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Old 08-11-07, 09:32 AM   #1
will dehne
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Two Centuries and a challenge.

I did my back to back centuries on WI Rails to Trails starting this last Thursday.
Half hour into the trip I got stung by a wasp or bee into the lower lip. I choose to ignore it since I am not aware of any allergic reaction to bee stings. (I had them before on other parts of the body)

About 15 minutes later I noticed severe itching in my hands. I removed the gloves and washed my hands. That seemed to help. At the same time my lower lip started to swell up quite a bit. There was a very small town and I searched for a doctor or drug store. No dice.
They pointed me to a General Store. By that time I could barely talk. My HR increased so I could feel it and my body itched all over.
One person at the store said that his mother used mud on such bee stings. That did not appeal to me.
Another person recommended packing ice on the face and Benadryl which they had at that store.
I followed that advise and sat in the parking lot for 1-2 hours packing ice. The itching went away after taking the pills. The swelling spread all over my face and neck but declined from my lips so I could talk.

A decision had to be made. Abort the trip or continue.
There happened to be a medical doctor on the trail. He observed the situation and said that I would be in trouble if I got stung again. He suggested a clinic about 50 miles away going west. Or go home which was about 10 miles to my car and two hours driving.

I decided to take a chance and continue. My wife was up in arms about taking that chance.
I finished the double century and my face is still swollen. I googled the symptoms and see nothing to panic. This never happened to me.

Does anyone here on 50+ have some insights?
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Old 08-11-07, 02:10 PM   #2
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It is possible to develop allergies so it sounds to me like a reaction. I would get it checked out, if indeed you had a reaction it may be worse the next time. The benadryl was the right thing to do, you may need to start carrying this or even an injectable. Anaphylaxis is not something to mess around with.
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Old 08-11-07, 06:12 PM   #3
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It is possible to develop allergies so it sounds to me like a reaction. I would get it checked out, if indeed you had a reaction it may be worse the next time. The benadryl was the right thing to do, you may need to start carrying this or even an injectable. Anaphylaxis is not something to mess around with.
Thanks for replying.
I used Answers.com to check this Anaphylaxis (never heard of it). The definition sounds what happened to me and yes, I will see a doctor.
Interesting to me was that the doctor I met on the trail had Benadryl with him and he traveled light.
He was out camping with his daughter.
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Old 08-11-07, 06:26 PM   #4
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My wife got stung by a wasp below her eye and had a reaction very similar to the one you describe about 10 years ago. She too had had bee stings before and never had a reaction. We had to go to emergency because her face swelled up to the size of a basketball and she began hyperventilating.

The bottom line is that since then she has to carry a bee sting kit, available only by prescription, everywhere she goes. If she gets stung she injects herself and we both have to closely monitor her for her reaction. She has been bit since then and the reactions after the shot have been non ER.

Get thee to a doctor right away, if you get stung by a wasp it could be fatal. You are in my neck of the woods and this year I have had 2 wasp bites in the past month. They are very ornery this year for some reason. Perhaps its the heat and lack of water.

Congratulations on sticking it out on the centuries!
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Old 08-11-07, 08:23 PM   #5
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My wife got stung by a wasp below her eye and had a reaction very similar to the one you describe about 10 years ago. She too had had bee stings before and never had a reaction. We had to go to emergency because her face swelled up to the size of a basketball and she began hyperventilating.

The bottom line is that since then she has to carry a bee sting kit, available only by prescription, everywhere she goes. If she gets stung she injects herself and we both have to closely monitor her for her reaction. She has been bit since then and the reactions after the shot have been non ER.

Get thee to a doctor right away, if you get stung by a wasp it could be fatal. You are in my neck of the woods and this year I have had 2 wasp bites in the past month. They are very ornery this year for some reason. Perhaps its the heat and lack of water.

Congratulations on sticking it out on the centuries!
I appreciate your thoughtful reply and experience. I will go and see a doctor as you and others say.

Let me just express my frustration. I have lived for 65 years without doctors and medication (except dentist). Why all of a sudden do I need these doctors now? Are these wasps getting more dangerous? Are we getting more risk adverse? Is our immune system impaired? Are we getting too old to cope? Do we want to live forever and trying to limit all risk?
Sorry for venting but I feel better for it.
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Old 08-11-07, 09:27 PM   #6
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As a young'un I was highly allergic to honey bee stings. Had to be treated by doctors three times. Had to be hospitalized once. Carried Benadyl on me for years, although that only treats some of the symptoms and not the source of the problem.

There was no way you should have continued, you risked your life doing so. About 100 people in the USA die each year from bee stings, sometimes from just one sting. When your HR went up and symptoms spread into multiple regions of your body, you were at serious risk.

