Hello Again and Welcome 🙂
I do hope you’re sitting comfortably with your favorite beverage and are ready for what happened next….?
Ok, So we left off in the last post with the Native Central American guy laughing at me tripping out with spider venom in my system right…
The Bnb owner was not looking impressed as she knew this was no trivial wound and that I, who was running the place at full occupancy was literally taken out by this calamity. I had been rendered useless and even a burden to her, at this point.
I sensed it clearly with my newly acquired Spidey Powers, as she kept Saying “Thats going to take a longgg time to heal.”
I was thinking “Great, thanks for the words of wisdom, but can we at least get me through the next few hours, with reasonable spirits please?”
Luckily, her better side prevailed and she whisked me a 45 minute drive to the nearest village, where there was a small health centre.
No doctors, but people who just give emergency medicine.
When we arrived, I looked around and felt all eyes on me as I was the only Gringo there. Quite funny really to see people’s responses.
There were some nurses there who enjoyed the opportunity to tend to a ‘Gringo’.
One of them asked me to marry her while she was twisting and squeezing the poison out of the bite. It really moved me, in more ways than one.
Then, after a little wait they called me into the main man’s office.
He took a look at it and told me in Spanish that it was an infected bite wound. I kind of had to agree, but there was comfort in the fact that they often see these sorts of wounds there.
He wrote down the names of medicine for me, and I took it to the counter.
Apparently, I was out of luck this day because the medicine he wrote down wasn’t in stock.
The dispenser called him out of his office to come and choose another.
He seemed perplexed by the situation, and walked around the medicine store pensively.
“Is he concentrating or pretending to know what he’s doing?” I thought.
After some deliberation, he picked up another ointment, and handed it to me.
I was like ” Is This OK?!” and he responds affirmative.
Not exactly reassured, I took the antibiotics and the ointment, paid the 10 USD and thanked them.
Myself and Boss lady head back to her 4×4 and onto the jungle road once again. We see a straggler on the side of the road hitch hiking.
Boss pulled over and let this completely wild character jump into the back of the car.
He was going just a few miles down the road to stay at some wooden shack somewhere.
I forget his name as I was kind of wincing and feeling sorry for myself in the front passenger seat, but I do know this. This guy was Freaking wild and I mean Freaking Wild!
After around 20 seconds of being in the car, he offers us a swig of liquor from his hip flask.
We politely decline, although I probably should have necked the whole thing, so as to prepare me for what was about to happen.
After a few minuted of small talk, crazy pirate man asks us where we’ve been etc…
I Tell him that I was bitten by a spider on my finger and show him the dressing.
What he did next literally almost made me pass out.
He held up his hands, and he was missing around fingers in total on both hands.
I felt myself going dizzy with disbelief.
I glanced over at Boss, I don’t think she could believe it either.
He went on to tell the stories of how he lost each one, which just spun me out completely.
I don’t recall the details exactly of what he was saying, but I do remember him saying to me “Salt water! Wiggle your Finger in Salt water as often as you can.” and then as he was leaving the car, he said to me ” Don’t let that one get away from you!”
I mean really, let’s Pause for a second and think of the chances of that scenario happening. “Craziness defined!” I said to myself.
Now I figured this was a guy who had learnt the hard way, so I Vowed to myself to diligently use the salt water treatment.
I love all of my body parts, But especially my fingers, as I am a musician in training.
So yes….we continue back to the Bnb.
For the next few weeks, the healing process was slow, and seemed almost non existent.
I constantly had fever and dizziness, and most of my time was taken by nursing and bathing the wound.
Boss Lady decided to stop speaking to me, because I had gone from running her busy little place to being dependent on her for help.
Sidenote – Isn’t it funny how you see a person’s true colors when you can do nothing for them.
However, as luck would have it(or so I thought) I did have a friend nearby that I made upon my arrival to the jungle area.
He was another crazy half Italian, and this dude was totally wild too.
He had lived in the various jungles of south and central America for years. and literally slept outdoors most nights not giving a single Funk about the animals or insects, that’s how hardcore this guy is.
I knew he and his partner were in need of some marketing for their land investment/hippy project, and I had been promising to help them out for a long time.
