You know that hot searing pain immediately. You feel a red hot needle piercing your skin and wham, with the slap of a hand you’ve obliterated the wasp and you know what’s coming next – more pain.
It was a beautiful Sunday evening out on the patio, catching up with long-lost cousins from California and JT’s siblings from Boise. We were enjoying a nice glass of Jackson Hole Wine and soaking in the last rays of the day. We’ve always had bees flitting around the patio and yes, I’ve been stung a few times, but outside of your typical reaction, I have never had a problem. So I grabbed the Benadryl cream and pills, popped and lathered and sat back down.
Within minutes I knew something was wrong. My leg was burning, my hands started to swell, my ears and my neck itched. My sister-in-law who is a nurse took one look at me and asked if my tongue, lips or throat felt weird. Nope, I was just itchy. A few minutes later I couldn’t stand it anymore and went upstairs to look at my torso which was itching like crazy. Hives, welts, red stripes, dang it…
I said good-bye to the company and JT whisked me away to the hospital. By the time we got there my heart was racing, I was having trouble breathing and the room was spinning. The medical team plopped me in a wheelchair and back I went to my cozy room for the next few hours.
Epi-pens, more Benadryl, fluids, and all sorts of fun stuff started pumping into my veins. The room continued to spin and I answered questions through a fog. The medical team did their best to keep me laughing as the tremors from the EpiPen started to kick in. Somewhere I remembered to breathe and do my best to get my heart to stop racing.
My leg was KILLING me! That damn stinger was still buried in there somewhere and every time I moved, it sent another searing shot of pain through my calf. My fabulous nurse Dave came in with some lidocaine, rubbed it in and told me to be patient for 10-15 minutes until it kicked in.
Somewhere along the line the shaking and the tremors stopped, the hives started to go away and I drifted off to la-la-land. The team continually came in and checked on me and JT was an angel keeping my spirits up.
I hate hospitals. I think it all stems from having my tonsils out at the age of 4 and waking up to a sheet covered in blood from the draining and absolutely freaking out. JT couldn’t believe that I had only been in the ER once before in my life. I had a severe asthma attack back on the east coast and after they left me in a room for 2 hours with no one checking on me, I walked out the door and went home.
That being said, Dr. Nelson and the team at St. John’s were fabulous and I couldn’t have received better care. They made a very scary situation “comfortable” and got me home to bed at a reasonable hour.
Epi-pen in hand until I go through my desensitization shots in a few weeks, I’m ready to do battle with those little bastards if they come at me again!
On a serious note, even if you have never had an allergic reaction to a bee sting, it can still happen later in life. If you have the slightest symptoms of tingly or swollen lips or tongue, or have problems breathing, get to the doctor immediately.