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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, y'all,

I got stung on the forehead Saturday. I didn't think much of it because it certainly wasn't the first time, and it didn't seem to me that the bee lost her stinger in my head, couldn't see a stinger.

It was an hour or two later that I was feeling itchy all over. It wasn't really bothering me a lot, but I decided to take an oatmeal bath because I was tired of itching. Then I noticed I had hives, in my groin area and around my arm pits.

My forehead swelled up over the next few days, and I've been popping Benadryl now and then. In fact it was so swollen yesterday that my wife kept telling me to call the doctor. Today everything seems better, so.

But I'm thinking about what is going to happen next! I'm definitely going to be better prepared the next time I go out to the hives, have some Benadryl on hand, be more cautious with the bees. Probably going to get an Epi-Pen, too.

Because I've never had a serious reaction before, I was trying to wonder what was different this time. Maybe where they stung me the venom had nowhere to go but into my blood. I don't have much body fat and my forehead is definitely skin on bone.

I guess I'm going to have to wait and see, but I'm wondering if anyone had a similar experience: not much reaction to bee stings, and then all of the sudden a bad reaction, and then what happens???

Thanks,
Thomas
 

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Anything beyond local swelling and itching would have me concerned. I agree with your wife. Please see someone about that. No sense in taking chances.
 

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I feel your pain :), pun intended! Growing up in the Deep South, I’ve been stung by just about everything that could sting....with little to no swelling. Now, a little sting from a honey bee looks ugly and hurts like heck. A few years ago, I got stung just below the eyeglasses on my cheek.....it looked like Mike Tyson got a clean shot on my face! “Old age is not for sissies”! :( memtb
 

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That is how allergic reactions happen. You get exposed to the antigen then the next time you have a reaction. No need to see a doctor unless you want treatment to develop tolerance. I keep diphenhydramine pills and cream, hydrocortisone cream, loratidine pills, and epinephrine on hand. Think thrice about using epi. It is possible that more damage is done by epi than by the allergic reaction. Heart attack from tachycardia is real, especially as we advance in age.
 

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Yep, I would personally recommend that you see a doc, as EpiPens require a prescription. Sounds like you experienced a systemic reaction as opposed to a local reaction. Systemic reactions are what we should worry about.

Allergies can change over time, so what you are/were allergic to might very well change in the future. I had an allergy test done just to be sure. They can be pricey, but I think they are worth it. If you happen to be a veteran, contact the VA, they will do testing for free and send you an EpiPen in the mail.

Ryan
 

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An allergist can test you for bee venom allergy.
or...you can wait until next time. Either you do ok or possibly die.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nah, it was absolutely a honey bee. I was in the flight path they use when they are zipping to the hive and one bammed into my head. When I was rubbing my forehead trying to feel for the stinger, the bee ended up on my hand somehow.

Maybe it was a yellow jacket and not a bee. The YJ are very active this time of year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Anchors,

hey could you tell me more about your concerns about EPI?

thanks,
Thomas
That is how allergic reactions happen. You get exposed to the antigen then the next time you have a reaction. No need to see a doctor unless you want treatment to develop tolerance. I keep diphenhydramine pills and cream, hydrocortisone cream, loratidine pills, and epinephrine on hand. Think thrice about using epi. It is possible that more damage is done by epi than by the allergic reaction. Heart attack from tachycardia is real, especially as we advance in age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep, I definitely want to get tested again. She did it earlier this year, and the only thing of note was an allergy to roaches!

Yep, I would personally recommend that you see a doc, as EpiPens require a prescription. Sounds like you experienced a systemic reaction as opposed to a local reaction. Systemic reactions are what we should worry about.

Allergies can change over time, so what you are/were allergic to might very well change in the future. I had an allergy test done just to be sure. They can be pricey, but I think they are worth it. If you happen to be a veteran, contact the VA, they will do testing for free and send you an EpiPen in the mail.

