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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Snakebit!.....Yikes!



I always try to create interesting situations and circumstances for the characters in my stories. In my newest endeavor, THE HORSEMAN, Book #3 of The Sons of Texas trilogy, I’ve created a situation where a character has been crippled by multiple surgeries after a rattlesnake bite.


Not just any old snake, but a RATTLESNAKE. Thus, I’ve been researching rattlesnake bites. And after researching them, I’m even more scared of them than before. Rattlesnake bites are different from other snake bites.
On the Internet, there are personal stories from victims. One of the most hair-raising is from a 13-year-old boy who was bitten on the hand. http://rattlesnakebite.org/ Another is by a 50-year-old female backpacker in an area where she hikes several times a week. http://www.backpacker.com/survival/out-alive-bitten-by-a-rattlesnake/#bp=0/img1.

Both of these accounts will get your attention and put you on the lookout for venomous creatures.

So what happens if one strikes you? Here is a web site with good information about what to do. http://www.desertusa.com/reptiles/rattlesnake-bites.html.

Rattlesnake venom contains toxins that damage tissue, destroy blood cells, skin tissues and cause internal hemorrhaging. It can also immobilize the nervous system which can affect and even stop breathing. In reality, a snake bite kit isn’t really a good solution. You need to get to an emergency room fast.

The experts tell you that rattlesnakes are solitary creatures. They strike when startled or when they feel threatened. That’s good information, but if one is resting under a bush and you don’t know it and walk past it—as was the case with the 50-year-old woman—I guess that’s enough for it to feel threatened. 

The experts also say rattlesnake bites are rare. I grew up in West Texas, have
lived in Texas most of my life and I’ve never known anyone personally who was bitten. I’ve run across a couple of people who’ve been bitten by copperheads, but apparently those bites aren’t the same as rattlesnake bites.

Those same experts also say that there are very few deaths in the USA from snakebites. But me? If one bit me, I would probably die from a heart attack.

It’s the time of year when everyone wants to be outside working in the yard or the garden. Just be careful out there.

Meanwhile,  I'm  working  away  coming  up  with  a  way  my   heroine  in  THE HORSEMAN, the beautiful Dallas Ann Carol, is going to go on with her life after this trauma. And how our hero, handsome and rich  Troy Rattigan,  is  going  to find her courageous and irresistible.

7 comments:

  1. There are some bit every so often in Arizona. One was a little girl who sat on a big rock where the snake was under it. Generally the victims survive. I've seen them a few times in nature and only twice when they were rattling a warning. The strangest thing I saw was some years back when we were driving on a road, with a car in front of us who hit the diamondback's tail or that's our assumption as that rattler rose up in the air. It was a big one and by the time we passed it, it was furiously striking at anything the level of the van window-- which my husband had quickly rolled closed. If I hadn't seen its ability to go vertical, I'd not have believed it.

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  2. What an attention catching post. I am totally terrified of snakes. We have rattlesnakes and copperheads in the Shenandoah Valley, especially the mountains. Definitely will watch out.

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  3. What an attention catching post. I am totally terrified of snakes. We have rattlesnakes and copperheads in the Shenandoah Valley, especially the mountains. Definitely will watch out.

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  4. Yikes! I've seen a couple of rattlesnakes in my lifetime, and that's enough for me. Thanks for the great blog post. I hope your characters survive their rattlesnake encounters.

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  5. I spent the weekend working in the yard at our country place. Every time I turned over a rock in the landscaping, I jumped back--just in case there was a copperhead lurking beneath. They're rather common in just about every part of Texas.

    A couple of summers ago, a baby rattler got stuck on one of the glue traps we put down in the garage to catch the field mice that try to sneak in. It was still alive and struggling to free itself. I had walked right past it. Just about gave me a heart attack when I noticed it.

    I took a shovel and scooped it and the glue trap up, walked across the road and dumped it over by Skunk Hill. Later, from the kitchen window, I could see 4 turkey vultures had landed over there. I immediately thought of what Josey Wales said in the movie: "Buzzards got to eat too."

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  6. Thanks for your comments, ladies. Hope you click on the links and read the stories about the 2 people who were bitten. In Texas, especially, you just never know where a rattlesnake might be.

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