Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Apis Me Petit

Until this weekend, I had never been stung by a bee. On Sunday I was stung by a yellow jacket while hiking along the Snake River. Last night a bee dove inside my shirt and stung me three times while I was biking through town. Hives started to crawl along my forehead, around my back, up my arms and into my armpits. It felt like five hundred hornets and twice as many ants were having a family reunion on my skin and weren’t too happy I’d showed up.
My roommates told me to take a warm oatmeal bath and gave me Benadryl. While soaking in the mushy water, I called my mom. As we were talking, I started wheezing and coughing. Because I’ve had asthma for so long, I’m used to having a difficult time breathing. It doesn’t scare me anymore. But my eyes were swelling and my ears were hot and my whole body was red as a clown’s lips. Mom told me to go to the Emergency Room immediately.
Bobbi and Emma (two of my lovely roommates) and I piled in Bobbi’s ancient car, which smoked and shuddered us down the hill to the hospital. In Orlando, people are spilling out of the ER. You have to wait for hours as smashed skulls are sewn up and tree branches pulled out of stomachs and dangling bones set until it’s finally your turn to get fixed. At the Moscow hospital, however, there wasn’t a single person in the ER waiting room but the receptionist, who immediately led me into a room.
A nurse hooked me up to a pulse and blood pressure monitor, and handed me a nebulizer tube. After years with my dear Mr. Neb, this all felt very routine. Then she went for my elbow pit with a giant needle; I quickly told her that the veins in my arms are too small for needles. So, the thick needle went in my hand and I could feel the cold medicine shooting up my arm.

Doctors and nurses kept popping in and out of the room to check on me. It must really have been a slow night. But once I was finished being hooked up on the IV, we had the room to ourselves.  As I sat there in the hospital bed, feeling my veins carry the medicine through my body and getting loopier and loopier, I talked and laughed with Bobbi and Emma. In Latin. It was then I realized just how much of a nerd I am. I kept talking in Latin. After experiencing a severe allergic reaction and being taking to the emergency room, I was speaking Latin. And asking Emma to read her Lingua Latina chapter out loud to me. And telling her the story before she could read it. Gotta love Latin.
Hours later, I feel fine, albeit a little shaky.
And beware: I now carry an Epinephrine pen.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I can't believe we never happened upon this info before! So glad you're okay!

    (How are you going to remember to carry an Epi pen when you forget your cell phone 90% of the time??)