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4968Re: [NUTS] A Geocachers Adventure (not for the faint of heart… you have been warned) by TRAKD

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  • Shel Brabrook
    Jul 25, 2007

      Thanks for sharing your story, and I am glad you are
      able to do so. Seems to be a bad year for the
      buzz-worms, or should I say non-buzz. We had to
      dispatch one at the house this year, one button and no
      warnings. Too close with the small children to just
      let him be.

      Take care of yourself and your hand, those bites can
      have some long term effects around the area of the

      Remember if you have the shakes it might not be the
      bite, but withdraws from not finding a cache in so
      long. "Cold turkey" is not the best way to stop! ;)


      --- Trevor Anderson <trakdclan@...> wrote:

      > Howdy,
      > This is no Harry Potter read but my humble account
      > without embellishment of my story. But, before my
      > story begins I first want to thank everyone for the
      > overwhelming outpouring of love and support. It is
      > difficult to put into words the waves of feelings I
      > have had over the past week and a half but I will
      > try. A week ago Sunday my partner in crime Salmon
      > Falls Widow (and now honest to goodness hero) and I
      > had decided to take a six or so mile hike along
      > Folsom Lake to snap up some caches that have been
      > nagging us for months. We only had a few hours and
      > it was a wonderful morning. Early on into the hike
      > we passed one of our slithery friends with fangs
      > along the trail but it paid us no attention other
      > than turning its head and moving on, so we did the
      > same. It had been a few weeks since our last
      > encounter (about 15 in all this summer alone) with
      > one of our friends of nature so it was a good
      > “reminder” to be vigilant and aware of our
      > surroundings. Anyway, fast forward
      > to the last cache of the day. I dropped SFW off at
      > the trail head and parked the Green Machine. The
      > GPSr said the cache was only 390 feet up the hill
      > and I met her ¾ up with only 100 feet to go. She
      > chose to continue along the trail and I chose to
      > chase the arrow and booneycrash to the treasure. Of
      > course I got to the wonderful view and spot first.
      > Once there I did as all cachers (should) do before
      > searching for anything and made my presence known.
      > I checked over the area looking low and then high
      > and back to low again as I methodically searched
      > where digits told me the prize was hiding. Then…
      > Yep… you got it… BINGO! The prize was spotted. I
      > remember reading something about a moldy log so when
      > I opened the container knew what I was in for. The
      > log was a bit damp and swollen inside and I pulled
      > out my trusty extraction device. As I extracted the
      > log it slipped and proceeded to drop between my
      > feet. I looked down and around as I closed up my
      > extraction device
      > unaware that the next second and a half of my life
      > would be so life altering.
      > I was a couple of three feet away from the tree as
      > I reached down with one hand to gather the log when
      > something shot out of the tree (about 1 ½ feet high
      > up) like a cannon with no warning. In slow motion I
      > recognized my hazard instantaneously and my reflexes
      > were already kicking in moving my hand back and
      > away… unfortunately, I am no longer that shortstop
      > in college and my reflexes are not those of a 20
      > year old. This could have been a blessing or a
      > curse and I will never know but the rattlesnake hit
      > my hand between the thumb and forefinger in mid-air
      > as I was reflexing my arm back. The snake sank in
      > but did not get to clamp as the inertia of my arm
      > swinging back flung the snake. I heard and watched
      > in slow motion as it thwaped up against a tree
      > behind me. I yelled a few obscenities as time
      > resumed its normal pace… or did it? Thankfully (to
      > be discussed later) my partner was still a hundred
      > feet down the trail and we instantly headed back to
      > the Green Machine. I
      > booneycrashed straight down the hill with my
      > survival senses kicking in knowing I was already in
      > deep doo-doo.
      > See, we had been hiking six or so miles today and
      > I am sure I was a bit dehydrated. The cache was at
      > the top of the hill and my heart rate was already up
      > and running when all of this happened. Plus when
      > the snake hit my hand I saw blood spurt a couple of
      > three times after it was flung aside. Yeah, it was
      > an arterial stick. As my veterinarian wife would
      > say if it were a dog or cat it would have been dead
      > within five minutes unless treated. My own medical
      > training and knowledge of the area knew what I
      > needed to do.
      > Story note: I initially thought the snake was
      > between 18 inches and two feet long but when I made
      > the distance with my hands to friends and family
      > they were quick to point out my male shortfalls in
      > sizes. Turns out it was closer to 2 ½ to 3 feet
      > long.
      > Back to booneycrashing. I lowered my arm (A KEY
      > THING TO DO) and applied pressure above acting as a
      > clamp to slow the venom already in my bloodstream
      > but the systematic pulsing of the vile fluid was
      > already being felt. I started up the Green Machine
      > and turned the A/C all the way up and waited for my
      > partner. She was deeply concerned and scared to
      > drive my beast but since I was unable to do so she
