Thursday, September 2, 2010


Last weekend, J, K, and I went on our annual canoing trip to the Saco River in Maine. Its a trip we have been going on pretty consistantly since we were 19 years old. For the past few years, we have been musing that "This is our last year." This year, between the overpriced camp sites (it used to be public land with free camping), the extra bag of trash we took OUT of the river as we floated along, and the fact that it now resembles and outdoor nightclub rather than a river in Maine, we may actually MEAN it.

But this story isn't about that.

It's about this:

As we were loading the canoes, I got stung by a yellowjacket. Of course, I didn't know it at the time. I couldn't see my feet since I was carrying a huge cooler filled with ice and beverages. Single-handedly. Because I'm wicked strong! I was standing there, rock-still with this really heavy cooler while K tried to get the food cooler into the canoe keystone cop-style. I felt a sharp pinch on my foot.

"Man, my flip-flops are really uncomfortable" I thought. I twisted my foot to make it more comfortable. Another pinch. "I'm tossing these things after this weekend." And yet another pinch. "Why are they ITCHY now?"

At this point, I was able to unload my plastic burden and get a good look at my foot. Where I saw a yellowjacket the size of a hummingbird resting. Oh.

So I shooed him (her?) away and continued with the packing process. No biggie. I've been stung by bees before, lots of times. I mean, not since I was around 12, but I never remembered it being a big deal. A little baking soda paste, some screaming and crying, a popsicle, and --pow-- good as new.

Only this time, about an hour later, my foot was the size of a football. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration; a nerf football. I held my foot up for everyone to see: "Does this swelling look a little excessive for a bee sting? Or three?" It was decided that the swelling was pretty bad, but as long as I could breathe ok, I should just shut up and keep drinking. Cool.

Oh, and I probably should mention that when I say "canoing", I mean walking along and dragging the canoes behind us. With the hot temperatures and lack of rain this summer, the Saco River was at an all-time low. As I walked along with my jurassic foot (now devoid of any sensation other than ITCHY) I stubbed my toe on a log. Successfully breaking it.

So now at the end of my leg I had a nerf football with 4 stubby sausages and one concord grape. (I'm wicked attractive)

Luckily, by the time we got to camp, J had located some Benadryl gel-spray which we applied liberally to my cloven hoof and cankle. It took the redness and itchiness away. Not the swelling, though. That stuck around for a while yet.

By the next day, the cankle had ascended and now I had a CALF. Ok, that totally didn't work. I had a Sta-Puft Marshmallow calf!

And by Sunday, my knee had gotten in on the action. I looked like one of my cardiac patients in the throws of a particularly bad bout of congestive heart failure. I could breathe, though. So it was all good. (And I continued to drink)

We did stop at CVS on the way home and pick up some Benadryl and an ice pack. I was passed out and chillin' all the way home. (missed all the traffic through Boston)

So now, I gotta get myself to an allergist to get tested. Because I there's a chance I'll step on a beehive NEXT year.

Which just might be our last canoe trip. I really mean it this time.


Diane said...

Also? You're wicked funny! ;)

geekhiker said...

A sting and a broken foot? Oy...

Yeah, of course you'll be next year. By then, this little story will have become... wait for it... LEGENDARY!