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Sting to Shock

7700 Views 51 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  Acebird
On Wednesday I picked up a nuc and got stung in an ear lobe. Normally that's not a problem; I've been stung many times. But this time the venom went directly into a blood vessel and in five minutes (I'm now driving toward home) I began to have terrible skin irritation; I had to stop the car to remove my pants so that I could remove Ace bandages on my highly inflamed rheumatic knees. In another ten minutes I was on the dangerous high speed NJ Turnpike with my throat now constricting and arms reddened and pimpled . I was able to stop at a Service Area and stagger into the news and gift shop where I found some medication that had some kind of ephedrine. I couldn't open the package at this point but some customers assisted me and I managed to chomp on the liquid filled capsules to get the med started quickly. The staff was about to call an ambulance but I escaped to a men's room stall where I began to recover a bit after fifteen minutes; then the 45 minute drive home. Once at home I could barely walk and my body was completely red and covered with nasty pimples; I downed a couple of swallows of Benadryl and after two hours, was pretty much back to normal.

From now on Benadryl will be in my car or within immediate reach whenever I work with bees. In the majority of bee stings, the venom remains in the skin, muscle, or fat; but when it enters the bloodstream directly, look out!
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Wow, scary stuff!! Glad you came out ok.

I keep benadryl close by in the house, as well as an epi pen in the bathroom and one in my truck. Hope to never need them...
Wow I am glad your okay, good thing the service area was there and you kept your wits about you.
You should have an Epi-Pen bare minimum. Next time could be worse...
And why would he have tried to kill himself with an Epi-pen, pray tell?

He did absolutely the right thing, minus having some meds on hand in the car. Stabbing yourself with an Epi-pen means a trip to the ER, and a very expensive hospital bill. Which is unnecessary, unless one is not breathing.

You should have an Epi-Pen bare minimum. Next time could be worse...
And why would he have tried to kill himself with an Epi-pen, pray tell?

He did absolutely the right thing, minus having some meds on hand in the car. Stabbing yourself with an Epi-pen means a trip to the ER, and a very expensive hospital bill. Which is unnecessary, unless one is not breathing.
Throat constricting is an immediate trip to the ER, no questions asked. The fact this worked out OK for Pete is great. He was very close to it going to other way.

I think what dynemd was getting at was that allergic reactions often times get worse with each exposure. So, there is a good chance that the next sting for Pete could be worse, much worse.

May it have just been the location of the sting? Yes. But, it could also be that his reaction is now much more significant. Waiting until you are not breathing is not the time to decide you need and epi-pen or to be in the ED.

Any time you develop more than a localized reaction where your sting was located you should take extra precaution for sure. Once you are noticing throat constriction or swelling you have little time to spare. It may be costly to go to the hospital but its cheaper than waiting and potentially needing a tracheostomy. Keep benadryl and Over the counter Pepcid(Famotidine) handy which is a different type of Antihistimine.
Oddly but and Epi-pen would likely have killed me even though I have one. To overcome the extremely high pain associated with my rheumatoid arthritis, I have been on heavy doses of Oxycontin (prescription cocaine) as well as morphine for fifteen years. A blast of ephinephrine would stop my heart; this happened many years ago.

I sincerely appreciate the comments to this post; in this particular case I could have made a fatal choice. Only today did I realize that an Epi-pen for me is a ticket to the cardiac ward or worse. The Pepcid note could be of special value in my case. Thanks all, I appreciate the support and hope to have aroused the readers to take precautions- and have Benadryl handy.
[Iyears ago I got stung at least 40 times, bad reaction, but not as bad as yours. I have an emergency pack, bendadyr, epeni pen and other items. I may never need it but who knows[/I]
Couple of things I would like to mention....

Drugs/alcohol that a person has in their system may cause a dangerous reaction when stung. It may or may not be due to allergy. A doctor visit would be in order.

When people are allergic to bee venom, they often use either epi pen or Benadryl (or both) and are on their way to the hospital. An epi pen is not the same as benedryll, of course you know that. Some people who are allergic just take Benadryl and call it good (not a good idea IMO).

