Friday, August 03, 2012

Almost lost a finger thanks to a lionfish

About a month ago I was out with my friend Manuel Menendez diving / spearing - all in all it was a great Manuel's own words:

"On July 4th I went diving with Felix Leander, Manny Dobal, and Nick Bernal.  We had a decent day and got a few fish for dinner.  When I got home the kids wanted to see the fish we caught.

Lifting a grouper out of the cooler I got poked by 3 spines from one of the Lionfish in the cooler. The pain was instant and intense. The Lionfish that stung me had been dead for 4 hours and was about 13 inches long.

I had my hand under running HOT water for 3 hours and couldn't stop literally stomping from the pain. I took 3 Tylenol extra strength and 2 percasets and my hand was still on fire and swelling.

By 11 pm I went to the hospital because my finger was turning black.  When I walked into the hospital the first doctor told me she was calling the hand specialist because she was worried I might lose all or part of my finger...every few minutes a different nurse or doc would come by to ask to look at my nasty hand...

I got admitted and was in the hospital for 25 hours all because of a STING FROM A DEAD LIONFISH, I felt like such a fucking idiot...

Anyway I had 5 antibiotics administered by IV and countless shots of hydro-morphine and other painkillers.

I had been stung twice in the past 2 years by lionfish and had very minor bee sting like reactions this time the spines went deep and I got hurt bad...I have probably killed between 500 and 600 of these fish over the last 5 years and have gotten a little too comfortable with handling them...I have participated in, planned and won several Lionfish tournaments in the Bahamas and South Florida over the last 3 years and perhaps I was a little too comfortable handling them...

I have been bitten by a moray, stung by stingrays, bitten by a nurse shark, stung by bristle worms, gotten rashes all over due to a scorpion fish stinging BUT this lionfish sting was BY FAR THE WORST.

It’s been 31 days and I still cannot completely bend my middle finger and it is still inflamated …

BEWARE OF THE LIONFISH (even dead ones)"

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