Food Poisoning lands Vern in Hospital. Scorpions ARE Food, Yes?

Well yesterday was going well.

Until it started to not go so well…

I had a great idea for a short series at my wacky website and I set off to find some gross things to eat at the market about 40 km away.

On the way I got a flat tire on the motorbike.

The bike started really swerving hard and I thought I was going to lose it. I jammed my sandals down as brakes and they flipped up backward – leaving my toes on top of the strap – which is supposed to be the other way around.

I hobbled to a fixer guy that was about 70 years old, thinner than me, and didn’t have a tube to fit so he had to take a 30 minute motorbike ride on his own to go find one.

Bike fixed after 80 minutes sweating in this tiny village and having all manners of Thai people stop by to see the farang that rolled into town.

People just overtly stare and say to each other – farang, farang. I could hear people some houses away talking about “farang”. This is not guava season either.

So – bike fixed and motor back out to the highway.

I get to the market and shoot me eating a couple bugs then I head home and shoot the rest. Before I eat the scorpion – a huge 7 inch beast I hand-picked so it was the biggest and most shocking for the video – I removed the poison stinger in the tail and set about choking it down.

I finished with a grin and threw everything on the bed and ran out to the park to go running. I noticed I was salivating like Dr. Jeckyll – but I thought it was due to the grease they fried the bugs in.

At the park there were so many people there I couldn’t believe. Must’ve been physical fitness night at the park in Pattaya last night. I was salivating like a Marmaduke before I ran, but as I ran it got less and less.

As I was running – I felt great – I kept pushing a little faster… At one point my breathing started to get weird. I thought, this never really happens during exercise. I have asthma – but not exercise induced asthma. It only occurs very rarely now – usually when I’m allergic to nitrates in wine or in maple syrup… Mrs. Butterworth’s Maple Pancake Syrup very nearly killed me in about 1994. I lay on the floor gasping into the 911 call – trying to tell them my address and what happened.

In that case the ambulance arrived minutes later and, despite a wrong turn while going to the hospital, setting us off on a 7 mile unnecessary trip across Tampa bay (with no turnarounds available), and the 7 mile return trip also unnecessary, I made it. I think primarily due to me keeping calm. Usually if I get pissed off or anxious – the breathing gets worse during an attack. I learned long ago to relax.


I’m running and breathing is labored – like I can breath about 3/4 of what is usual.

I stop and walk. My head is fuzzy. Shit’s not making sense. I’m almost delirious yet I force myself to walk and try to keep in mind – I’m having a reaction to the scorpion venom.

It’s not getting better. It’s getting damn worse and I’m down to about 30% of normal breathing volume.

I get on the motorbike and notice – my legs are vibrating – shaking – tremor like. Uh Oh.

I cant’ believe it’s allergy to the scorpion. Shite!

I get back to room and g/f helps me by driving me to the hospital.

I hit the emergency room and try to explain what’s going on. They spoke english pretty well – luckily. They asked way too many questions as I thought I would die right there.

By this time the salivation had stopped. My breathing was about 20% what is usual and very difficult to breath even THAT much.

My legs were shaking uncontrollably.

My pulse was 140 approximately – that could have been from running but I think it should have been about 80 by then on a normal day – since I had stopped running and only walked.

My face felt like a strong headcold, swollen. Tight -very tight. Like pressure behind my face.

I was dizzy and confused – I couldn’t put words together well.

I had the beginnings of a rash on my biceps.

The doc gave me an IV and shot some anti-histamine type stuff in the line. I got a breather mist machine.

I got a room for the night.

I gradually got better through the night.

This morning – felt good.

Still a bit dizzy now – but I left the hospital anyway – thinking – I feel good enough, no sense dying there. Apparently a lot of people go into shock and die if untreated. I was “lucky” again.

Anyway, so that was my yesterday.

Be careful with eating wacky shite. Allergies are weird – you don’t know you’re allergic until it’s too late. Sometimes it comes in a very innocuous package –

Mrs. Butterworths Maple Pancake Syrup…

I was breathing about 1/10th of what I normally could during that episode. Good thing for 911.

If you start salivating like mad – like Pavlov’s farking dog – you gotta recognize that as ODD and, if there’s a chance you ate something weird that could have caused it – and things start to get worse – get to a hospital brother!

Ok, that’s it.

Here is the video of me eating the Scorpion at YouTube:

Eating Scorpion snack >

Here is the video of my face all swollen in the hospital and not making any sense because I was still out of it! My voice has changed drastically too.

Vern in Hospital after Scorpion Poisoning >

This video is viewable with Apple QuickTime player – free download for the shareware version.

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

One thought on “Food Poisoning lands Vern in Hospital. Scorpions ARE Food, Yes?”

  1. I was thinking of hitting up one of the bug markets next time my wife and I go to Thailand. After reading this, I may just forget it. I do eat a lot of the stranger foods in Thailand now ( like rat, but maybe scorpions may just stay off of the things to try list.

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