It happens when you least expect it. In my case, it was a beautiful sunny day with a sliver of breeze and low humidity, perfect for lazily floating on a raft in the pool. Blissfully unaware that danger lurked, I reached for the gate when it happened – – zap! I still don’t know what stung me (I never saw the nasty little insectoid) but it left a marked impression as I danced around like a cartoon character, holding my hand and cursing. Ouch, ouch, ouch! My husband had the foresight to tell me to get ice on it immediately (I was too busy hissing and spitting about how badly it hurt, doing a phenomenal impersonation, I’m sure, of Tom from Tom and Jerry after he’s wailed his thumb with a sledgehammer).
The ice helped. No, I didn’t have any Benadryl on hand, so I relied on icing the thing all night, thinking that would do the trick. Stupid assumption. I woke the next morning with a thumb ballooned to twice its size and tenacious dragon-tails of heat and pain unspooling into my wrist, palm and fingers. *sigh*
I ended up calling off work and going to the doctor as I could barely bend my thumb and the whole left side of my hand was shiny and reddish-purple. The doctor told me I’d had a severe allergic reaction (um, I pretty much figured that out on my own) and that Benadryl wouldn’t have helped. Oh?
So I got a prescription for steroids with instructions to continue the icing. Came home, unwound with a movie (The Woman in Black . . . gee wasn’t I supposed to be at the office?) then slept like Rip Van Winkle. My husband found me conked out when he got home from work (the wonderful dear had checked in with me twice during the day to make sure I was okay) then let me sleep until I woke on my own about forty minutes later.
Typing this isn’t the easy, but I’m not going to let a stupid bug bite slow me down. *grumble, grumble* My thumb and the ball of my palm still look unnatural but the pain has subsided. Hopefully, the itching will soon too. That’s enough to launch me into the stratosphere if I dwell on it.
I wish I knew what ambushed me. I don’t think it was a bee as I never saw anything fly off after ‘the incident’ and I never heard any buzzing. Also, I’ve had multiple stings at one time (lovely experience trimming hedges) and, although it hurt like the dickens, I never had swelling like this.
Yes, I was ambushed. My unseen assailant probably flew off in search of fresh prey, intent on sending someone else to the doctor. Summer is a wonderful time to be outdoors but, as I’ve learned, it helps to be aware of your surroundings. The next time I reach for the gate to our pool, I’ll look twice. One ambush is enough.
Have you ever had an insectoid ambush and how did you handle it? I know I can’t be alone in this! (And no, it wasn’t a black widow spider, thank God, although it could have been a pesky arachnid).