The time I was bitten by Loralei the snake in the movie Striptease.

Photo by Lucas Ignacio on Pexels.com

It had been a week since Loralei the Burmese python’s eyes were cloudy.  She had been donated to the zoo after filming the movie Striptease with Demi Moore.  It was typical to not feed snakes about to shed their skin since they usually wouldn’t eat.  Loralei now 11′ long weighing 50 pounds hadn’t been fed for a week when I cleaned her exhibit.  When I went in she was up in the limbs of the section of a tree we had put in for her to stimulate natural activity.

Her eyes still cloudy she wouldn’t be fed this morning either.  As soon as she shed she would be fed.  I went about my day as usual.  When it came time to close the zoo down for the day I went to enter Loralei’s exhibit to insure all was well.  As I opened the door she was stretched along the length of the exhibit with her head next to the door I’d just opened.

I noticed she had shed her skin. Didn’t think much of it but would note it in the daily report so she would be fed the next morning.  I casually bent over to grasp her head so I could move her out of the way to check the exhibit.  In an instant my right hand was in her mouth, her body wrapping around my arm.  I was shocked how fast it happened.  Within seconds her entire body was off the floor attempting to keep wrapping around me as she kept constricting tighter.

She couldn’t get her long body around my arm so the rest of her was trying to loop around my head and neck.  The situation was becoming dangerous.  With my right hand and arm in her grasp and my left trying to push off the rest of her I couldn’t reach my two-way radio to call for help.  I noticed the water container was still full so I knelt down and pushed her head into the water.

When I did she constricted my arm so tightly I thought she might break it.  I quickly pulled her head out of the water.  I looked around for another option.  The only thing I could see possible was a limb from the tree inside the exhibit reaching over the doorway.  I thought if I could get her tail up on that she might try to grasp it or I might be able to keep her away from my neck long enough to call for help.

I tried but her tail kept trying for my head and neck area.  I moved in closer to the tree and pushed part of her up again then moved my head down under the tree pressing against the lower side of the limb.  It worked.  I was able to get the radio out of the pouch on my belt and call in a zookeeper-in-trouble code to security.  Security rebroadcast the information to all the zookeepers.  By then Loralei had moved her body down to my head again.  I dropped the radio then kept pushing her away.

It was very quiet by then as all the visitors had left so the natural sounds of the zoo could be easily heard.  After about a minute or so I could hear the sound of multiple keys hitting each other.  That unmistakable sound when lock keys on a key ring strike each other.  That’s odd I thought for a moment when I realize what it was.  It was the sound of about a half dozen zookeepers running to come help me.  What a wonderful sound that was.

Several zookeepers arrived then started to unravel Loralei off my arm.  In all the excitement I hadn’t realized my hand wasn’t just in her mouth she had embedded dozens of teeth about a 1/4″ long into my hand as well and had no intention of letting go.  The zookeepers would be at risk for bite if they tried to use their hands to peel her mouth away.  The zookeeper with the most snake experience went to our food prep area and returned with some rubbing alcohol.

He took put some on his finger so it would drip off in drops.  He held his finger over her nostrils and let one drop fall into them while another zookeeper held her behind the head.  Almost as fast as she had attached herself to me she was letting go.  She flexed her jaws attempting to remove the teeth she had been grasping me with.  I could feel them tearing out of my fingers.  It was gnarly.  My goodness the sensation of those teeth pulling out of my flesh was hardcore.

Loralei detached I drove to the hospital for x-rays to insure there were no teeth left behind and was given some antibiotics as a precaution.  Loralei never tried to eat me again after that.  Policy was changed so that there had to be two zookeepers working together whenever we worked with large snakes.  What an experience that was.  -13

Hurricane Dorian Ridiculous Local News Headlines

Every time we have a hurricane possibility the local news does this same old crap.  They start off with regular weather reports when a potential hurricane is off the coast.  Then it escalates into mythological madness.  The local news headlines tell the story of storms that gain mythological status with sights aimed at us to lay siege and destruction to where we live.  There are battles to be won by the fierce storm that menaces with lashings.  It’s nuts!  When they are supposed to be reporting facts they reduce themselves to tabloid titles and statements.

After all these years of this kind of thing I finally thought I’d take a screen shot of this practice then do a little cut and paste for everyone to enjoy.  I couldn’t take it anymore this was the only retaliation I could think of.  Hope others find the video I made as entertaining as it was to make it.  -13

Over-the-Counter Medications Kit

After setting up to make the Aid Bag video I realized it would be easy to make a quick video about the over-the-counter kit.  Been waiting to make it.  Thought it would be longer, the video is a short 3:50.  Could have made it much sooner.

