Armen Chakmakjian

When the dog bites, when the bee stings…

In Random on August 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm

I wrote this email to family, friends and fellow church trustees yesterday to describe something that happened to me that afternoon. I hope you are amused…and this also should serve as a warning to my middle-aged contemporaries, that if it feels wrong, you’re not doing anyone any good in trying to tough it out.

So, today I fought an epic battle with a bee that got himself trapped between the tongue of my sneaker and my exposed ankle (due to low cut socks). He was small and vicious. I was able to vanquish my foe but he got in a few swipes before his demise and as you will see later, it turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory for me.

The initial swelling and pain were tolerable and it seemed that it was just a flesh wound. I was pretty upset at my opponent, and even though it lay lifeless on our basement floor, I walked over and stepped on it for good measure and used some colorful English metaphors to describe my true feelings.

Rubbing alcohol, ice and ibuprofen and were administered and things looked ok. A bit later we decided that ikea was a fine destination to distract me and we got going. While driving down 95, almost 2 hrs after Lucha Libre, my lower lip started to feel numb. This was only slightly disconcerting and I played with it the same way I try to wake up my face after Novocain from a dental visit. Then my throat started to feel funny, and then the right side of my chest. Just then, we happened to hit a traffic jam in newton right near the exit for rt. 16. I turned to Esther and said, “I don’t feel right, maybe I should have this checked out.” She noted that we were lucky that we were right near the hospital we normally go to, Newton Wellesley, and encouraged me to go to the emergency room.

I checked in, and when I explained what I was feeling, they put me pretty much ahead of the list including some kid who was in hand cuffs on a stretcher. Of course it was just at that point that my mother, who is visiting my sister in California, decides to call my wife’s cell phone. Mothers are psychic. My wife answered, and by a fortuitous cosmic intervention, the call got disconnected just as the nurse invited me to go to a room and before she would have to explain where we were.

I got taken to a room, they did a bunch of tests and discounted an anaphylactic reaction since it was separated by a couple of hours from my inter-species melee. The PA was a bit concerned, given the symptoms, that I might have had a cardiac incident so she ordered a whole bunch of tests including an EKG and a full set of bloodwork.

In the meantime, they gave me some Benadryl and this seemed to almost immediately lessen my symptoms. I stayed there for a while, and even took a nap while my wife updated family members about the bravery of her warrior. All the test came back great or unremarkable. My prescription is Benadryl for 3 days.

In the end, I’m fine and will be at church tomorrow as long as the Benadryl continues to be effective and it doesn’t make me too sleepy, which it has not yet. Anyway, I figure that I ought to come in and thank God for making this material for a funny story, instead of making it something more serious (especially in light of the more grave health crises that we’ve had with friends and family lately)

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  1. […] Just prior and subsequent to July 28th 2014, I seemed to be surrounded by friends and family having various health events, some of them bordering on the existential. Then 2 weeks ago it caught up with me, when I got stung by a bee and had my own scare, an event which I recounted in my previous post. […]

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