So, I was very unfortunate to be stung by a stingray while snorkeling in Thailand on Poda island and about to leave the water after snorkeling. As I am about to reach the sand and step on very shallow water, I feel this very quick bite and I see a lot of blood coming out. I was being very careful where I was putting my feet but still couldn’t manage to spot that stingray. After being stung, I see something swimming away very fast, I thought it was a crab, but the bloody wound said it could not be.
So, What should you do when you are stung by a stingray?
Apparently, after being stung by a stingray you should wash your feet in the seawater and then make the bleeding stop. Squeeze the venom out and seal the wound.
I got treated on the island by the 1st aid man that couldn’t speak English and therefore was not able to tell me what have bitten me. He simply tells me I will be ok the following day. I only find out that I was stung by a stingray when I am back in my place and searching for possibilities. Some articles on the net made me conclude it was a stingray. They say the pain is excruciating, comparable to natural birth cramps. IT IS! The most awful pain I have ever felt. They say that the first 2 hours are the worst and to help you with the pain you should put your foot in water as hot as you can handle. After putting my foot in extremely hot water in the hope it would save me because I couldn’t handle it anymore, I was literally crying, I have my answer. It was miraculous. The hot water made me feel so, so much better. The pain was bearable and I could finally stop acting like I’m in labor cramps. Hot water definitely saved me that night.
I kept my foot in the water for a long time… for more than 1 hour, always filling the bucket up with hotter water so it wouldn’t go warm. A few hours later, I can finally think clearly and be sure that the worst was gone.
The next day my foot is a bit swallow, but it looks pretty fine. I have pain when I walk and I can’t put my foot palm on the floor completely. Oblivious of what a stingray sting can be, or turn into, I had a normal day at the beach the following day, which was probably the most stupid thing I could HAVE DONE because I think that was the reason why my wound got infected 2 days later. I was going in the water and not allowing the wound to close- how stupid!!
Finally, my foot starts to swell up on the 2nd day after the sting, and I went to the pharmacy where they recommended some antibiotics, antihistaminic, and anti-inflammatory pills. The thing is that this happened during my holiday week, and probably that’s why I still tried to enjoy it even though I had that injury. For me, it was just a simple injury but it ended up not being that simple. My foot was swollen for about 2 weeks. During 2 weeks I didn’t do anything but stay home and avoid walking at all costs. It was taking too long to get back to normal, so about 1 week later I went to the doctor for advice. He told me that I probably still had something inside the wound, that sometimes there can be stingray spine fragments inside and that was probably my case as I had a little lump on the wound after the swelling was gone.
In total I did: 7 days on antibiotics + 2 days rest to see if it was ok. As it was not I was on antibiotics for 10 more days. I had my foot back to normal, without swelling, and was able to walk properly again about 15 days after being stung by a stingray. Until then it was terrible for me because I was living in a beautiful place that would love to explore but simply couldn’t. The thing that I most like to do is walk around to explore, and this stingray took that from me for so long. Those were terrible and miserable days for me. They brought me to a sad place. After recovering I made the decision to leave Krabi after 2 months.