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Friday, August 06, 2004


The Encounter with The Yellow Jacket 2

::Was called away and did not get to finish my post. Anyway, to continue, spent a sleepless period after the sting. Was left wondering whether to self-medicate or go see the doctor in the local hospital Casualty Department. Decided just to take a couple of panadol for the pain. Antihistamines like piriton and benadryl are said to be helpful in reducing the itch and swelling but would also cause some drowsiness. By the morning, i had not suffered any systemic reaction but the right foot was puffed up like a mee koo [a bun made of flour] and i had some difficulty getting the foot into my usual shoe when getting ready to go to work.

During the day with all the walking, the swelling and the itch got worse, irritation set in and my work performance was affected. And my work does involve walking and being on my feet. The right foot throbbed and the itch and pain got worse, by the evening, the shoes had to come off and something had to be done for the itch. Rubbing some steroid cream seemed to help somehow. Luckily, i was able to have an early night and slept with the assistance of some more panadols. Slept with my right foot elevated and managed a fairly peaceful night.

The next morning, the swelling had gone down a lot and so too the itch and with that the grouchiness too. Walking about was easier and the right shoe fitted better. i hope my next encounter, if i am so unfortunate to again step on another of those nasties, will prove just equally troublesome as this time around or even better less of a bother. i am hopeful, as looking back the first encounter was worse than the present one. This being so probably owing to the stinger having been removed fast this time around.

Oh yes, remember me saying that the best method to remove the stinger is by scraping using a credit card or equivalent, well there is this article in the Lancet which disputes this and i quote::
The advice :: "The stinger should be removed with a scraping motion by using the rigid edge of a credit card or a dull butter knife. Never attempt to pull out the stinger using fingers or tweezers, since this will result in the injection of more venom."

An excellent study published in the Lancet, August 1996, turns this advice on its ear. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, and Pennsylvania State University tested what really happened by measuring the size of the weals raised on their own forearms by bee stings. After stings in the left arm, they left the stinger in for 0.5 seconds, 1, 2, 4, or 8 seconds and then scraped the stinger out with a credit card. On the right arm, the stinger was removed by pinching the stinger between the thumb and forefinger at the same time intervals. There was no difference in weal size between the different methods of extraction. The weals did get larger, though, with each second that the stinger remained.

So there you have it, forget about the credit card or equivalent, just remove the stinger as soon as possible!

Anyway today, i was able to access some sites dealing with Bees & Wasps and those interested can check out the links below ::







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