Ambush Attack!

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).

18 thoughts on “Ambush Attack!

  1. Awww, poor you! I’m sorry that happened, but glad you’re on the mend. I’m sure the creature thought you were a tasty snack and realized too late it wasn’t so. I had something bite up my leg once – the welts were so severe people thought it was a spider but I’m sure it was just a mosquito and that I’m sensitive. I’ve kept tarantulas before but my babies never bit me when I held them. I used to keep snakes and my ball python bit me thinking I was food but backed off right away when she discovered otherwise. The bite hurt like heck though so I feel your pain. Take care and feel better soon xx


    • I’m super sensitive to bug bites too, Cadence, but I’d rather get bitten by a bug than a ball python! Ouch!!! I don’t mind smaller snakes (I think they’re kind of cool) but nothing that big and certainly NOT tarantulas! You must have been very confident in handling them (the snakes too). That’s a heck of a story! 🙂


  2. I once fell asleep in a lawn chair while watching television on the patio. Something bit me on the end of my nose (probably just a mosquito) and I scratched it in my sleep so that by the time I awoke it was very red and looked like a huge zit.


  3. I feel your pain, Mae…literally. For some reason, I’m a bug bite magnet. I can’t even water the flowers in our back yard without something attacking. My latest round of bites are up both shins from ants…I think. I even came home from RWA Nationals with a huge bite on my back. And yup, it’s still there. Best advice I can give is stock up on witch hazel and cortisone cream or spray and keep taking your meds. An antihistamine helps, but the best remedy is to try not to scratch it. Hang in there.


    • I think I’m going to have to get some cortisone cream. The itching is driving me nuts!! I’m a bug magnet too. I always tell my husband, all I have to do is step outside, and it’s like ringing the dinner bell for the insect world. I see I’m not alone 😉 Thanks for the advice and hope your bites resolve themselves too!


  4. If you are allergic, there isn’t much you can do, but take the meds. It would be helpful to find whatever it was, so you can avoid it in the future. Depending on what the mosquito bit before he bit me, and how allergic I am to that, determines what kind of welt I get. I always have cortisone cream handy. Yes, I can see where typing might be awkward. Ugh.


    • I’m starting to think it had to be a spider. We looked and looked, but couldn’t find anything. I had a bad reaction from a spider bite once before which has me leaning that way. Weird about the mosquito bites and what they bit before. I never thought of that!

      And, yeah, I can see where cortisone cream is going to become a standard med cabinet item in the future!


  5. I have had a mosquito bite on my eye lid that got so big I couldn’t open my eye, My brother had been stung by bees several times before he became allergic, it is my understanding that is usually the case, the histamine reaction is your body goes haywire for some reason. I would say it might not be a bad idea if you get stung again to head straight to the the doc because each time the reaction gets worse. You wouldn’t want to go into anaphylactic shock.


    • Yep, next time I’ll be trotting off to the doctor first chance I get!

      I cringed when I read about the mosquito bite on your eyelid. By comparison, I got off easy. I can’t imagine how painful and uncomfortable that must have been. It’s amazing to think that something so small (like insects) can cause us so much grief! Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Carin!


  6. I empathize and laughed at the same time. Your descriptions were great. Yeah I have to be careful of bees and stuff. One day a couple of summers ago I noticed my sandal felt tight. My angle was swollen not from a bite but from a blister. You know I can’t remember. I think I had twisted my ankle and the strap from the shoe dug in. But it was on my bad leg to add insult to injury I went to the walk in clinic and convinced the doc to bust the blister. It lasted a long time and I had a cream for it also. I especially hate it when I get mosquito bites on my fingers. This year hasn’t been too bad


    • Well, I’m glad I entertained you and, hey, I even managed to have you remember that story about the blister (although I’m sure the blister itself is ingrained in your rmemory . . . sounds painful!).

      I hate mosquito and constantly seem to be bombarded with bites. One of the nasty drawbacks of summer, although this year, as you said, doesn’t seem to be as bad. YAY! 🙂


    • I agree Donna. Beautiful butterflies, grasshoppers, and fire flies are fine, but things that sting and bite need to play elsewhere. Yesterday (Wednesday) was still rough but I’m feeling pretty good this morning. Hey, I can even cross my fingers on that, LOL!


  7. So sorry about your thumb, Mae. I had a incident one morning on my way to work. I stepped out side. Turned to lock the door and heard some buzzing near my ear. I swatted the darn thing away and got stung on my hand. The bug was still on my hand, when I snatched it from my ear. I shook it off. It landed on the porch then flew away. It was some kind of red wasp. My hand was so swollen by the time I got to work, I stopped by to see the building nurse and got benadryl so I could work the rest of the day. I no longer swat unknown bugs. I just step away or go back inside.


    • Wow, what a wretched way to start your day, Alicia! Ugh! It’s a good thing the building nurse had benadryl and coud give you something to help with the swelling. A red wasp sting does NOT sound like something I’d want to experience. Thanks for sharing your tale of woe with a fellow stingee 🙂


  8. Well–ouch, ouch, OUCH! Mae, very sorry to hear of you being ambushed by some laying in wait insectoid! :O And then having to deal with the reaction. The swelling and pain must have freaked you out. Lots of the stories shared on here freaked me out! I only have the shock of being in the back seat as a kid, on one of those long family trips to Chicago, and looking down to see a yellow jacket hanging off my thigh from his little stinger. It hurt! But I was just so ‘freaked’ by being stung (it was first and last time), and everyone in my family was so cool over it. At the time, I was mad they were so unsympathetic– but I did survive after all, didn’t I? LOL!

    Glad you survived yours! Feel better, heal up fast, & better keep some Benadryl around! Clever post, BTW!


    • The first and last time you were stung? You’re so lucky it was only once, Venice but, yes, I can imagine it must have been horrible and completely freaked you out. I find the older I get the more reactive I am to stings and bites both in shrieking and hurting, LOL. I don’t remember them being that painful when I was a kid but I’m sure they were.

      Thanks for sharing your story. I am feeling much better today. YAY! Not enjoying taking the steroids but at least they help. Glad you enjoyed my ambush post:)


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