Just call me the sting

My encounter with a bee

By Jack Chia.

I cycle to work on average 2-3 times a week.  It was on a relatively hot and windy afternoon in December, just like most summer days I had to battle against the heat and strong head wind. It was towards the last 300 m stretch of my normal course, and as always, I decided to give a good burst/sprint to home which would make me feel I had a good workout that day. I would have been travelling at circa 35 km/h, and as I was trying to gasp every bit of oxygen for that extra push, with my mouth opened, a bee (I suspect) out of the blue flew right into my mouth and stung me! Just imagine the probability of this at such a speed.

PAIN

I could immediately feel a striking pain developing on the left side of my face and numbness quickly spreading to my left ear and throat region. I thought I was going to die.  For some reason it didn’t cross my mind the need to stop and check as I had spit out the object almost instantaneously. I kept going as I wasn’t far from home.

Somehow, I managed to reach home in one piece. I rushed to the mirror to check my mouth. Low and behold, I found a little sting (must have been 0.3 millimetre) was stuck at the base of my tongue.   I managed to extract it somehow and stored it in a mini-container. I still didn’t feel any better and wasn’t sure if I was bee allergic. My wife came home about 10 minutes after me and as I was trying to explain what had just happened, I soon realized my speech was slightly slurring. It was at this point we thought this was serious enough to warrant an emergency visit to the hospital.

TREATMENT

Thankfully the hospital was only five minutes away.  Still in my cycling gear we drove there and upon arrival, given the seriousness (which was later made known to me by the nurses), I was given an “express” admission to the ward without any delay, to the annoyance of 20-25 waiting patients. I must have been the most healthy-looking patient among them.

In the ward I was given a bed to lie down and subsequently wheeled away to another area. Again, I didn’t realize how odd this must have looked as I haven’t lost a limb or leg and looked rather normal. After a few bouts of various tests, I was deemed to be OK by the doctor after given two Panadol’s to relieve the pain.  I only needed to remain for a couple of hours for monitoring and precaution.

During those few hours which must have felt like forever (I did not have my phone with me), I couldn’t help thanking God that I was not bee allergic.  It dawned on me that this was a real miracle and a rather funny medical episode.

I said to God, “there must be a more glorified death I could bow out on but surely not over a bee sting”.  Just imagine in my funeral surely someone giving my eulogy would have labeled me the Sting!  

Jack has been living in Perth for the past 16 years. He is married for 9 years with one beautiful wife and 2 daughters. He serves at Zion Praise Harvest church. He works in the finance industry.

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