Saturday, November 3, 2007

Cale versus the centipede

The mattresses in our house at our site are very mildewy and moldy since the house was left open for several months. We plan on remedying the situation when we move there in December. However, for the two nights of our site visit there wasn’t anything that could be done.

I was having a hard time breathing in the bedroom lying on those mattresses. On the second night Cale and I had set up sleeping on the floor of the living room. I was lying on some chair cushions, but Cale was lying on some sheets spread out of the floor.

I was half dozing, listening to the iPod when Cale woke with a start, yelling and thrashing around with his sheets. Needless to say, this scared me awake and had me yelling in fright as well. I am sure the neighbors were wondering what crazy things the palagi were doing at 10 pm.

Cale thought he might have rolled over on a millipede because they are supposed to cause a burning sensation when crushed. However, when he investigated the sheets he found one large, mean-looking centipede. It was still alive and uncurled itself and scuttled away.

Neither of us had our medical manuals with us and all we could remember about centipede stings is that they hurt, which I think that Cale can attest to now. We called the medical officer and she had Cale ice it and take some Ibuprofen. In the end, Cale says it was a similar experience to a bee sting. However, we have heard of other people stung by centipedes who experienced a lot of pain for several hours. In one of the nonfiction books I read set in the South Pacific the author was stung by a centipede on his foot and it swelled up for several days, so I am glad that Cale got off so lightly.

— Sara


Barb Carusillo said...

If a centipede was in my bed, you would have heard me yelling in Samoa. I didn't hear you Cale, so you must be more stoic that I! Hope it heals well!

annette said...

well, it seems that even the bugs like you!!! surely there are some native remedies for keeping bugs out of the house, maybe your host mother has some ideas. be careful honey!

annette said...

are there any other adventures, thoughts, comments that you would like to share cale? look forward to hearing them when you have time!