Allergies change over time. I may not be allergic at all right now, haven't been stung in over 30 years so I don't know.

If the symptoms are now localized to the area of the sting, you are probably okay.

This first link closely describes your situation:
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2076.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/insect_st...es/article.htm
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Old 08-11-07, 09:33 PM   #7
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You may want to pay particular attention to this quote from my first link, which suggests that if you get stung again by a wasp, the reaction will likely be more intense.

"Doctors believe that once systemic sensitivity occurs, it almost always increases in severity with each following sting (varies in individual persons). The more quickly symptoms appear after the sting, the more severe the reaction."
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Old 08-11-07, 09:51 PM   #8
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Does anyone here on 50+ have some insights?
Yes, I have some insight - you are an animal. A double century with an allergic reaction - man, don't know if your crazy or insane. I guess hats off, but be careful, carrying something like Benadryl might be a good idea. My swelling is more localized but gets worse on every sting - so please be careful.
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Old 08-11-07, 10:09 PM   #9
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+10000000 what every one said. I agree that you should not have continued, but I'm glad things turned out OK after your scary ordeal. I understand your frustration.

When I was a kid I was stung on the side of my neck by a yellow jacket. My neck swelled up and I had to go to either the ER or a doctor of some type. I've been stung by a bee since then, but I've never had another allergic reaction again.
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Old 08-12-07, 03:27 PM   #10
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You may want to pay particular attention to this quote from my first link, which suggests that if you get stung again by a wasp, the reaction will likely be more intense.

"Doctors believe that once systemic sensitivity occurs, it almost always increases in severity with each following sting (varies in individual persons). The more quickly symptoms appear after the sting, the more severe the reaction."
Tom- Thanks. I read the whole thing. Scary!
The swelling is gone two days after the stinging. I have no other negative symptoms and have gone biking on Sugar River Trail Saturday and Sunday. I guess I am playing Russian Roulette.
I will see a doctor for advise.
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Old 08-12-07, 03:33 PM   #11
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Yes, I have some insight - you are an animal. A double century with an allergic reaction - man, don't know if your crazy or insane. I guess hats off, but be careful, carrying something like Benadryl might be a good idea. My swelling is more localized but gets worse on every sting - so please be careful.
We are all products of our upbringing.
I was in German National level roving, serious mountain climbing, long distance swimming and now biking.

Of those, mountain climbing was the most demanding. Hanging on the side of a mountain in an ice storm teaches one not to be wimpy.

Biking is mild in comparison IMHO.
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Old 08-12-07, 03:37 PM   #12
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"Doctors believe that once systemic sensitivity occurs, it almost always increases in severity with each following sting (varies in individual persons). The more quickly symptoms appear after the sting, the more severe the reaction."
I would find it more reassuring if medical practice were based on knowledge rather than belief...what are they? Witch doctors?
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Old 08-12-07, 03:41 PM   #13
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+10000000 what every one said. I agree that you should not have continued, but I'm glad things turned out OK after your scary ordeal. I understand your frustration.

When I was a kid I was stung on the side of my neck by a yellow jacket. My neck swelled up and I had to go to either the ER or a doctor of some type. I've been stung by a bee since then, but I've never had another allergic reaction again.
Yen- I will see a doctor but I am debating if my problem was caused because of a special situation. The wasp or bee tried to get into my slightly open mouth. Lucky my teeth prevented it getting in my mouth.
I think I got stung inside my mouth on the lower lip where all the blood vessels are. I also may have crushed the bee or wasp in my frantic effort to get rid of it. I am thinking that all of that made things worse.
That does not imply that I am not concerned. I am.
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Old 08-12-07, 03:49 PM   #14
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I would find it more reassuring if medical practice were based on knowledge rather than belief...what are they? Witch doctors?
You and I seem to have that thinking in common. My past experience with doctors has not been all that good. They often do "False Positives" and have caused my family much grief because of that. It would be a long story.
Let me just say this: Medical intervention in doubtful cases can have negative consequences.

Doctors are quick to run tests and order follow up procedures. Some of those are invasive and can cause their own problems. (See infections and virus in hospitals)
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Old 08-12-07, 03:49 PM   #15
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You're probably fine now, although if you still have some symptoms that is a long time for them to continue.

So you've put in what, 300+ miles since the sting? You are like the Terminator ... hard to stop.
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Old 08-12-07, 07:19 PM   #16
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You're probably fine now, although if you still have some symptoms that is a long time for them to continue.

