I KNIT today!
What is so unusual about THAT you ask? Isn't this a blog about knitting? Don't you knit nearly EVERY day? Well, yes, usually. But not after getting stung on the hand by a honeybee.
My husband and I just embarked on a new project; installing 2 hives of honeybees at our home. Collecting the bees at the post office was really exciting. If you ever want people to notice you, I highly recommend this as an effective technique for achieving your goal! Installing the bees in the hives went pretty well too and we felt satisfied with our teamwork in getting the bees from the little screen box into the hives.
A week later we were supposed to check on the status of the bees, determine if the queen seemed to be laying eggs and install one more frame (upon which the bees build comb, raise brood and store honey) in the space that had been created by the separate little queen cage, which we removed. We did all this pretty well even though it required a more adventurous spirit than we realized it would! Brent was very brave at one point when he needed to reach his whole bare hand into the hive to pull out some stray burr comb. Later he got one sting on his hand, but he didn't seem too bothered by it.
When we were nearly done, I found one stray bee trying to crawl up my sleeve. I knew she was there and I tried to gently remove her but got stung for my efforts. I removed the stinger and wasn't too bothered by this event. We finished our job, refilled the sugar syrup that the bees feed on until they have created their own stores of honey, and called it a job well done.
But the story wasn't over. As the evening wore on I enjoyed watching the 40th anniversary musical performance of my high school swing choir. Sitting in the dark and hot auditorium I got more and more uncomfortable and realized my hand was starting to throb. By intermission I realized that my hand was beginning to swell. Being in a small town there wasn't a nearby open pharmacy but we called my aunt who left (her dog Roxie's) benadryl on the front porch for me. I took this and iced my hand but by Sunday it looked like this.
I was thoroughly miserable and needed help dressing myself and doing the simplest of tasks that I take for granted every day. I simply did not have the use of my fingers because my hand was so swollen that I couldn't bend my fingers much at all. It was surreal to see my hand look so much NOT like my hand. (The astute might be wondering what happened to Brent's hand; if you recall he also got stung once on the hand. What happened? Nothing at all. Life can be so unfair!)
I finally went to the Immediate Care Center on Monday evening because I was losing patience with the whole process. The doctor there defined my response as a severe localized response but not an allergic reaction (which would be characterized by hives, swelling, possibly difficulty breathing etc, throughout my whole body; not just at the site of the sting). He suggested Zyrtec, and prescribed antibiotics and prednisone. I took the antibiotics and Zyrtec but not the prednisone since it was to be taken in the morning. I felt so much improved by Tues. morning that I skipped the prednisone all together. I could begin to use my fingers although I still had noticeable swelling.
One of my daughters thinks I should give up the bees. Tomorrow Brent will refill the feeders by himself. I will be surfing the internet for something like this:
But today--today I KNIT! That marks the moment of true recovery! Life is back to normal now and I am really enjoying everything I do with my hands that I had previously taken for granted.