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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    4

    Question Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Hi,
    I was stung over the weekend, and had a very scary reaction... I need some advice since my doctor was not entirely familiar.
    * I have NEVER had a reaction to a sting other than minor swelling or pian - local to the sting!!

    I was in the vicinity of my small hive, and something stung me on the back of my head. It sure felt like a typical bee sting at the time. About 5 minutes later I develpoped extreeeeeeme itching on my palms. I knew right away that something was wrong and headed for the house. By the time I went inside, the soles of my feet were itching terribly and I was feeling a bit flushed. I found some info on the internet that advised that I keep the sting site below my heart, but thought that standing on my head might actually exaccerbate the problems.
    At this point I started to feel nausea, and developed itchy spots - hives I guess - and my heart really picked up speed, then I felt my heart beat( pounding in my feet and palms. My face swelled up, and I felt very woozy. Then, as I was about to call 911, I barfed into the laundry hamper, (Wife not too thrilled with this move) and got into bed... took a Benedyl and started to feel better. I never had constriction of my airways, though my sinusses felt like I had developed a cold. I was terrified, but it was over in about 20 minutes.
    So, I still don't know if I am allergic, or if I just had a bad reaction. Does the location of the sting matter? I have been stung about 6 times over the last year, but this is the first reaction of this type. Is it a reaction or am I a new member of the "I am allergic to Bees and now have to get rid of the hive" club?
    I got an epi pen ( $65, thanks for nuttin' blue cross) and need to know if I need to walk around with it at all times in case, or if I just need it nearby as a precaution. Can I expect things to get worse if I have another sting????
    Should I get rid of my hobby hive???

    Thanks for any insights - I am a bit freaked out, and am looking for some practical info.
    Steve Hofmann
    North Hills, CA

  2. #2
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Erie County, Pa, usa
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    49

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Steve,

    Carry your epi-pen with you and please go speak with your physician. That sounds like a dangerous sort of reaction--I don't think I'd take any chances. Get some advice from a doc.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2010
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    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    6,789

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Carry your epi-pen and antihistamines, take the antihistamines as soon as you are stung next time. If you did not remove a stinger it probably was not a bee. Bees tend to leave the stinger behind as the barbed portion pulls it from their abdomen. There are differences between venomation sites. The eyes and back of the hands are most visible on all but the least sensitive. Most people experience a lesser reaction with each sting. I posted the medical research on previous threads and the moderator deleted my post. I am certified by the State of Florida for Anaphylactic shock treatment and a Combat Lifesaver in the Marine Corps. I will provide the medical documentation in a private post if you ask.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2009
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    elmira new york
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    89

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    just today took about 8 stings at least and the itchy parts as well as feeling likw i had a head cold, throat was a bit tite but not too bad, benadrayl and 30 min i was startin to feel better

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    4

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Any info that you might be able to forward would be most appreciated. It has me worried, but since I did not experience the throat swelling, I was hoping it was a bad spider bite or something else. My email is hofmann@filmvehicle.com
    Thanks!!
    Steve
    It just seems strange that this reaction is so different from anything I have ever experienced before. Are bee stings cumulative?? Can one develop an allergy at 45? Lotsa questions....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Bay City, MI, USA
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    GO SEE YOUR DOC!!! To answer your question, yes, you can develop an allergy late in life. My father was never allergic to bees (he was allergic to dang near everything else, though) until just a few years ago. Now he is. Go to an allergist, and get tested (it's very easy and only slightly irritating). If you are, they can give you a weekly shot to try to de-sensitize you. If it's something else, they can usually identify that, too. Either way, I'd carry the epi-pen with me, just in case. The next reaction may be much more severe and much quicker. Better to be safe than sorry....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Orland Park, Illinois, USA
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    87

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    You can also try taking a beny before you go to work with your bees,
    Your sting might have been from other than a bee,
    Consult with your doctor at your earliest,
    I had to extract from my hives on a rainy day and they were very agresive
    that time and wound up with about 15 - 20 stings on my hands, the feeling
    is wormth and tingling along with very little itch.
    I usualy will have a pair of skinny tweesers and use them.
    My last extraction was a must because they had no more room.
    If you had prev. stings and no reaction or at least a little, it must have been
    other than a bee.
    Please consult with your doctor soon.

