His nurse was very nice and pretty. Even though he had to have his IV moved 4 times, he handled it all very well.

Here are Jack & Duke.

This is the punk rattler that bit my baby.
Yes, I took its picture but in my defense,
that was before I noticed the little yellow rattle-bud shaking.

Just so you know how to address our little Jeff Corwin wannabe in the future, I should tell you Jackie decided that his new outlaw motorcycle gang member/ serpent-wrangler nickname is "Snakebite".

We're so glad Snakebite lived to tell the tale.


Christy said...

Jeez, what a lucky boy. Glad things turnd out Ok! I wonder how long it will be before he picks up another one?

D.Lake said...

Jackie has a great story to tell! Really glad he's OK.

Thanks for the story and pics from Mom's perspective.

Rebecca said...

I love that Snakebite is all boy :) Sounds like something my husband would have done. They grow up to be good men :)

Julie said...

Oh Wow! I'm so glad he is okay! How scary. NEVER a dull moment with you guys. Hope you have a less eventful weekend.

The Redman's said...

OH my goodness!!!!! I'm so glad that "Snakebite" Jackie is OK. How scary.


JourneytoFamily said...

Oh, he totally needs to keep that new nickname. Just go ahead and buy the boy a corn snake, so he isn't tempted to pick up wild (and venomous) snakes. I'll give you the 411... they're very easy to care for and they are NOT venomous.

darci said...

oh m;y word! ok, you have a great style of writing so I was laughing thru the story at the same time I was shivering in horroR! A rattlesnake..can't get any scarier than that for me. What a trooper, and I LOVE his new name..he totally sounds like a tough biker dude. Just tell him he has to ride with Bikers for JEsus..lol! :) Glad he's ok!!

Rebecca said...

OK this gave me chills. Were you freaking out, Laurie??? Your child's lips getting white from deadly poison??!!! And yet you tell the story as if it's just another adventure. You are a brave mama, and he is a brave boy!!! Glad he pulled through. (Shudder).

Wolfemom said...

Thank you Jesus for having mom come home just in time. So glad to hear everything worked out o.k. Like Rebecca, I was wondering if you were freaking out while it was happening??

Hauswife said...

You know, I kind of go in "Handle The Situation" Mommy mode in emergencies. I was worried that I would frighten Jackie if I acted anything other than relaxed and confident that he was going to be OK. I knew that it could get very, very serious very quickly, so I just tried to be really low-key and light. I didn't deal with my own fear (except, of course, to pray the entire time) until later when he was in the clear and sleeping safe and sound... and then I got the shakes and diarrhea. :P God is GOOD, though. I knew that He was there with us, praise God!

Jesse said...

Mmm,k. With the exception of d.lake up there, since it looks like all Mom comments up there, I thought I'd weigh in.

I never post comments, but this was too good to pass up.

Way to go Jackie!!! I feel ya, kiddo... I would've picked that snake right up if I was you at your age... cool lookin' snake, just trying to get away? Not a chance, buster!

Let's see:

1. Cool mysterious slithery snake. Check.

2. Mom and Dad have warned me against touching bad snakes. Check.

3. My own bike. Mobility, freedom, speed. Check.

4. On the way to young manhood. Check.

Ok. We're all set there; Jackie you're in the clear. I don't know if your Dad has had a man-to-man with you just yet, but next time, shush that snake into a better container and be sure to grab him closer to his head so he can't whup around and bitecha. Other than that, you did the right thing - you captured a foreign invader snake.

Good on ya, kiddo! And way to beat the poisonous deadly venom!! You'll be cashing in on that story well in college.

God bless you and merry snake-catching!

Sr. Jesse Brossa Catcher of Snakes Small and Large and General Roustabout For Hire

Erica said...

Oh my goodness! You are one amazing mama to handle that with such a calm attitude. I'd a been freaking out! Way to go! So glad Jackie is okay and that wished snake is no more!

Lisa said...

OH my GOSH! What a story! I am happy to hear there was a happy ending!

