you really never know

Last fall, I wrote a post on how you just never know what is going on in people’s lives, or when some sort of Big Life Changing Event might happen. Shortly thereafter I got a couple of even closer to home reminders, which I’ve wondered about writing a post on, since the circle seems to be focusing down. Not that I’m superstitious… but ya notice things ya know. Oh wait, is that called ko-inky-dink?

Anyway, here I go. Tempting fate. Actually there’s some good lessons learned and reminders for all of us which are worth putting out there. With the anniversary here at WordPress and whatnot, pondering on ‘whys’ I was also thinking about why I read blogs, and one of the reasons is to learn things. I never particularly thought about that as one of the reasons I write. I mean *I* learn things when I write, but for other people to learn things from what I’ve written. Huh. What a concept. (Oh maybe it’s that responsibility thing again.)

So the first thing was finding out that I am allergic to bee stings. Yeah. I know I’ve been stung before, but apparently it wasn’t by bees. No recollection of any stingers being left. I did swell up around the sting site with my previous experiences, but that was all. No systemic reactions. Although, with the one on my wrist my whole forearm was swollen, and I do remember a co-worker at the time asking, “are you sure you’re not allergic?” Since it wasn’t full body or shock or anything I didn’t think so. Although, localized as it was, I guess it was still a reaction.

Although I hear that you can get more sensitive with repeated exposure, so that could be part of the explanation as to why I only found out recently. And the fact that I was out on a strenuous ride at the time, and got stung in my lower lip. Anyway, after my experience I got to hear all sorts of horrible bee sting stories from folks. Yeah, thanks for sharing.

It was a bit of a drag at the time, at least not how I’d been planning on spending my afternoon (and it REALLY messed up that bee’s afternoon, as someone pointed out), but it could have been much worse. It could have happened at a much more remote location – as it was there was a store nearby and I was able to get and take some Benadryl. Could have had no phone reception, or riding by myself. Or so many other things. Of course every time you leave the house (or even if you don’t) there’s some sort of risk, but that’s a different discussion. As is our so-called healthcare system. I am definitely thankful to have insurance.

P1100076

I left the hospital with a new bit of gear – an epipen. (Well, the generic equivalent.) There are instructions printed on the device, it seems pretty straightforward with the order to remove the protective tabs and then inject into upper thigh muscle, but here’s a video if you’d like to know more. (CYA in California at least you can’t administer medicine if you’re not the appropriate type of medical professional.)

I also later found out about Benadryl quick dissolve strips. They are like the breath freshener post-it tabs but with Benadryl, in a format that gets the medicine in to your system much quicker than a pill. It sounds like some folks would rather avoid the epinephrine and use these. Unfortunately they look to have been discontinued, although here is a possible alternative.

Anyway, all’s well that ends well, and now I know and am prepared. Learning things, right? Hopefully it will be as many years again, or never, that I encounter the pointy end of a bee!

Then, early the next morning after the bee incident, as I was asleep in a somewhat drugged state, trying to recuperate, there was an earthquake! Yes, I know I live in California. The epicenter was not right where I am, but at 40 miles or so, it was close enough.

It was the longest earthquake I’ve been in. Usually by the time I realize and think “oh hey, it’s an earthquake,” it’s over. That one I had that thought. And, again. Yep, it’s an earthquake. OK, still an earthquake. Hmn, should I be doing something other than lying here in bed?

Although lengthy, it was actually quite gentle. No sudden jolts or hard impulses. A very slight back and forth, as if someone were trying to shake me awake me nicely, except to the whole house. The blinds rattled a bit in the window frames, but no falling, breaking or crashing sounds.

There was some sort of flash outside, but the power didn’t go off, and I didn’t hear anything that sounded like it was leaking, so after a short internal debate about oh should probably go check things, er would you be able to do anything if you found something amiss ugh it’s dark outside I’m kinda whacked out from the bee sting and the drugs they gave me blah blah blah I rolled over and went back to sleep.

So much for the emergency preparedness plan. Which, yes, we should all have. And place items with mindfulness of their falling potential and/or secure them. OK, so that’s not learning anything new, but good reminders.

It was fascinating to hear from co-workers who were closer to the epicenter what different experiences they had, although they were only a few blocks away from each other. One had lots of things come off shelves, the other hardly any. Even the one with more fallen objects said it was definitely directional, and there were things like an object out of a cabinet broken on the floor, but the cabinet closed. All he could figure was that the doors opened, the object was ejected, then the continued shaking closed the cabinet again.

Again, hopefully the Big One will never happen where I live, but the possibility is there.

Which reminds me of the story about the boy scout fixing a bicycle horn for an older gentleman. The man wanted to pay the boy scout but the scout said he couldn’t accept any money. It’s our motto… Beep repaired.

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