Part Two: What Happened in Paradise

Sandy Beach in Puerto Penasco

Saturday we started out with a huge walk on the beach. The plan for the rest of the day was to hang out on the beach, swim, float, read and relax. Then we’d go out for a dinner at the $15 prime rib place. We’d be leaving early Sunday morning to get our daughter-in-law Buff to the airport in Phoenix so she could fly back to Northern California.

Once we were in our bathing suits and packed our books, towels and waters, I came up with the idea to rent a pop-up tent from vendors on the beach. Shade would be a welcome addition to our day and would allow my husband to join us. His pale Irish skin is adverse to sun.

The first couple hours were heaven. We were out in the ocean together floating, bouncing over the small waves and feeling fabulous.

Eventually, my husband said he had enough sun and headed back to the condo. I sat on a towel reading in the shade, while Buff stayed in the ocean. Like my daughter said, “It’s impossible to get her out of the ocean.”

After another hour, she came running to the shade of the pop-up tent.

“I got bit by a crab!” she said plopping down on a towel, holding her foot in a panic.

I looked at her foot and their were welts below her little toe wrapping around the side of her foot.

“I think it’s a stingray,” I said.

We had experienced stingrays in Laguna Beach years ago when my husband got stung.

“I’ll go up to the condo and get hot water,” I said. “Stay here, I’ll be right back.

“Bring Advil!” she said.

I ran up to the condo and yelled to my husband, “Buff got stung by a stingray.”

We heated up three to-go cups of water in the microwave and made our way back to Buff.

She was writhing on the ground in pain, surrounded by people. Paramedics had arrived by beach motorcycle and I handed them the cups of hot water.

They motioned for me to stand back and one held her foot while the other gave her two shots in the foot. They applied a cream and then took my hot water, soaked gauze in it and wrapped her foot.

My husband asked what was the shot. The paramedics didn’t speak English, so the guy renting pop-up tents translated. It was lidocaine.

We helped Buff up to the condo and put her feet in the tub. My husband heated more hot water as hot water poured out of the faucet. She was somewhat okay until the lidocaine wore off, which was a mere 15 or 20 minutes.

I ran back to the pop-up tent and gathered our things.

The next two hours were spent heating water and helping Buff through excruciating pain. I felt like a mid-wife with my daughter-in-law giving birth. It was that bad.

Hot water kills the toxins but it has to be at least 110 degrees, so that in itself is painful. My son was on facetime telling me to get a thermometer so Buff wouldn’t scald her feet. I tried to explain that we were in Mexico and I couldn’t run anywhere closeby for a thermometer.

I went through this same stingray ordeal with my husband years before. The lifeguard told me to get hot water and explained that it would ease the pain as it killed the venom. I rushed up to a nearby coffee shop and got cups of hot water. The lifeguard said most people go to the ER, because they can’t tolerate the pain. My husband refused to go to the ER and I drove him back to our hotel with him hyperventilating in the car and me afraid he was going into a seizure. Our kids were scared to death.

I kept asking Buff if she wanted to go to a hospital, but none of us were that keen on going to a hospital in Mexico.

My husband, having gone through it, recalled the pain would ease up in about 90 minutes to two hours. He said after that, if she was still in pain, we’d take her to an ER. We were also frantically on google which substantiated our decisions.

Like clockwork, the pain eased according to schedule. We were all exhausted.

“Now you know how to get me out of the ocean!” she said.

It was paradise, until it wasn’t!

Have you ever been stung by sea creatures? If so, what type of creature? What are your thoughts of swimming in the ocean versus lakes?

Here are two bits of music we enjoyed. The first was next to the El Camaronero statue downtown, the other at the pool bar at the condo. I suggested we sit there for a few minutes hours after Buff’s pain subsided to end our trip on a better note!

