The following article was submitted to me by Pat Moss from Yarnell, Arizona. It is an abridged version of his journal that recounts the story of his experiences after having been bitten by a rattlesnake at his home.
The account presented here is not intended to be a textbook description; it is one man's story. A concerned reader issued a warning to people reading this snake bite story.
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"I had just returned from Wednesday evening bible study at the church. I changed clothes, and I was planning to take some books over to our pastor. I went outside to start the truck, to let it warm up. After a few steps onto the patio, I felt a sharp sting in the arch of my left foot. I heard a faint buzzing sound.Oops, I thought, a rattlesnake! I continued to go to start the truck. I then went back to the front door, using a more circuitous route, through the front yard.I took a flashlight outside, and shone it along the front patio. There, lying on the cement, almost stretched out straight, was a cute little 15-inch diamondback rattler. He had about four tiny rattles on his tail.
I grabbed a 30-gallon plastic garbage can from the other side of the patio, placed it down beside him, and used the plastic lid to scoop him inside. Then I closed the lid, secured it and placed it in the back of the pickup truck.
I drove the two miles into Yarnell. I gave the books to our pastor, and let him take a look at the rattler inside the garbage can. Then I drove to the north end of town to visit my best friend, Anthony, and announced that a rattlesnake had just bitten me.
He used a snakebite kit to suck venom out of my foot. He had a block of ice in his refrigerator. He broke the block into smaller pieces, and placed them in water in a large plastic container. I placed my foot into the ice water, and left it there during the next 6-1/2 hours, until about 2:30 Thursday morning.
Some other friends from church came by, accompanied by two EMT nurses. They took my blood pressure and checked my heart rate. I told them that the snakebite was into the bony arch of my foot, that I didn't think the snake injected very much venom, that I felt ok, and that I planned to leave my foot in the ice water all night long. They cancelled an ambulance they had called from Wickenburg.
After about two hours I began vomiting, and continued to do so, about every 30 minutes,for several hours. Anthony gave me some echinacea and vitamin C, but I couldn't keep anything down for hours.For about four hours, I could feel the venom circulating through my blood. My lips became mostly numb, and my cheeks, and my fingertips.That was scary. My heart rate and breathing remained normal.
At about 2:00 a.m. on Thursday, I was feeling better. The bite wasn't swelling, and it looked OK. I got up, and drove toward home. On the way,I drove the little snake about one mile down the ancient old dirt stagecoach road that goes to the old Octave and Stanton gold mines. I released him under the brush next to the road.He didn't say thank you. But maybe he would have--if he could have done so!
From there I went home. Since much of the venom had remained in my foot, I put a large hot pad around my foot, to try to force the venom to migrate into my bloodstream and out of my body more quickly. Then I went to sleep."