They even said they would provide me with Food, Board and commission if I Helped them, not to mention I had built friendship with them during my time in Panama.
So one day when I went downstairs in the Bnb and the boss Lady didn’t even look at me. That was the final straw, I thought “You know What? Funk this and Funk you.”
After running the place for her and literally driving droves of new bookings to her for the last 3 months, she didn’t even have the courtesy to be decent to me while I had been bitten by a poisonous spider.
So I got on the dog and bone to my Italian friend.
As luck would have it, he answered after three rings.
I remember being so dizzy from Fever as I was calling him.
“John!” I said.
“Nino, What’s Up?”
“I need your help. I’ve been bitten by something and need a place to put my head down for the next few weeks, please can you help me?! When I am well again, I will help you with your project as discussed and that’s a win/win.”
“Yes man of course!” he responded.
That was music to my ears, especially given my condition.
“Where are you now?” I asked.
“just helping someone do some work on their place.”
As it turned out, he was coincidentally around just 2 miles away from me.
“I can cruise past and grab you in 20 minutes?”
I scooted upstairs and packed a small bag of essentials.
Then came back downstairs and told the boss I was going elsewhere to recover for a little while.
She was pleasant and seemed relieved that she had one less thing to worry about.
So John arrived and took me to his house, located in an amazing little Christian village, on the outskirts of the jungle. This Place was great and the house was surrounded by banana and other completely wild fruit-bearing trees, including Tamarind, which really was just spectacular – I would throw heavy sticks at the fruit to dislodge it. It tasted Divine.
There was also a Ylang-Ylang tree right ouside my bedroom and at night it released the most beautiful natural perfume, often waking me up or influencing my dreams.
This place itself was basic, but it was set in paradise, and suited my needs perfectly for recovery.
John and his partner were very supportive of my need to heal, and they gave me as much time as I needed to get well and strong again.
After around 12 days of healing, I decided it was time to go and collect the rest of my belongings from boss woman at the Bnb.
I arrived back there, and to this day, I feel that for some bizarre reason, she actually believed I was going back there to stay and work again.
Not on Your Nelly! lol…
So as I arrived, she was all smiles and pleased to see me.
Then I immediately broke the news to her. “I’m going to stay with John and Michelle, thanks for everything and good luck.” I said.
She seemed to go into spasm a little, and then blurted out “I think it’s best you leave.”
I looked at her with a blank stare and slowly walked backwards in the direction of my old room to collect my things.
I skipped out of there and towards the road with the rest of my belongings.
As my lift arrived, I turned to her and the rest of the staff.
Boss woman and I did share some great times together and so we felt like hugging or something to say goodbye.
As we went to hug goodbye, it was like two walls hitting each other, no love loss and awkward to say the least.
I turned and drove into the horizon.
I spent another few weeks at John’s place to really get my healing on.
At this point, I noticed a big shift in the wound, and then one day, I observed Some puss wanting to come out. I got some tissue and squeezed away.
I absolutely kid you not, but it was virtually identical to squeezing a tube of toothpaste. What came out was unbelievable.
Here is the wound after around the 6 week Mark, you can see the left puncture was injected with venom, but thankfully the right puncture must have been at an awkward angle. So, luckily I only had half a dose of the venom:
The sickness and fever continued for about another two weeks and the spider bite took another few weeks or so to heal underneath.
It completely turned black before the new cells underneath pushed through, and the whole wound just fell off almost. Yummy.
What really turned things around for me was this amazing lemon type fruit tree.
I just kept picking these healing fruit and squeezing them into a two liter pitcher jar, and downing the thing maybe four or five times a day.
Each time I did, it seemed the dizziness and sickness became a little less.
Finally, I felt I was on course to start my new life again.
This time I was going to help John and his partner market their project(or so I thought). I also decided to build myself up and teach private martial arts lessons to the Gringos who were dotted around the jungle.
Sound Plan Right?
But there was a problem….
…John and his partner were NOT what they seemed.
Find out about the plot twist in the next episode: My Panama Adventures Part THREE!
Until then, thanks for tuning in.
Peace and Blessings,