- First Aid
Are You Allergic To Yellow Jackets
Here is a story I want to share with everyone that really makes me cringe when thinking about it, but happy to be alive to write about it.
No one knows when they are allergic to anything until the time comes when a situation occurs. So the question is,Are You Allergic To Yellow Jackets because I found out the hard way I was.
Remember when we were young and we would get sting by a bumble bee or wasp and any stinging insect. What we were told when this would happen is to put mud on the sting site to draw out the stinger.
I think the mud on the sting site was an old wise tale because it sure didn't work for me. When I was in my twenties out cutting the grass, I hit a yellow jacket nest in the ground and got stung on both calves. Within minutes my calves were about twice the size. Over a period of hours I could not even walk due to the pain in my legs.
I went to the Doctor and he gave me the correct medicine for my stings. I then got cellulitis in both calves. This is when you push your finger into your skin and pull away and your finger leaves a huge indent in your skin. They say it is from retaining fluid in that part of the body.
It took a few days before I was back to walking and feeling normal again. I always kept a close eye out for these dangerous insects. Going to picnics or anything outside I really couldn't have a great time, because I was always looking out for bees. I was then terrified of them and people would say "they won't hurt you".
Some years later, I was cutting the grass again and my wife brought me out my lunch. So, I stopped with what I was doing and took the sandwich in my hand. The very first bite was the last bite.
Under the bottom piece of bread was my worse nightmare, Yes, A Yellow Jacket. I bit down right on it not knowing of it's existence on my sandwich.
Within seconds I felt the effect of the sting. My bottom lip swelled so much that it went down to the bottom of my chin. I started to burn all over my body with red hives everywhere. I itched and burned from my head to my feet in minutes.
My neighbor came out with of course, Mud and tried to put it on my lip. I was then turning gray and told my wife to get my to the hospital fast. My throat started to close up and breathing became harder and harder every second that passed. I started to have chest pains.
At that time I worked for a hospital which was less than one mile away from my home, Thank God. I walked into the emergency room and the head nurse looked at me and knew what was wrong instantly. I wanted to tell her I got stung by a bee, but the only word that came out of my mouth was, "I" and that was the end of me and all I remember.
I don't remember anything after that, only what I had been told by my wife and the Doctors. When I woke up after hours of being under and fighting the anaphylactic shock I was in, I realize that I might have died and was saved.
When coming out of my shock I was jumping up off the stretcher about 6 inches, due to my body reacting to the drugs I was given to save my life. They had to strap me down until my body started to relax to its normal state.
The Doctors told my wife that if we were 3 more minutes longer to get to the hospital I would have not made it. That is a SCARY THOUGHT, that one little Yellow Jacket can kill a human being with one sting.
If it were not for living so close to the hospital I would have never survived the bee sting. I was given epinephrine to stimulate my heart and help to fight my deadly sting.
After that, I always carry my epinephrine pen with me at all times and continually watching out for my worst enemy, "The Yellow Jacket". I started a weekly series of bee venom shots for one year. Then the FDA took that particular vaccine off the shelves.
I do think that the shots worked, because I did get stung under my arm in two spots with no reaction at all, but the stinging sensation that goes with a sting.
So, thanks to my wife, the Doctors and My God, my life was saved and I will always remember that horrible feeling of death.