I work outside daily. I have worked outside the majority of my life. There are small hazards with working outside, in the yard, in the garden, or talking a walk. Through the years I have been stung by bees, wasps, hornets, scorpions and bit by spiders. Not a major medical experience, treat with baking soda and water paste, use an ice pack and the pain stops shortly.
Yesterday, I was working in the barn setting up a pen to put the Livestock Guard Dog puppies that need to be weaned. A wasp started flying around my face, I swiped to get it away….. it stung me on the arm. I stopped what I was doing, went to the house and applied the treatments that had previously worked. Only the pain did not decrease. Then area of the sting kept swelling.
Within twenty minutes, the area of swelling, redness and heat was over six inches. The same time my husband came home. I talked with my oldest daughter, who is an MA and studying to be an RN, and she said go to a doctor.
We tried to get in to see a doctor who my husband and I really like, but she was out until Tuesday. Their MA said I needed to get professional medical treatment. So we drove to the Urgent Care Center. I am a patient there as they have regular appointments as well as emergencies. I have not been since Covid-19 started, I did not like the hassle of going in with the restrictions, and I limited where I went, plus I really do not like doctors or doctor offices. But, this was a necessity, I had to do this. So in we went.
I was waited a short time before going in. The MA that came in to take my vitals and access the situation was very professional, through and attentive. Not an experience I have had there at times.
When she had placed me in the room (approximately 5 PM), the swelling was past my elbow and my forearm almost twice the size compared to the other forearm. She looked at my arm and appreciated the fact that I had drawn outlines and placed times on the swelling, called mapping. She asked me where I had learned to do that, I said training for Mounted Search and Rescue with the Montezuma Sheriff’s Posse in Colorado. She diagnosed my arm as “very angry”. Good description.
The doctor came in said a definite local allergic reaction. I was advised to get a steroid shot, and take some oral steroids for six days, keep putting on the ice packs. I asked about side effects, my body is ultra sensitive to medications, so I always want to know what the side effects are. I told him I had been stung by a wasp three weeks ago and no strange reaction. He also informed me that we develop allergies as we get older, the medical field does not know why. We discussed the probability of the allergic reactions continuing to increase if I were stung in the future, and if he thought I needed an Epipen. I work outside and the risk of another wasp sting is high.
I received my steroid shot, went to the pharmacy to get the steroid pills. At home I followed the doctor’s directions. The reaction to the steroid shot, instead of making me jittery and raise my anxiety, I became very sluggish and sleepy. Typical, opposite reaction from how medication response with others. About midnight, the pain, swelling had stopped, and the heat was going away. This morning most of the swelling is gone. I will continue to take the steroid pills as directed. I will also me a little more cautious around wasps, bees and hornets.
Unexpected things happen. I have to deal with a calm and clear mind. I deal with medical situations with the sheep and horses several times a year. When it is myself or a person, I have to keep the same mind frame, remain calm and think out a plan. Becoming panicked and over excited only causes the adrenaline to increase making the body react to the situation worse, and the mind not thinking of a plan.
Hope everyone is having a good, safe day.