An Open Letter to the Sting Rays of the World

Dear Stingrays,

I’m sorry for whatever I did. I tried to shuffle; I didn’t mean to startle you. PLEASE STOP STINGING ME!

Your friend,



Getting stung by a stingray is not the business. I know, I’ve been stung twice. The first time was in 2015 in Balandra Bay in La Paz, Mexico. This beach is gorgeous and is known for being a hot spot of rays. So we shuffled. And halfway to where we were going, Damien says, “Maybe you should put your shoes on.” “Nah, we’re almost there! Just keep shuffling!” But we’re walking single file and the shuffle just scared the ray away from Damien.

At first, I was convinced that a crab pinched me. I think it was self-preservation. No problem, just keep going, it was just a crab. We get to Mushroom rock beach and we look at my ankle and we’re pretty sure it was a sting ray. There is a clear puncture wound and Damien is adamant about peeing on it. At this point, it’s starting to throb, so I let him. There we are in gorgeous Balandra Bay and I’m getting a golden shower on my ankle. We tried to do it as discreetly as possible and luckily there wasn’t really anybody around. And it did help. Maybe it was just in my head, but the throbbing eased up and I could walk again.

Here I am after the sting and after the pee. Trying to act cool.

We made it to a nice spot on the beach, laid out our towels and I tried to remain calm. But really all I could think about was Damien’s sticky pee on my foot. So I took our bottle of water and rinsed my foot off. Almost immediately the pain was back. I tried to ignore it and just be cool. But I couldn’t stand it. “You’ve got to pee on my foot again. Can you do it?” Did I really just ask Damien to pee on me again? What a sicko. But that man is a saint and he gave all he had to give that day.

Shortly after, I just couldn’t stand the pain anymore. We (mainly me) hobbled back to the car and headed to a restaurant for a few shots of tequila and tacos. Just something to take the edge off. The waiter seemed extremely concerned, brought out the cook to take a look and gave me a bowl of hot water and a compress. That and the tequila helped immensely.


The second time I got stung was at The Happiest Place on Earth, Rosie’s Dog Beach. I swam out in the waves a few hundred yards, just minding my own business in about 5 feet of water. I put my foot down to stand up and was positive there was a thumbtack stuck in my foot. I raise my foot up out of the water and a surprisingly large amount of blood was streaming down into the water. Now all can think about is that I’ve chummed the water for a Great White. I swim as fast as I can back to shore, positive that Jaws is close behind me.

I haul myself back onto the beach and realize that I can’t put any pressure down on my foot, Damien and Bella are about 50 yards away and blood is pooling in the sand. I just stand there for a minute like a doofus. Then I start waving my arms and yelling for Damien to bring my shoes. He’s staring in disbelief at me, like I’ve gone completely mad. But then he realizes something is wrong, grabs Bella and my shoes and comes to rescue me.

Again, we hobble up the beach and I lay on the towel so he can take a look. He’s pretty certain that I stepped on a piece of glass, but a lady near us calls over to ask if I was stung by a sting ray. I geniously respond with, “oh my God, are they out there?!?” Damien says, “No, it was just a piece of glass.” She lets us know that the lifeguards have a string ray kit and offers to call them over. We decline, Damien’s rinsing it with water (no pee this time, sorry sickos) and it’s still bleeding quite a bit. He puts some pressure on it, the bleeding stops and I try to remain calm. But a familiar throbbing is starting and I say we gotta go.

As we’re driving back to the marina, I’m pretty certain that I’ve been stung and am looking forward to a dunk in boiling water. It’s hard to walk at this point and my foot is starting to swell. Once I got that foot into the hottest water I could stand, the pain was eased almost immediately.

In conclusion, stingrays can be jerks. Just try to stay away from them. If you can’t, apply a liberal amount of pee and hot water to the wound.

Little rays of sunshine at the marina
My feet aren’t that great to begin with. The swelling does not help.



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