Bee Allergies

Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
105
Location
SE MI
After 31 years the bees (hornet) almost got me. Never really knew how allergic I am to a sting. Sunday morning was out doing yard work and was stung. Did the usual attempt to remove stinger, wash it off, and take a couple of Benadryl. Something different this time though, my feet were very itchy. I had my wife call her mother (a retired nurse) she said get in the car go see a doctor. With in two blocks of my house broke out in hives all over my body. I started to freak out, as we got closer to the hospital, thankfully only 3 miles away, than, I could feel my face start to swell. Got to the ER and they rushed me though to a doctor. An epi shot, steroids and histamine blockers later, it started to fade. Four hours later they released me with a script for epipen and steroids. Thankfully, I was at home and not on a trip in the middle of nowhere. Three days later and most my arm is swollen, and very red.

Starting to rethink and organize my first aid kits. For those that have sting allergies how do you carry your epipen? Do you worry about breakage? Can it get wet? Where do you carry it?

On side note to anyone that thinks they may have an allergy, GO SEE A DOCTOR. I wish I had.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
My stars! That sounds like it was close! I'm glad your feeling some better. How does it work, will any hornet sting be as bad in the future? Can anything be done or is this a fact of life from now on?

I can't remember Roadends; do you do mainly solo or are you with a buddy? Wow, a whole lot of new things to consider, and I was worried about bears, those darn bugs are a lot harder to see!

Sure sorry that happened, and take care of yourself,
Rob
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
105
Location
SE MI
How does it work, will any hornet sting be as bad in the future? Can anything be done or is this a fact of life from now on?

I have a appt to see my doctor tomorrow to ask a bunch of questions. From talking with others it sounds like something I will have to be aware of for life.

do you mainly solo or are you with a buddy? Wow, a whole lot of new things to consider, and I was worried about bears, those darn bugs are a lot harder to see!
Rob

I mostly solo. Something to consider for trips in the future. I was explaining to my wife, I mostly trip in the shoulder seasons, so less chance of stings.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Roadends,

I have an anaphylactic reaction to aspirin. Very scary stuff. It sounds like you are on the verge of the same reaction to bee venom. My wife is allergic to bees also. Epipens are quite rugged and do not require refrigeration. Just keep them in a waterproof container (even a vacuum sealed bag would work) and keep them on your person at ALL times. Make sure you can easily open whatever you type case you put them in. Easily is the key word. When you are excited or after starting to feel the effects of a reaction is not the time to have to look for a knife or tool to help you get to your pens. I would use a waist pack and put them in with my other essentials or at least in my PFD. The pens are easy to use; just use the alcohol wipe, pull off two caps, press the pen to your thigh or shoulder, and press the button with your thumb. Explain to your Dr. that you take trips into the wilderness. Make sure that he writes a script for two or three pens because if you have a severe reaction and you treat it with Epi, your symptoms can return in 20 minutes or so as the epinephrine wears off. If you have extra pens you can inject yourself again while waiting for melt in your mouth antihistamine tablets to take effect. These are better than pills you have to swallow as they go directly into your bloodstream and you don't have to try and swallow if your tongue is swelling.
Don't let this condition worry you to the point of not wanting to get out into the wilds. Just be prepared with the meds and the knowledge of how to use them in advance. Draw a flow chart on a waterproofed index card to keep with the pens as a reminder if things get exciting or if someone else had to use them on you if you are somehow unable. Again, share with your doctor what it is you like to do and that immediate medical help is not an option. Ask him to explain exactly how you should treat yourself if you are stung.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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6,389
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Raymond, ME
Do you have a PLB or SPOT? I highly recommend one.

Also discuss with your MD the importance of hydration in prevention of allergic reactions. Learn about the production of histamine in a dehydrated body.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2013
Messages
334
Location
Eastern NC
My experience. I'm allergic to yellow jackets, hornets, wasps. Twice my stings went systemic, welts and hives over my body. Hospital admitted once and it took two epi shots to get me back to normal.