Andrea said...

Definitely thanking God he was ok. I have a fear of snakes that nearly matches my fear of bees.
What an experience. I think I'd have to admit myself right alongside my child if that happened.
I'm so glad he's ok!

Carrey said...

Holy cow! What a scary story. I'm so glad your little man is OK!!

Carrey said...

Holy cow! What a scary story. I'm so glad your little man is OK!!

Ellen said...

That is so incredibly scary - I am glad he is okay! I hope you are okay, too!!


The Six of Us said...

GAW! Good Grief woman! You make it sound so easy! I think they would have needed the oxygen for ME if I was in that situation. My oldest is close to obsessed with snakes...but fortunately for me, it is more of a book obsession. OOO it gives me the shivers!

Teabo Chica said...

Oh my gosh Laurie I HATE snakes I would have fainted from the sight itself! What a brave boy your Jackie! I am so glad he is okay and that that nasty rattler didnt get a bite out of the little girls too!

Liesl said...

Oh my goodness!! I'm so glad he is ok! He looks so proud in the pics, though...definitely all boy :) My hubby was quite impressed, actually, being a Southern California guy himself. Snakes scare me!! Now they do even more :) Sounds like you have one tough cookie on your hands. Thank you, Jesus, that he will be able to tell his friends this story with a happy ending.

The Redman's said...

Jake was watching "Snake Wranglers" this morning. We thought of superstar Snakebite Jackie!!!!! :)

Amy said...

oh my oh my.... what a great blog post/story! I mean, it is only good because Snakebite is okay. :) I can't believe this really...... snakes give me the heebee geebees. eek.

be_a_Mary said...

im so glad Snakebite is better. super scary. we hoped to make it to CHOC yesterday but D made that impossible. (hrumpf) So glad he is out of danger!!


Brad and Christy Sherrell said...

Let me know when Animal Planet picks up "Snakebite: The Snake Boy Show." We would love to watch all the wonderful antics!

Thank GOD he is ok! I laughed so hard while reading your story, knowing full well that you were probably terrified. You are a great story teller!

Lori said...

Oh Laurie, how terrifying that whole experience must have been for everyone... I was chuckling at the beginning until I read more!

Your strength is amazing and little Jackie will surely have this episode as one for the records..

Thank God he's fine and you can write about it in the manner you did, what a relief.

God continue to bless little Snakebite and his whole family ~

xo Lor

tish said...

oh my!!! that was crazy! so very glad that Snakebite recovered so nicely...but sorry for your shakes and diarrhea. i think he should split with you all that money he made charging to see his snake!

Kristi J said...

That is completely NUTTY!!! Are there rattlesnakes in TN?? I hope not...what an awful ordeal??? Was that your first ambulance ride?? I've been on one with my Julia!!!Crazy, kristi

Jesi and Joe said...

Holy SMOKES! That's TERRIFYING! Sooooo glad he's ok. WHOA! That boy's fearless! I'm freaked out just SEEING the picture... the pattern on the snake YELLS rattlesnake to me... but I have had a fair bit of exposure. Joe and I had to behead one for a neighbor just two weeks ago! *Shiver* So creepy!

emily said...

You rock mom! I am so proud of the way that you handled this situation- I'm afraid I might have freaked.

Thank you Jesus that Jackie "Snakebite" is o.k and was able to get medical attention so quickly.

I so love the "IV push" and other ER lingo. Big fan of the show. :)

Texas is calling your name, can you hear it?

Melissa said...

That picture of the snake is scary enough, let alone a trip to the E.R. He's one brave and protected little man! Amazing story for him to tell when he gets a little older! :)

FHL said...

Oh my word that had to be terrifying! Praise God that Jackie is alright! Leave it to a boy to bring home a rattler on a bicycle.

feja said...

Oh my goodness! Thank God he is alright and that you came home so soon to find him!

Miranda said...

Oh wow Laurie! I'm SO glad he's okay. I bet that was terrifying but I'm glad "Snakebite" handled it so well.