Friday, July 13, 2012

The Girl Who Pissed Off The Hornet's Nest

I used to be an adventurer like you, but then I took a stinger to the knee.

Yesterday was a work-in-the-yard day.  I figured it would keep me busy with totally monotonous tasks, so as to avoid busting out another self-pity "miss him" day.

I weeded the garden and sprayed "keep the bunnies out" liquid fencing.  I pulled the grass out from between all the concrete in the driveway.  I swept.  I even cut down all the tall weeds in the lawn (mowing when it's this dry would just be a dust storm - so I used a hedge trimmer).  And then I turned my attention to the decorative box around the tree in the front yard.

It's just a wooden retaining wall in a square around the tree - it's filled with a very hardy type of lilies, and with the dry heat we've had lately, the lilies needed a little TLC.  So I decided to take a few moments and pull out all the dead growth.

I worked my way around pretty quickly, starting to get that glow of pride you feel in the back of your head when you accomplish a good amount of work in a day.  And then a different, sudden, pulsing and agonizing glow started screaming out of my knee.  My reaction in four steps?

Step 1.  Look down to see angry hornet burrowing his ass into the side of my leg, screaming "tonight, we dine in hell!" in his tiny hornet-sized voice.

Step 2.  Scream shrilly at the pain, as if I was a bratty 3 year old who was just told she couldn't pick out the candy bar she was promised in the checkout line of a grocery store. (seriously, click the link and picture me doing that, because IT HAPPENED).

that pile's totally still sitting in the yard.

Step 3.  Throw the pile of dead lilly leaves I was holding to the ground as if I had just scored the winning touchdown with it.

Step 4. (Simultaneous to step 3) Dance a jig which, out of context, probably looked like a manic potty dance (see 3 year old analogy from above), then run inside flailing arms frantically/ clawing at my knee (NSFW, and not actually relevant until 1:05).

So that was fun.  I've never been stung by a hornet before.  Bees, yes*.  Hornets, not so much.  I'm happy, at least, to report that I didn't inherit my mother's horrible allergy to stings in this case either.  But that little jerk got me right in the knee joint.  It's already morphed from a little red dot to a big purple bruise.  It hurts every time I take a step.  The frozen bag of corn in the freezer has become my best friend.

So readers, here's the participation part.  Do you know a good remedy for sting pain OR
 a good way to KILL THE CRAP out of a hornet nest without 
poisoning anything else, while keeping me from getting stung?

Because if so, now would due a super awesome time to make a comment.

EDIT:  I actually wrote this post yesterday night.  I will spare you the pictures [gross], but it would appear I am at least a little bit allergic to hornets - my knee is now a nice shade of purplish-red, and fairly puffy/ sore.  *shrug* live and learn I guess.

*When I was a teen, I was finishing up a shift at the Zoo (I helped run the petting zoo portion).  Sitting at a bench in front of the concession stand waiting for a ride, I lifted a foot and accidentally kicked something.  Something turned out to be a bee-hive.  I got stung 3 times in as many seconds.

It was my first time being stung by anything ever, and since I knew my mother was allergic to bee stings, I naturally assumed I was mere seconds from death.   Thus, I started hysterically crying and running around (because accelerating your heart rate is clearly a good reaction when you may be allergic to the poison now flowing in your veins).  

The old lady volunteering at the concession stand turned out to be an amazing woman, who was kind enough to both get me a big bag of ice for the stings, and slap me (truly she did, but gently) a few times to get my attention and inform me that if I was really allergic, I would already be dead 30 seconds into my tirade, so I might as well sit down, calm down, and wait for my mum.

Mad props to that lady, wherever she is now.  Good Story.  And then I found five dollars.


Jamie said...

I'm still recommending benedryl, especially since you had a bit of a reaction. And perhaps advil for the swelling and pain? Otherwise, ice and time are pretty much your best bets. And screaming like a toddler.

Danielle said...

I do the baking soda mixed with water to form a paste. Otherwise...screaming works wonders. And ice. LOTS of ice.

For the nest, they make spray. Cover yourself with a sheet and cut two holes, spray the nest then run like the dickens.

Not sure if the sheet will protect you but I bet your neighbors would find it hilarous.

Stephie said...

I agree with Danielle, the baking soda paste is awesome!!

Kp said...

Went with all above suggestions y'all, thank you! I also may have become comatose on the couch for a few hours this afternoon (what up benedryl), but my knee doesn't look (or feel) like I met Tanya Harding in a back alley anymore, so I'd say worth it. I'll deal with the hive after the weekend.

Queen Holly the Magnificent said...

Oh ouch. My first time getting stung by a wasps was when I was trying to bury my favorite rabbit. Yep, I dug right into a nest. It was not fun. There was screaming.