      > stepped up to the plate. I tried my best to stay
      > calm and reassured her of my status that I would be
      > just fine. She drove as fast as she safely could
      > down the road with unsuspecting cars in our way.
      > All along I tried 911 but got either no signal or
      > “all lines are being used” notice. We stopped
      > briefly at the Parks Kiosk but the lackadaisical
      > actions of the attendants I knew we really only had
      > two choices and that was to get to either a hospital
      > or fire station. Once again knowing the area I knew
      > that Mercy of Folsom was the BEST snake bite
      > hospital in the area due to my
      > past as an EMT.
      > You can judge my decisions to wait and get medical
      > treatment or get to the hospital as fast as we
      > possibly could… that is fine but it was my life on
      > the line and I knew seconds counted here. I did the
      > math in my head on times and knew we could make the
      > hospital in 20 minutes or so driving safely. If we
      > waited I would get some basic medical treatment
      > maybe in 10 to 15 with no guarantees. I continued
      > with 911 hopping that they would answer and we could
      > meet an ambulance somewhere along the way…
      > unfortunately that never happened. As the wild ride
      > continued I reassured my hero noting details of the
      > incident (size, times, etc) to her in case I passed
      > out because in reality I was feeling my body
      > systematically coming under the influence of the
      > poison. My right hand initially felt the effects
      > and within minutes both legs, other arm, and face
      > were already going numb. But, I continued to
      > reassure that I was alright… just run that last
      > light. We pulled into the loading bay
      > of the Mercy Folsom ER at T-plus 21 minutes (when I
      > started the car I noted the exact time and checked
      > again as I opened the door). Two nurses were going
      > off break and heading in as I cried for help and
      > promptly fell flat on my face after only a couple of
      > steps with my body cramping from the bite. Shelly
      > raced around the Green Machine and helped me up as a
      > gurney was brought out. She helped me onto the
      > gurney and the wild ride continued. I entered a
      > small room with two or three nurses and doctors.
      > Each one fired the exact same questions at me as I
      > mumble answers. My lips had gone numb and speech
      > was difficult but I was getting through. As the
      > next hour or so went on I overhear the ER staff say
      > I should be back up and running in a day or so once
      > the anti-venom or crowfab was on board. How some
      > things give you hope and push you that extra mile.
      > Familiar faces began to pour in with my wife
      > Debbie showing up and best friend Brave Sir Robin as
      > well. At one point in this ordeal with all of my
      > family, friends, and medical professionals around I
      > had to let loose. I had been questioned, re-
      > questioned, poked, and prodded… I just could not
      > take anymore. So after one more siphon of blood was
      > drawn I popped off… “You know you doctors have stuck
      > me more times than that #$%&@ snake did”. This
      > seemed to lighten the tension in the air as a hearty
      > laugh was collectively expelled. I know that if you
      > can not laugh at adversity and challenges then half
      > the battle is already lost. For the next trying
      > hours and days I have many many stories of both
      > laughter and sorrow. But, in the end I made out of
      > ICU after 7 days and got to see my precious boys.
      > This story ends happily. My arm still feels the
      > effects of the bite as I type these words but I know
      > that too will pass. I have been questioned about my
      > ordeal and if I would
      > cache again. Not only yes, but… HELL YES! My
      > “Cache-Du-Jour” streak is over and as the boys have
      > grown it was about to anyway because they are into
      > swimming and laser-tag and there seems to not be
      > enough hours in the day for it all. But, Geocaching
      > is a fun outdoor activity and I am not going to let
      > a snake bite push me back to the couch and what is
      > the next season of drivel on TV.
      > I have never tried to preach… oh, I have my
      > opinions but try to keep them to myself. However, I
      > am going to step up on a soap box here. Please do
      > not take this story as one of tragedy… take it for
      > what it is worth… hopefully a compelling glimpse of
      > time that I went through. I initially did not want
      > to tell half assed bits and pieces because people
      > will snap to judgment and take action without
      > thinking. In my humble assessment with my
      > rattlesnake encounter, it was a one in a million
      > shot. It was the exception and not the RULE!
      > Please, please, please should not frighten ANY ONE
      > away from caching. Only make us ALL more vigilant
      > and aware of our surroundings. As a cacher it is
      > our responsibility to remember that we are in THEIR
      > territory. Be mindful and respectful to this and
      > hopefully you will never encounter the freak
      > accident I did. To this day I believe I was aware
      > of my surroundings. I did not see the snake because
      > of how it was hidden and it never made its
      > presence known until it uncoiled and leapt like a
      > rocket. Will I be more cautious… of course. Was I
      > cautious enough in this instant? In my humble
      > opinion I think so.
      === message truncated ===

      Moody friends. Drama queens. Your life? Nope! - their life, your story. Play Sims Stories at Yahoo! Games.
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