Teas and Bees

Just a status report from SeniorLand. Some of us have organized mornings for tea–we sent out invitations to a tea party. (Have I mentioned that I also live in LibLand? Never forget that important factoid.) Phone calls and emails poured in wanting to know if this was a meeting of the Tea Party, aka Terrorist Cell. Do you know how difficult it is to say 1) no, it’s about tea, 2) and what’s wrong with the Tea Party anyway, and 3) be sure and bring your favorite china tea cup?? Hard to tie all that together and still be friends. But somehow it works.

Speaking of Tea Party, my conservative bumper stickers on my Jeep are gone. Mr. T drove my Jeep into San Francisco and got sideswiped. We had to replace the entre bumper to get rid of the damage–end of bumper stickers. No longer does my Jeep advocate getting out of the U.N. or Reduce Your Government Footprint. Just a plain old boring bumper.

But, I digress. At the tea there was a bee. (If you’ve read my profile, I mention that I am one of those people to whom things happen.) 8 years ago while I was gathering lavender to dry, I fell into a yellow jacket nest and was pinned down by big rose thorns. I was stung 15 times on my head and more stings other places. It was a nasty experience that took my body 6 weeks to reboot. Since then I’ve carried an epi-pen in case I was ever stung again. Doctors have a real talent at scaring one to death over WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN.

Back to the bee at the tea–it stung me. Did I have the epi-pen with me? Of course not. I sped home to try to locate the pen. Emptying drawers, purses, golf bag, camera bag while my heart raced produced no pen. Swallow an Actifed. OK. Call the doctor–good idea. With cell phone in one hand(for the doctor’s number) and portable phone in the other (no cell service here) I got the nurse on the phone. By this time I had found the epi-pen in a small pouch on the golf bag. The nurse said I had to follow the instructions and give myself the shot. SHOT???? Are you kidding? I didn’t go through natural childbirth to have a shot now!

I read the instructions to the nurse–it said to swing the pen and jab it in my thigh–right through my clothes! My new pink golf pants? Not going to happen. OK–drop the pants around ankles. Now I have 2 phones and 1 epi-pen in my hands and the nurse wants me to call a neighbor to come be with me until Mr. T gets home to take me to the ER. Hobbled by pants around ankles I had to hop to address book and get phone number and call neighbor. Then it was time to DO IT. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t face the needle. Red streaks were moving from the sting site up my finger and down my palm. So, at the nurse’s urging, I swung the pen around my head a few times and then JAB! Damn that hurt. It made the right POP! sound, I held it in for 10 seconds of additional stinging and waited.

I didn’t have to wait long–my heart began to pound, tingling in hands, heart racing harder and then the shaking began. About this time the neighbor showed up to see me standing in the middle of the room, pants around ankles, needle in hand and shaking all over. I m sure she thought I was one of the Boomer junkies.

Now Mr. T arrives on the scene and insists we go to the ER. I agree to go TO the ER but not INTO the ER–too many germs. So we sat in the car while the shaking gradually subsided and then relocated to the hospital cafeteria where we had dinner. It was quite pleasant except for the swelling finger and residual stinging. After another hour and I was still among the living we decided just to go home. Health dollars saved!

The swollen finger is interfering with my golf grip but that will pass. We live in a dangerous world.

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About mamatoc

A Baby Boomer learning to live in a retirement community in California.
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