Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What to Do When Stung by a Scorpion

Bark Scorpion
The Bark Scorpion is common to Arizona, New Mexico,
and parts of California. Photo by Musides. Wikimedia
Being "bitten" by a scorpion is a scary experience.  The media often portrays them as man-killers and the effects of an actual sting can be a source of understandable anxiety and fear.

The Bark Scorpion, common in the North American Southwest, is particularly venomous and its sting should be treated seriously.  This does not mean, however, that you need to rush to the emergency room immediately.

For adults, getting stung by a bark scorpion usually results in little more than 12 to 24 hours of pain, numbness and some muscle twitching near the affected area.  It is extremely unpleasant, but not life threatening.  However, for children, a scorpion sting can be quite dangerous and requires medical attention. 

Common Reactions to Scorpion Stings in Adults:

  • Localized, intense pain that may slowly spread away from the sting site
  • Numbness and/or tingling that spreads to the extremities, throat and nose
  • Increased heart rate and high blood pressure
  • Muscle twitching and involuntary movement, particularly if stung on the arm or leg
  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle Weakness 

Common Reactions in Children

  • Scorpion stings do not usually swell or have an easily visible injection site, so do not rely on visual confirmation
  • Intense pain
  • Numbness and/or tingling
  • Muscle spasms, including uncontrollable neck, head and eye movements
  • Drooling
  • Sweating
  • Inability to calm down, uncontrollable crying

How to Treat a Scorpion Sting

  • If you suspect a child has been stung by a scorpion, seek immediate medical attention
  •  Wash the sting site with soap and water to help prevent infection
  • Applying a cold compress or cold washcloth to the area around the sting site may help reduce the pain a little.  Over-the-counter pain medication can also help take the edge off as well.
  • Wait.  For most people, the only thing to do is allow the venom to run its course.  Scorpion stings take approximately 6 hours to reach their height and can take over 24 hours for the pain to significantly decrease.  Other symptoms, such as numbness of the fingers and feet, may take several days to subside.

When to Seek Medical Attention

  • If anyone stung by a scorpion experiences symptoms of anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction), blurry vision, trouble breathing or widespread symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
  • If  you are concerned or unsure of what to do, contact your local poison control center for advice.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pointless Conversations Abound

I have always liked conversations involving to two taboos - religion and politics.  Heck, I wrote my thesis on political theology.  I also like philosophy  and history, so I'm a little more aware of what's going on in the background than many people (though no less susceptible to the same problems!). However, my energy begins to wane with conversations based in social media. 

Of late, the two big topics in my world have been Obama and Genesis.  These are two gigantic hot buttons in the American Christian world.  I tend to lean liberal both politically and theologically (with regards to interpretations of Genesis!), so I'm used to having to scrap for validation.  Most Evangelicals are Republican, nearly as many are literal creationists, and all of them seem utterly convinced they have the true Christian position on both counts; to be fair, most Christian Democrats think exactly the same thing.  It can be a bit wearing to have to defend any position, but this conversation usually evokes suspicion about your very character.

 While reading through a conversation on the blog of a well-respected Biblical Scholar, it finally clicked that the problem wasn't the topic of conversation at all.  The participants weren't talking past each other because they had come to different conclusions via the same process of rational analysis.  They're talking past each other because the words they're using don't even mean the same things to the other person.   

Our words and interpretive framework are all undergirded by philosophical presuppositions that make conversation virtually impossible.  Most of the time, we want exactly the same thing, but our methods of arriving at our goal are grounded in belief systems that are in conflict.  We all set up false dichotomies ("You don't believe the creation account is true, therefore you must not believe in the resurrection" or "You oppose universal healthcare, therefore you must not care about people") and viscerally react to what we think we hear rather than what's being said.

This is why a frontal assault on someone's ideology almost never works. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

I love unfinished business

It's on odd occasions that I visit blogger and note the failed attempts to start writing again.  This is hardly surprising, I guess. A lot has gone on since 2008.  I got married, moved to Canada, got a degree of dubious usefulness (I still loved getting it!), had a kid, and moved to Arizona.  By all accounts, it's been a busy four years.  So here I sit, living in a place I never had any interest in, trying to figure out where my life is going. 

