September 28, 2009

Bee Sting Folkways That Don't Work On #10 Pain

(flickr photo - yellow jacket stinger)
Mention bee stings and everybody knows of a magical cure! Those who have never been stung by a bee will smirk slightly when you say that on a scale of 1-10, it hurts a number 10!

Today, I know from personal experience that pain is what the patient says it is, and that 99 out of 100 treatments for bee stings don't work for me! (See here for 100 cures for a bee sting ((after you finish reading this))

Yesterday while standing outside talking to a friend, a hot little bee got trapped between the fingers of my left hand, and he stung me with every drop of his bursting bladder-full of poisonous, pain-on-a-scale-of-10, yellow jacket venom!

My friend immediately made me a cold plaster of baking soda. This is touted as treatment #1 in most books, but except for a brief moment of cool relief, that mendacious 'cure' was discarded and replaced with treatment number two - an ice cube and an old 1978 penny.

Hubby examined the 'hole' for evidence of the stinger with his newspaper magnifying glass, but the yellow jacket had selfishly kept that for the next innocent long-winded outdoor talker.

The penny was too heavy and wasn't helping my mood at all, so I grabbed an egg from the refrigerator and broke it over my hand. (Treatment number three on the web is egg white.)

For a heart-stopping instant, I thought the cold egg white might be bringing the pain down to a 9.99, but that was only my imagination. I was grunting with every breath. Hubby was hovering too close, and nothing could distract me from the pain. I told hubby between clinched teeth that I was really glad a child had not been stung by that bee. No wonder they cry and cry.

About then, the friend whom I'd been visiting called to check on me. She is also a nurse, so I informed her that the pain was a 10 on a scale of 10. She believed me because she also knows the nursing rule that says "pain is what the patient says it is". (I'm sorry to say, we often don't believe our patient if it doesn't look like it should be that high.)

After that I tried everything I had in the house while vowing to stock the first-aid kit with everything else I didn't have in the house for bee stings.

I crushed an Advil and made a paste. Then hubby cut open a gel-Advil and added that to the mushy mess. When that didn't help, I washed all that off and scraped an onion onto my hand and topped that with molasses syrup. (Honey is another suggestion.)

After getting sticky syrup all over my blouse and the arm of the chair, and still puffing in pain, I got rid of the eye-watering odorous mixture and applied a simple wet tea bag. (At least that smelled better!)

I thought the tea bag might be easing the throbbing up-to-my-elbow pain for a few minutes, but a little test movement of my fingers starting the knife-jabbing, needle piercing, hot prickles of pain up and down my arm again, so I tossed the tea bag.

(No. I'm not allergic to bees.)

Soaking my entire arm in a pot of warm salt water distracted me, but didn't change anything.

Soon I was hammering away at some Tylenol PM pill on the bathroom counter. I dribbled that liquid over my hand and went to the computer to search for additional remedies (and distraction.)

By now, it had been three hours since the 'shot' of venom. The kitchen counters were littered with fixings of first-aid measures, and the bathroom counter had various colored pills scattered in with all my earrings. Oh yes, I tried to dissolve pure aspirin before attacking the Tylenol. (I didn't know I had so many drugs in the house!)

Then I sat down in the living room and started surfing TV channels.

"Maybe there's something on to distract me," I mentioned to hubby who had been watching his favorite history program.

They say bees are mean.

I say, "bees make one mean!"

Well, by bedtime and two pain-pills-in-my-tummy later, the hootin' and hollarin' was less. Maybe I could call the pain a 6 out of 10.

Right then and there, I reaffirmed my pledge to honor any patient's complaint who says his or her pain is a 10 when it looks like he should be only a 2 or 3.

For those who might ask, my hand is almost back to normal today. Perhaps all those folkways didn't relieve the pain, but it did something to dissolve the poison and promote healing.

Take Care on the Journey,
And respect those pesky bees


September 18, 2009

Linda's Family Vacation at Westgate in Gatlinburg, TN

We happened on two of these in the Smokey Mountain National Forest.
(stock photo)

For those who are checking, all family members have arrived safely to their respective homes after our 'first' family reunion at Westgate Resorts in Gatlinburg, TN. (Westgate was a fabulous place to get together. More about Westgate in my next article.)

