ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WKRN) - A wicked sharp pain in her ankle.
That's how an Ashland City woman described the moment she found out she was bitten by a copperhead snake.
Almost three weeks after that bite, she's still in recovery.
Patty Evangelist is still dealing with swelling in her right ankle, a painful reminder to be extra careful of venomous snakes, even in her own front yard.
"This one was just a foot long, but packed a punch!" said Evangelist.
Evangelist said she just finished walking her dogs when a young copperhead bit her ankle.
At first she thought it was a wasp, but then she looked down and saw the venomous snake, a foot away, all curled up in hiding.
In a panic, Evangelist called her neighbors.
They killed the copperhead as she called 911 to be then rushed to Vanderbilt Hospital.
She said the pain quickly escalated.
"It was getting painful really fast, swelling really fast - It swelled all the way up to my thigh," said Evangelist. "Never experienced pain like before - worse than childbirth!"
Evangelist said it took constant monitoring of her vitals for three days before she could be released.
Luckily, copperheads, known to be the snakes most likely to bite, have venom that's rarely fatal for humans.
Evangelist said she now wears knee-high boots when she's gardening and keeps a close eye on her dogs to protect them from snakes, as well.