Bee Allergy

The year was 1973. I was a camper at camp Idlepines for girls in New Hampshire. My cabin ate some and I were up at the tennis courts having our lesson. It was my least favorite camp activity. As I was changing sides of the net a bee landed on my finger and stung me. It was the first time I had been stung by a bee, but I was the third camper that day to be stung. No one seemed too concerned.

The counselor told me to walk down the long camp road to the office and get an ice pack. I did and on the walk my hand swelled up as if I were Violet Beauregard in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When I reach the office the swelling was starting to go up my arm. Aunt Jane, the sister of the camp director and another counselor determined I must be allergic and fearing the swelling getting to my throat decided I must go to the hospital. I can’t remember exactly where it was, but it was a long enough drive that the swelling did reach my shoulder and I was seen the second we got to the ER.

My bad allergic reaction to the bee sting prompted my parents to get me allergy shots. Apparently I was so sensitive to the allergy shots the doctors had to add a bit of adrenaline to the serum every time I got a shot. The once a week shots lasted close to three years.

I told Lane I needed to go buy some Benadryl right away and even though she was only halfway through her lunch she jumped up and drove us over to Target. I took one and a half pills in the parking lot. The swelling on my arm had started just a little, but quickly subsided. My years of childhood allergy shots obviously worked.

Since I never was stung by a bee again I was never fully sure the allergy shots worked…Until today. I was eating lunch outdoors at the new Happy and Hale at University Hill with my dear friend Lane. I had just finished my salad and I brushed my hand on my arm without realizing I was brushing a bee and it stung me.

Lane went home after a little more visiting at my house. I made a phone call and as I was talking my words were noticeably slowing down. I went to lie down on my bed and fell asleep at 2:30 with my iPad in my hand. I awoke at 6:30, in exactly the same position holding my iPad.

I have no swelling and have had the hardest nap I have had in years. No wonder people give babies on planes some Benadryl. The good news is I finally have confirmation that getting all those shots were worth it.

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