    I also recomend that you store your bee suit and gloves reversed so that
    when you have to use it you have to turn it right side out.
    Sometimes you might have a spider or other nest it self in a sleve or glove
    and when you put it on it has no way to escape and after a while you
    wind up with a sting or a bite.
    Good luck!
    Last edited by Gregory and Susan Fariss; 06-18-2011 at 06:37 AM. Reason: a sting in the head can go to your feet

  8. #8
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    Jun 2010
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    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Buzzy,

    Please see my recent post on Bee Sting Question (Apitherapy Forum). You had a racing heart which is a symptom of Anaphylactic shock and it may get progressively worse and can be life threatening. Whatever bit or stung you caused this, and it may not have been a honeybee. See your doctor. In the meantime keep the epi pen with you. Take Benedryll asap, use the epi pen and get to the ER immediately if it happens again. This is nothing to fool with.

    If you are allergic to honeybee venom, you can be desensitized in about 2 weeks. Many people are allergic to wasp stings and are fine with honeybee stings. You may not have to give up your hive afterall. You need to be checked for allergy to HONEYBEE venom.

  9. #9
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    May 2008
    Location
    Prairie Township, Ohio, USA
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    14

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Buzzy,

    Let us know how this all works out for you. I've been stung who knows how many times but a new hive I've got seems more potent or something. The last few stings have swollen like none before and the one I got Sunday while string trimming (not near the hive, I just pinched her between my hand and body as I was working) matched your experience. Itchy hands and feet and soon after my lips felt like they were swelling. When my face felt hot I stopped working and soon after tried to barf (no laundry dangers for me though). Within about 20 min I was fine except the sting area.
    Has me a bit concerned.
    For a moment the Goat pondered and then......BAP!
    With a swift head butt he resolved the issue.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    weed, california
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    I'm the beekeepers wife and helper (the honey lady). Always had a painful swelling reaction so I was reluctant to get stung for the first 6 years. I think I was a victim of developing the wrong antibodies against the sting. Had several bad reactions over the past 2 years (itchy feet, fainting, nausea, hives, severe congestion, etc). I was tested a 4 on a 1-6 for honeybee allergy. Low for the other stinging insects. For 9 months now I have been "stung" at the allergist office once a week ($25/visit plus venom costs). I have an asthmatic reaction most of the time in the office about 15 min. later. They tell me it can take 3 years to desensitize! Would like to try accupunture with it but haven't researched this in my area yet. Has anyone been desensitized with bee venom? I'll keep it up and carry my epi pen, liquid benedryl when I'm around the bees. Will let you know if it works in 3 years!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
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    1,236

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    I am currently on "maintanence" therapy. I get a shot every 2 weeks now at 100% strength. My allergist insists that I take either a Claritin or a Zyrtec, along with a Singulair tablet 1-2 hrs before getting the shots.

    I don't know about your medical coverage. I am on Kaiser and it costs $3 per visit for the allergy shots. Yes that is $3 for the shot total. Visits to the doctor are $25.
    But then there is the monthly insurance cost and that can vary whether you are in a group plan or individual. You would have to check their website.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    2,835

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Honestly and seriously you should have gone to the ER. I got stung on my upper lip and the venom reached my sinus. I had a reaction with just about everything you mention but far faster and far more sever. I was almost blacking out at times. That was year ago. As it turns out it was caused by the sting location and the venom reaching my sinuses. In your case it could have been some gland the venom reached. Not necessarily and indication you have in fact developed an allergy. If it does happen again, please take yourself to the ER. the situation can get worse very quickly and there is some magic they can perform that lets you walk out of the hospital a couple hours alter without so much as swelling at the sight of the sting.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,014

    Question Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzy View Post
    Hi,
    I was stung over the weekend, and had a very scary reaction... I need some advice since my doctor was not entirely familiar.
    * I have NEVER had a reaction to a sting other than minor swelling or pian - local to the sting!!

