Yesterday I went out to walk the dogs and was just standing outside in the grass when BAM! something stung me in the calf. I never did see it but after last week's 10 red ant bites on my ankle and some weird symptoms, I got into the house in record time and started doctoring. Hot water (as hot as you can stand) on the sting to neutralize the venom, so sayeth Google but that was wrong info—big surprise. When that didn't seem to do much I went to ice which helped numb the pain (and is correct.) 20 minutes in I remembered to take 2 Benedryl. I elevated my leg and watched the swelling grow while slowly realizing that I was feeling itchy in other places. It took about 5 minutes to realize that the itchiness was growing, moving it's way up my body. I called Brad off of his tree cutting work and we all went to urgent care. On the 10 minute drive I was nauseated, my eyes started itching like crazy along with the insides of my ears and the back of my throat and tongue. Then came the tightness in my chest and neck. I was really freaking out, was I going to just die right in the car??
Urgent Care in Apex (Beaver Creek Commons area if you are local, they were really nice) got me in right away, checked all my vitals which were fine, gave me Claritin, a Pepcid (helps your stomach and is another type of antihistamine) and a mega dose shot of steroids in my butt. Everything continued to escalate until about 30 minutes in. It didn't get better but it did stop getting worse at least! About 30 min later the itching started lessening and went from a crazy making 10 to a bearable 5. I've never had hives so I didn't realize that's what was going on. They feel like you've been bitten all over by a million mosquitoes! Absolute misery.
When they discharged me, I went to slip my sandals on and they wouldn't fit! My feet had swollen too!
So, now I have an EpiPen. And while that's great, yay, it will keep me from dying, the whole thing has me completely scared of even going outside! I'm supposed to carry that EpiPen when I go outside. All three of us watched a video on how to give yourself or your wife/mother an EpiPen shot and made sure that everyone knew you have to call 911 afterwards to go to the hospital. Lovely.
Last night before bed it looked like this:
This morning after sleeping with ice packs all night and getting up at 3:00am for my 6 hour Benedryl timer, it had grown 2 inches all the way around!
But suddenly mid-morning, it started getting better!
This is what I used:
Immune One Balm, Young Living Thieves essential oil and also Peppermint. I have the tube part of two old tube socks cut off and slid onto my leg so I don't get medicine goo all over everything.
Here's what I learned:
The outdoors suck.
No. I'm kidding!
Right now I'm in the fear phase—I live on a farm with animals! I work with animals! How do I do that if I'm always getting bitten my some creature and my reactions are getting worse? So scary! I will do some "eff you" writing (writing down everything scary, anxiety producing, etc and then tearing it up and throwing it away.) And I will do some neurofeedback to help with training my brain to stay out of anxiety.
I will also create a kit for my EpiPens, Benedryl, a small bottle of water, Claritin, one of those ice things that don't work until you smash it, and an Ace bandage to hold it on.
For those of you who also love being outside and also have to have an EpiPen near, how do you manage? Any tips or tricks for a newbie?
Other than that, all is well on the farm. Brad is taking down some "widow makers"—trees that are dead and have half fallen over, catching on a live tree and are just waiting for a strong wind.
Michael is really enjoying his online school!
My brother is in town because my Mom's back surgery is on Monday. Please join us in prayers and positive energy sent to her and her doctors and nurses.
And I'm working on growing my neurofeedback practice and putting together that online art class I started working on just before we made the decision to move last year. I'll tell you more about that soon!
In case you haven't seen them yet, here are two "shorts" videos I made this week:
Love to all from the Mother Ranch,
Let me give you a big ol' hug!
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