Céad Míle Fáilte ~ A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

Here we seek a rest in the shade, some cool water and a little kindness. This blog is dedicated to peace, truth, justice and a post- industrial, post-petroleum illumined world in spite of all odds against it. I very much like the line about the ancient knight (see poem below) "His helmet now shall make a hive for bees" It is reminiscent of "beating swords into ploughshares" a sentiment I heartily approve of. Thank you for visiting ~ I hope you return!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Yellowjacket Soap Opera

My insect-bite driven miniseries, my yellowjacket soap opera (or is that miseries) continues today, the third day since I was the unlucky recipient of several ~ I'm still not sure if it got me three or four times ~ yellowjacket stings. Bad stuff: it feels like radioactive fire at first and now on the 3rd day after, feels like an itchy ache elixir has been injected into me.

I sit with my pink, swollen, sore and itchy football of a foot elevated, mind woozy with Benedryl and aspirins and/or ibuprofens (I'm trading them off to avoid pickling my tummy's interior with the famously caustic ibu). The entire thing is slightly paralyzed as well, and the skin is so taut I feel it may burst, like a rotton plum, and then where will I be?

Since I work on my feet this has naturally derailed my normal work schedule, throwing the bakery I work in into even further of a worker deficit than normal, and leaving me feeling oddly guilty, as though I'd planned to step on a fallen apple infested with wasps on Sunday's hike around the Arbor Day Far, orchards at Nebraska City. I do have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility.

My range of activity has been temporarily limited to the confines of my own home, stumbling about like a drunkard from the Benedryl and doing a good deal of reading, partly Tolkien, partly news and politics, and partly online googling "yellowjacket stings". I tried swimming at the neighborhood YMCA for a while yesterday, on the grounds that the cool water would be good for the bites, but it seemed to only exacerbate the injury. A devout Catholic, I meditate upon the sting of sin and the bite of the Enemy.

Here's an excerpt from an Ohio State article on the obnoxious bugs and their bite. I apparently have a "large local reaction". Lucky me, but at least I didn't have a full systemic one.

QUOTE Most people stung will experience a "local" reaction with redness, pain, swelling and some itching only at the sting site. If the reaction progresses quickly to sites other than the sting site or is followed by difficult breathing or choking at the throat, the person is experiencing a "systemic" allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) requiring emergency medical treatment.

Remember that if you are stung on the hand and your face begins to swell or hives break out all over your body, this is a serious condition requiring emergency room attention.

Normal Reaction:--Lasts a few hours. Sting site is painful, reddened, may swell and itch, but will quickly dissipate.

Large Local Reaction:--Lasts for days. Sting site is more painful, swelling and itching may be present both at the sting site and in surrounding areas.

Severe Allergic Reaction:--Can commence rapidly (in a few minutes) after the sting occurs. The whole body is involved. Person may feel dizzy (lightheaded), nauseated and weak. There may be stomach cramps and diarrhea. There can be itching around the eyes, a warm feeling or coughing, hives breaking out, followed with vomiting and swelling. There can be wheezing, difficult breathing (shortness of breath) or swallowing, hoarse speech, drop in blood pressure, shock, unconsciousness and darkened skin following. Reactions may occur in a few minutes with most deaths within 30 minutes, but some within 15 minutes and some in five minutes or less.

QUOTE There is nothing funny about yellow jacket stings. According to info on the Web, 100 people will die from insect stings this year and you only need to stung once to suffer ill effects! Each sting should be taken seriously. That doesn’t mean panicking every time. It does mean, staying calm and knowing how to respond to the situation.
People need to know how serious bee/yellow jacket stings can be. Once a person has been stung these critters have a tendency to sting you again . I can attest to that, having been stung 10 or 12 times over the years. Each time my reaction to the stings has become more severe.
BTW, bees and yellow jackets are not the same. Bees will generally not attack first. Also, the earth is losing its bee population and that’s important to know because without bees growing food becomes tenuous. We need helpful bees to pollinate our crops etc.
Ten days ago I stung one evening. I thought it was a fluke, but when I was attacked, again, on Friday night I knew something was dreadfully wrong.
Turns out there was a nest of the suckers in my back yard, and as I found out these guys are very aggressive . . . and aggressive just for the hell of it. They will attack for no reason. Apparently, I was too near their nest. BTW, yellow jackets make their nests in the ground near tree roots, which I didn’t know until the exterminator told me . They can also build their nests in lawns, under pine straw, in the ground etc.

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