Copperhead in A/C condenser

First of all, let me explain what an A/C condenser unit is for those of you who don’t know. It is the big part of the air conditioning system which sits outside. It contains the compressor which compresses the coolant, and the fan motor and coils to cool the coolant. This is what makes your A/C work. The inside unit merely moves the cooled air through your home when the evaporator coils in the inside unit cool the air.

Now, to my story. One day I noticed my A/C was not cooling properly. I had installed the unit, but no longer work on them. I could, but I don’t. So I called an A/C buddy of mine whom I had worked with years before when I was a contractor. I knew he would fix the problem, and do me right on price. He certainly did this.

While he had the condensing unit open on top, the outside unit I explained to you up above, I noticed there were a considerable amount of leaves and twigs inside the enclosure. The top is an open grille and over time leaves and other trash accumulate inside the unit. Over time, this can deteriorate the coils at the bottom due to excessive moisture, and if enough trash gets inside, can restrict flow through the coils and therefore reduce the efficiency of the unit.

Well! That said, while my A/C buddy was out of the way I decided to reach in and pull some of the leaves out. To my surprise, the very first hand full of leaves had a small copperhead snake in it. By the time I saw the snake, he, it, or whatever you want to call it, clamped down on my hand where my thumb is attached to the palm. It didn’t take me long to look at the snake and I immediately threw it to the ground and began to dance on its head and every other part of it. For once, I had shoes on, which is rare for me around here when it is warm or reasonably so. The little snake died quickly to say the least.

I then took a look at where the snake had bitten me. I could see a thin line of blood where luckily only one fang went into my skin. My blood immediately filled the puncture made by the fang, but not enough that the wound bled until I squeezed on the area trying to get any venom out. It didn’t bleed but a very little as the snake and therefore its fangs were very small. I probably didn’t get any, or not much anyway, of the venom out.

Since the snake was very young, it didn’t get much venom into me, this I knew, but I was certain I got a little. From what I’m told, baby venom is more potent than the venom of older snakes, therefore it doesn’t take as much to hurt you. I decided I did need some medication to help counteract any effects the venom might have. I decided on ibuprofen and Benadryl.

It took at least a couple hours before I felt any ill effects from the bite. I began to feel nauseated at first. There was almost no pain associated with the bite. Much like getting bitten by a mosquito which is a daily occurrence here in the swamp during warmer weather. This is most of the year.

I did not appear to run a fever associated with the venom, but I did have a slight headache and felt a bit sick at my stomach for a couple days. With the aid of a few more ibuprofen and Benadryl, this eased off and I was good as new. Just another day in the swamp!