Saturday, June 25, 2011

My First Anaphylatic Reaction

While doing some bush and tree trimming today, I was suddenly hit on the forearm and stung by a bee. Weird, but I figured I must have startled it off of some trimmed lavender or pepper tree blossoms, and it just reacted.

No sooner do I brush away that stinger than another blasts into me, taking no prisoners, and stings my shoulder. I hoof it away from the area, head up to the house to fetch my bee-jacket, and go back down to finish up.

But after bending down a couple times I felt my face getting tingly, and I felt a little dizzy. Not good. I hustled back up to the house and looked in the mirror. Sure enough, my face was bright red, and my lips were swelling. My scalp and ears were itching like mad, too.

I took two Benadryl capsules, shot a couple blasts of albuterol to make sure I kept breathing, and threw an ice pack on my shoulder. My scalp continued to get hot and itchy, so I took a cool shower. By this point my lower lip was looking like a sausage.

It was a scary hour or so, and I came close to hitting the Epi Pen at one point, but things started calming down. I went back outside to do some chores, and eventually the reaction receded to localized swelling (as I write, the one from my shoulder has migrated to the side of my pec, and is itching quite insistently).

Lesson learned here: I have only one Epi Pen, in my swarm toolbox I keep in the car. I'm going to get some more, and put at least one down by the main beeyard, another in my house, and another in the Gator (my ranch utility vehicle). I've never reacted like that before, but they say a bad reaction can happen at any time, and I already swell up so badly from any sting, I don't want to push my luck.

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