Friday, September 16, 2005

A Summer of Bug Bites

So ... a few weeks ago I'm with my best-ever childhood friend and two of her daughters.

We talked of old childhood stories. One was which we were galloping through the yard on our invisible horses when I got stung by a bee and nearly died at seven-years-old. I was rushed to the hospital and survived within minutes.

For twelve years, I received 8 to 16 allergy shots a week. I hated it. I nearly memorized every single issue of Highlights for Children while sitting in the waiting room waiting for a reaction, which nearly always occurred, which added even more shots to my forever sore forearms and hips.

I took Terry and her adorable daughters by my mom's house because she hasn't visited it since we were kids.

As we wandered through the secret garden and pet cemetary we came under attack by yellow jackets. Terry got stung first. Then one of her daughters got stung three times. It was like a sniper decided to take aim and start shooting.

I have been stung four or five times since I became allergic. And, always within seconds, my tongue and throat start to swell closed so I have difficulty swallowing and breathing and I feel I'm losing consciousness as my blood pressure dramatically drops. I go into a severe anaphylactic reaction that can be fatal.

I quickly walked to my car and grabbed my epi-pen from my purse just incase I was stung and that's when I started to feel the bee buzzing inside my shirt. I carefully and slowly stretched the neck of my shirt open so it could fly out and, instead, it got caught in my hair and stung me on my neck near my left ear.

I tried not to panic. My heart raced so fast. The epi-pen is an auto-injector that administers epinephrine into my blood stream. I think it's a form of an adrenaline that can reverse the allergic reaction, at least temporarily, to provide the life-saving time needed for me to get further treatment in a medical facility.

God only knows how much of my own adrenaline was running through my veins when I got stung. Perhaps it was enough.

Before thrusting the syringe into my thigh.. I waited for the feeling of doom and death to come toward me.

I waited and I waited.

My allergic reaction never came.

I want to celebrate that. Celebrate my life.

I have been self-employed for one year now, too. Another miracle. It really is. Another reason for celebration. I am happy tonight. At peace. I believe in angels.

I count my blessings. I am aware of them everyday.

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