Now before you assume that was the one that almost killed me think again, it wasn't. In August of that year I had finally rehabilitated my wrist and was coaching Methuen youth tea-ball back in my old community. I had promised to do so because my daughter wanted to play ball that year and on occasion we would go out in our front yard to practice.
One hot New England afternoon we were playing ball in the front yard and I had hit the ball pretty hard, Jess had run into the woods to get it. I remember hearing her ungodly screams as she ran towards me and I caught a glimpse or a swarm of bees attacking her. I did my best to clear her off, get her in the house under a cool shower and while Diane tended to her I called the emergency room so they could tell me what to do. The official count of stings she would have received was in the area of 21/23 stings.
After hanging up the phone of being apprised of the symptoms to watch out for I myself started feeling funny. In the course of trying to protect my daughter I had gotten stung once on my arm and never having been allergic to bees I had no fear of it. That was before I had ever experience anaphylactic shock.
By the time I was within a mile of the hospital (Diane drove us through rush hour) I had already gone blind, my breathing was very shallow and I remembered uttering the words to Diane "Sorry hon, I'm not going to make it"
As Diane pulled up to the front of the hospital she yelled at me "we're here go ahead" and I remember telling her I couldn't because I was blind. She raced into the E.R to find help. I don't remember much more other than waking up as I faded pretty quickly and I never even recollect being pulled from the truck.
When I awoke I was told it had been pretty severe, they had to double dose me to get me back and that I'd be fine. I've lived with that burned in memory to this day and to be honest, I'd rather fall through the window again than to suffer that shock. What I can tell you is for my experience, death is a very calming feeling. There is no panic, there is nothing more than a fading feeling and memories of the people you love.
Yesterday Diane and I decided to take a run about 20 miles north to a Harley dealer we frequent. How would I have known they would be closed ("Ya could've called" <- old verizon commercial)
On the way back Diane was diagonal to me about 30 feet in front to the right side of the lane when I felt something hit me in the throat and slide into my shirt. It was followed by some of the most intense pain I have felt in a long time, it was stabbing me just above my right breast just towards the thorax.(ie center of the chest) . I immediately grabbed my shirt hoping to grasp whatever was causing me the pain. And proceeded to drive by Diane and turn into a church parking lot. Unfortunately for her it was too quick of a turn and she had to go straight.
When I got off the bike and shook my shirt you can imagine the thought when the yellow jacket fell out and onto the ground. It followed by me stomping on it feeling like I may had just fallen victim again and I had no epi-pens with me in case of symptoms.
The next glimpse Diane saw as she pulled out of a side street was my bike flying by her on my way back to our house. At that point I was looking at about a 4-mile ride. She did the best that she could to follow in toe and catch up. When I hit the red light around the corner she pulled up asking what was wrong assuming I was upset about something. Apparently she hadn't noticed me slumped over the tank of the bike in pain during the ride.
I'm happy to say as dramatic as it sounds and as it was, I am ok. I did not have any symptoms of shock that I previously had. This doesn't meant he sting didn't totally affect me, I'm quite sore across the right side of my chest, itchy and I have a slight headache but alas, I am alive!
I told Dee gleefully last night that I'm not ready to check out quite yet, I still have a lot of life to live. What a far cry from a few years ago when I wouldn't carry a pen because I welcomed the outcome. Now I just forget it out of stupidity!
How much things change but yet they stay the same!
Hope your Labor Day was a nice one!