Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shake Your Pants

Wasp Stings
I never expected I'd want to pull down my pants in public.  Motherhood is full of surprises.
We had taken some friends and our daughters to the beautiful new outdoor pool facility at Ida Lee Recreation Center.  Soon into our visit, one of my friends was reprimanded by a lifeguard for changing her four-year-old into her bathing suit on the pool deck.  Even knowing this, when it was time to go, I was not in the mood to gather all the kids and all the stuff just to slip into something dry in the changing room.

Let me explain here that I am an expert undercover dresser.  As a child I attended a school for the arts.  If you didn't want to be late to math class or attend it in a tutu, you had to learn the skill of discrete and rapid changing in the hallway.   So in full view of the lifeguard who was offended by a four-year-old tuckus, I wrapped my towel around me and quickly got changed.  I was feeling quite proud, folding up my towel, when I realized my thigh was on fire.

I felt my pants for something sharp but didn't find anything.  What I really wanted to do was pull my pants down, but I realized this wouldn't be entirely appropriate, given the lifeguard and all.  Instead I
complained to my husband.

"Steve, something has pricked me and it is really hurting!" 
"Sounds like you got stung," he said
"Through these pants?"
"It's possible"
I looked around.  I didn't see anything.
"Did you see anything?" I asked him.
"No, but-" I don't know what else he answered because at this point my butt caught fire.  I reached inside my pants and pulled out a yellow jacket wasp.
"Now I see something," my husband added helpfully.

At this point I decided I was in the mood to head to the changing room after all.  The only mirror I could find was by a double sink near the washrooms.  I pulled off my pants and took a good look as the poor woman putting on makeup beside me pretended not to notice.  I had 6 wasp stings.

For treatment of the wasp stings I followed standard procedure for non-systemic reactions.  I used an antiseptic wipe and applied ice, both of which they had at the lifeguard station.  Then from my first-aid kit I used a Benadryl spray, which really brought down the swelling and provide some relief.  (You can instead take Benadryl orally, but I don't react well to it that way.)  Finally I took some ibuprofin for pain and applied some antibiotic ointment as a safeguard against rare bacterial infections.

The next day I was recounting what happened to another mother and she said, "The same thing happened to me when I was a kid.  It really scarred me.  For the longest time I would shake out my pants before putting them on."  Apparently wasps like hiding in pants!

As I write this, my thigh is much better though it still itches.  I had no issue getting dressed this morning but I think shaking out pants when you are outdoors is a very smart idea. 

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