61 thoughts on “Part Two: What Happened in Paradise

  1. Yeah, I have been bit by wild animals, the worst being caterpillars. Not the cute fuzzy things you see in your garden. Nope. These are 9-12 inches long and like to drop on you out of trees. I experienced this in Hawaii. They hurt and you swell massively wherever they sink their chomps. —
    Here in Florida, the Rays nest during mating season, and we are taught to shuffle our feet in the sand while walking in the water. Rays hate confrontation, so they usually skedaddle UNLESS they are protecting their nest. Also, like your husband, my Irish Skin has an intolerance to prolonged exposure to sun, so shade on the beach is a must if you want me to join in.

    • The caterpillars sound horrific! We know about shuffling our feet and rays. But I’m not sure our DIL did. She swam out to a submerged sandbar and landed on a ray. Shade was going to make it a nice day, until it wasn’t.

  2. Wow, what a way to end that trip! I’m sure this will be a memory talked about for some time 🙂 Good thing you’d been through this before EA. I’m sure it helped a lot.

  3. Wow, what an ordeal. Sorry you all had to go through that. When I was young a family friend was stung badly by jellyfish, similar experience, our next to last day. Hope your daughter in law is feeling better! Love your line that it was paradise until it wasn’t! Great description. 😎😎😎😎

    • Some jellyfish can be painful too. I was sorry our weekend in paradise had to end that way. I was getting really comfortable in the ocean. Now I’m not so sure.

  4. Yikes! I’m sorry your special trip was spoiled by such a stressful ordeal, but it sounds like you knew just what to do. I’ve been strung by jellyfish twice, and it was similar experience to yours. Hopefully you can all visit the water again without too much worry.

    Also, a quick unsolicited tip. Like your husband, I have pale Irish skin. Supplementation with pycnogenol (pine bark extract) may help. I used to regularly get sunburned on my 20-minute commute to work, but I haven’t had a sunburn in the 6 years I’ve taken pycnogenol, even when exposed to the sun for an extended period. It’s made life in AZ as a translucent person tolerable. Depending how much time he spends in the sun and how prone he is to sunburn, it may be something to look into. 😎

      • I think it’s maybe $40/month, so a little pricey, but it’s been a lifesaver. I used to get 20+ sunburns a year, and now I tan a bit rather than burn. If he’s interested, I buy Healthy Origins brand through, and they regularly have 10-15% off coupons.

  5. Oh my goodness…you weren’t kidding when you said there was a ‘part II’. So sorry for all of it but I’m glad you were there with Buff and that she received good care. What a dramatic, painful and unexpected conclusion to your trip. 😮

  6. That is one trip that won’t be forgotten anytime soon! OUCH! Sounds so painful, but I would say you handled it in a TLC way and she is lucky to have had you there!
    Sounds like overall the good outweighed the bad, but too bad it had to end like that. Though I like how you sat and enjoyed music afterwards.

  7. That’s horrible! I’m so sorry. How’s Buff doing? I’ve never experienced anything like that, I would not know what to do, and it sounds extremely painful. So glad you had experience and were there for you DIL. Hugs, C

    • She’s doing much better but still has soreness in her foot. My husband describes the stingray sting as one of the most painful things he’s been through. I’m thankful I had experience on what to do, but it was so rough having her go through so much pain. She’s a strong woman who is anything but a wimp!

  8. Oh that’s just awful!! My daughter got a jellyfish sting…I think they told her to use Benadryl but now I don’t remember

  9. Holy cow – that sounds awful. But it sounded like you all got through it so well given the circumstances. Like “I felt like a mid-wife with my daughter-in-law giving birth. It was that bad.” That puts it in perspective.

    I’m glad Buff is okay and that you’ve taught me what to do about stingray venom. Wow wow wow!

  10. Thnaks I’ve learned something. My worse encounter was jellyfish. I did have an encounter with a nurse shark but I was in its way not the entree it had in mind. Other than losing my mind, all was good.

  11. Oh my gosh, that sounds horrible!! At least you knew what to do.
    I got an extremely painful wasp sting one time that raised a huge welt on my back. I with with a client on his property and trying not to burst into tears. Haven’t had any bad sea creature stings or bites that I can recall.

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