Friday, July 12, 2013

The Bee Sting

Worked out in the lavender field all day. Pleasant enough work, a slight breeze, full sun, and being sprayed by water that was headed to my plantlings. Gratifying work of the last two days. I know how to do it, I use parts on hand - reconfiguring,  'Macgivering' (remember the show?) Results are obvious. Peace in the heart, comfort knowing they will all get just what they need. Harvest will be on in a week or so, always delightful. The English variety is ready. After finishing up all work, I set to cutting a few bouquets. I have gone and forgot my glove, and should have listened to my intuition. This is dangerous, it said.
I have sawed thru my forefinger a number of times with the serrated japanese grass knife, so now always wear a glove. But today, it was a blessed honey bee. Not the knife...Honey bees have been so spare this year it was a heartbreak to find her stinger lodged in the first digit, middle finger of my left hand. Sorry, sweet, little bee.
Shit, I think to myself. I jump on the long board. My lavender oil is in the truck. It's a 700 foot long driveway that the lavender flanks. The long board saves me a lot of time. I race all the way to the winery. They are an hour from hosting their weekly wine tasting. After dripping lavender oil on the sting, I search for english plantain I know is in every lawn-she's a poison extractor - chew it up, apply as poultice. I go inside after feeling very itchy all of a sudden, and some swelling of my face. I tell the hostess, 'I am suffering a reaction to a bee sting, and I need to get in a cold water bath.' I throw my clothes off and note red welts and hives. All the crooks, knees, elbows, hips...the lower half of my face feels like its going to blow out my upper lip. The inside of my ears itch?! Weird. It was intuition that said get in the cold bath. I listened this time. I have no anti-histamine, neither does the farm. Why am I having a reaction? I refuse to believe, as all else, that now I am allergic. No, not an option.
After 20 minutes laying supine in the icy bath, I know I have to move, the room will fill up soon. I don't want anybody to see my swollen face. There is a lot of heat in my body.
I drive down canyon, stop to check out a landscape design job (my other hat,) and then walk the dog in the adjacent park. I'm having a little trouble with wheezing breath. I get in the creek with the dog, submerge my feet and hands up past my wrists. Once downtown I remember I must pick up a check for the last landscape job. Then, no question, I must deposit it, stop the hemorrhaging. Then I go to the store to by some medicine. The clerk has to help me, I can't concentrate, forgot my reading glasses, can't see the print.
It took only a half hour for the medicine to kick in. Wow! I don't ever take anything but Bayer aspirin. I felt loopy as hell.
Later, I have a conversation with a yogini friend. After explaining my symptoms, and then where I got stung, she offers up the meridians of Chinese medicine. The middle finger goes to all the lymph nodes (crooks), and direct relationship to the heart. Yogini says that the point I was stung is  the explanation for the adverse affect. All last week, and especially yesterday, my peri-menopause bestowed on me the sort of heart palpitations you can feel in your throat like running from real danger. Well, it doesn't seem to be bothering me today...
All evening, looking at my swollen finger, feeling how hot it is, all I can do is wonder at the mighty power of one small bee...

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