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Hanging Toiletry Organizer/Over-the-counter meds kit

The kit is 14 3/4″ x 27″, has 9 zippered pockets, no issues.  It’s polyester on the outside and what looks like a cotton/polyester liner.  The hook at the top was changed to something that would work better for our intended use.  It its not heavy duty.  The quality is more for home items so it should hold up well for this purpose.  May be difficult to clean, all ointments once removed from original packaging usually get put into a vacuum or ziplock bag.

May add two more loops at the hook end toward the outer edge.  This could be used with other snap hooks or a metal bar to offer better support for long term hanging.  The organizer was purchased from the Container Store and was available before this was posted.

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Modified hook

When working emergency service calls I kept a small quantity of Tylenol, aspirin, Tums, Bag Balm, Chap Stick, Imodium, Benadryl, and an unknown brand wetting eye drops.  Could have been Murine.  That was my personal kit.  I learned the hard way that once you leave the station in a rescue, an engine or ambulance, if you do not have it with you in the boonies, no one is going to bring it to you.  Toilet paper, socks, water, food, anything essential.  In some of the areas, everyone showed up on scene and that was it.  No more help was coming.  We were it.

In station over the years a master kit with multiple selections was made.  Most of it had to do with personal preference or suggestion.  The selection of pain relievers came from personal experience with them.  Aspirin seems to work better than any of the others for my dental pains.  The others are for other body pains and rotation so I’m not using the same one consistently.

IvyX was added and never used.  No way to report on how well it works.  Several times the stock on hand will dry out and then has to be restocked.  The mensuration kit has pads and tampons, sometimes adults leave unprepared and youth experience puberty at  all times of the day or night.  Partially responsible for adult personnel health a good medic knows the importance of keeping a high quality supply of condoms.  People are people, nothing we can do to stop that, but we can help prevent other options if the product works.

The kit is kept easy to access in our homestead medical area along with all our first response equipment and is ready to go anywhere on a moments notice.  A short video is below.  -13

 

Product Review / Kit Contents Dyna Med Maxi-Medic Bag BG087

Dyna Med Maxi-Medic Bag Model BG087.

This product review and kit contents were inspired by the project to update our medical equipment and supplies.

The Maxi-Medic is good durable bag suitable for many types of medical kits. It is 1000 denier nylon.  Measures 9″H x 20″L x 12″W.  Side Pocket: 6″H x 12″L x 2 1/2″W.  Main compartment: 9″H x 14″L x 12″W.  Lid Pocket: 5 1/2″ x 9″.  The first time I can remember using one of these was sometime in the early 1980’s.  Maybe ’81-’82?  In the late 70’s early 80’s services were still using the recycled television and radio tube heavy duty plywood cases and surplus canvas M5’s that always had that canvas tent smell.  Look them up online, can’t find any images to use here.

Back to the present.  No issues with the zippers, good quality YKK.  No issues with stitching.  Wish the webbing went all the way around to support the bag better, no issues to report.  The mesh zippered pocket on the lid of the bag works well.  Based on my experience the zipper should be near the hinge part of the lid.  It would be much better to use in that position.

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Lid pocket

One hand could be used to open, close or retrieve contents in an unsupported way.  Also reducing the possibility of loosing valuable items if the zipper fails or is not properly closed.  In the current position contents would spill out of the pocket and bag.  With the zipper located near the hinge loose contents would have a better chance to fall into the bag and prevent loss or damage.

In the photo below the lid was opened in the usual way.  The lid was held up with one hand, the pocket unzipped by the other.  Once unzipped the lid was let go of.  The items are not staged they are exactly how they fell out of the pocket.

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Natural position of lid in the open position, zipper open.

Here is why I have to follow up the video with a blog.  Since I don’t use the feature and the other hook part of hook/loop has been removed from the bravo compartment foam insert I forgot to mention this in my notes.  Something made me remember it.

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Knuckle scratcher.

One of the reasons I do not use hook/loop for most things is the hook part.  It can be very irritating if located in the wrong place.  If they would place the loop part inside the insert and hook on the divider it wouldn’t scratch fingers and knuckles.  The hook/loop should also be on both sides that way the divider can be completely removed.  If not is has to be folded to the side and takes up valuable storage space.  Why I usually cut them out.

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Where the divider stops when using.

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Divider taking up storage space. Must be forced into position.

 

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Paracord zipper pull.

Added paracord zipper pulls to make life easier.  No problems with zippers as long as I don’t do the jerky-high-speed-mofo kind of crap or loose my cool when the zipper hits a snag.  The longevity of this bag depends on two things, flawless construction and end user handling of the bag.  Like anything, abused- it won’t last long, taken care of= years of service.

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Shoulder strap, carry handle.

It does have a shoulder strap that is removable and adjustable.  This shoulder strap has held up well, so has the carry handle.

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Shoulder strap hardware.

