Scorpions, Ticks and Seizures, Oh My!

Another summer and another week spent playing camp nurse.  This time in the backwoods of humid, muggy, mosquito ridden North Florida at an all girls camp where drama and intrigue were the rule and not the exception.  It is amazing to see how quickly teenage girls can go from trying to scratch each other's eyes out to hugs and kisses and everything's fine.
The Scorpions
I spent most of my week dealing with stomach aches (aka I'm homesick but they don't send you home for that), PMS, insects and passing out ADHD and asthma meds.  Until camp I had never had to deal with a scorpion bite.  One of the counselors who was staying in my cabin decided to take a dip in the pool one afternoon.  After going swimming she placed her shorts out on the front porch rail to dry.  When she brought them back in later that night and put them on she felt a sharp, sudden pain in between her thumb and forefinger.  After a loud shriek, she looked down and there was a large scorpion clinging to her shorts! 

All I could think was "that sure is a big scorpion and Indiana Jones says the bigger the scorpion the less likely it is to kill you."  That was the first time I had ever turned to a big screen action hero for medical advice. The picture above was taken just minutes before she stomped the guts out of it.  Yikes!

I disinfected the area that had been stung, applied some antibiotic ointment and a band-aid and gave her 50mg of Benadryl.  She was fine by the next morning.

The Ticks
I could not believe all the ticks!  There were a lot of deer in that area which may account for why there were so many ticks around.  Ticks apparently love deer.  The only thing that surprised me more than the number of ticks was the way these southern girls acted when they saw one.  Many of them were just terrified.  Of course, when I think of the fact that ticks look like tiny spiders that latch onto you and suck your blood until they are the size of a small red grape maybe I should cut the girls some slack.  Who could ever really get used to that?

The Seizures
I made a lot of friends.  One in particular was a young girl with a history of seizures who just about scared me to death.  The first night she seemed to be having an aura of symptoms that made me suspect that she was about to have a seizure.  When I phoned her mother, she told me that she was "probably about to seize."  Oh, great!  Needless to say...I did not let this child out of my sight the entire week, and thank goodness she never did seize.

I'm glad I got to go.  I may go again next year!