You see, Arizona wasn't our first choice.  The last time I'd been in the desert, I was armed and wearing camouflage.  I also didn't find Spanish particularly helpful. This time, while being armed might still be recommended at times, I'm trying to hack out a living while supporting a family.  We'd rather be in Portland, Oregon or still in Canada.  This place is way too hot!  In many ways, this feels like a step backwards.

Don't get me wrong! We love seeing our daughter get to hang out with grandparents and cousins and my wife is enjoying being back in familiar territory.  Only dealing with one currency is also pretty frickin' nice too.  It's just that our hearts aren't here. This is not where we want to be in ten years. 

So no promises or even suggestions that I might start again.  This could be just another drive-by (a bit of a depressing one upon re-reading it!), but hey, who knows?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm alive!

The new wife and I have discussed blogging about our move to Canada and our time there as a way to update our family etc...don't know if this will be the blog, but we shall seeeeeeee.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Right, something new

Yeah, I know, I know, I've been extremely uninspired lately. I've been busy with...umm...harrassing people on the boardwalk with a screaming rubber chicken.

Trust me, it's fun.

ANYWAY, I found this. It's special. This is one of the best things ever.

PS. Does anyone have a method of remote screaming chicken squeezing handy?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Invisible Children

As a few of you know, I've been involved with children-centric organizations for a couple years now. Most of my personal focus has been India, but recently, I've come in contact with a group of guys that are trying to raise awareness about an almost unrecognized war in Africa. I also discovered that someone I know taught in the middle of this war zone for a few years in the 90's, so there is confirmation that the information I've been given is not inflated for emotional appeal.

I know, I know...it's Africa. Most of us think they should change it to Warfrica or something. However, this has reached a point that is untenable to any human being. Why? The people are tired of fighting, but are unable to stop the war without help.

The rebel group has decided that since they can't get regular recruits easily, they will abduct and brutally indoctrinate small children instead. In essence, they are building an army of killer pre-adolescents. To date, over 50,000 are thought to have been abducted, but they have no way of knowing as the records are poorly kept, if kept at all.

Kids all over Northern Uganda are walking 5 to 10 miles every day from their homes to the major towns and sleeping on the streets, in hospitals, and in subway stations -- anywhere there's a government military presence -- to avoid abduction, torture, murder, brainwashing, and being forced to fight in a civil war. It's a horrific situation that is almost impossible to believe.

The problem is virtually unknown in the US and hasn't gained much global recognition, so we're doing a little something to raise awareness and get the world looking at something that's gone way beyond the typical African civil war. Not only are we showing the documentary on Tuesday night, there is a "Global Night Commute" going on next Saturday night. News crews will be there, so the more people, the bigger the impact. It's an all night event and there will be about 6 miles of walking involved (total). Follow the links for more info!

Anyway! Tuesday Night, 6pm, at Angies Subs, they are playing the documentary. If you do nothing else, it's worth seeing and it's free. I've already seen it, it's good and it will open your eyes.


This is the opening flier for Saturday. Anyone interested should sign up and contact me for details. (:

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tracy Goes International

I have an old friend that currently lives in the UK. We've been keeping in contact via MSN for the past few years, and she's constantly "up to date" on what's going on. Often, as I talk about people in my life, she's naturally curious as to what they look like. SOOOOO today, we're discussing one of my newer friends that she hadn't heard of before and:

Jeremy says:
I can show you pics of the other people I hang out with, but not her...maybe after this weekend. I'm trying to get her to go out with my group of friends instead of just the normal 1 on 1 stuff
Jeremy says:
one of them is a photo FANATIC
Jennifer says:
Jennifer says:
thats that blonde chick right?

Tracy, people you don't know on the other side of the world know you. Take a bow. You've gone worldwide!