To tell the truth, my sister, Sandy, and I have never felt like we were really an intimate part of any family reunion we attended. We attended Brantley family get-togethers, but got left off the kinship list when our dad died. We enjoyed Mascunana family traditions as small children, but after our grandparents (Grandpa Mascunana) died, we weren't included anymore. I'm not an active part of the Cash family reunions since the divorce (although politely invited), and I don't know any of the Meikle's at the Meikle family picnics. We received invitations to our mom's family get-together back in August, but schedules prevented us attending - and we heard nothing more.

So, for the first time ever, Sandy and I made up our own little family list and formed a small reunion that included our three children and their wives or significant others. (No grandkids yet.) There were 10 of us who showed up from all points of the US. From Tampa, FL to Portland, OR, to Columbia, SC to near Orlando, FL, and from Columbus, OH, we arrived by car and by plane bringing big smiles and warm hugs and kisses.

We are as diverse and contrasted as any family - if not more! But we communicated, connected and discovered each other as we collaborated, coordinated, and had fun in the shadows of the great Smokey Mountains Sept. 12-17, 2009.

I'm writing a comprehensive diary of our few magnificent days that I hold very dear to my heart! I'll post the memories we want to remember along with unforgettable pictures soon.

This morning as I started jotting down things we did together every day, I suddenly couldn't remember what we did on Monday! How soon we will forget the tender moments including all my birthday gifts and who gave me what; little things like Colleen's first bee sting; tall things like Bobby's goofy stories told while sitting around the flickering table lamp on the back porch; Sandy's constant flow of daily photographs and videos; Coffee at Starbucks with Billy and Colleen; Alison describing her new house and showing the photos on her cell phone; Craig walking all the way to the waterfall with his bad knee; the strange little shell Billy found on the nature hike and gave to Jim; Shelley quietly working on school work in the midst of a noisy cabin; Philip telling tales of his classroom; and the unusual friendship that developed between our dogs, Star and Sheba!

And for those fortunate enough to have seen them, who will ever forget the two wolves we chanced upon in the Smokey Mountains National Forest? Their eyes glowed in the headlights, and one lifted his head as we slowed down, and I turned the car cross ways in the highway to get a good view! It happened so quickly, we didn't get any pictures. But, it was an encounter of a lifetime!

All these are memories and more that I want to hold dear to my heart forever.

Thanks to each of you, Billy & Colleen, Philip & Shelley, Sandy & Craig, Bob & Alison, and my loving hubby, James, for sharing a few special moments in time together.

Take Care on the Journey,


September 10, 2009

New Posting At My Bohecker College Blog

No one gets an e-mail notice when I post on my Bohecker LPN to RN blog, so here's a link where I just posted an update on school.

Take Care on the Journey,


Sunday Paper 9-13-09 Stuffed With Coupons

(As posted on my coupon blog .)

I love living near the city, but being able to enjoy a bit of nature outside our door. Today the birds are calling in the trees near my window, and one came close to whisper in my ear that this coming Sunday would be a great newspaper coupon day.

There will be two Smart Source booklets, two Red Plum and one Better At Home. (I don't recall seeing that one before.) She gave me a little peek inside, and I saw more coupons than even a pro like me could imagine. Everything but coupons for Irish Spring for my friend, Edith! (Maybe I didn't look carefully enough, so I'll check again.)

There are coupons for all my favorite things like frozen veges, pet food, shampoos, cleaning supplies, and more! The USA Weekend that is also included in the Sunday paper has a nice little article on where to get the best up-to-date coupons with good online coupon links to check out.

The USA Weekend article called getting stuff for free "almost an extreme sport". In the SaveSmart story titled "Make the Most of Coupons", it lists several good coupon websites to check out. They are: , , and .

Having shared all that, the little birdie flew on to her Tennessee destination where she plans to soak up some last minute summer sun, play in the warm soaking spas, check out some mountain water falls, enjoy a small family reunion, and pick up some fall sunflower seeds to enjoy during the long, cold winter months in central Ohio.

Take Care on the Journey,


September 6, 2009

No Coupons in Sunday Paper, But Good Deals Abound!

I've posted Good Deals and Free Meals over at my coupon blog. Click HERE for the posting.

Hope everyone is sleeping in and enjoying the little holiday!

Love, Linda