Friday, September 7, 2007

Don't Pee On My Parade

Flash Back Friday

"... that's right, I stepped up ... she is my friend and needed help ... if I had to, I would pee on any one of you ..." - Matt LeBlanc (Joey) on Friends

No, this is not another post about someone peeing. This is about someone peeing on your leg. Or, not so much.

Have you ever been stung by, like, five gazillion bees at the same time? No? Well, I have. OK, maybe not five gazillion.

It could have been four gazillion. Anyway, it felt like five. It happened when I was about 10 or so and we were at Pensacola Beach. My mom and I were swimming together, out past the breakers, parallel to the beach. And, in hindsight, really, what was she thinking? Sharks, riptides, enraged jellyfish? But she had been going there since she was a girl and nothing like that had ever happened. Until that day.

I was just swimming along in my little bikini, happy to be with my mom, swimming along without a care in the world. Then I swam over some scratchy seaweed. At least, it felt like scratchy seaweed. I thought "Hmm...some scratchy seaweed." And kept swimming. Then, I paused. Paused and tread water. Hey. That kinda hurt. That kinda hurt...a lot. And it's hurting more and more. I cried for my mom and she got me to shore. Where we found dark red, raised, painful, swelling welts all across my belly. Which were becoming more painful every minute. I had not swum across some scratchy seaweed but right over top of a Portuguese Man 'O' War which obligingly dragged it's poison filled tentacles across my belly.

My baby brother shrieked "Rub sand on it! Put sand on it!" Of course, we ignored him. I don't recall whether peeing on it was actually under consideration, but I doubt it. Instead, they rushed me to the emergency room where I was examined, given some pills for the pain and told to go home to bed.

And where they told us that we should have rubbed sand on it.

Apparently, my brother had heard some adults who lived in the area talking about jellyfish stings and what you should do for them and he soaked it up like a little sponge. And then tried to tell us.

I'll never forget the sensation of swimming over that jellyfish. And it was more than 40 years ago.


Next time, I'll listen to my brother.

3 comments:

LizzyBee said...

I'll pee on you any day you need it, Mom!

Ortizzle said...

I've been stung by jellyfish, but not a Man-o-War. That would have put me off beach swimming for... a really, really long time.

Linda said...

Ah, Kindred Spirit! I had a close encounter with a Man-o-War in Florida shortly after it became a state (I was quite young). A woman on the beach poured a bottle of ammonia on me as I went shrieking passed her, and as I remember, it DID do some good. So that "peeing" thing may work. Although the cure might actually be worse that the problem.