On March 24 I was stung on my foot by a scorpion for the first time in my life. I’m fairly impervious to bee and wasp stings, but this hurt far worse.
My toes went numb, which matched symptoms described in the various medical sources I read when considering what, if anything, to do about it.
The pain receded, but I felt very poor for the rest of the day and evening.
On March 25th I continue to feel worse. And by March 26 I was down, eventually being out of commission mentally and physically for over a month. As of this writing, 2 months later, I’m still struggling with mental focus and cognitive tasks.
The initial symptoms fooled the doctor. I was sleeping 16+ hours a day. I was falling asleep constantly, sort of micro-faints. Initial tests pointed to my heart, but a deeper set of tests by cardiologists showed a strong healthy heart and blood supply to my brain.
This led me to the Mayo Clinic, where I saw 5 neurologists, who tested me rigorously with various imaging, electrical, and brain chemistry tests. All showed perfect.
Gradually, I started to improve, and now the only remaining symptoms are trouble with cognitive focus.
The neurologists poo-pooed the scorpion sting as a possible cause. I’m not sure what else it could be. The timing certainly matches. And the toes in my left foot are still numb – 2 months later! Clearly, this sting affected me more deeply than the typical sting.
Lacking answers as to cause, my efforts have turned to improving.
I’ve gradually built up a diet focused on brain and gut health. I take brain supplements. I do a sauna. A cold plunge after. I keep a very regular sleep schedule. And I walk 2 to 5 miles a day + light exercise. And, although they are hard, I try to do cognitive tasks (light writing this) each day.
The cognitive troubles remain. I’ve adapted how I function. I’m now back to work but limit e-mail to a very light dose each day. Reading is still hard. Writing this has been hard.
Did the scorpion sting cause this? I doubt I’ll ever know the reason.