    I was in the vicinity of my small hive, and something stung me on the back of my head. It sure felt like a typical bee sting at the time. About 5 minutes later I develpoped extreeeeeeme itching on my palms. I knew right away that something was wrong and headed for the house. By the time I went inside, the soles of my feet were itching terribly and I was feeling a bit flushed. I found some info on the internet that advised that I keep the sting site below my heart, but thought that standing on my head might actually exaccerbate the problems.
    At this point I started to feel nausea, and developed itchy spots - hives I guess - and my heart really picked up speed, then I felt my heart beat( pounding in my feet and palms. My face swelled up, and I felt very woozy. Then, as I was about to call 911, I barfed into the laundry hamper, (Wife not too thrilled with this move) and got into bed... took a Benedyl and started to feel better. I never had constriction of my airways, though my sinusses felt like I had developed a cold. I was terrified, but it was over in about 20 minutes.
    So, I still don't know if I am allergic, or if I just had a bad reaction. Does the location of the sting matter? I have been stung about 6 times over the last year, but this is the first reaction of this type. Is it a reaction or am I a new member of the "I am allergic to Bees and now have to get rid of the hive" club?
    I got an epi pen ( $65, thanks for nuttin' blue cross) and need to know if I need to walk around with it at all times in case, or if I just need it nearby as a precaution. Can I expect things to get worse if I have another sting????
    Should I get rid of my hobby hive???

    Thanks for any insights - I am a bit freaked out, and am looking for some practical info.
    Steve Hofmann
    North Hills, CA
    I wonder what the allergist said about this sting?....Its been two years, it must be resolved by now.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Cullman, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    [QUOTE=Buzzy;550054]Hi,

    * I have NEVER had a reaction to a sting other than minor swelling or pian - local to the sting!!

    Has anyone been stung by a honey bee while taking antibiotics?
    was your reaction "enhanced"?
    This is my story.
    I have a kidney stone, but when they went to crush the stone, they discovered I had a kidney infection. As a result I get a round of antibiotics before we try again. I get to keep the "stint" they had installed, I assume to drain my kidney.

    So I have been taking a 7 day treatment of antibiotics. on day six, I get stung by a honey bee, on my right index finger.
    I have been in possession of bees about 3 months. I have been stung about six time during that period.
    I had previously been taking vitamin C, but had discontinued for other reasons a couple of weeks prior to my starting the antibiotic.

    My previous stings had been pretty mild, through gloves, or through the bee suit, with no stinger left behind.
    This time I was bare handed, the stinger was left. I grasped it with my other hand, I am sure I injected all of the venom into my finger before it actually came out. (3:30pm) this actually left a deep red "(bleeding under the skin)" looking area, kind of a 1/8 inch by 3/8 inch gerrymander sort of spot.
    After about ten or fifteen minutes my palms, the soles of my feet, & groin began to itch.( 3:45pm)
    I took a quick shower , hoping that cooling off & dry clothes would help, but this did not relieve the itching. I have some stomach gas, which I belch.
    I applied a "(stingkill)" wipe to the sting site, but that had no effect. I took one 25mg Benedryl ( all my wife could find in the house), which also seemed to have no affect. I added 500mg of vitamin C. also no noticeable change. (4:00pm)
    At some point, I got a sensation in my chest, a mild "(heartburn?)" pulse 74, bp is normal. ( my wife has a blood pressure machine)
    After about an hour & twenty minutes or so, the intense itching just suddenly quit. Almost immediately, the muscles in my upper arms begin to ache, both shoulders & elbows joints are sore. I also felt chilly.
    7:00pm, achy-ness largely subsided. My right index finger is swollen, back to the base of the thumb, and the next knuckle on my fist. there is a distinct red line around the swollen area, with streaks back toward my wrist.
    at 8:30, I take my next scheduled antibiotic pill, with an anti-puke pill. at 10:30 I take a FLOMAX and go to bed.
    Next morning, ( I am still alive!) the swollen area is more swollen & itches.
    Lunch time , swelling goes down some, still itches

    29 hours after the sting, still some what swollen, still itching. the actual sting point has 3 or four tiny blister looking structures. I am inclined to lance them & drain them, my wife votes not. We pour hydrogen peroxide over the blisters, & pop them. Clear liquid comes out, peroxide bubbles nicely.
    Obviously, this sting has got my attention. I would even say that I am a bit frightened, or "spooked".
    As soon as I get my kidney problem handled, so that the kidney meds won't skew the process, I will see an allergist.
    Until then, I will not work bees without wearing the full suit, with sting-proof gloves.
    Any body else been stung while taking antibiotics?
    tech.35058

  15. #15

    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Holy cow! Please let us know the outcome of the allergist tests.

