Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Wor...ries

Bruder doesn't like bees.  It started in about 2nd grade when he was walking home from school through a forested trail.  I always met him at the head of the trail and on this particular day, holding toddler Lucy's hand, I could hear him before I saw him.  The screaming was such that I thought he was being abducted.  As I scooped up Lucy and went running down the trail, he instead came tearing past me, slapping at his head and jumping like the ground was electrified.  As my tasmanian devil child blew by, I heard the buzz of the hornets that were trailing him, stinging him as he ran.  He sprinted right into our neighbor's house---thankfully someone who knew us-- and this mom of 5 didn't seem at all fazed by the young boy and his entourage of bees bolting into her house unannounced.  Understandably, that night he was pretty uncomfortable.

Then a few years later, he was running barefooted through the yard and stepped on a hornet.  The hornet wasn't happy with this and stung him.  His foot swelled to truly ugly proportions, to the point of cracking and oozing skin.  With a couple of trips to the doctor, all was well.

Then about a month ago, he was stung on his hand.  That first day it swelled, but nothing too alarming.  By day two though, the swelling had traveled nearly to his elbow, so we consulted the doctor and got the swelling under control with steroids.   Nasty local reactions, that was what we were dealing with.

So this brings me to yesterday.  Bruder was at work, doing yard chores for a man from our church.  He called me and said rapid-fire, "Mom, I just got stung by a hornet on my face and I'm swelling and I need you to get me NOW."  I told him I'd come, and I gathered some Benadryl, knowing this would probably be uncomfortable and a little unsightly.  But truth be told, I did think that he was being somewhat dramatic and rather bossy.  The swelling takes a while to kick in and if he was just bitten, it hardly seemed he'd need to come home now.  A little Benadryl and Cortizone and he'd be back in business.

As I got in the car, he sent a text that said, "Please hurry".  
Again, with the bossiness.  At least he said please.
Then he sent a picture.

No, I'd say he wasn't overreacting.
  I called him and he said his breathing felt funny and that his employer was driving him to the hospital.

I met them there and truly, I've never seen anything quite like it.  This picture was taken right after his sting, but when I saw him, he looked worse.  Almost unrecognizable.  Everything was swollen.  His eyes, his lips, his arms, his legs, his hands.  He was bright red from head to foot and covered in a white bumpy rash.  He was doubled over and nauseous, shaking and cold.

And then the doctor told me he was already looking so much better since they'd given him the shot.  
This was BETTER?

It's been over 24 hours now, and he's still fighting it, despite constant Benadryl and steroids.  
An epi-pen will now become his close friend.

And as a side note:  Lyle's plans for a beehive have been put on hold.  Indefinitely.


~T~ said...

I was afraid of bees until I was stung the first time. Then I found out it was no big deal, really. Until I was about his age, and got stung in the same place. Now I'm afraid again, of this sort of thing. Why won't anyone prescribe one an epi-pen until one can't breathe?

Joy said...

oh no! I'm so sorry to read this. I hope he gets better soon.

Anonymous said...

That kind of swelling is definitely
a medical emergency. Thank goodness your church neighbor knew
he needed an emergency room!
Glad he is doing fine now.
mm, Vancouver,wa.

Betsey said...

So, having heard the story from you on the phone right after it happened and then reading about it (and seeing the picture), I was practically in tears. . . . Until, your last sentence. Then I just busted out laughing! I love the way you are able to communicate your personality and life experiences through the written word.