Monday, January 12, 2015

My Jellyfish Encounter

I've seen reactions to jellyfish stings on TV... and I've always wondered, is it really as bad as it was portrayed? Well as of Jan 4th I no longer have to wonder. Now that I know exactly what it feels like, I hope to never feel it again.

The pain is incredible, I can only describe it as barbed wire and fire...

I was frolicking with my husband off the coast of Cuba in the Atlantic ocean, when I thought my ankle got tangled in something sharp (barb wire)... I was more surprised than in pain at that moment because our beach was pristine. But then the back of my other leg burst into fire and I suddenly new that I've been kissed by a jellyfish. I didn't know if it was one or many, or how big, because I couldn't see it, I could just feel it. When it got the side of my leg, I couldn't get out of the water fast enough. It didn't help that prior to our vacation I watched an episode of CSI Miami in which a person falls into a tank of jellyfish and dies from their stings.... yeah.... to say that I panicked would be an understatement.

But thankfully I made it out of the ocean, and it wasn't a poisonous jellyfish (as I am back in Canada and typing this up :))... but damn it was painful.

At first there was no sign on my legs of the encounter, even though I could feel the pain/burn. Then after a couple of minutes the welts showed up.

First the ankle bracelet...
Then the back of leg hug...
and the side peck....
After a couple of hours the welts subsided into cat scratches... the pain went down a notch as well. Although it was still strong enough that I couldn't even stand the feel of my skirt brushing against it.
The culprit washed up on shore by the end of the day... and it's no wonder we couldn't see the sucker in the water. With the help of my husband we returned it to the ocean.... I just didn't feel right letting it dry out.
For the next 3 days I only dipped my toes in the water...  the burn stays fresh in your mind, and I did not want to experience it again so soon.

I still have the jellyfish scratch marks on my leg and they still flare up and itch occasionally... I'm sure they'll go away eventually, and maybe by that time I'll be ready for another dip :)

P.S. I've checked out other jellyfish stings on Instagram this morning... My jellyfish encounter was tame compared to others. I don't feel as traumatized anymore :)

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