What do yellow jacket stings have to do with politics, HRC, Obama, Imus, etc.?

Not a darn thing, but I was severely stung by them on Friday and I feel compelled to relay the experience to anyone that can hear me. Every once in a while, there is something that happens in life that is more important than politics and the Election.

Passing on this information that could save a life . . . yours, or someone you know OR LOVE.

Now that I’ve got your attention, here goes . . .

Friday evening I was stung twice by yellow jackets and suffered a very severe reaction. The paramedics had to called. Luckily someone was with me when this happened because I was incapable of calling 911 myself. When I collapsed , I thought it was “curtains” for a time there.

One way I have been coping with the enormity of this was thinking about those old Columbo TV shows (Agatha Christie novels or Poirot mystery stories) where people meet their demise in odd ways. You see the bee enter the room and you already know someone’s going to be a goner.

There is nothing funny about yellow jacket stings. According to info on the Web, 100 people will die from insect stings this year and you only need to stung once to suffer ill effects! Each sting should be taken seriously. That doesn’t mean panicking every time. It does mean, staying calm and knowing how to respond to the situation.

People need to know how serious bee/yellow jacket stings can be. Once a person has been stung these critters have a tendency to sting you again . I can attest to that, having been stung 10 or 12 times over the years. Each time my reaction to the stings has become more severe.

BTW, bees and yellow jackets are not the same. Bees will generally not attack first. Also, the earth is losing its bee population and that’s important to know because without bees growing food becomes tenuous. We need helpful bees to pollinate our crops etc.

Ten days ago I stung one evening. I thought it was a fluke, but when I was attacked, again, on Friday night I knew something was dreadfully wrong.

Turns out there was a nest of the suckers in my back yard, and as I found out these guys are very aggressive . . . and aggressive just for the hell of it. They will attack for no reason. Apparently, I was too near their nest. BTW, yellow jackets make their nests in the ground near tree roots, which I didn’t know until the exterminator told me . They can also build their nests in lawns, under pine straw, in the ground etc.

Stings can be deadly if people don’t know how to react after being stung. For starters, many people get stung and never suffer any consequences, but for those who do, its important to remember to call 911 if there is any indication of a bad reaction. Don’t even consider driving to the hospital there may not be enough time. This cannot be emphasized enough.

From the time I was stung until the first wave of dizziness, nausea, loss of control of my body functions (yes loss of bodily functions, I won’t go into detail) was probably less than 5 or 6 minutes. I completely collapsed. Some people go into shock, suffer rapid pulse, and cannot breathe. The paramedics were great. When 911 knew they were responding to a bee sting and my condition, they were here FAST!

The reason I’m going into such detail is because I feel like this is an urgent message I have get out to other people and quickly. It’s like the Universe is telling me to, “move on this pronto! Somebody out there needs to know this.” And, so I am.

It bears repeating, if stung, get ice on the affected area right away to try to control the swelling, put Caladryl or other antiseptic on the sting. It wouldn’t hurt to have Benadryl in the house or liquid dye-free allergy medication in the house at all times. This can be purchased at CVS etc. and is faster acting than the pills. Both are antihistamines that will help with the after effects of the sting . . . burning, itching, etc.

If the person stung starts to get hives or begins to have difficulty breathing, stay calm, and call 911.


There’s PS on this. Swelling, itching, etc. can get really bad for some people. Soaking the affected area (s) in Epsom salts will help. It may require a visit to your physician who may prescribe steroids and other meds to help make your life bearable.

Because my reaction was so severe, I will need to keep an EpiPen with me at all times when there is a chance of being stung . . . like all summer! The EpiPen is a pre-measured shot of epinephrine that is used to prevent a person from going into anaphylactic shock. You need a prescription from a doctor to get an EpiPen.

If you want to read more about yellow jackets, there’s a terrific article by the Ohio State University here. The article contains additional information that you should find to be very helpful.



Filed under 2008 Election, Barack Obama, business, cable networks, Congress, Culture, HEALTH, Hillary Clinton, Imus, LIFE, political party, politics, RANDOM, Uncategorized


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  2. Linda

    OH MY GOODNESS ! Sandra ! What a scare !
    … I’m glad you’re still *with us* .. and carry that epi pen wherever you go. I got stung INSIDE my friend Marilyns house ! I sat on the couch .. and there must have been one in the room. It got me on the palm of my hand … and it wasn’t until later that evening that I felt something was not quite right. I couldn’t bend my fingers …. so I looked down .. and my entire hand was swollen !!.. I ended up on a heavy duty dose of steroids and some antibiotics.
    I do love honey.. and we do need those bees to pollinate… but, oh… that sting hurts.

  3. Ann-Marie

    Thank you for your wonderful article… just got stung under my arm by one of those yellow jacket bastard this morning. Pardon my lauguage but it hurts like hell… It really does!! Its swollen but im not having any reaction to it… all the same im still in a lot of pain and its been 8 hours already

  4. sportsone234


    Sounds like that’s a nasty place to get stung. If you’re not doing this already, continue to ice to get the the swelling down.