So you've put in what, 300+ miles since the sting? You are like the Terminator ... hard to stop.
Tom- This reply is just to show you that all is not what it seems.
This coming week is my retirement party after working for 50 years and 25 years in this company. I find this very stressful because things have not worked out perfectly (an understatement). My boss and wife will come this Wednesday and me and my wife need to deal with that. Believe me, we are stressed out.
The 300 miles biking are therapy compared to that. Some people in my industry resort to drinking and others get heart attacks.
I go biking until I fall into bed and sleep soundly.
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Old 08-12-07, 07:27 PM   #17
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I'm sorry your career is not ending on a happier note, and I wish you all the best in your retirement.

After your retirement party, don't look back or harbor anger about how it ended. If you do, you may as well continue where you are. Just let it go and move on and make the most of every retired day. Sometimes, as I pull out of the driveway on my way to work, I tell Hubby and our neighbor (both retired)... "Have a nice, restful, retired day!"
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Old 08-12-07, 07:47 PM   #18
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I'm sorry your career is not ending on a happier note, and I wish you all the best in your retirement.

After your retirement party, don't look back or harbor anger about how it ended. If you do, you may as well continue where you are. Just let it go and move on and make the most of every retired day. Sometimes, as I pull out of the driveway on my way to work, I tell Hubby and our neighbor (both retired)... "Have a nice, restful, retired day!"
Thank you YEN. Your good advise will be followed.
My wife and I are busy making plans.
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Old 08-12-07, 07:55 PM   #19
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I think you are NUTS, but I am very glad you are ok. Stop trying to play Superman, and pretend you are just one of us lowly mortals.

Swelling like that is a sign - your body is crying out for some assistance, not another 100 miles. Goodness! Listen to it next time, or you might not be posting again.
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Old 08-12-07, 08:17 PM   #20
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I think you are NUTS, but I am very glad you are ok. Stop trying to play Superman, and pretend you are just one of us lowly mortals.

Swelling like that is a sign - your body is crying out for some assistance, not another 100 miles. Goodness! Listen to it next time, or you might not be posting again.
Denver- Keep in mind your background. You have a lot of medical experience if I remember correctly.

I have almost none. I have no Family doctor and never been to a physical. I have this opinion that the body heals if you just exercise and eat right. I had a mentor who was/is Christian Science Minister.
His ideas rubbed off on me and have served me well.
What you call Superman is for me just above average. I find better athletes than me all the time.

You are correct that I do not want to be below average or average. The physical condition of most Americans is cause for concern and not just to me.
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Old 08-12-07, 08:32 PM   #21
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Denver- Keep in mind your background. You have a lot of medical experience if I remember correctly.

What you call Superman is for me just above average. I find better athletes than me all the time.

You are correct that I do not want to be below average or average. The physical condition of most Americans is cause for concern and not just to me.
Nope - no medical background. I just google a lot! I am married to a nurse, but she would be equally horrified at your escapade!

Keep up the good exercise and challenges. I admire all your efforts and accomplishments. But do take care. I like you too much to lose you.
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Old 08-12-07, 09:14 PM   #22
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Nope - no medical background. I just google a lot! I am married to a nurse, but she would be equally horrified at your escapade!

Keep up the good exercise and challenges. I admire all your efforts and accomplishments. But do take care. I like you too much to lose you.

My wife and I just looked at your reply and are thankful for your kind words.
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Old 09-16-07, 07:15 PM   #23
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Darn it, Will! You jinxed me!

I hadn't been stung by a bee in something like 20 years. But today a yellow jacket got me ... on the Elroy-Sparta trail, not too far from where you got nailed. I had my helmet and felt movement on my head, reached up there and it was in one of my helmet vents. The same helmet vent that my thumb went into - and then came out of very quickly!

Boy that stung! No after-effects except for it still hurting a bit. At least I didn't grow a second head.
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Old 09-17-07, 02:03 PM   #24
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Hey Will, be careful out there. I've been in the emergency room twice because of wasps, once they had to cut off my wedding ring because my hand swelled up so bad I could have lost the finger and the other time I had to have a boot cut off. Both times it was just one sting.

Having said all that, I still forget to carry medication
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Old 09-17-07, 06:25 PM   #25
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I have something important to add to this thread which I thought was closed.
Since the above event I got stung twice by either wasp or bee. In both cases it was on my leg. Upper part and lower part. Both times hurt and there was some swelling but NO Allergic Whole Body Reaction.
I did a little more research on this subject and was told that a wasp or bee sting on a Mucous membrane is different than other parts of the body. Remember that above mentioned sting with allergic reaction was in the inner part of my mouth.
What is my point? I do not think that I need to see a doctor for allergy or carry a allergy kit.
Some of us like to live dangerously.
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