They’ll Want an Ice Pack to Go with It

They’ll Want an Ice Pack to Go with It

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We’ve had many encounters with bugs during our time at the cabin but this story took place at the beginning, months before we moved in. I went through the pictures to jog my memory and wow, I had forgotten how bad it was! Here it is: a bug story.

It was a beautiful summer Saturday at the cabin. We had just closed on the property and were reveling in the start of a new adventure by spending a day at the cabin, cutting up trees that had blown down in a storm, starting improvements and showing some of our parents the place.

I pulled out my phone and called my mom while making my way out the sliding glass door. “Hi, Mom—OUCH!!! I think I just got stung by something! I’ll call you back.” I ended the call, eyes watering, face stinging like crazy and went to find Mark.

I had been stung just below my left eye.

By now I was downright crying from the sharp stinging pain. Being at a cabin with no running water or electricity, and therefore not having an ice pack or anything frozen, the best we could do was hold a gallon of water up to my face to ease the sting.

Still crying…
Ouch! Right under the eye!

Welcome to your new property! “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…” Once I’d calmed down, I called my mom back (who had already tried to call me back, worry wart that she is), explained what happened and invited them over to see the property. Mark and I, able to think more clearly after the rush of adrenaline, put water in a plastic bag so that I could greet our visitors without holding a gallon to my face. Mark took one look at me and said, “Bailey, I think you have a big bag under your eye.” To his credit, I did laugh. Today, he proclaims, “That’s the only time it’s ever appropriate to point out the bags under your wife’s eyes!” I do believe he’s right.

Bag Under My Eye

Speaking of appropriate, did you notice how fitting Mark’s shirt turned out to be? Hilarious. I burst out laughing when I went through these pictures and read his shirt. I held that bag to my face for hours on and off until we went home that night.

I can’t remember the last time I was stung and the reaction was so minimal that we didn’t think much of it. On the drive back to our home in town though, my face started to feel…different. When we arrived, I hurried to a mirror and…oh no.

Hmmm…this isn’t looking good.

The swelling had begun. Did you catch that? BEGUN. I thought it would get better as I slept, but the next morning…

Gooood morning, Gorgeous!

Day Two: my eye was swollen shut. Utterly. Besides the look, it was such an odd feeling. I don’t think I’ve ever had this much swelling in my life. My mom has always swelled a great deal from any kind of bug bite and it seems that I’ve inherited that trait. We did call a nurse hotline to confirm that I didn’t need to go to the hospital. I was having a large localized reaction, my throat was unobstructed and my breathing fine. I was told to simply wait it out. Benadryl did nothing. Thankfully, at this time I didn’t have a day job and was free to wait it out in the privacy of home. What I remember most is not leaving the house, attempting to peel my eye open throughout the day, and trying to watch the Summer Olympics with one eye. I gave myself a headache doing that last one.

Look! You can see a little eyeball! Success! And a crooked smile.

I also remember picturing these characters whenever I saw my face:
Gothmog, an orc commander from Lord of the Rings, and Mike and Sully from Monsters University

We clearly know nothing about swelling because later on I took a nap and the swelling spread across my nose to the other side of my face:

Nice. Very nice.

On Day Three I developed a shiner:

Smile still a bit off.

Day Four. There’s another eye! Hallelujah!!

I learned later that, though I am not allergic, when I was a kid my mom had an epi pen for me because I would swell so much from bee stings. That might have been good to know…

I haven’t been stung since, but I’m extremely wary of hornets now. I’m not afraid and won’t go running away screaming and flailing my arms or anything, but I would prefer not to repeat this experience!


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