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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 04/19/10


Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Randy the perfekt husband’s brush with death. That’s right, one year ago on April 18th Randy, Julia and I were hiking together as we did regularly when Randy fell into a nest of rattlesnakes and was bitten… by a baby rattler, no less. The most venomous kind!

I wrote about the whole thing in THIS POST and made a lot of fun of a very serious situation. Because, you know, it’s my way to be snarky and sarcastic. Some might say it’s a coping mechanism. Me, I just think I’m naturally snarky and sarcastic.

But I would like to take time during this one year anniversary to be a little less sarcastic and more serious about the whole thing. Because truthfully, if the stars hadn’t aligned that day, Randy might not be here at all. And Julia and I… well, I can’t even imagine it. Actually, I can imagine it because in addition to being snarky and sarcastic I’ve got a serious “doom and gloom” thing happening. But that’s my little dark place and I’ll spare you.

Looking back, we were soooo lucky that day. Well, except for the whole life-threatening rattlesnake bite, several day ICU stay and $300,000 medical bill part. But other than that, a lot of things happened that worked in our favor (not the least of which was being insured).

For example, Julia and I had just seen an episode about the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake on the Discovery Channel so we knew EXACTLY what to do in the case of a rattlesnake bite! Otherwise Randy would have tied off his leg, tried to run to the car and likely have ended up like the other two rattlesnake bite victims who were in the ICU with him – both of whom had made just those mistakes. One guy’s arm was consumed by the venom. The other guy’s leg and kidney were consumed. Both were battling to keep their limbs. They went into the hospital BEFORE Randy and were still there when Randy left. So we never knew what became of them. But I hope they are okay.

We were also fortunate that we weren’t further up the 6 mile hiking trail into the narrow canyon and were still on the fire road so that the ambulance was able to drive right up to Randy. AND that I had been laying off the chips and was able to RUN the 1.5 miles to the parking lot at record speed in the heat so I could show the paramedics exactly where he was. Lucky, too that the hospital was so close, had a ton of experience with rattlesnake bites AND had antivenom in stock. Although we could have done without the joke by the admission person that Randy had to sign the paperwork quickly, before he lost the use of his limbs. ER humor apparently. I’ve seen it on NURSE JACKIE.

Most of all we’re very lucky to have a strong, amazing, cool-under-fire guy like Randy, who handled the whole thing calmly which kept the venom from circulating quickly into his system.  Me, with my penchant for hysteria, I would have been a goner before punching the second 1 in 9-1-1.

Miraculously, Randy is the only rattlesnake bite victim in over 200 whom his hematologist has treated who didn’t have necrosis at the bite sight and didn’t have to have multiple skin grafts. What an immune system, dude! I hope you passed that on to Julia. Not because she’ll ever come into contact with a rattlesnake given that she’s sworn off hiking since that day. But it would make me feel better about that whole “inability to take criticism” thing, which she TOTALLY got from me.

Bottom line… one year later, Randy’s doing really well. Despite the damage the venom did to his whole body, he has bounced back wonderfully. He has been symptom-free for two months now. His last blood test was good. I think he has only one more to go before the docs give him the “all clear”.

And for all the snarky, silly and sarcastic jokes I have made about the whole ordeal, deep down inside I am nothing but grateful that it has all turned out so well. Because I can’t imagine my life without him. He is the love of my life. The world’s best father. And the one who gave me my favorite memory of the moon.

Happy Near Death Experience Anniversary, honey! Julia and I love you sooooo much. Thanks for being so tough!


NOTE: For those who are curious…no, Randy can’t speak parseltongue now and yes, his CHEST HAIR has grown back in very nicely, thank you very much.

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