    Don’t worry about your language, I’ve sworn at those black & yellow suckers more than once since this has happened.

  5. roni

    i was clearing out a bush in the eveing & did not see the little buggers as one or more stung me 4 times. i ran & they chased me.Not more than 10 minutes i started feeling ill. i was nautuous (?), heart was racing, red faced and they hurt. my sister in law who has her batchelors in nursing had me go to emergency. when i got there, felt TERRIBLE, weak, sick, dizzy. my heart rate was around mid 40’s. i now too have to carry a epipen with me & will have one in my car as well. i am in my late mid 40’s and last check up I was in excellent health, so it can happen to all. Then to read up on it finding death occurs from falling heart rate… i will now really pay attention to the symptoms and get to the nearest physicain, or emergency office.

  6. sportsone234


    Thank you for your comment.

    Since this happened to me in July, my greatest fear has been that someone I could have helped with this message about yellow jackets, will have died because the message didn’t get out to them.
    The thought of reading about a yellow jacket incident in with this happened would have been too much for me, hence my desire to get the word out . . . don’t mess with these critters and know what to do if stung!

    I have been a dancer/athlete most of my life, a person in good physical shape, etc. My heart rate dropped radically, as well. It was a bit like falling from ten floors to the basement in 5 seconds
    . . . very scary.

    All I can ask is that you forward this message on to anyone you know who might benefit. Take care!

  7. Michael Murphy

    Ann-Marie, Thanks for putting this on the radar for the average person. I share your hyper-sensitivity and have had two immediate and severe reactions [pulseless within four minutes]. We’re into September now, so the yellowjackets are at their peak population; they are also very agressive now. I think there is some benefit to beating this drum a bit. Many people who have had stings in the past feel safe. What they don’t realize is that a sensitivity may develop where there was not one before [as in my case]. And lastly, I would like to see Epi Pens more widely available. Can be a real life saver. MM

  8. robyn

    I was stung 24 times just three days ago. It hurt soooo bad, intensely for about 9 hours, but the following day was just terrible itching. Does this mean that the next time I am stung by yellow jackets I might have a severe reaction???? Someone please answer. My doctor said nothing that addressed this but friends have been telling me this is a definate possibility.

  9. sportsone234


    I’m no doctor, I can only relate my experiences and inform people of what I have read since I was stung.

    Candidly, I don’t think a lot of doctors take this seriously, which is too bad. I’m not sure they know much more than we do unless they are specialists in alergy prevention.

    If I were you, I’d make sure I had an EpiPen and I would see an allergist . Michael mentioned rapidly he reacted to being stung and how fast he went down hill.

    Being stung 24 times is a lot!!!! It only takes one or two stings to be deadly . . . sorry that’s the truth. An ounce of prevention, in this case follow-up medical screening might not be a bad idea.

    As always, be calm . . . its your body. Do what your instincts tell you!

  10. Sarah

    Robyn, I was stung 12-15 times five days ago while working on our property in Canada with my husband. We were caught off-guard when the wagon we were pulling became wedged on an incline and up against a dead tree on the ground. I kicked the wagon at first to dislodge it and when that did not work I knelt down to free it. I was stung on the hand, jumped up and quickly had them tangled in my long hair. Still not realizing the situation I fought to get the “bug” out of my hair when my husband who was standing a few feet from me shouted that he had been stung and we needed to run for our vehicle parked five minutes away. My husband is allergic and his main medicine pack was left at the nest due to the rush to flee the area. Inside the truck I did have an extra epi pen and Benadryl but not the inhaler that we also keep for him. He was stung twice and we were an hour away from the nearest hospital. Long story short, we were able to handle his stings with the pen and Benadryl and fortunately I did not react too adversley other than PAIN and swelling. Most of the stings were in my hair (several became entwined in my hair), neck and hands. I had on a long sleeve sweatshirt which probably saved my life. I did call my doctor on Monday and explained the situation to him. I now also carry an Epi pen just in case I react in the future. Each sting can create a different reaction especially after numerous stings such as I had and you had. Good luck!

  11. Jodi

    Tonight I was married at Topsail Beach in Santa Rosa, Florida, and about 7:30 was stung by a yellow jacket. Late into the night my upper inside arm was still in a lot of stinging pain with jabbing pains. I started using ice, but upon removing and warming over the severe stinging pain would return. I tried vinegar to no avail. I’m on my honeymoon and 9 hours away from home, so with little choices for treatment. Needless to say, the severe, ongoing pain has ruined my honeymoon night. I ended up sleeping on the couch so I wouldn’t bother my husband with the rattling ice back I was using. That’s the only way I’ve been able to get any sleep since the pain is still severe as I type this, and it’s been 10 hours now since the sting. Never being stung by a yellow jacket, I never realized how painful and notorious these creatures can bee (be) lol. Hope you all are now well. Live long and happy! Blessings!!! Jodi

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