- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions»
- Skin Diseases & Conditions
The Real Symptoms of a Brown Wasp Sting
Personal reaction to a brown wasp sting
I knew I had a genuine fear of those brown wasps that keep on wanting to build their nests in the roof of the front porch. Members of my family - my husband, my son and my daughter all were stung by these wasps this summer. My husband three times, and my son and daughter once each. We had been spraying their nests when we find them, and the wasps themselves where they congregate at the spaces, the entrances to their nests, between the plywood and the wood beams on the porch, and they have kept up their dogged determination to live there.
The longer they hang around, the more my fear of them grows. I've felt their stings. I know that each time, my reaction gets worse. So let me tell about the latest episode with these little monsters.
Today while my five-year-old daughter and her little friend, a five-year-old boy, were playing in the front yard and the front porch, I went out there to stop the dog from jumping on my little girl. Meanwhile the little boy was messing with my son's skateboard, and began going up and down the length of the porch. I stopped him and told him to watch for the brown wasps. I didn't see any just then, but noticed the shell of a cicada up near the ceiling, pulled it off to show the kids. Just then they noticed a brown wasp come buzzing down around us. I swatted at it to throw if away from the kids, but it got me - or should I say, stabbed me.
Yes, that is exactly how it felt, and how I remembered it from last year, or the year before. And the same way my family members described how it felt whenever they were stung.
Right away, I noticed the big red dot on my wrist. And the quarter-sized white ring around it. I told the kids to stay away from that area - I was going to get the wasp spray and get any wasps I saw.
I went into the house, to get the wasp spray and to get the caladryl lotion to help with the symptoms of the sting. Finally, I found the spray, but couldn't find the lotion (we'd been using it a lot - for ant bites and mosquito bites - anything that itched). So I put meat tenderizer on the sting and then went to spray the wasps. I found two and got them.
That's when I began to notice reactions to the wasp sting. My heart started beating very hard and fast. My finger tips and toes began to tingle. My head started to get fuzzy. I began to consciously breathe deeply. I went in by the front door, thinking "maybe it's the heat" (it was in the 90s - we're in West Texas). I sat down in the living room where my husband was trying to nap. I told him I had been stung and that everything was going gray. I began to breathe very deeply - could hear my heart pounding away. I felt like someone punched me in the belly, and told my husband everything I was feeling - to keep a grip on my mind, to keep breathing. I began to pray, "Lord, please keep me breathing." I felt like I was going to pass out, then like I was going to throw up, then that I needed to get to the bathroom - diarrhea! He brought me some liquid children's antihistimine which I drank. I began to get so hot and sweaty I couldn't figure out what to do.
I got up to walk to the bathroom, felt like passing out, sat down, got up, consciously breathing deeply to get air into my lungs, and thinking, Lord, please let me live, and wanting to be here for my family. Then the nausea hit me hard and I walked to the bathroom in a half-aware state of mind, telling my husband I needed to throw up, that I was going to have diarrhea. When I got in the bathroom, I felt like I was going. I yelled "Help me - I going to pass out!" while doing my best to stay alert.
Next thing I knew, while sort of being conscious of drifting in some strange awareness, my husband was asking from above me, "Are you all right?" I was confused to see myself on the floor of the bathroom - couldn't figure out how and when I got there. Then I felt a huge sense of relief that I was still here on earth.
I asked if I had been out for very long. My husband said, "No, I just heard you fall."
That's when the nausea hit again and the diarrhea at the same time.
My husband helped me out and I won't go into the yucky details. But I got rid of my wonderful chicken quesadilla lunch!
My head began hurting, my fingers were aching, and I was shaky.
My heart had settled down and I was able to walk. I changed my clothes into something cooler, helped my daughter and her friend get ready to go to church with my husband. He was looking on the web for symptoms of a wasp sting. He thought I had food poisoning from eating out. But the symptoms he read stated that breathing trouble, headache, stomach upset as symptoms, but they weren't dangerous (actually I forget the exact word but it wasn't "fatal").
My husband gave me some more children's antihistimine since I had thrown up the other. He then took the kids and went to church, leaving the phone beside me. He called about fifteen minutes ago and I have a slight headache and am beginning to feel hungry. The wasp sting on my wrist hurts and the area around it feels itchy. My wrist is somewhat swollen and tight.
But I'll be alright! Thank the Lord!
Oh, and now I have an epi-pen (adrenaline), in case the next sting causes an anaphylactic reaction.
I have since learned that it is a good idea to treat the sting site with lemon juice or vinegar and to take Benadryl or other antihistamine immediately.
Well, it's a couple of weeks later, and I am fine. My arm did swell up to my elbow, and was hot and red. But by the end of a week, all the symptoms were gone. I just get a little anxious around wasps or when I think of my reaction.
Some more information about the brown wasp - it's in the vespid family, the paper wasps, which build nests that are circular and tiered, and attached to the underside of a building, porch ceiling by a short stalk. The nests we find are light gray and are sometimes hidden inside the porch ceiling where there is a space for the wasps to get in.
They feed their young chewed up insects of various kinds. Each subfamily of paper wasps has its favorite one! The brown wasp, in the polistinae subfamily, likes to drink water droplets from plants like the dew from grasses.
The stinger is also the ovipositer - the eggs are laid from here into the nest cells.
So, these wasps are "helpful" insects, but beware for those who are allergic to their stings.