Pack Your Bags…With Ice And Bandages

I don’t go on a lot of international vacations (I haven’t left Canada since 1994), but the next time I do I’m definitely springing for the health insurance if it’s offered. I would hate to be caught unprepared for, say, an extremely venomous snout cobra making a snack out of my goolies while I’m minding my own business just trying to take a dump.

The 47-year-old patient was on vacation in South Africa at a wildlife reserve when the cobra surprised him from below. He waited three hours for a helicopter to fly him to the nearest trauma center, according to the report, during which he felt a burning pain spread from his genitals up into his abdomen and chest. 
When he arrived at the hospital, he had “swollen genitals with a deep purple discoloration, indicating scrotal necrosis,” the researchers wrote; doctors administered eight doses of snake venom antiserum, as well as medications to control his fever, dialysis for injury to his kidneys, and debridement of his sack and shaft that involved excising a lot of his genital tissue.

Oh, and then there was a lot of surgery, including a skin graft on his…I was going to say trouser snake but that just feels wrong now.

If you need to see photos of his injuries, there are some here in this paper published in Urology Case Reports. It ended up published there because this fellow is one of the first documented cases of what they call “Scrotal necrosis after cobra (Naja annulifera) envenomation.” Yes, that is in fact a fancy way of saying “oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck this poor sap’s nads almost died of snakes!”

Happily, after a year, he is said to have made a full physical recovery. The mental part of sitting on the can ever again may take a wee bit longer, I suspect.

By the way, I wish more writers would creatively describe images. That sort of inadvertent accessibility is handy for us blind kids. It’s nice to know, for instance, that our pal’s initial patch job resembled “a badly-sewn Tim Burton puppet, with a long, thick stitch running straight up the middle” and that the images are “not safe for life.”

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  1. This was your funniest blog post in sometime. I was laughing out loud the whole time while simultaneously cringing. Well done. I love you.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I’m a little disappointed in myself though for not mentioning that our friend here got most of the treatment for his Netherlands in… wait for it…the Netherlands.

      And I’m pretty sure I know who this is, so love you too.

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