Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Wrath of a Scorpion

Have you ever been stung by a scorpion? Well, I have. Although the incident happened 31 years ago I can still remember it vividly.

On a Sunday morning in Jerantut in 1976, I was taking part in a gotong-royong (a cooperative effort to do something for the common good, such as clearing bushes, cleaning drains and getting rid of rubbish in a certain area involving a group of people) with neighbours when I was stung by a scorpion.

Being inexperienced in doing gotong-royong, I wore long pants at the time I was busy clearing rubbish including old wooden planks under which centipedes and scorpions like to hide. Suddenly, I felt something creeping up my right leg. The moment I sensed it, I quickly pressed on it, only to realise that it was a scorpion but it was too late. It must have been very angry when I squeezed it because it had bitten me three and a half times before leaving me as I saw 7 holes on my shin, thanks to the scorpion.

My neighbour quickly handed me a certain seal oil concoction which she claimed was good for scorpion bites. I applied it instantly and continued to perform my duty. Soon, it proved useless as pain began to set in. When I could not bear the pain any longer, my housemate, Tan Ching Hong rushed me to the district clinic to see Mr Tan, the hospital assistant. There I was injected with Methadone, a painkiller.

Initially the pain seemed to wear off but it came back again before I went to sleep. The excruciating pain made me unable to sleep at all. The pain was always with me. I must have dozed off after some time and when I woke up the next day, my shin was still painful but I was accustomed to it already.

The pain only parted with me on the third day! Such was the intensity of the poison the scorpion gave me for remembrance. Another thing I learnt is we should wear shorts when participating in gotong-royong work to prevent the same happening as described in this post.

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