On September 11 fall planting season beckoned me to transplant three lilac bushes a friend had given me. I began to prepare the area and flipped over an old hay bale when it happened.
Dozens of disturbed wasps shot out of their exposed nest and led an air raid attack on me. Shocked, I bee-lined for the house, grabbed a large patio cushion from the porch and cloaked my upper body, including my head.
I darted inside and closed the door. Beside the door were some flyers, which I ripped into pieces and began squushing the wasps – at least a dozen – which were stinging me all over my body. Fifteen years ago I was stung by a hornet and learned I was highly allergic to wasp, hornet and bee stings, and to carry an EpiPen to prevent going into anaphylactic shock; a very serious condition that can kill you, if not treated quickly.
For years, I diligently carried an EpiPen, but as time ticked on, I reduced to just having Benadryl on hand. When a wasp or two has stung me in the past, a couple of Benadryl have done the trick. This time however, more than two had attacked. I don’t own a phone and decided to drive the five minutes to the hospital since I had popped a couple of Benadryl and felt okay. I reasoned I would check myself into emergency in case I began going into anaphylactic shock. Of course, as I travelled the back road to Parry Sound, I got stuck behind a school bus dropping off students and couldn’t pass. At this point I still felt okay.
At the hospital, I parked the van, grabbed my health card and was walking towards the emergency entrance when I suddenly collapsed on a patch of grass; laying there helpless as I watched clouds sail by, and people. Strangely, no one was stopping to see why I was lying there. (I guess they thought I was taking a nap or something.) With a weak plea for help, I managed to get the attention of a couple of women and told them I had been stung by wasps.
Instantly they summoned the paramedics and I was transported by stretcher and hooked up to all the goodies I needed to prevent me from going into shock; but I had already begun to go into anaphylactic shock.
During the six hours that I was there, the staff treated me like royalty. I can’t say enough about the kind diligence of the staff, especially Patti and Lynn and of course, the calm professionalism of Dr. Donevan.
Early the next morning, I was parked next to an EMS van in town and out stepped a female and male paramedic. I instantly gave them a couple of big bear hugs and told them my 9-11 ordeal and how grateful I was for all our dedicated Parry Sound and District paramedics. Thanks to them, my life was saved and I could enjoy another day in paradise.
Grateful to be alive;
And remember to carry your EpiPen if you have insect allergies;