Tractor Battery Snake Bite

From "Along the banks of Blair Creek" on facebook:

"My brother was bit by a pigmy ten years back on his hand. He was swelling pretty quick. We took him to the tractor and used its battery. Can't recall what was used to hook to the battery, but I remember crossing two wires in order to make a spark, then applied them to his bite. The swelling stopped immediately. It might have been the same time frame with him as well. Around twenty to thirty minutes before shock was applied."

I would also like to share the same lady's story about a pigmy rattlesnake bite while being pregnant. It is important to note that the shock in this next account did not fully neutralize the venom because a grounding lead was not used. The shock was administered by just holding the spark plug against the leg and was applied 20 minutes to 1 hour after the bite was received. In this situation the leg should have been resting against the generator housing to provide a return path for the charge. The charge does seem to have been partly effective though. A good rule is if the swelling does not recede then the shock needs to be repeated correctly until it stops - (Admin note)

"The time crunch was upon us the moment we got back from IL. Once we got ourselves unpacked, resettled and the cabin back in order we got busy preparing for the upcoming craft shows and cleaning up the area around the cabin. I was getting up at four every morning to take advantage of these two precious uninterrupted hours to weave on shawls before the rest of the family woke up. Once breakfast was out of the way, I’d sleep for an hour or two then attack household chores like laundry, dishes, tidying the cabin and maintaining the peace between squabbling siblings. Even the water barrels were being kept full thanks to our wonderful water tank that we can drive right down to the creek with the truck to fill.
I was pleased to find that I had an hour or so in the afternoons to start working on the weeds that were beginning to take over our yard, so I fired up the weed eater and got to work. The garden was the first to receive serious attention. Took me two sessions to get it all wacked down. I had no idea weeds and grass could get that tall and dense!
However the growth in the front yard and surrounding area was nowhere near that bad. Only perhaps a foot tall and rather wispy. Within one hour I had the whole front and one side yard mowed, and even made my way down the road way and along the outside of the garden. I tell you, I was making time! I was so excited about the fact that I’d probably get the whole place finished by the next day and then could start building on some craft show display shelves.
I had a half hour left before I had to quit for the day and start on supper. So I decided to tackle the future house site and get it cleared of growth. I was about done when something stung the side of my foot. This is about the time I realized that wearing sandals probably wasn’t such a great idea. I grabbed my little vial of lavender oil and rubbed some on the sting, then went back to work figuring a wasp had gotten me. But when I let the head of the weed eater sweep past in front of me I caught site of a little snake; thoroughly upset and doing his best to get away.
“Crap! I just got bit by a snake!” I’d never given snakes a thought while working because we hadn’t seen a single one since getting back. And it’s not like the weeds were all that bad where I was working! They weren’t even seven inches tall! But there I was…snake bit, regardless the unlikelihood.

I stopped the weed eater and took off all the other safety gear I had on that had seemed more important than shoes, like ear protectors and safety glasses. While looking for a stick that could be used to pin the snake down, I started calling for Doug. The snake was so small, it was difficult to tell what kind it was, but we finally identified the little guy as a pygmy rattler.
Going to the hospital wasn’t even a thought that entered our minds. The bite had been a very minor one and the nearest hospitals that could probably help were about two hours drive away. But here’s the bomb-shell to this whole story. I’m four months pregnant! And we didn’t know if this bite was going to affect Baby in any way.
Once the snake was executed, we hurried back to the cabin and Doug got on the internet and started reading up on the shocking method for poisonous bites. While he read I made up a paste of bentonite clay and smeared it over the inflicted area, then I downed some charcoal and Echinacea capsules. After that I joined Doug online and facebook messaged my sister-in-law and asked her to give my midwife a call since we had no way of making phone calls ourselves. I wanted to make sure what I was doing and taking wasn’t going to cause issues with Baby.

Doug made quick time in educating himself in shocking loved ones and took me out to the generator. I washed off the clay and he handed me the sparkplug wire with a sparkplug in it which I held against the bite and he tugged on the pull rope. The object was not to start the generator, but to get a sufficiently high voltage, low amperage shock. It did the trick and I had to undergo eight shocks to the bite and anther eight on and around the ankle. I yelped and giggled and yelped some more.
Once that was over with, we went back into the cabin and I made a new paste of charcoal to apply to the bite. Back online we spent another hour researching our situation. We found out that the pygmy rattler was the second to the least most poisonous snake in MO. We also read that the antivenin should not be used on a pregnant victim unless in dire circumstances because what little research had been done was on animals and showed that it had an adverse effect on the unborn animal(s). Apparently expecting mothers have little to no tendency to spend time outdoors these days, so getting bit by a poisonous snake is remarkably rare. (Evidently I didn’t get that memo). A short article Doug did come across basically said, if Mother is faring well, Baby should be too and vice versa.
So it looked like we were better off staying at home and treating this ourselves anyway. Every few hours I replaced my charcoal poultice and took more charcoal and Echinacea. By bedtime my foot looked like a swelled up, spoiled sausage which I could not put any weight on. I either had to crawl or hop on one foot to get anywhere or Doug would lend me a hand when he wasn’t busy cooking or tending to the kids.

The following day I started using bentonite clay on the bite again and stayed immobile on the couch. Took me back to those pesky bed rest days I had to endure just last year when dealing with premature labor. But at last, six days after being assaulted, I’m almost walking normally again. I never got sick or took on red streaks going up the leg. About all I had was a swelled foot and achy thigh muscles. I’m still feeling Baby moving about, so all we may end up with from this experience is a child immune to snake venom, which would be pretty cool! Downside to the whole thing is that I am now horribly behind on my chores. So much for making good time! I will say this though; next time I go out weed eating…I plan to wear some boots." ——Along the Banks of Blair's Creek