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227 E Edgewood Dr
Friendswood, TX, 77546
United States

Jennifer James Sapaugh is a homeschooling mother of 5, singer/songwriter, and adoption advocate from Houston, Texas. is designed to better share and connect Jenn with other like-minded people in hopes of her crazy life adventures encouraging others in their crazy life adventures.

sleepovers, swimming, & snakebites


sleepovers, swimming, & snakebites

Jennifer James

So, here's the official story on the crazy turn of events that happened last week.

It was just a normal 9 kids at the house kind of day. We had pancakes for breakfast, swam with friends at the neighborhood pool after that, then came home for lunch and hanging out at the house....which ended up being lots of popcorn and a movie. It was after the movie that the kids were getting restless and wanting to go outside. 

Andie really wanted to show Pryce the "bamboo forest", which is a little thicket of bamboo growing in the empty lot next to ours. (it is actually really cool!) I told the 5 that were wanting to go on the exploration to get their shoes on and that we would need to keep a look out for, ya. There is that. I even went along - because, you know - safety first.

We were outside for all of 6 minutes - made it to the far side of the "bamboo forest" when Andie stepped a couple feet away from me to bend over and grab a bamboo stick. Almost immediately, she screamed "Ow! Ow! Something bit me!" She began a mad dash back to the house crying and not waiting for me to even check on her.

I gathered the rest of the kids hurried back to see the bite . At this point I am not worried. Any mom will tell you, kids get scrapes and bites all the time, and every incident just can't be an emergency. So, by default my "worry meter" is pretty low.

I came to inspect the bite and calm my girl and noticed that the center of the bite showed a very little bit of blood & had immediately formed a bruise. Interesting. I wiped it with hyrdogen-peroxide, circled it with a sharpie, got out a bandaid (as per her request) and moved her to the couch. That was that. 

In perfect time, the doorbell rang and it was time for 4 of the extra kids to leave. I started gathering bags and carseats and helping get them loaded up, all the while leaving Andie screaming "Mom!" on the couch. (which is another thing you have to ignore - screaming, dramatic kid moments don't always mean there is something really wrong)

But when I returned not even 10 min later to check on her - the bandaid that I had just put on her was BUSTING at the seams due the swelling around the bite. It was so crazy; I have never seen anything swell so quickly. I called Kyle and luckily he was only a few minutes away and said he could come home and take her in the a local urgent care place. So he did.

This was about 4:15pm. He saw the doctor & the doctor there said it was just an allergic reaction; to go home, give her benadryl, & keep it elevated.  Easy enough. So, that is what we did.

And although the swellling had continued to worsen, spreading up her leg approaching her knee at this point - she ate dinner, had a milkshake, and was resting in bed. 

It wasn't until about 40 min after she fell asleep when she woke up vomitting that we began to really worry. Something wasn't right. 

My mom was in town to watch the girls so we could go to our last foster care class the next day, so, conveniently, we already had a sitter there. (although inconveniently, we had to miss our class) We loaded Andie and headed to the ER. 

At this point we still aren't thinking snake. I mean, I was like 3 feet away from her and I saw nothing! Plus, most of the snakes we have found in our yard have been big - like over 3 ft big! So, surely, I would have seen something. 

When we arrived at the ER, we told them we had no idea what the bite was from & everything else I have already said here. The doctor said he actually had a little boy with a copperhead bite in the next room and that Andie's bite and swelling looked almost the same!

So, now we are thinking...Oh! A snake bite?!?! 

Andie started throwing up again in the room which I guess makes her symptoms worse, showing that the venom of the bite has gotten into her system to some degree. We do blood work and wait a bit and then are told that they have ordered anti-venom and are getting a room ready for her in ICU. The ICU thing was more precautionary; there are alot of scary reactions people can have when getting anti-venom, and so to be fully prepared for any worse case scenario, she was best suited in their care. All that being said - It is NEVER a good feeling to think of your baby in ICU. 

We moved upstairs pretty quickly and learned from one of the nurses in passing "the other snake bite is not getting anti-venom, because his isn't as bad" And, well, that freaked me out.

We got situated, got an IV in, and started the anti-venom drip shortly after. This consisted of us standing around for the first 5 minutes STARING intensely at Andie. Supposedly, it is in the first couple minutes of getting it in your system that you body will have a bad reaction or not - thankfully, Andie did not!

Overall the anti-venom worked, helping lower certain blood levels that had been high. But the swelling continued moving up her leg, past her knee to her mid though - until early Saturday morning. There was concern about the circulation in her leg as they were unable to find a pulse in her foot without a doppler. We were encouraged but not completely in the clear.

It wasn't until later Saturday that her leg began to slowly soften (which they would mark on her leg with a sharpie to keep track of) Still the biggest concern was the blood flow to the swollen leg & foot, but as the leg softened it would naturally get better.

By Sunday morning she was wanting to walk on it - and they let her! Then the doctor came by and said it was like seeing a different leg! And just like that, we were home free.

So in between kid-sitting for a friend, scheduled foster care classes, & Kyle's last Sunday to teach at the church he has been helping as interim youth pastor - we managed to squeeze in a weekend stay at the hospital. Getting discharged just in time to bounce back to the norm on Monday.

 We are so grateful that it went the way it did. We are fully aware it could have gone differently. 

Thank you, God, for protecting our Andie!  And if anyone wants to come have a playdate  - just pop on over. We can have coffee and let the kids play out back!  ;) (too soon?)