 

 

 

More about the video on this bag and contents.  Had no idea it would be so long, 41:22.  It’s a sleep generator for sure.  Maybe with better notes it could have been made shorter.  At this point it is edited and ready to go so it will stay like it is.

Making a video that includes the many reasons items are in the kit would take hours.  I’m trying to speak in layman’s terms and keep it very basic.  In part the video was made to share how others do things.  It is never meant for instruction or teaching anyone how to do it.  I think the content of the video is great for inspiration and to make a decision on wether this bag would suit your particular situation.  For how-to do things there is nothing like in-person, hands-on, training and experience.

The scope-of-practice for this kit has evolved over years.  It’s for use at any time, has most of the initial bandage basics and vital sign instruments.  Usually my starting place for all things medical related.  It is for medical issues that have presented many times.  In station aid, medical coverage at public events, emergency service calls.  People asking for anti-acids for heartburn, a toothpick or length of dental floss to pick out a piece of popcorn kernel or meat.  Band-aids for the stubbed toe or skinned knee.  A condom.  Blood pressure checks.  Sometimes cardiac arrest.  20+ years working with domestic, native and exotic animals in many roles.

I start with this kit and use other kits as needed.  If there is a respiratory issue the airway, the oxygen and aspirator kit will be at hand.  Trauma beyond this kit, spine boards, trauma kit, cervical collars, etc. depending on what is presenting.  Writing the last two lines is why I don’t get into specifics in the video.  The list of situations and possibilites becomes endless and exhaustive.  Back to the video.

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Vital sign instruments.

Working correctly the pulse oximeter and blood pressure monitor can be accurate.  They’re here to complement patient feedback, palpation, my stethoscope and sphygmomanometer along with the other digital age technology.  All of them producing life saving information that could make a difference in outcome. These instruments provide: bowel/heart/lung sounds, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, pulse, temperature and blood glucose levels. The instruments may be the only way to get vital information from a lethargic or unconscious person.

They can also be used effectively by layperson with on-the-spot training.  A layperson doesn’t have to understand the results to obtain accurate ones with the battery operated devices.  Many of them were designed for the patient to use at home.  In austere conditions this capability could prove invaluable.

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Basic eye emergency kit.

Another item good to have on hand for those who use contact lens or prosthetic eye is the suction cup designed to remove hard contact lens and prosthetic eyes.  If the package is opened and handled correctly, the suction cup can be handled by a dirty hand to remove an eye or contact lens in an emergency without contaminating the eye, contact, or eye area.  This kit has a place to put contact lens or prosthetic eye after removal.  Wetting eye drops for the intended purpose or temporary storing the contact lens.  A way to cover and protect an injured eye or exposed socket tissue.  That’s the basic eye kit contents.

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This bag has common bandaging material I’ve seen in any hospital, clinic, ambulance, emergency room or aid station.  Splints, tapes, self-adhering/elastic/gauze bandaging materials and gauze dressings of various sizes.

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Travelon, Jewelry Roll/Adhesive bandage kit

The adhesive bandage (band-aid) kit is a small 10 1/2″ x 12 3/4″, 6 zippered pocket, tri-fold carry case.  It holds the adhesive bandage styles and sizes we’ve found covers all our small bandaging needs.  The most common thing treated out of the aid bag are finger lacerations.  Lots of band-aids and self-adhering wrap.

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Hot & Cold Compress

Other items that have been useful are the instant hot/cold compresses.  For the bumps, sprains, cramps and whatever else.  No heating or freezing required.  Also kept in the kit are washcloths.  Everyday washcloths, for their intended purpose and to use as an insulator with the compresses.  Wetting the washcloth first helps transmit the heat or cold much better.  If you have not used them before remember they can damage the skin if used incorrectly and must be monitored.

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Finger ring cutter.  Miltex 33-140

Instruments like the finger ring cutter have turned many purple swollen fingers back to normal size and skin tone.  It will work for soft metals and works good.  Unless it’s a thick class ring or similar it will take less than a minute to get through gold, silver, or pot metal rings.  It will not work on titanium or ceramic.  We have vice grips in our extrication hand tool kit if becomes necessary for those rings.  When it comes to purchasing ring cutters, do not go for the lowest price cutter.  Go for the lowest price highest quality cutter.  Low budget cutters will let you down.

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Silicone collapsible bowls come in handy when a kidney bowl won’t fit in a kit.  These fit so well in the side pockets they were added the day they arrived.  Working out away from a base the bowls are perfect.  If they have to be disposed of no problem.

There are many other items in the bag covered briefly in the video and why this is ending here.  This blog would be longer than the video if that path was taken.  Each item or subject could go in many directions.  My default about any of the kit items or topics is this, get training, get experience.  Do that, everything in this kit will make sense. -13