    It's interesting, you say you'd never taken a true sting before (stinger left behind) and then when you finally did here, you pinched the stinger which is a horrible rookie mistake.

    It sounds to be that you picked up some sort of localized staff infection, perhaps the bee has some sort of germs on its stinger. I know this sounds silly, but I had a doctor advise me to always treat a bee sting with hydrocortisone just in case. I usually don't, but when my 9 month old daughter got stung on her EYELID I did, and she handled it great!

    I'm no doctor, but I get the feeling that perhaps your immune system is out of whack due to the antibiotics. Is it possible they are geared towards your kidney, and so perhaps they somehow inhibited your body from fighting the infection or impact of the bee sting.

    One last thing, I have observed if I "baby" a bee sting, my reaction is worse. So if I get stung, yank the stinger, and go aboit my business, I tend to have little to no reaction (except the swear words, but I consider that routine). However, if I prod at and squeeze it, it swells twice as bad. But even when I took dozens of stings moving a hive at night once (no other choice), I never had a reaction even close to yours.

    God bless and I think I speak for everyone in hoping you recover and get an answer. I'd sure like one for my own reference.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  16. #16
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    May 2010
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    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    I would call that a very serious reaction and would definately be heading to the doctor for advice

  17. #17
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    Jul 2013
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    Cullman, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Honey bee sting allergy testing
    finally got around to this about December 20th, new health insurance year( with a new co-pay!) starts next month.

    Dr. said :
    Some "symptoms " possibly unrelated, but enough border line stuff to warrant testing. Symptoms possibly affected by weakness misery & meds related to kidney stone.

    Stomach gas is not nausea

    My ( then) current Blue Cross Insurance covers 100% so it is just standard copay $40.
    They will bill blue cross $2188 for todays visit, which will cover a host of stinging insects, honey bees, yellow jackets, wasps, white face hornets & yellow hornets.
    BC covers up to 65 "skin pricks" every 3 years. Today we will do 29 skin pricks.
    They said that if we decided to do more later, they would be covered up to that limit, but beyond that would be out of pocket.

    Back to stings, intake tech (weighs you, takes blood pressure) said that just because i want to be tested doesn't mean you get tested.
    I said great, I just want to know my next sting wont be my last.

    So the doctor says they will start with very diluted venom from these different insects in the scratch tests. Anything that shows a "positive " reaction is flagged as such & discontinued , tests with the other venoms continue.
    They label several spots on the inside of my wrists, apply a drop of diluted venom, then scratch it with a plastic looking pin.
    They also do " controls " where they inject a little of the water they dilute the venom with under the skin,and in another spot "histamine " is injected.
    The water is a slight swelling, the histamine swells up like a sting. Feels like a sting, kind of.
    Tech tells me not to touch anything, she will be back in 20 minutes
    After the scratch test, they come back & measure the red spot at each site.
    I am "good " so far.
    Next a small amount is) injected under the skin. They will be back in 20 minutes.
    Again the wheal is less than 4mm, scores "0".
    More tiny injections, a little stronger solution. They will return in 20 minutes.
    Again no reaction.
    5 more sticks... back in 20 minutes. Only one more round after this.
    They come back. A couple of the pricks are itching & have a 5mm wheal. They want to know if i have been "messing" with it. They go to get the doctor to come look.
    Doctor decides I am positive allergic to honey bee venom.
    Continue the next group of sticks minus the honey bee venom.
    Looks like i am also reacting (allergic) to yellow jacket venom.
    Since it was late in the day, the "fee counsellor" did not have time to see me, but I called back in a few days later.
    the proposal was that I should begin desensitisation shots, the first one would require a "doctor visit to be sure I did not ( die on them), & would cost about $100. After that, I would initially go weekly for shots, at $40 plus the cost of venom each time, eventually cutting back to monthly, & hopefully being desensitized after 5 years.
    This was right about the end of the health insurance term, & my company had made drastic changes to our health care plan, we decided to wait & see what the new plan would or would not pay.

    some how, I never called them back, did not take any shots. careful to wear full bee suit _almost_ every time, etc.

