travel blog

Getting stung and getting on

When I look back, I don’t remember too much – of what I was thinking, what was going on in my head. The unbearable pain and burns had somehow numbed my senses. I did not realize what I was considering just another sting would turn out to be something serious.

All I could remember was people around me, whispering to each other that I got lucky. Basically, I got stung by a jellyfish. Due to non – availability of first aid on Sam Phraya Beach, I poured Coco Cola on the wound (on the suggestion of a localite) and then to wash out all the ants getting attracted to the wound, I washed it with fresh water. Thus infecting my wound.

Post that, I took a pillion ride to Hua Hin for another two hours or more in heavy rain and worst traffic to get (im-)proper medical treatment. The doctor was of a little help, though he cleaned my wound with vinegar and prescribed some medicines and ointment.

The situation now (6 days after the incident) as I have been told is that some of my veins (blood cells) have got damaged due to jellyfish sting. Inflammation and swelling, as a result, has caused partial blockage leading to Oedema. It is a situation that causes an excess of watery fluid to collect in the cavities or tissues of the body. So my leg looks like that of an elephant right now.

Jellyfish stung

I’m bed ridden for 4 – 6 weeks now depending on the speed of recovery.

Pain and discomfort apart, such near – death experiences, natural disasters and accidents that I witnessed while traveling have taught me a lot.

I have started valuing life more than before. You ONLY LIVE Once is no longer just another quote for me, it is now a way of life for me. Traveling or not traveling, doing a job or becoming a homemaker, in love or out of love, in wealth or poverty – whatever I do in my coming life, I would always feel fortunate – fortunate of living when I should have been dead.

Travel indeed is a great teacher. It makes one vulnerable and strong at the same time. In the moments of intense pains, it taught me that this, too, shall pass.


Location – SE Asia, French & Spanish Riveria, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Japan
If you are a sea lover and planning a beach holiday, be alert of this kind. Oceans and seas around the world especially SE Asia are under a major jellyfish attack and more people are dying every year due to jellyfish attack (97%more as compared to shark attacks).
In case, you do get stung and are still breathing, get vinegar from the nearest shack and pour it on the wound. If the pain lasts more than a 2 days, you need a blood test and a good doctor.

Read here:Β Marine Animal Bites or Stings: Risks, Prevention & Treatments

46 thoughts on “Getting stung and getting on

  1. Travel definitely teaches a lot Leena. Shit Happens, But then there is always a way out… only the strong hearted sail through… you definitely are one of those. I have a lot to share too… will call soon: Ritika

  2. Travel definitely teaches a lot Leena. Shit Happens, But then there is always a way out… only the strong hearted sail through… you definitely are one of those. I have a lot to share too… will call soon

    1. Thanks Tanvi. I will do a post soon on the dangerous sea animals one should be aware of. Due to excessive fishing and global warming, we have disturbed the marine life. And so they are posing a threat to us.

  3. travel indeed is a great teacher…you take care and get well soon…looking forward for more inspirational stories…healthy ones though πŸ˜‰

  4. You already started with your SE Asian adventure!! :O :O and i thought you were in planning stage a few days back!
    you aure are quick! and ofcourse you will be quick in getting back on the run! πŸ˜€

    1. your number of trips confuse me! :O
      so basically…you have done SE Asia during your RTW trip…and then you did it last week and then you are again planning in few months?
      you dont stop amazing me!

      anyways…i hope you are doing well now!
      and..back to india…or continuing with your trip?

      1. Hi Tarang! Let me clarify – I was in SE Asia from November, 2014 till April,2014 as a part of RTW trip. Then, I was there again for some work last month for another 20 days. I am back in India now and I am documenting my journey to help others plan theirs. But I have no plan to visit SE Asia again. I hope it is little clear now. πŸ™‚

  5. Hallo, Have a speedy recovery & be back to travel soonest.

    Recently, I too had similar thoughts cropped up in mind while being bed-ridden for 2 months approx. Still recovering… Traveling makes one so vulnerable that they start living the moments. Such near to death experiences in life not only makes you feel more confident but also vanishes all such materialistic thoughts which infuses fear of losing (trust, failure, & pride etc.) Living this way will help one in taking great decisions of their life. #YOLO

