2 weeks ago I was fishing in Sarasota Bay and I caught a sailcat catfish. From what I understand they have a slimy coating that is a venom. It stuck its barb on its back deep into the center of my palm. My hand instantly started throbbing and going numb. A few days later I got a pain in my shoulder blade and shoulder. It is almost unbearable when I cough. I have back pain now and then and it goes away in a couple of days. I am wondering if there is a nerve in the center of my palm that could have been affected when I got stuck. The center of my palm is no longer red, but is still a little swollen. Is it possible that the sailcats barb could be lodged in the hand? I will post a picture of my hand in my profile, Any help would be appreciated.
Welcome to the Pain Management Forum. I am sorry about your pain and did view the photo of your palm. You can certainly see the injury site.
I don't know a thing about sailcat catfish. I have been "stung" by a catfish in WI but it was not a sailcat and it produced pain for several hours. It is possible that a piece of his fin or sail barb remains in your palm, it may have worked itself deeper into it.
It's also possible that he struck and injured a nerve. We have nerves that run all through our body. And yes a hand injury can cause pain into your shoulder or visa versa.
Another possibility is that you have a slow brewing infection developing. There are so many possibilities that I think you should seek a clinical evaluation. Your PCP should be able to answer what is going on with your hand and shoulder. Are you up to date on your tetanus?
Please let us know how you are doing. I will look forward to your updates with interest. After all this pain and agony I hope you had an otherwise great day of fishing.
Thanks for the reply. It has been aver a month and a half since this happened. I did go to the doctor and he gave me Cipro and naproxen. Still no relief (though my shoulder/back pain is minimal) I still have pain in my arm and my tip of my index finger is mostly numb. My doctor said that after the antibiotics that if not better he would recomend someone who specializes in nerve damage. Problem is I find out he is no longer part of my insurance plan so i cant afford the 90.00 office visit to refer me to another doctor. So my question now is what type of doctor should i see? a neurologist? Is there a doctor that specializes in nerves of the hand?
Thank you so much for the update. I have been wondering how you were doing.
Yes you should try to make an appointment with a neurologist. They treat nerve injuries and inflammations, actually anything that has to do with the nerves. Unfortunately you may have to start again form zero, depending on your insurance. Meaning you may have to see a PCP within your plan to obtain a referral to a neurologist that is covered by your insurance.
I hope you will let us know how this turns out. I will again watch for your updates. Best of luck and please make that appointment. The sooner you obtain treatment the better.
I doubt that the "venom" from the Gafftop Catfish would still be having an effect on you this long, so I'm thinking you either hit a nerve with the spine when it went in, or the very tip of it broke off in your hand and you're feeling the effects of that.
I would go to a doctor and have the hand x-rayed to see if anything shows up in there, because if the tip broke off, it will definitely show up on a radiograph.
Other than that, a neurologist would be my next stop to see what nerves in the hand extend to the parts of the shoulder that are giving you the pain.
Those gafftops are some bad fish, I know quite a few people who have been stuck by them and have had lingering issues because of it. I live on the Texas side of the Gulf and we catch them all the time here, and in my opinion, they're not all that good eating, so I don't know why people even bother with them. LOL
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