Of Bites and the Garden

Last week I walked outside my front door on my way to get the morning newspaper the same as usual. Sometimes I'll go out the back door to walk around the garden to the front yard and other days I come out the front door. There is little rhyme or reason to it, just however I feel like going. But on particular this day something was lying in wait for person venturing to pick up the newspaper. I opened the door without any care in the world and quickly felt a sharp bite on my knee. I looked down but saw nothing on my knee, no bug, no spider, no grizzly bear hanging with its jaws around my knee. It was a very sharp pain with no obvious cause. Something got me. Maybe it was the ground wasp I tested the flying insect killer on the other day, just waiting for the moment to get his revenge. I could rule out spiders since the wound only had a single puncture mark and I could eliminate normal bees since there was no stinger remaining.

Whatever it was the pain dissipated about an hour later.  I resumed my normal day getting the kids their breakfast and getting life going around the house. I even mowed the yard in the evening. The day passed and the next day arrived along with pain and swelling. My knee was red and growing, kind of like a tomato, not the kind of thing you want to see on your knee. I figured I had better get to the doctor.

The doctor looked at my knee and prescribed me an antibiotic in case there was an infection as well as a steroid for any possible allergic reaction. While there at the doctor I decided (at the insistence of my wife) to add on a tetanus shot since it had been eons since my last one. It's a good thing for every active gardener to keep up their tetanus shots up to date. I went by the drug store, picked up my prescription, and headed home to take my first dose of medication and rest my knee.

I kept off the knee as much as I could the rest of the day. Needless to say the garden didn't get much attention. To make things a little more interesting we had a family vacation planned. The swelling went down in time for our trip to Chattanooga where the girls were thrilled by sharks and penguins at the aquarium, but something strange began to happen that I have never experienced in my life to this extreme. I ended up with a case of the hiccups from you know where...

They came unexpected and lasted the whole weekend. Every time I ate food...hiccup. Every time I drank...hiccup.  Every time I tried to sleep ...hiccup. Every where we went...hiccup, hiccup, hiccup. When I slept at night hiccups woke me up on average three times a night.  They were painful, hiccup. I would gladly have taken another bite from the beast that originally bit me if I could have just gotten rid of those hiccups.

The hiccups are finally gone but have left behind an acid reflux feeling in the base of my throat. The crazy thing is I can't remember the last time I was bitten by a bug before last week, at least not any that are of any account. I've had mosquito bites, chiggers, sweat bee bites, and the occasional small spider bite that they give you just to let you know they are there but not anything like this.  I wasn't even going out to work in the garden. All the time I spend around bees and wasps everyday in the garden and I get assaulted while going to get the paper. Next time I'll be more careful when going for the paper but if you ask me which I would rather have, a bug bite or the hiccups, I think I would choose the bug bite!

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