Bee stings all over, what to do?
I continued writing chapter 8 of my story and Alma, who is only 5 years old at this point, got stung all over her body by bees. She smelled honey in a tree. Robin heard her say that she found honey. That is when Alma started getting stung. Her voice was almost breaking because of the pain of all those stings. Robin rescued her, but not before she got a lot of stings.
Alma could not walk. She hurt all over from her forehead to her feet. So Robin gently carried her.
Then Lisa started to panic about bee allergy.
I did a bit of research on bee venom allergy and about 5% of all humans are allergic to bee venom. And these allergies vary from hives where you got stung(mild allergy) to not being able to breathe(Anaphylaxis).
With an allergy test, if a prick of bee venom causes there to be a bump in the skin, that is a positive test. But how many of those really are true positives? I would say that the number of true positives is relatively low because venom naturally causes swelling regardless of whether it is just envenomation or envenomation + allergic reaction.
Also, unlike a lot of other allergens, venom always causes itching and sometimes,(and I have heard that this is especially true for bees, wasps, and ants) pain. Other allergens only cause itching of the skin if the person either has an allergic reaction, or skin that gets irritated by that allergen with or without an allergy.
There is a good chance that Alma will have just pain and itching from the stings and no allergy. But, if there is no hospital anywhere and you don't have an epipen(just in case the allergy is anaphylaxis), what would you do for a bad allergy? Would you give a natural allergy remedy or just wait it out?
I remember a few years ago having a really bad nasal allergy to tree pollen(not anaphylaxis by all means, but still pretty bad). I was outside on a sunny afternoon in the summer. As soon as I got back inside, I had symptoms. I immediately had a bad nose itch and started sneezing a lot. The next day, my ears were pressurized and I didn't change distance to the ground enough to pressurize my ears. I still had a bad nose itch and a lot of sneezing. I felt a lot of mucus flowing down my throat. All this meant that I was allergic to tree pollen, at least that 1 time. A few days later I started coughing. Then my postnasal drip stopped a few days after that and my nose was still congested but it wasn't from an allergy. This meant that when I started getting that cough and the allergy symptoms migrated downwards, that sometime within those few days I caught a cold and only realized it after my allergy stopped. My body eventually killed off those hypersensitive T cells and I have not been allergic to tree pollen since.
So yeah, I had an allergy for about a week and a cold for about another week.
Alma's family is basically in a similar situation. Lisa is worried about Alma being allergic to bee venom and if Alma is allergic to bee venom, they will basically be in a situation of natural remedy or wait it out.
I personally, would use a topical natural remedy for a skin allergy if I just couldn't handle it and I had no medical access or epipen. If it was not that bad, I would wait it out, hoping that my body kills off the hypersensitive T cells.
So should Alma be given a natural skin allergy remedy if she happens to be allergic or should she just be given an anti-itch remedy and wait it out?
Well, there's no downside to using the allergy remedy. You say she was stung and swollen all over? If she had an allergy, I'd expect that it would have a very quick (and probably deadly) effect in such an extreme case.
My daughter has anaphylaxis to bee venom, and has to carry an Epi pen wherever she goes. One bee sting is enough to cause a severe reaction.
If you google Bee sting deaths there are a lot of stories about people dying after being stung by swarming bees. If enough bees sting you, you don't need an allergy to die.
“His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Not that it cant be that way in your story, but if a five year old got stung all over by bees, I would think that could be life threatening even if she was not allergic. Enough bee stings can deliver a lot of bee venom.
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Raw cut onion applied to bee stings works to lessen the pain and swelling.
But I'd do a bit more research so that the amount of bee stings she receives is reasonable so people don't get pulled out of the story. Even just a few bee stings, in the right places, especially on a kid, would be pretty painful.
The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before. Neil Gaiman
From the allergy test I've had done, I can say there is little chance of a false positive reaction. If the Doctor or Nurse knows what they are doing then they will know what a standard reaction to a venom/poison looks like [the possible small amount swelling and maybe redness around the test point]. What they are looking for is something not normal; for the swelling to be excessive, for the redness to be irregular, or for the pain [very subjective] to be intense. Or any mix of the above.
Originally Posted by caters
I got tested for about a dozen or maybe twenty things on one arm, some of which were just plain pin-pricks or scratches so they can see how your body reacts to injury without any other factors.
My arm looked like an inky LEGO brick had stamped on it with all the circles showing where the tests had been given. They keep a very close record of what they tested and where...
The amounts given in each test are tiny scratches with barely enough reactor to cause a reaction. You are talking 1/10 of a percent of a bee sting if not far less. So there is next to no chance of a severe reaction even if you are very allergic.
Even so you are usually monitored for an hour or so after the test is given to see if something unexpected does happen. If it doesn't you are allowed to go on with your day [and given a phone number to call if anything feels strange]. Depending on the allergens they are testing for, you can be asked back a day or more later. I had to keep a food and activity diary for a week before and during the test as they wanted to rule out any dietary or environmental element and they ask you not to drive/operate machinery, just in case you get ill later...
I remember that it was suggested that you have someone with you through out the testing as you aren't supposed to drive afterwards and if in some extreme event you do react and fall unconscious, someone else can phone the important number for you...
Gibson: No, I... I have to write some letters first.
I think the treatment for the bee stings has a lot to do with the elements of the story. Are the characters rich or poor, could they afford a doctor? Would they have access to a hospital depending on where they are located geographically? Are the characters city dwellers that would rely on a doctor's help or are they rustic and would tend to use alternative remedies? I remember my grandmother telling me to put mud on a bee sting. The cool mud would keep the swelling down and when it dried, it would draw out the stinger.