Tag Archives: Bug Bites

Only Child battles wasps

Rosebushes near where a wasp attacked me

Rosebushes near where a wasp attacked me

Early yesterday afternoon a wasp stung me. I was standing on the sidewalk looking at my garden – not even in the garden, not even touching any plant, when this wasp stung the backside of my left hand. After shooing it away. I immediately ran into the house to clean it off, including using tea tree oil and then periodically applying Witch Hazel.

Might as well have been applying plain water. Pain, itch and some swelling. Did some research on the Internet and found out it is probably large localized swelling – somewhat of an allergic reaction and it is worse the first day or so and can last a week or so. Considering that with my senior age I get more allergic reactions to things that I never used to, that could be a bit more time. Last summer I was bitten by flying ants and got some swelling and redness – even a huge blister. I did see a doctor at a walk-in clinic. He listened to me, lanced the blister, and gave me a topical anti-biotic because I am allergic to all oral antibiotics. He also suggested I get Reactine or Claritin. I got the former. But all the bite areas took 10 days to get better.

Right now it is just around the 24-hour point and hard to tell what’s what. I do know that rain and thundershowers are forecast for this afternoon and evening and it is getting grey and darker outside right now. So, I don’t want to have to go out today. Thunderstorms scare me and so does this sting.

I have nothing be hatred for the wasp that stung me – and for all wasps. I take care to keep wasps away from me when I see one around, but I did not see this one. And obviously God wasn’t looking out for me here.

And I don’t have a history of reactions like this to wasp stings. Haven’t been stung much so far in my life. Last time was a few years ago, I think on my arm, and just some minor pain and tiny swelling around the bite and it cleared up with no complications after a few days.

But that was before I was officially a senior. Since then any bad health occurrence seems to be possible. Swollen glands suddenly appeared early last spring and took over two months to go away (with help from a homeopathic remedy). I’ve had re-occurrences of that. Hadn’t suffered swollen glands since I was a teenager.

The yellow jacket wasps may have some use – apparently they eat dead bugs but that isn’t enough to balance their meanness and danger to humans. Did you know they build nests in eaves troughs, woodsheds, even attics? You can just imagine the danger that presents. I remember when my godmother and my uncle were still living and they had a mobile home.  Wasps had formed a nest on the overhang over the small veranda at one entrance. We entered and exited by the other entrance. And wasps once built a nest in a large tree outside my cousins’ cottage near Bayfield, Ontario.

The list can go on and on.
Too bad it is honey bees and not wasps that are being killed by Colony Collapse Disorder. I have great respect for birds and bees (yes, I know bees sting, too, but wasps seem to be worse). Bottom line – wasps should be eradicated. I can do my bit here and it won’t be spraying with Raid or any chemical.

First I have to get over this reaction. I am hoping it doesn’t get worse and by the time the first 72 hours are up it will show a lot of healing. Meantime I’m applying the topical anti-biotic cream from last year as well as a vinegar and baking soda poultice and taking Reactine, although I might switch the latter to an anti-histamine. And trying to decide about going to a doctor and if so, when with this weather.

The good news might be it is my left hand and I’m right-handed. “Might” is the operative word here. If there is anything I have learned from my life experiences it is that trust rarely figures into it. And with good reasons.


Cheers (I think),


Only Child Writes

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Filed under Bug bites, God, Health Seniors, Insect bites and allergic reactions, Old Age, Only child

Only Child gets bitten and hunts for walk-in medical clinics

Tool Shed and compost bin by the biting bugs lair.

Tool Shed and compost bin by the biting bugs lair.

Saturday evening at dusk I finally got around to taking out the veggie and fruit scraps to the compost bin. The bin is at the end of my backyard by the tool shed. As I was trying to close the bin a swarm of bugs flew up from the ground and bit my ankles. One even got me through my blouse on the back. I quickly jumped back, ran into the house to put on winter boots and a jacket (I already had on longish pants and a gardening hat) and returned to the bin. I had to close it tightly because if not, racoons would get in.

