101 things about me- the bee edition


 

I am allergic to bees and mosquitoes and anything else that stings/bites/sucks blood.  The first time I found out I was allergic to bees I was maybe 3 or 4.  My grandparents had this metal fire truck toy you pedaled.  I was playing around in it and I had gum.  I remember playing with the gum in my hands and being all sticky and touching the truck under the door and I guess that’s when some bee or wasp stung me.  I immediately swelled up.  I was having problems breathing and I was scared and I was crying like crazy.  My grandmother took me into my great grandmothers apartment downstairs and started a paste of baking soda and water or meat tenderizer.  Someone called the doctor and I was either taken there or the hospital.  It was then that we found out I was allergic to bees.

Now this didn’t stop me from running barefooted in the grass with the clover and all those bees.  I was stung again several times as a child, but my mother and grandmother took me to some old ladies house who would pow wow over me.  Yes that sounds cooky.  It is some ancient Pennsylvania Dutch medicine/healing/spiritual practice.  The lady would read from a Bible in high German and run her hand above whatever was stung.  Kind of like Reiki. The swelling would go down and I would go back to normal.  I didn’t get stung for most of the rest of my pre-teen/teen years.

On the night before my high school graduation I was sitting in the yard and I must have been near a nest of mosquitoes because I got bit on my legs about 40 times.  I was itchy and swollen and the doctor gave me steroids and antibiotics but I still had to sit outside in the humidity and 100 degree weather in my scratchy gown for several hours of my graduation ceremony.  I know coat myself in bug spray and I still got biten, just not as much.

When I lived in Bermuda I was hit by a bee twice.  Once while riding my bike to work and the next time while swimming near some hibicus. Both times I called my grandmother and her friends husband pow wowed for me, and the swelling went down.  Another time in Bermuda a giant swarm of bees came into Hamilton and some how came into my office building and covered everything in the waiting area, I mean it was like out of a horror movie. Of course I got sent home early because of my allergy and it was just gross.  But I later learned that happens sometimes on islands with swarms of bugs.

So there is my bee story.

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