Sting Like a Bee

When I was a little girl (oh, God-here we go again), I had a lot of allergy problems. I had to receive weekly shots and daily pills. I was allergic to everything except toilet paper; let’s thank the Lord that I didn’t have to use newspaper to wipe my butt when I was younger because that would have been hard for a six-year-old to do. Frankly, I would have rather seen a comic strip on my silly putty rather than on my ass.

One of the things I was allergic to were bees–bee stings to be exact. However, as I had grown older, my allergies seemed to wither away like milkweed seeds in an hayfevereyesautumn breeze. I no longer possessed the urge to rub my eyes until they were blood-red, and the puffiness–as well as the eye-puss–were rubbed out. I no longer looked like Joe Frazier after a title fight. I was set free from my quarantined bedroom that was stripped of my stuffed animals for fear of an allergic reaction, and could again fight the forces of nature with an un-stuffed nose and no Kleenex packets in my pocket.

A few months ago, I got stung by a bee–three times to be exact–in my right foot. Apparently, I had disturbed his slumber while he was sleeping in the mulch. Excuse me, but when was the last time bees pollinated mulch?

My foot swelled up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloon. It felt like a thousand needles were in my foot, and I cursed the bee by launching F-bombs hither and yon until I tossed back a few cocktails to swallow some Motrin. Other than my foot looking ten times its size, I had no other side effects except itching; lots of itching and scratching til the bites bled.

Yesterday, I was minding my own business, I swear. I grabbed the dogs’ water bowl outside to fill it up and felt something bite me on the back of my neck.

This was quickly followed by tingling, burning and immense pain. I got stung again; twice in one summer. The bees were out to get me. It was Operation Kill Nancy the entire summer.

I called Dave from inside the house and told him I thought I had gotten stung by a beestingbee, but couldn’t see behind my back. I lost my freak-like circus ability to turn my head like Linda Blair in the Exorcist awhile ago due to an accident on a mini-tricycle a few years back. I was holding a squirt bottle in one hand…well, I’m getting ahead of myself. Anyway, Dave saw the bite and removed the stinger with a pair of tweezers. Some hydrogen peroxide and whatever-else later, I sat outside with a bag of ice on my neck to freeze the pain.

But, then something odd began to happen. I started itching–like, all over itching. My chest seemed to get tighter, but I was still able to breathe. The itching became really bad in two areas; in between my legs and under my boobs.

I know. Now’s the time you can make jokes about crabs or poor female hygiene, but when I looked in the mirror my “itching face” turned into my “WTF?” face.

I had hives where hives should not be. In actuality, hives shouldn’t be anywhere on one’s body–unless you have an allergic reaction to a bee sting, or get nervous before a circus performance.

I grabbed some Benadryl and tossed it back with some water. I should have had a cocktail in my hand, but I was really concerned about this second bee sting. The tightness in my chest felt like agida, or as some Italians would pronounce it, aaaaaaggiiiida.

And, of course, when you begin to itch in certain places, you start to get phantom itching where no scratching is necessary. It’s comparable to accidentally walking through a cob-web and all of a sudden  you think that spiders are crawling all over your body.

It’s bad enough I have enough mosquito bites to get a case of malaria, but now I have hives and a tight chest–which is not improving the look of my sagging boobs–but rather, causing me to think I may start to run short on air.

Fortunately, the shortness of breath didn’t occur. The hives and chest tightening went away in about an hour after I took the miraculous drug, Benadryl.

Dave looked up allergic reactions to bee stings and the definition stated that people would encounter difficulty breathing, hives would appear as a red, itchy rash and spread to areas beyond the sting. (Why the hives appeared between my legs and around my womanly parts, I have no idea). There can also be swelling of the face, throat or mouth tissue, which will probably occur the next time I get a bee sting, along with wheezing or difficulty swallowing. Let’s not forget a rapid pulse as well as dizziness (please, God, NO), or a sharp drop in blood pressure.

This is what I find funny about the article Dave found online. They include ways on how to NOT get stung by a bee:

  • Learn to recognize insect nests and avoid them. Yellow jackets nest in the ground in dirt mounds or old logs and walls. Honeybees nest in beehives (hopefully not the beehive hairdo you wear on your head), and hornets and wasps nest in bushes, trees, and on buildings. So, I was stung by a yellow jacket on both occasions.
  • Wear shoes and socks when outdoors. This is obvious for me. I have four dogs and don’t want to step in anything squooshy.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes. I seriously hope they’re kidding with this one. I have hot-flashes when I’m naked. Don’t expect me to go outside when it’s 85 degrees with a humidity index of 90% dressed like it’s winter.
  • Avoid wearing bright colored clothing. This is the opposite of what I’m told for mosquitoes which are drawn to dark colored clothing. So, I suppose a burlap sack is in my immediate future.
  • Wear a Medic Alert bracelet and keep a self-care kit on hand for emergency use in case of severe symptoms.

Autumn is just around the corner and the bees tend to get kind of crazy; flying right into your face, dive-bombing you in parking lots, and I heard that George Clooney was stung by a bee in his space suit.

There was a side note online that said, “People who have experienced an allergic reaction to an insect sing have a 60% chance of a similar or worse reaction if they are stung again.”

There you have it. If I get stung again, I’m headed to the emergency room to get an adrenaline shot and oxygen. Or, maybe Dave can just find me on the brick patio head first in the dog’s water bowl.



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