Monday, August 02, 2010

The Swarm

D: Last Wednesday evening started out simply lovely… idyllic really. We were enjoying our friends company at a beautiful house that overlooked the Puget Sound, while cooking, drinking wine and admiring the sunset over the Olympics. The kids played happily in the front driveway.

At one point, just before the sun set behind the mountains, one of our friends led the Deuce and I down to explore a tree in the backyard. It was a magical place for sure, a place hidden from the world, sheltered by the hanging branches with enough of a clearing for a small child’s imagination to run wild. We were admiring it’s charm, when O decided to turn back up the stairs which we came down. Seconds later, I heard a wretched scream and turned to saw O surrounded by hundreds of swarming hornets.

I ran to him as fast as I could, hearing my wine glass shatter against the rocks as I scooped up his overwrought body, trying to swat the bees away from his skin at the same time. I could not run towards the house fast enough, and actually kept dropping my poor, screaming boy on the ground because I could not carry him, withstand the constant stinging, and swat away the beesat the same time. The swarm seemed to intensify the closer we got to the house and all I could do was scream out of pain.

Ironically our friends, who where still enjoying their wine and sunset, heard our screams and thought we were playing a game. It was not until I finally yelled the words, “HELP US!” that someone ran to us and helped carry O inside. “Are you OK?” they asked a crying O. “The BEES!” I screamed as I grabbed my little boy once more into my arms and ran for the shower.

Once under the freezing water, I stripped off my clothes as hornets flew out from my bra and my pants. Someone helped Ollie get undressed, as someone else started pulling the stingers from our swollen bodies. Someone arrived with a solution of baking soda and water, and many of my friends started rubbing it all over our wounds. Many people continued to respond to my demands for more ice, more water, more anything that would make the flames under our skin calm but for a second of relief.

From the moment I ran toward the swarm I was filled with such a frenzy of rage and anger. I hated those bees for hurting my little boy, and would’ve done anything to protect my son. Luckily he only bore about 15 stings. But because I was shielding him with my body, I withstood almost 50. So, now I was feeling so much pain myself I could barely stay lucid from the shock of my injuries.

Of course, W was our hero, staying calm while deciding what to do, calling 911 and getting us to the hospital ER quickly. Our friends were my defenders, as they killed the remainder of the hornets flying around the bathroom and the rest of the house. Others were O’s caretakers when I couldn’t be, icing his wounds and laying with him on the bathroom floor as he whimpered about how “the bees gave him outchies”. And of course, two of our friends were F’s protectors, keeping him from the hornets’ attack and staying with him, telling him that his mama and brother would be OK.

Later, as O and I lay on a shared bed in the hospital ER for several hours, as the Benadryl and pain medication did its job, we cried in pain and whispering words of compassion to each other. It was the most intense bonding experience I’ve ever had with anyone. He kept trying to rationalize the evenings traumatic events by wrapping his little three year old logic around it… “Mama, we forgot to tell the bee’s to stop.” “Those were really mean bees weren’t they?” “They got us really good, didn’t they?” “I don’t want to go down to the magic tree anymore.”

It was after midnight by the time we got our meds, and W got everyone home. The next day, O and I cuddled for several hours together, sleeping away as much as the day as we could, through our pain and discomfort. By the end of the day O was almost back to his chipper self and even went to the park with F, while I was still physically throbbing and emotionally traumatized.

Luckily, the next morning W and I left for So California for a wedding, where I had ample opportunity to recover both emotionally and physically. And O and F had a great weekend away at their Nana and Papa’s, with little to remind them of last Wednesday night's events. We returned last night from CA, and O still seems fine. We will make sure to talk to him about the rarity of the circumstance, and hope that he is not too inhibited by bees in the future. I can only hope that I too, can garner as much resilience to overcome this experience.

Posted by Walker Lockhart @ 4:03 PM

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Oh Dana, that sounds like a true living nightmare...I am shuddering just imagining how awful that must have been...

I commend you for your courage. It was a very brave thing to run through those bees to save your son. You are a hero.

I am so thankful that neither of you were allergic, and that you had friends and an awesome husband in your time of distress.

I am sure the stress of those events will take a long time to fade, but what an empowering thing to know you have what it takes when push comes to shove.

Well done!

Posted by Blogger Krissy @ Sunday, August 15, 2010 6:28:00 PM #
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