It could have been face to face or a tight clingy hug… but thank heavens it was just some sort of “holding hands” coz we barely knew each other. We were strangers to one another…
So here I am, making a dramatic intro when in fact I just want to share about that memorable encounter in La Union beach a little over a week ago… my jellyfish encounter…
There’s always a first time and I hope that will be the last. Planned for a quick dip because I so missed the sand and the sea. I excitedly swam at noon time under the sun’s scorching heat. I was with my family. In a few minutes though, I suddenly felt some sort of tentacles clung in my right arm. I didn’t see it. I actually didn’t want to… Oh gosh, what if it was in my face! That was short 3 seconds but sure painful moment! The pain and discomfort lingered for hours! Definitely an experience not in my bucket list (though a learning experience still).
Top of mind myth of what to do to a jellyfish sting? A person’s urine should wash the affected area. Definitely a big NO for me!
So what happened?
- Moved out of the beach
- Washed my arms with salt water
- Scrubbed my arm with sand to remove tentacles if there’s anything left (though expert says it’s better to use plastic cards like IDS to scrape the affected area
- Asked for vinegar from the resort’s caretaker
- Slowly poured vinegar in the affected area
- Don’t wash the area with fresh water (did it after an hour at least)
I honestly had no idea what to do. Thanks to my cousins who helped me with the first aid. I was told what to expect… an achy burning sensation for the rest of the day.
And the real challenge started the next days. Define hassle! The “ouch” factor turned to an itchy feeling from day 2 onwards. The affected skin area became more reddish and obvious, looking a lot like cold sores. The itch woke me up at nights, and bothered me a lot whenever I sweat or it was hot. It’s still best to have it checked and that’s exactly what I did. I went to a doctor for prescribed medications – Loratadine and Allerta Dermatec to help ease the itch.
My arm in a week’s time (see photo)!
To be honest, my jellyfish encounter was not a bad, serious case compared to some friends’ experiences. Lucky me, still! Severe cases may cause difficulty in breathing, burns and wounds in the affected area. The type of jellyfish I encountered too wasn’t really deadly (I think).
Next thing to deal with, the possible scars and marks in the skin. Looks like it but hopefully not!