Yellow-Jacket Sting

  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Jul 21, 2008 3:45 AM GMT
    I was stung by a yellow jacket on the back of my calf on Monday. I've had a few stings from various wasps and bees, but not this particular species. It hurt (as they usually do), but about ten minutes later I started to feel tingling in my fingertips and around my mouth. I guess my blood pressure was dropping.

    I was with some people, so we hung around a donut shop right across from a fire hall where there were paramedics with EpiPens if I needed one. The vascular symptoms disappeared after an hour or so, and we went on our way.

    By the next day, I had developed several blisters around the site of the sting, and my calf was the size of a Virginia Ham. I had lost much of the flexibility in my knee and ankle because of the swelling. I talked to a doctor who told me to just take some antihistamines because the worst was probably over. He was correct, but the swelling didn't begin to abate until Thursday night. When it did, the entire inside of my calf was yellow, sort of like an old bruise that was losing its color.

    Anyway, I'm going to get a prescription for an EpiPen tomorrow. I can't imagine what would have happened if the other ten wasps that were on me after I accidentally stepped on their nest had stung me, too.

    It's hard to believe that one little bug could do that to me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 21, 2008 4:48 AM GMT
    i do pest control. being in SoCal, i treat africanized (killer) bees often.

    determined pissed off bastard insects, once one got into the hood of my fullbody bee suit. of course it stung me, right on the bridge of my nose.

    looked like a friggin vampire from Buffy:TVS took 2 days for the swelling to fully go away.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 21, 2008 4:58 AM GMT
    Ha! in the south you have to watch it walking through fields and so forth with holes in the ground (yellow jackets will build nests in the ground) lest you find your foot in a nest of them. They will get you depending on how fast you can run.

    My dog being a Jack Russel terrier found some in one of the chipmunk holes he was excavating. I came home one day and he ran up to me happy as normal but when I looked down his eyelid was swollen like a giant marble. I found the nest in the back yard and sprayed the hole and covered it. I later uncovered it to see that they were dead. The next day I came home and found the hole excavated even more and surrounding the hole was the nest shredded to bits. T-bone had taken his revenge and assured that the little fuckers would never return lol.

    Oh I should add I asked my vet what to do when my dog gets stung by something like that. She said to keep chewable childrens benadryl on hand to use.
  • gumbosolo

    Posts: 382

    Jul 21, 2008 1:51 PM GMT
    Those things hurt like hell! I had a bad run-in while mowing once and the whole swarm came out, nineteen or twenty hells all at once. I got the same tingling thing too-- not sure what that's about.

    Activeandfit's got it right-- Benadryl or anything anti-inflammatory right after is a good idea.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3162

    Jul 21, 2008 1:56 PM GMT
    Remember, when they sting you they inject you with POISON. It's not surprising that you had a reaction, your reaction just seems a little stronger. Get tested for allergies and load up on the acetaminophen.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 21, 2008 4:45 PM GMT
    I'm more at risk with insect bites since I'm asthmatic. Bee and Wasp stings, luckily don't affect me much aside from the local swelling.

    There is a moth though, and some small biting insect (I still don't know exactly what, probably bedbugs or fleas) that causes hives and asthma attacks for me. Dangerous. icon_confused.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 21, 2008 4:50 PM GMT
    yeah, i'd never been stung until a couple summers ago- i was mowing the back yard and must have run over an underground nest (didn't even know they could do that)- cause all of a sudden they were swarming me. i ran into the house and some had gotten under my clothes so i was still finding them a minute or so after getting inside. used baking soda on the stings but they hurt well into the next day. still not scared of bees though- not like a lot of people are- unless you step on their nest, they really don't bother you if you don't bother them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 21, 2008 5:09 PM GMT
    You should start carrying several benadryls (or generic diphenhydramine) with you. Once you have a hypersensitive reaction to a sting, the next one can be even more serious. Stash some in the car, the bike bag, where ever.

    The drill is, after a sting, immediately swallow 3 benadryls and call somebody to come watch you. If you start getting dizzy, or have trouble breathing, use the epipen and get to a hosptital.

    I first had a reaction like yours when I was about 30. Over the next five years, each sting had a bigger reaction. (Hmm... better stand up and get that epipen *pass out, crack head on floor* Hmm... what am I doing on the floor? better stand up and get that epipen *repeat*)

    The worst one was when I was laying naked on the couch, and a wasp landed on my back. The cat who was laying on me swatted it several times, and I rapidly got stung about six times. So I thought that before going for the drugs, I should put on some shorts and hide the, um, porn that was lying around. Started galloping up the stairs, passed out, rolled back down the stairs. Mom came over for some unrelated reason and found me passed out naked at the bottom of the stairs with nice big bruises. (Maybe she didn't notice the um, porn???)

    Mostly, the habit that I got into was to take benadryls immediately, then drive to the hospital and sit in my car outside the emergency room, until the reaction either started going away or getting worse. (If I waited until the reaction started, it would be too late.)

    However, after about a dozen years, the reactions started getting smaller. The last two or three stings have produced no reaction at all, beyond the normal pain and local swelling.
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Jul 21, 2008 6:37 PM GMT
    Thanks. I actually bought some Benadryl yesterday and I'm going to the doctor in about ninety minutes for the EpiPen prescription. I have to be careful because I work part-time as a landscape/garden consultant during the summer. I'm not usually doing the labor, so the chances of me disrupting a nest are slim, but I can't take that chance. The blood pressure drop was a big wakeup call.