Yellow Jacket

No, it is not a new purchase. I just got stung by a damn Yellow Jacket, a wasp, a species of Hymenoptera, same as the Hornets; also the most frequent cause of anaphylaxis associated with stingers.

The day before, the dog was sniffing around my computer and laser area. I figured there must be a housefly/bee/wasp on the ground that was attracting her attention. I called her away because i did not want her to provoke said insect and i just left it alone. That’s what i normally do. Since summer is almost here, i have been getting daily visits in my study room from bees and wasps. Usually, i tend to vacate the room if the wasp or bee is a bit agitated. Anyway, so that was last night.

This morning, I was dragging out my Lowepro camera bag that i had received two years ago as part of a subscription gift from Practical Photography. It is a long story and deserves an entry of its own (later), but anyway i stepped back, felt a sharp sting, put two and two together immediately, removed my foot, and saw a rather forlorn-looking Yellow Jacket crawling away. The pain was sharp and really, i think my anxiety probably amplified it. All i can think of was if i was going into anaphylactoid reaction (i do not recall ever being stung by anything before).

I stumbled into the kitchen, grabbed a fistful of ice cubes from the freezer, snatched up the dishcloth and started icing. I yelled out for my housemate, also a final year medical student. It is strange how we second guess ourselves when it comes to managing ourselves as compared to patients. Clearly i was not going into anaphylaxis (although if i do, we should probably run to our neighbour who is an Anesthetist fellow, or maybe to the rehab hospital two houses away), but shit ass, i sure as hell did not want to go to the hospital.

We Googled, and rang up more medical friends, and basically all just came to the same conclusion – ice, analgesia and anti-histamines. Sadly, we do not stockpile medications in the house and after much rummaging, the Housemate found some anti-inflammatories and some cold tablets that contain a smidgeon of anti-histamine (also it was a horse tablet i have to add – that is, it is huge assed. I will choke before i take that).

Anyhow, this was the Yellow Jacket, and though i detest it now, i have to say it is quite pretty.

I hobbled back to take a photo just in case i need to show it to the toxicologist or something.

The Housemate was horrified that i had such frequent visitors (she does not get them in her room because it is in the front part of the house; the back part of the house including my study room abuts the backyard). Fortunately, we do stock up on insecticide, and she sprayed the poor wasp. There really wasn’t anything we could do.

A lonely death, like most insects.

Anyhow, i perused my Merck Manual, and i guess i am a sitting duck for limb oedema and cellulitis. I hope i get neither since my final exam is on Wednesday and i have a graduation dinner to attend on Sunday, not that i mind giving that a miss. Saves me the trouble of having to find a make-up artist.

I have also taken to wearing slippers in the house. Maybe there is a reason why the locals never go barefooted in their homes.


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