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Friday, October 21, 2011

Stung By a Bee

Never garden in your pyjamas.

It was a fine morning and I set out to trim the frangipani of its rusty leaves. Rust is a fungal growth on frangipani leaves that presents itself as reddish powdery spots or patches. It doesn't kill the tree but can be very unsightly. I was lazy and did nothing when there were only few spots, and then the whole tree turned rusty. And the rust spread to the other frangipanis too. The condition is easily treated with a spray of 1 tablespoon of evaporated milk in 1 litre of water every morning for 1 month. But first, one had to trim away badly rusted leaves.

So, there I was, trimming away the badly infected leaves (and having a good chat with my neighbour about a complacent MOE who loved to trot out stats to disprove personal experience and feedback) ... when a bee got inside my pyjamas and couldn't get out. So it stung me someplace rather tender. It was a good thing that I felt the initial pinprick of the sting and was able to locate the fat bee under the pyjamas cloth, and pull out the whole bee with its stinger before much toxin had been injected. Still... it began to hurt.

Happily, I am still at an age where I can still take the stairs 2 by 2. A quick google scared me silly. There is this condition called "anaphylaxis" wherein your whole body sorta puffs up from itchy welts... and then your lungs puff up and you can't breathe and then you DIE.

I didn't wanna die.

The Daughter googled too (in between giggles) and in her enthousiasm tried to administer antihistamine directly to the sting spot. I kept telling her that antihistamines had to be EATEN. But by that time, she was all done with grinding a capsule of LemSip and was gonna smear the powder on the sting. It was all rather exciting because I didn't wanna die and I thought she was wrong and she thought she was right and meanwhile the sting HURT.

Anyway, things calmed down after a bit and we decided to use some bicarbonate of soda mixed with water. Little Boy proffered this suggestion because he had read somewhere that bee sting venom is acidic and one could use an alkaline paste to neutralize its effects. It helped quite a bit to reduce the sting... but shortly after, it turned ITCHY. Maybe I should have used bleach on my b***.

I read with dismay after more googling that the sting would itch for FIVE days. I sure as anything wasn't gonna wait FIVE days for the sting to stop itching because by then I would have scratched away all flesh. So I prayed, and the itch went away the day after. See... prayer works!!

4 comments:

Theanne and Baron said...

Hi Petunia...some things I used to use for bee and wasp stings: ammonia and meat tenderizer...these days when I get stung by fire ants, I use Benadryl tablets, orally and Benadryl cream applied directly on the sting site to relieve itching. I'm so happy you did not go into anaphylactic shock and what wonderful kids you have helping their Mom to overcome this potentially fatal threat...prayer is always good!

petunialee said...

Theanne - Hey! Thanks for the tips!! I'll go see if I can get Benadryl.

Wen-ai said...

hahaha... such a funny post! I do hope that the sting has stopped itching. ;)

Blur Ting said...

Oh dear. I think vinegar works too.