Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday Scribblings-Masks

Yesterday afternoon, I found myself surrounded by people in masks. Heaved unceremoniously from the ambulance stretcher to the hard emergency room gurney, doctors and nurses with little white masks dangling from around their necks quickly went to work to revive me from anaphylactic shock, an allergic reaction initiated by the stinging bite of one, tiny little red ant.

Fire ants, they call them here in Florida. And this isn't the first dangerous run in we've had with them. The victim the last time wasn't me, it was Magic, my then 2 year old shih-tzu. We were on our regular evening walk, when, as dogs will do, he stuck his nose into a mound of them. Suddenly, he started writhing around on the ground, rubbing his face on the cement. His face began swelling immediately, and then he started vomiting. We grabbed him up and raced him to the nearest emergecny vet where they dosed him with benadryl and cortisone.

I've been bitten a time or two since then, usually on my toes because when I'm in Florida I'm either barefooted or in sandals. These bites were itchy for a few days, but little more than a mosquito bite. Yesterday was a different story. Within seconds after feeling that sting on my toe, I was itching everywhere, and hives had broken out all over my legs, abdomen, and arms. Then I got nauseous, dizzy, and finally, just as the ambulance arrived, completely blacked out. And that's how I found myself surrounded by a sea of masked faces.

Apparently, there are at least 100 people a year who die from reactions to fire ant bites. I've been armed with an Epi-pen and advised to carry Benedryl at all times. Luckily, I'm fine, other than a little tired and headachy. Thanks to all those people with little white masks dangling from around their necks.

read my other Sunday Scribble here



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeeze Becca!
How terrifying! What a horrid and un-prepared for emergency.
I'm glad to hear it was all taken care of quickly and that you are ok.
And what a fabulous post on "masks"!
Sending healing vibes and hugs.
I would be so petrified to even walk around on the grass without BOOTS!!

Blogger Remiman said...

What a horrible experience!!!!!!!
Thank God you're alive and that ain't no joke.
Sometimes those mask are a welcome sight. ;-)

Blogger Star said...

I'm so glad you're alright and hope you'll heed their advice to be "armed" at all times when out and about.

Blogger ren.kat said...

Sometimes it still stuns me that the smallest of things, the most mundane bits of our lives, can kill us. Thank goodness we only get nasty warnings sometimes.

My son the other day asked me about biting ants. He'd seen something on television about fire ants. He said he'd never been bitten by an ant. That's when I know his childhood may be a wee bit protected. . . keep your medicine on you!

Blogger jzr said...

Oh, Becca, I'm glad you are okay!! I've heard about those little critters and hope you stear clear from now on!! A great post came out of this horror, though!!

Blogger paris parfait said...

Oh, Becca what an awful experience! So glad you're alright. Those fire ants are scary. And I must say if it had to happen, your experience was perfect timing with the masks prompt! :) xo

Blogger deirdre said...

What a frightening experience! I'm so glad you're okay - and well enough to write about it.

Anonymous bella said...

Oh man! I'm glad you're ok, Becca! I have an Aunt who had a similar reaction to a bee sting.. that's some scary business.
Keep yourself armed with that Benedryl. ((hugs))

Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Oh how awful! Glad you're feeling better.

Blogger Katie McKenna said...

Scary! I'm glad you are alright!

Blogger GreenishLady said...

I'm really glad you're ok. That must have been a horrible experience! We're so sheltered here - the odd bee or wasp is the worst we have (of course, to someone who is allergic, that's not a minor thing, either). If I'm ever in Florida, I'll know to watch out for those ants.

Blogger Tammy said...

I leave town and look what happens. Yikes Becca, you need to wear tennis shoes. I loved your "Spill" poem, especially because I can soooo relate. lol

Blogger Shaz said...

Oh Becca I know that feeling of waking up surrounded by nurses and doctors it is so scary. We in Australia have just discovered the introduction of those dangerous fire ants into our country they have travelled in and made it through our strict customs checks and are spreading. We have a little contol as they were detected early but they are awfuly dangerous especially for kids and well, everyone apparently. I hope you are feeling better and please be careful. My son has an epi pen for bees. Scary stuff...indeed

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The timeliness of your experience with masks is amazing. I didn't know that a reaction to a fire ant bite could be so severe. Be careful out there.

Blogger Linda said...


I'm so glad that you're okay! I know that had to be scary. You did a great job of turning it into a fabulous post! I guess it's true that everything that happens to us is fodder for our creativity. I'm glad this story had a happy ending!

Blogger Tori said...

I am so sorry to hear that this happened.
It is great that life was at least able to help with your Sunday Scribble :)
I hope that you are feeling much better now.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, scary! I am so glad you are feeling better. I'm always scared I'll discover I'm allergic to something that way...and it will be too late.

Stay safe...:)


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