Sometimes I think I should buy a huge water gun, keep it filled with water and prop it outside on the patio. Then when God’s ugly creatures arrive to do their damage I am ready to defend my property and me without hurting the culprits.

The bugs stung where they bit and then the big itch began. By Sunday morning the areas were also red and swelling. After some research on the Internet, I headed for Shoppers Drug Mart for some Witch Hazel and a new supply of Tea Tree Oil. Sunday night a blister had started to form in one area. By Monday morning the blister was larger and kept increasing in size.

Those of you who follow these blog posts know who I blame for all these travesties of “nature.” But He is not to blame for what followed in my quest to find a walk-in medical clinic.

First, I called Tele-health Ontario and talked to a nurse practitioner. After a Q and A, she suggested I see a doctor within the next few days. As the blister started looking like it might be infected I decided that then (yesterday) was that day. I had fired my GP a few years ago (that’s another story), so a medical clinic was it.

The O’Connor Doctors’ Offices Medical Excellence Inc. (about a 10-minute walk from here) is billed as a Walk-in Medical Clinic. However, being conscientious and suspicious, I phoned first to confirm their hours. I called the phone number on a postcard they had sent around a couple of months ago to introduce a new doctor joining the group. The postcard says “Please walk in or call for an appointment.”

The phone number is a call centre for the Apple Tree Medical Group who have several medical clinics in Toronto (including the one mentioned above) and Ottawa, Ontario. The fellow there told me the one near me is not a walk in and the doctor would not be in until Wednesday. Furious, I yelled, “I could be dead by then,” and hung up. I will be complaining to the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons about this one – at the very least it is false advertising and I have the proof even if I have to scan it and email it to them.

The next two were a medical centre across from the nearest hospital. My boarder called 211 for its phone number and name because when I called the hospital for info about the clinic the phone kept ringing at the hospital end. No voice mail. What do people do phoning about sick family members in the hospital? Carrier pigeon anyway?

I also called another clinic found in the phone book and was told they take two hours for lunch but would be back at 1 p.m. and yes, they were a walk-in clinic. As this one was a short bus ride from my place, I headed for there, arriving at 1.05 p.m.

According to the phone book (June 2014 version) the clinic was located over the Shoppers Drug Mart. Rthe clinic name was posted on the outside wall. I finally found the entrance to the area and took the elevator up, to discover the place didn’t exist – not even the room number 203. I checked at a lab in the building and the answer was a curt, “There is no medical clinic here. The only one is at 194 Main St.” Too far to walk with my sore legs. I got back on the subway and headed to another clinic, not so close to home, but it had been once recommended. From the subway exit it was a block-and-a-half walk.

The Albany Medical Clinic is a wonderful walk-in clinic which takes up most of their new building. It is very efficiently run but is not unfriendly. The two front-line intake ladies are very sympathetic, friendly and funny. The one I spoke to lives near the Apple Tree Misnamed clinic. She said they have odd hours but seemed horrified about the call centre and doctor-not-in-til-Wednesday bit. Anyway the Albany Clinic has  a relaxed atmosphere. I waited about 50 minutes before she gave me a small sheet of paper with my name and the doctor’s name plus verbal instructions to go to the fourth floor.
Dr. Pound saw me in five minutes or so and he was very relaxed, friendly and helpful. He reminded me of the doctor I saw years ago in Halifax, Nova Scotia for food poisoning. Dr. Pound held out his hand when he introduced himself. He also listened. He said I had an allergic reaction to whatever bug bit. From my description, neither of us could figure out what bug. He lanced and bandaged the blister (he said it wasn’t infected), gave me a topical anti-biotic cream because I am allergic to all oral anti-biotics and suggested I get a non-sedated anti-histamine. I did both and I see a bit of improvement.

Once better, my next health task is to register a complaint to the OCPHS about Apple Tree. May the apples all fall on them as they rot. Appropriate? Right?

Do you have any medical clinic horror stories to share?


Sharon A. Crawford’
Only Child Writes


Filed under Health, Medical walk in clinics, Only child, Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, Sharon A. Crawford