    Last week, June 18, out in the beeyard, full suit, but just glove liners, checking some stuff, & a bee stung me between the thumb & fore finger. I went back into the house, told my wife what had happened, got my epi-pen ready, & waited for problems. I took a couple of benidrill tablets. my hand swelled up on the thumb side for 3 days, & itched, but that was about it.
    back in the bee yard Wednesday, the 25th ( yesterday). Almost properly attired, I was changing a bottom board late in the day. bees found they could sting through my thick woollen socks. two stings on one ankle, another sting on the other ankle .
    this time I did not take any thing, pretty much ignored it.

    After 3 hours, the sting sites had swollen out about 1/2 inch, three inches across.still some what swollen , & itchy the next day. Does _not_ seem to have helped the soreness in my hips & thighs that has developed over the last 3 months.

    Just because I took a careless attitude & survived so far, do not think every one will have these results.
    My wife related that one of her aquaintences died as a result of bee sting allergy. had the epi-pen, walking in an orchard, got stung. Did every thing right, but died. left two sons, the oldest in his early teens at the time.
    I learned that on of my acquaintances has also learned he is sensitive to bee / wasp stings.
    he is a residential installer tech, and apparently he was at a customers house, got stung & collapsed. the next door neighbor noticed, & called 911. he now carries an epi-pen all the time.
    y'all be careful now

  18. #18
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzy View Post
    Hi,
    I was stung over the weekend, and had a very scary reaction... I need some advice since my doctor was not entirely familiar.
    I prescribe a new or at least another Doctor. An allergist perhaps. Consider that you are going to nonDoctors for advice.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  19. #19
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    I woudl consider the tendency to go to non medical professionals about seeing medical advice a situation created by the medical profession. Doctors want to be paid for their advice. and they are not cheap. random folks in society do not. Seeking advice about getting medical care from non medical people is actually the norm not an exception.

    Plus I generality do not find a doctor is the nest person to get medical advice from. Treatment yes but doctors tend to get caught up in diagnosing the same hand full of melodies to the point very few look at or consider the particulars. You hear about it all the time. patients being treated and medicated for one condition when ti turns out being a completely different problem. the doctor frankly did not care. He has all of 10 minutes to get his $250 out of you and needs to move on to the next quarter grand. And the truth is most never care if they figure out what is wrong with you.

    True story of many I could tell. Nealy three years and over 6 different doctors. Largely due to my non professional advice. and a co worker finally got correctly diagnosed by an intern in the hall overhearing a discussion between two doctors. That intern went to the library and pored over medical books until they figured it out. No MD would ever had devoted that much time. My co worker would have died if they had remained in the care of Doctors. In my experience you are in better shape being under the care of a practitioner or even a nurse than you are that of a doctor.

    Good doctors are hard to find. Doctors that will treat you are even rarer.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #20
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Got a sting - BAD reaction - advice needed!

    I tend not to give advice on such things as what I would do is probably not what other people would do and when I do things I'm the one taking the chance. But in my experience doctors are pretty much worthless on the matter unless they are an expert on the subject. If you go to a GP with a sting that swelled badly, they will assume it's an infection and prescribe an antibiotic... the same with allergies. If you have someone who is an expert on bee venom allergies I would listen. If they are not, I would tend not to listen...

    In my experience one bad reaction does not necessarily mean you will have another, in fact it may go the opposite direction... but how do you know? Hard to know. Some people have said they would park outside the emergency room and sting themselves. That makes some sense to me, if you have someone with you who can summon help in case you can't...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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