Friday, October 19, 2007

still no idea

of whether the sore neck is the Manerix or the tick bite. Pdoc responded to mail on weds by telling me to cut back to 300mg on the Manerix until we talked on thu. On thu he didn't commit to either theory, but just said to stay down on the Manerix until the tick bite fever was either confirmed or past the window. Then announced happily that he'd never seen a bite that was basically on the spine before, and that he thought that might be interesting symptomatically. I kind of prefer interesting things that don't involve my neck.

Todays fun was collecting a snake of unknown parentage. Ended up meeting the finder in the parking area of a busy fast-food place on a main road, and then discovered that the snake was in a large box on the back of his bakkie. Given that he was really keen to ID it, he insisted that we open the box and move the snake to my container, which I did with tongs, and gave a tentative ID. Then he wanted a picture, so after he got his camera, I lifted the lid an inch. Snake, who is about 1.25m long and angry, bailed out of container at high speed and started exploring the loadbed looking for a way off. My tongs were already in their bag, so I grabbed the snake by the tail and tried to persuade him back into the box, which it didn't like at all. I think I was yelling something like ohshitshitshit at the time, until he got the tongs out for me and I could rebox it. And then I suggested that we not take photos anymore. He was so awed by the image of me as Medusa, clutching a writhing snake by one end that he agreed immediately. Turned out that my initial ID was right, and it was a mole snake. They are renowned for having one of the worst bites around in wound terms, as although they are non-venomous constrictors, they are very aggressive on initial contact, and use their powerful, thick bodies to tear tissue as they bite with their rows of sharp little teeth - wounds often need stitching. Boss lady rolled around laughing when I returned to the centre with him.
I don't know why I do snake catches, really - I am terrified by it, and I am so crap at IDing them, other than the common form of the top 3 most poisonous species. Number 2 on the list, of course, is the one that makes up about 80% of all my calls...

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