View of Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Stung by a wasp, and dog sitting!

Kind of a messed up day yesterday.

Started off down at the lower wood shed getting some campers a load of firewood. All of a sudden I heard a loud buzzing near my right ear and then that severe burning pain when you know you've been bitten by a wasp. I never did see whatever it was that bit me.

I've had reactions to these kinds of stings before, so I dropped everything and rushed up to our cabin where we have a bite kit. It's a little suction device that is designed to suck the venom out of the area where you got stung but you have to use it just as soon as possible for it to be effective. Like within minutes...or less.

Well I was pretty quick. I figure it was no more than 3 minutes. But not quick enough to get it all.

The first area to start to swell was my left forearm in exactly the same spot where I was stung three years ago! Strange, isn't it?? I mean, I was bitten on the right side of my face just below my temple, and my left forearm swells up. But, it wasn't long and my whole body was breaking out in hives.

Of course the thing you have to watch for is breathing. Some people end up with breathing difficulties as a result of a severe reaction to bee stings. I'm not to that stage yet and didn't experience any problems like that. But, I did have some light headed moments and the hives were annoying and itchy. The girl who runs the restaurant was going into town and she brought me back some Benedryl. It seemed to help, and by this morning the hives are pretty much gone.

But yesterday afternoon another problem arose.

Our 100 lb problem!

One of the campers came and told us about a stray dog taking himself for a walk through the campground. Next thing you know, here comes another camper with the dog. He's wearing a choke chain collar...and he's huge! But friendly as can be. 

We think he's part German Shepherd and part Great Dane. We nicknamed him "Moose".

So I wasted a bunch of time driving down the lakeshore road and checking with a few of the local farmers but nobody recognized him. Tried tying him up outside, but he likes people and started whining. A big dog puts out a loud whine! So we tried bringing him in to our house and he settled right down.

Part dog, part horse?!

Slept in the house with us last night. Not a problem really but he was awake and wanting out a bit early. But that's it...gotta get rid of him today. I missed my trip in to town yesterday with this bee sting problem, so I guess I'll go in this morning and drop him off at the SPCA. 

Busy weekend coming up. It's a long weekend here in Canada and the campers have started showing up already. Lots of activities going on at the park including a fireworks show, so we'll have lots to share over the next couple of days.


  1. I have only had one systemic reaction...swelling, itching, and hard to breath. I feel your discomfort!

    Poor pup. He sure is a sweetie...AND big! Hope he if des his owner. Hope his owner didn't loose him on purpose!

    I like fireworks...can't wait!

  2. With all the traveling you do maybe you should get an EpiPen® (epinephrine) . You would probably need a prescription. I know with my son's bee allergy it got worse each time he was stung.

  3. That sucks about the wasp bite, hope you are better.
    Poor doggy, I hope he gets reunited. He looks like quite a gentle dog.
    Good luck with the long weekend, maybe you will get lucky and the weather won't co operate :)
    Not like you make commission by the number of campers (hehe).

    I agree about the EpiPen note mentioned above, definitely worth looking into.

  4. Oh bummer about the sting. I hate stings. I swell up instantly although ice helps and wherever I get stung is sore for days. But I don't have anything severe, yet. I too have heard that they get worse with numbers. Wood piles were notorious at the farm for wasps and snakes. Are you sure you dont' want another member of the family? He sure looks friendly. Guess he wouldn't do so well in Africa though huh?

  5. Put some benadryl in your bite kit along with the epi pen. The epi pen is prescription so you will have to see a Dr. The next bite may be anaphylaxis, and you wont have time to run get either of these.

  6. I can't believe you didn't have something handy for a possible wasp sting especially if you know that you react. With each sting you will react more and more. Kevin please travel with an antihistamine and/or EpiPen. In this case if your throat had started to swell shut it would have been too late by the time you drove into town. Do they even have a hospital or medical clinic there?

    Nurse Contessa had ended her rant.

  7. Egads. So glad you had a kit to at least take care of part of the bite. I am not allergic to bits. Can't image how dangerous they can be.

  8. Okay so here goes Nurse Ratchett! You MUST have epinephrine at the ready ALL the time. It's not just that the reaction can get worse with each exposure, it's that the reaction can jump from a skin reaction like hives to anaphylactic shock without passing through all the stages. And, nobody can tell you WHEN that might occur. Running to the house to get a suction contraption has hardly any, or no, benefit because the act of increasing your circulation in movement (running, walking, etc.) has your immune system in an uproar in seconds. And, if your immune response is anaphylactic shock, there's a maximum of 4 minutes to save your life (and you won't even be able to participate in that)!!! I have seen anaphylactic shock in surgery patients and even with a whole team of professionals it can be nip and tuck. Don't wait - get a kit immediately. End of diatribe, Kevin. I have a friend whose 16 year old daughter died while visiting a friend's house when she reacted to a food product - even though the friend's mother was aware of her food allergies.

  9. Well, you survived, that's a good thing. I wonder if you build immunities with each sting. Now go find a beehive!

    Maybe the SPCA will find the dog's owner.

  10. OK - Paramedic Pete will now add his STRONG admonition to the good advice of Kristine, Contessa, and Mary-Pat: If you know you have systemic reactions to things, you MUST have something on hand to deal with it...going into town for Benadryl don't cut it; by the time you receive it, the party's over - either you've lived, or you've died. Have an epi-pen on you at all times - preferalbly two, because a severe reaction can outlast the first one, and still kill you - and know how to use it; ALSO have Benadryl handy - both are useful. Before they took Primatene Mist inhalers off the market, I encouraged people to carry one around, since they were epinephrine in an instantaneously handy form. Anaphylaxis is no joke, Kevin. In case it's not clear from other posts, what kills is swelling of the airway. Once a severe reaction has occurred, without intervention in the first couple of minutes (or even ONE minute - it can happen that fast!), it is difficult to even place an endotracheal tube, and a tracheotomy would be the only thing that would save you. (An easier alternative is a crichothyrotomy, but somebody near you has to know how to do it!). Getting a paramedic out to Moose Breath, Saskatchewan, or driving 50 miles to the nearest doctor won't do you a damn bit of good.

    Paramedic Pete rant concluded.

  11. Those wasp stings are tough! Anneke had three stings at once when you opened a power box at Tom Sayer Campground in West Memphis-that made for a long night.

    If you do not get rid of moose quick, he might become a permanent resident:)

  12. Okay - I think you've been told enough that you have to have one of the epi-pen thingies. I have to agree with them 100%. Do not take any chances. Feel bad for the pup but hopefully he's microchipped and they can find his owner.

  13. I hate wasp stings. They make me swell up like the Michelin Man. Did I say I hate wasp stings?

  14. I got an email which advised to tape a penny to a Wasp Sting immediately and it will not swell nor will you need medication. As it happen my Grand daughter got a sting so I applied the penny and within 10 minutes she forgot about the sting. Then while cutting the lawn I got stung and I applied the penny and within minutes the sting was gone. I know it sounds like "Snake Oil " but it works for me.

  15. @ Tommy: Your last name isn't 'Copper', is it?


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