    1. Thanks, Deepak. I loved these lines ‘Such near….” So true these lines are. Traveling is indeed a great teacher. It helps us to decide what is most important. I wish you a speedy recovery . God bless! πŸ™‚

  6. Hello Ms walking shoes,
    From the picture that you have posted it doesn’t look so bad πŸ™‚ compared to the images came up in my google search. I think rinsing with fresh water was a mistake.
    If you have not experienced any severe reaction like difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, chest pain, or intense pain at the site of the sting,nausea, vomiting, diarrhea you’re good. Cheer up!
    I looked up, most jellyfish stings can be treated by rinsing the area with salt water, applying vinegar or a baking soda paste, and taking a pain reliever.
    Also, read that if you’ve not taken tetanus in last 10 years, you should get one now
    over the counter medicine:
    Itching – diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to help with the itching,
    For pain – take acetaminophen (Tylenol) 325 mg 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours for pain; or Ibuprofen (Motrin) or Aleve every 8 hours for pain.
    Soak or rinse the area in vinegar (acetic acid) for 15-30 minutes to stop the nematocysts from releasing their toxins. If you do not have vinegar available, rinse in sea water,70% isopropyl alcohol, or Safe Sea Jellyfish After Sting pain relief gel.
    Do not use fresh water. Fresh water will cause the nematocysts to continue to release their toxin. For the same reason, do not rub the area, apply ice or hot water.
    Apply vinegar or alcohol. If you can’t get over the counter medicine like Tylenol or Aleve or Hydrocortisone and if you want I can Fedex to you. Feel free to let me know.
    for oedema – take some antihistamine and avoid/reduce salt in our food and I would suggest you stay active, do good walking everyday to help speed up healing.
    Hope you get better soon, until then relax and enjoy
    Take care!

    1. Thanks a lot, SK for taking out time to write this message. It is very kind of you.

      About the wound, I did get bitten right below the knee and experienced excruciating pains around the wound. I also had difficulty in breathing. The Doppler test indicated that some of the veins got damaged. If I was not this ignorant about First- Aid, the wound would have healed better. Thanks a lot for sharing all this information. I am presuming you are a doctor and so whenever I will get into another problem (which is often), I will get back to you.

      I have also compiled a blog on marine bites prevention and cures. Please do go through this article and let me know if there is something that I can add to it. Here is the link:

      Many thanks,
      Miss Walking Shoes

    2. Hi Leena,
      How are you? Feeling better? Hope the wounds are healing and you’re slowly recovering.
      Thanks for the info that you’ve complied. good one.
      No, I’m not a doctor. I had some basic knowledge, but I researched the details for you after reading what happened to you. I do a lot of crazy outdoor stuff myself and I’m curious I read a lot about these stuff just for my knowledge.
      Do yourself a favor. in the future, always go for full body wet suit and water shoes (if not wearing fins) for snorkeling or scuba diving or doing any kind of water sports.
      Also, be aware of the rare but deadly flesh eating bacteria swimmers have been contracting in some beaches (,
      You have to always dress appropriately you’re hiking and climbing some mountains or camping it’s always good to wear full sleeves, pants instead of shorts and tank tops. if you’re hiking in a desert wearing snake gaiters to protect from rattle snake bite and so on.. and always carry a water purifier system like Steripen or Lifestraw go water bottle with you.
      Take care!

  7. Inspiring and so brave. Being in a job that takes me to every corner of this country I could easily relate to ur travel adventures. Looking forward for more….cheers lady.

    1. Hey SK! Thank you so much for your concern and thoughtfulness. I am doing good. Almost recovered from the sting, can walk around properly but it hurts sometimes. πŸ™‚

  8. Almost.. yeah…glad to hear that you’re doing better. yay!! πŸ™‚
    Wow, it’s taking so long to heal…I can’t believe that you haven’t fully recovered yet.. That makes me wonder if it was a ‘box’ jellyfish, one of the most poisonous type.. ..
    It’s one of those life experiences you will never forget for the rest of your life, but will joke talking about it when you look back about the terrifying experience and how you got through it will make you smile and feel proud about yourself. πŸ™‚
    Take care…cheers!

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