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No, you're right. I'm just wondering what other's experience has been.

An allergist can test you for bee venom allergy.
or...you can wait until next time. Either you do ok or possibly die.
 

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It causes high heart rate that can cause a heart attack. Also, if you are out of shape your heart can beat fast enough that you wind up in heart failure which could cause you to pass out. Basically, you run a hundred yard dash. That’s enough to finish off lots of folks.
Also, people conflate “allergic reaction” with “life threatening.” I had a sting years ago and my scalp, face, and nose got frighteningly swollen after a sting on my hand. It can be a tough decision. If I get a sting, I take antihistamines and pay close attention to the spread of the inflammation and keep my phone ready for calling 911. Knock wood, now I just have an itchy sting site for a few days.
 

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Epi pen side effects:
https://www.drugs.com/sfx/epipen-side-effects.html

Andhors is right about Ept side effects. How is your heart health? If you are young and in good condition, probably not a problem. Probably. If your heart is already weak it could get bad fast. On the other hand, an allergy can kill you too, and fast. Carry that Benadryl and pop one fast. If you get a bad reaction it can happen too fast for you to call someone on your phone.

The cost of an allergy test is worth it.
 

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An allergist can test you for bee venom allergy.
or...you can wait until next time. Either you do ok or possibly die.
You want to take advice from an Allergist, not just a regular physician.

ADDED: You may find something interesting in Michael Palmer's video, here.
 

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I've been using live bee stings for years to help deal with osteoarthritis, so my body if very accustomed to the venom. However, a couple of years ago, I got a surprise sting above my right eye and immediately had itchy palms and hives before I could even get the comb set down and turn around to get in the house. I immediately took some Benadryl and laid down with ice on my face. I still managed to swell up pretty good (probably because I massaged the sting sight and should have let my body absorb the venom on its own). Since then, I've had many more stings and never had the same reaction, so I'm pretty sure my reaction was based on exactly where she got me and how quickly the venom moved through my system.
 

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See an allergist, get tested. Bee sting venom desensitization therapy is a option if test results come back positive and you still want to keep bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is a tough one. I'm not that old (46). But I do have a heart condition, a heart block. We'll see what doc says.

Epi pen side effects:
https://www.drugs.com/sfx/epipen-side-effects.html

Andhors is right about Ept side effects. How is your heart health? If you are young and in good condition, probably not a problem. Probably. If your heart is already weak it could get bad fast. On the other hand, an allergy can kill you too, and fast. Carry that Benadryl and pop one fast. If you get a bad reaction it can happen too fast for you to call someone on your phone.

The cost of an allergy test is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for your feedback Ruthie. Yes, I was thinking this could have been why. Where the bee stung me, there wasn't really anywhere for that venom to go but into my blood, and I believe the face has good blood flow. I am hoping that this is the case, instead of anaphylaxis.
I've been using live bee stings for years to help deal with osteoarthritis, so my body if very accustomed to the venom. However, a couple of years ago, I got a surprise sting above my right eye and immediately had itchy palms and hives before I could even get the comb set down and turn around to get in the house. I immediately took some Benadryl and laid down with ice on my face. I still managed to swell up pretty good (probably because I massaged the sting sight and should have let my body absorb the venom on its own). Since then, I've had many more stings and never had the same reaction, so I'm pretty sure my reaction was based on exactly where she got me and how quickly the venom moved through my system.
 

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So didn't occur to you, guys/gals, that the sting to the face is different from the sting to a finger?
Just reading this thread top to bottom shows exactly that.

I don't care of stings to my fingers much.

But, don't care to find out my look and feel after a sting on the nose and such (been there, enough of that non-sense).
My face is almost always covered when I around the bees and fight off mosquitoes while at it.
Mosquito net over the head/baseball cap works well - $3.
Just carry one in your pocket:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coghlan-s-Mosquito-Head-Net/26958651
 
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