Why did you continue to drive after you got by other people?

What happens if someone has an epi pen and decides to "help" you before you can stop them (if you are able to)?

Maybe you should get tested for an allergy to bee venom.

Bee venom travels in the bloodstream, direct hit or not.

Don't take chances on your life.............there is only one YOU!
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Forget the benadryl the decision to get on a high speed hi-way was a bad one. Getting in the car and driving was bad enough. Possibly the oxycotin is the results of these decisions. It can affect that part of the brain. Please do not drive if you have any reaction at all.
Pete O, I'm with Bee Bliss. I've been stung on the back of the hand and have had it bleed before, hit a vein...nothing much other than a normal reaction for me. With all the symptoms that you describe I would be getting checked for allergies. I know doctor visits are expensive but have you priced the cost of a modest funeral lately...sheese, it's a really good reason to keep living. ;)

Best wishes,

I agree with Ed. With the type reaction that you had, a visit to an allergist is a must. Remember that other people have an interest in your health and spend the money to see an allergist. Rheumatoid arthritis adds something to the mix that most of us do not understand. Good luck.
I am interested in the pepcid. I keep liquid benadryl and bleach in the truck (bleach neutralizes venom if applied IMMEDIATELY) liquid benadryl can pour thru my veil.

I do agree with Ed and Lazy that check with a doctor might be a good idea.
Now I'm pretty new too bees but understand allergies and drugs pretty well.

There have been almost 500 views of this thread. Hopefully none of them follow this example.

If you want to be a cowboy, do it on your own dime. Driving while on heavy pain meds, suffering from a systematic allergic reaction, downing more drugs, hiding from Good Samaritans and then getting back in the car for another 45 minute drive while you are barely able to move. And then posting it! Are you serious?
With all due respect, oxycontin Is A narcotic...An opiate analog cut with other pain killers.

If you are taking this stuff regularly and think it is anything like cocaine (a stimulant not a narcotic) you really need to educate yourself on what you are taking.

No question that throat closing up makes driving dangerous....add some 'hillbilly heroine' (oxycontin) and you are lucky no one else was killed. I'm assuming the little bottle says not to operate heavy machinery?
And then posting it! Are you serious?
I am very glad he posted it. In this pill pushing society that we live in it is very easy to make bad decisions not realizing what could happen. My hope is that he and others think about what took place and how easily the story could have ended differently. DWI is a terrible thing to go through and most think it only relates to alcohol.
The Oxycontin that I've been on for the last fifteen years is a strictly therapeutic level; no thrills, no mind altering affects. I've been crippled with rheumatoid arthritis for a very long time; it's one of the most painful disorders known. I spent years in a wheelchair for all of the knee pain and eventually had the bilateral knee replacement. That got me out of a wheelchair but RA continues to ravish my hands and tissue surrounding my metal knees. I'm quite confident that what I experienced had absolutely nothing to do with my medications; for unknown reasons the sting that morning had drastic effects. I had the allergy tests a few years ago (two actually) and they were in total conflict; one allergist said I was allergic to everything down to dirt and rain while the other allergist said there were no allergies to be concerned with. These doc's are tops in their field. For now I'll go the Pepcid and Benadryl way along with more caution.

Incidentally, I was in a relatively clear mind when I took control of the wheel after chomping a few ephrine tabs. I got off of the high speed turnpike as quickly as I could and travelled a slower populated route for most of the return trip.

I can only hope that I've made some beeks aware of what can happen; be cautious and prepared.
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Incidentally, I was in a relatively clear mind when I took control of the wheel after chomping a few ephrine tabs.
Pete this is the part that scares me. After your initial reaction there is no way in heck you could tell what was coming next. Even with monitors in the hospital they don't know what is coming next. They are only prepared for what might happen and act accordingly. Please, please, please, any reaction like this in the future get someones help.
Pete, have you taken any other medications in the last 3 months? For example ibrufen, voltaren or any similar NSAID?
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