Thursday, September 25, 2008

It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Sting

Well ... I just got stung by a hornet.

This is arguably the most painful thing I have ever experienced from any object penetrating my body to a depth of less than half a centimeter.

I was walking into the powder room, intending no harm to any creature, great or small, when this malevolent insect makes a beeline for my arm and buries his pointy, poison bum right into the soft, white underside of my forearm. "Wha?" I say. "Ow," I say. "That bastard is still stinging me," I say. "Why won't the cursed thing let go of me?" I say. "Ow! Ow! Ow! Get it off me! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Get it off!" I say.

This was a real hornet. A hornet with malice in its heart. This was not some devil-may-care honey bee that could be easily intimidated and shooed back to its lair quaking in fear after nothing more than a stern rebuke. No, this thing went at me with a purpose. This was the Guy-Who-Stabbed-Monica-Seles of the insect world. I had to reach down and manhandle the thing just to get it off my arm.

Even then the blasted stinger stayed behind and kept on stinging me. What do you do in a situation like that? Is it like being impaled by a farm implement and you shouldn't pull it out otherwise it could jostle something vital inside and you could bleed to death? You see it all the time on TV. "Another inch and it would have hit an artery," and "He's lucky you didn't try to remove it. He would have bled to death in minutes."

Well, I've watched enough episodes of "Emergency!" on TVLand to know what to do. I pulled it out. It was a split-second decision. Could have meant the difference between life and death.

But, my ordeal had only just begun. What had started as just a nuisance soon blossomed into searing agony. I would rate this as a 3.0 on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index: "Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut." I'm going to have to write that Schmidt guy a letter. He nailed it.

You should see the thing now. There is Ground Zero, the actual point of penetration, which is an angry red eye surrounded by an areola of swelling, perhaps a centimeter in diameter. This lies in a scarlet circle about as big around as a 50 cent piece. Then there are tendrils of redness radiating from the center, the longest of which reaches a good inch-and-a-half, two inches from the sting as the poison spreads through my body in its relentless effort to cause me harm.

It's been over an hour now and I haven't gone into anaphylactic shock, but I'm not out of the woods yet. You see, the hornet is still alive. He's out there somewhere. Waiting. Waiting.

He'll be back. I know it. But this time I'll be ready.

See the video:


Nessa said...

Ow! Owowowowow! Poor baby, need some ice? I know you're pain; one of the lil' fockers got me in the back of the neck at the age of 10. My friend had to beat it off of me with a soda can. Traumatic.
Don't hornets die after they've stung and left bits of themselves behind?

Reid Andwright said...

Thanks. It's starting to feel better.

Hornets can sting over and over, but since it did leave a stinger behind, maybe it was fatal.

I found him in the bathroom struggling on the floor. At least I guess it was the same one. It looked a lot bigger when it was attached to my arm.

So I guess he is dying. I almost squashed him, then I decided to let him suffer at least as much as I had.

Anonymous said...

Our mutual friend Roxanne, got stung by a hornet last month and over the course of some hours, she did start to have worse and worse allergic reaction to her sting, she was on Benadryl for 3 days, so, if your lips get weird or you get a rash, take 2 Benadryl and call me in the morning...
Sounds like an ucky way to start the day, sorry dude!

Nessa said...

Ah, yes; an eye for a...uh... stinger.

and of course, up there I meant 'your pain' not 'you're pain', because a contraction was clearly not called for there. Done editing. :)

Reid Andwright said...

I don't know how you could have stood this as a 10-year-old. This was mighty painful. Now, 24 hours later, it's starting to itch.

joanne1953 said...

Man oh Man........... or should I say....... Hornet oh Hornet.

That is one nasty, nasty sting/after-effect. That benedryl suggestion seems like a good one to me. I had no idea a hornet sting could be that bad. Worst I had was a box jellyfish sting all over my back. Your arm looks as angry as my back was, just more concentrated.

As a friend of mine would say, bless your little bones, or in this case, bless your little (make that big) arm.

p.s. funny blog, despite the trauma. kudos

Anonymous said...

Upon viewing the video, I'd say your body isn't dealing with the sting too good, get thee some benadryl!

Reid Andwright said...

I try to be philosophical about the whole thing.

Que sera sera. Whatever will bee will bee.

Rinkly Rimes said...

Oh dear! Reid cannot play the cornet!
He's been bitten by a hornet.
He was on his way to play
But at home he had to stay.
"Come at once!" The leader cried
"Without the cornet we've no pride!
Without the twiddly bits you play
We'll be laughing-stock today."
"I'll send you a video of my arm!
That hornet did me lots of harm!"
"Wear a bandage and a sling!
We need you like anything!"
So brave Reid struggled and did his best
And the orchestra passed the test!
Which doesn't make much sense I know!
But I just thought I would say 'Hallo!'

Reid Andwright said...

Hornet, you don't know with whom you're dealing.
Bite me again! This time with feeling!
I don't mind the pain, the swelling …
Go ahead, it's your death bell knelling!
That sting will be your final gaffe;
This verse will be your epitaph.

Now old Reid can play his horn
And forget the sting that tragic morn.
And, though he died before his time,
The bug lives on in Rinkly's rhyme.
Thanks for stopping to share your poem.
I squashed the bug. Now, that'll show 'im.