Have you ever had one of those days where you thought it was going so well and suddenly your heart is palpitating, your breathing is shallow, and you feel light-headed? I’m not talking about falling in love or sighting an alien spacecraft. Both of which can send most people into a tailspin. I’m talking about the painful sting and allergic reaction from a deadly South American Stinging Sorceress bee. Yes, you read that right. (SASS bee)
Now, I’ve been stung by wasps, bees, and jolts of static electricity multiple times in my life, without the hint of a bad reaction, but this bee was apparently much more maniacal and deadly. Hence the title: SASS.
Sometimes I think stuff happens just so I can write about it.
A couple minutes later, I came into the house with my berries, poured a cup of coffee, and called my mom to joke about getting stung by a bee. Suddenly, I was having scary symptoms. I broke out in a sweat, flushed and dizzy. My heart started pounding and I was finding it hard to breathe. Of course, I didn’t tell my mom I was in the middle of an attack. I just cut her off in the middle of a sentence, said I got to go, and called my husband.
It went something like this. Although, I’m unclear about most of it because inside I was freaking out.
Me: “I got stung by a bee and I think I’m dying.”
Leon: “Can you breathe?”
Me: (panting like a dog after a long run in 90• weather)
Leon: “Do you want me to come get you?”
Me: “Maybe I should call 911.” (I hang up)
I feel like I’m going to puke, pass out, or curl up and die. Maybe all three. So I unlock the front door, lay on the couch, call 911, and wait for the hearse.
A nice policeman shows up first.
Policeman: “Are you ok, Ma’am?”
Me: (I’m thinking: I called the freaking 911, of course I’m NOT okay!) “I feel bad and my stomach is cramping.”
Policeman: “Hang on. The Medics are on their way.”
The Medics show up. My pain and agony is suddenly more excruciating by the thought that I’ve broken my mom’s #1 rule to always have clean underwear on in case of emergencies. I haven’t showered since I walked the dogs, mowed the lawn, and worked in the garden!! I stink like a sweating mule! I’ll never live this down!
Talkative Medic: “So, what’s going on?” He checks my throat, takes my blood pressure. “Your airway is open. Are you sure you want a ride to the hospital? You know, people who take the ambulance have a 56% higher rate of death than riding in their own car.” (okay, some of that might just be what my addled senses heard)
My husband shows up. Leon: “I can take her.”
Me: (thinking: is he really crunching numbers at a time like this??) Nods head.
Medic: “Ok. But go to the ER, not the clinic. And stay clear of that Apple Valley emergency place. Unless you want to show up in the weekend Obituaries.” (what I heard. I swear!)
Me: Nodding and groaning in pain from the cramping.
Medic: You just need to sign this form to keep us from having our asses sued off.”
Me: “No problem. (signing something that looks like Bshruinlk)
Medic: “Have a good day!” and they’re out the door.
On the way to the hospital: Me writhing in pain. Leon driving slightly over Wyoming’s posted highway speed limit. In town. In Minnesota.
Emergency desk lady: “Can I help you?”
Me: “Dying. Bee sting.” (leaning on desk, trying not to cry)
Lady: “Fill out these papers.”
Other lady behind her: “You match! You must be her husband.”
Leon: “It wasn’t planned.”
Me: (wondering if my face is as green as his shirt… then I remember I’m wearing a green tank top) I look down and see strawberry stains across the front. Sweat, dirty underwear, and a dirty shirt. Great.
Hooked up to monitors in room. Doctor asks the same questions again. I answer again. They send in the nurse. She asks the questions again. I answer again. They send in a guy to test my heart. He asks. I answer.
Two hours later, they finally give me something for the allergic reaction. Most of the cramping has gone away, my head clears and I’m not feeling quite as dizzy… and I realize George Clooney is never going to show up. That show was cancelled.