Epi-pens are now prescribed for me. I get a prescription for 4-6 as I am outside in several different outdoor activities. I keep a pen or 2 in my gear for each activity, that way it is always along.

For boating I keep my 2 pens in a clear hard waterproof case where my other first aid is stored. The case has webbing and is attached to a nearby thwart.

If stung I'll take 2-3 Benadryl immediately and save the epi for further complications. I've bee stung perhaps 4 times since my hospital episode. It went systemic on me once after I engaged in further physical activity, which probably helped the venom move beyond being just a local sting.

So...these days if stung, I take the Benadryl, cease/limit physical activity, calmly begin to move in the direction of medical attention, and keep the Epi-pens handy.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
105
Location
SE MI
Thanks everyone for the advise and suggestions.


I keep a pen or 2 in my gear for each activity, that way it is always along.

If stung I'll take 2-3 Benadryl immediately and save the epi for further complications.

So...these days if stung, I take the Benadryl, cease/limit physical activity, calmly begin to move in the direction of medical attention, and keep the Epi-pens handy.

This is pretty much what the Doc had to say. No need to stop doing what I love, just be a little prepared and aware.

I will begin to refresh and update my first aid kits, as well as my ditch kit. I will also make an everyday carry kit with all the allergy stuff as doc said to keep epi's out of the heat and sun of a car.

Kaine
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2013
Messages
334
Location
Eastern NC
To avoid heat issues with the Epi-pens, I keep my hard case of 1st aid and epi-pens inside at the door leading to the garage. So it is always at room temp, until I depart for a trip.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I have never experience a single bee biting me, but after hearing your story seems you had a very bad times
 
G

Guest

Guest
My first bee sting was in the early '90s. The second one - the one by which I discovered the allergy - was in August of 2000, when a bumblebee got caught between the side of my glasses and my temple while I was coming down a hill at about 25 mph on my bike. Suddenly it REALLY HURT! I stopped and checked in my mirror but the bee was gone (I spotted it just before impact). Ten minutes later, as I was feeling numb and increasingly woozy, I got to a gas station, leaned my bike against the wall, went in and told the clerk to call the EMTs because I'd been stung by a bee. Next thing I knew I was on my back on the floor and a couple of guys in yellow bibs were hovering over me. Luckily my airway didn't close up. Not so luckily that the sting was in a highly vascular area.

During the warmer months, I usually carry an Epi-pen, but I always carry Benadryl. The Epi-pen is needed in case the anaphylactic reaction affects the heart (as I understand it). It may help folks to know that 50 mg (two tablets) of benadryl is considered the overdose level. Take that much and you will feel drowsy.

Now a question: Are you folks who have bee/wasp allergies also sensitive to other insect bites? I find that some mosquito bites continue to itch for a week or more, even if I don't touch them. And black flies ... talk about a biblical curse!

The PS to my bee sting story is that two weeks earlier I had my gall bladder out, and two weeks later I was in a minor motorcycle accident. All that made my rather recent girlfriend wonder if I was safe to hang out with. A year later we bought a house together. It turned out she wasn't the safe one, but that's another story.
 
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Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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3,459
When I take the high school kids on trips, I don't take anyone who suffers from anaphylaxis reactions. The most common ones we have are peanuts, fish and bees, all of which are prevalent on our trips. We have managed evacuation in the past in under 2 hours, but that was under ideal situations. An epi pen is only a temporary stop gap, and although some parents are willing to let their kids take the risk, I am not.

I am open to re-education though, as I have had to pass on some really fine kids due to their allergies.

As far as mosquitos and blackflies, I have minimal reactions to them. Mosquito bites disappear in minutes, black file last longer, but usually meausured in hours. No-see-ums torment the heck out of me. I get stung by hornets usually a dozen times a summer, think I'd rather deal with that then those pesky sand flies!
 
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