Riverbees Crossroad...

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by riverbee, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    i have never really considered the possibility that i could someday develop a bee venom allergy, until one day the immune system decides different and we find ourselves in an emergency room being treated for an anaphylactic reaction, or shock. having been administered epinephrine on the 3rd er visit since july 22, with accompanying doses of steroids and benadryl through iv fluids, is not an experience i would add to a bucket list.

    i remember getting to the er, and i remember the epinephrine shot, but after the iv steroid/ benadryl, i don’t remember much, except that when i was a kid my mother always told me to wear my best underwear to the docs office,:lol: i didn’t really have time to consider my attire under the circumstances. (the doc found it funny after i mumbled this out loud ). as beekeepers, we will most likely not take a prize in the well-dressed category upon receiving a sting our immune system does not like. sometimes what we wear while working bees, others might find quite peculiar, or maybe what we don’t wear…..:lol:

    i do remember tears welling in my eyes and running down my cheeks, primarily from fear, thinking of my good life, those i love, and also thinking that there isn’t anything i can’t overcome. (my mother’s genetics ). and, what am i going to do? my bees; it is harvest time, i need to get them ready for winter……,etc….(who else thinks this but a beekeeper?)

    honeybees are and have been a passion for me. i have always enjoyed learning about their complex social behavior, and their intrinsic biological nature, it brings me great joy, and provides me knowledge, and continuing challenge to be a good keep. i enjoy the forum, and learning how other keeps across the universe work and keep their bees. how can i give this up?

    so i have come to a cross road in my life with the bees. i have time to think about it for now.

    the allergist informed me that because of the massive doses of steroids i have received in the past month, they desire i be free and clear of any steroid for at least 4 weeks before any allergy testing can begin. six weeks after the last sting, for any bee venom allergy test to be accurate, and no benadryl in my system 4 days prior to any testing. complicated. i have had to stay away from my bees, and withdrawal from the steroids has been less than a desirable experience i would most definitely skip.

    i have tests scheduled next week. i think my heart knows, but my mind is on a different track. i read in the forum all the new keep adventures, a first honey harvest, labels, wax melting, queens, brood, frames, wintering questions, etc….and i am there, in the boots, shoes, or veil of the thread or post.

    my heart is heavy; withdrawal from the bees has been great. the knowledge that one sting would require the use of an epi-pen and another er trip, is a wakeup call i cannot afford to ignore. how can this be? only other keeps can understand the love of a stinging insect, and the things we do to keep them, that others view as if we have totally lost our minds, and then some. yes, i have.:grin:

    some conversation with the allergist:

    Where were you stung?
    Which time?
    Okay, let’s start with the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] er visit. How do you know it was a honeybee that stung you?
    I was standing next to the hive.
    How do you know it wasn’t a wasp?
    Doc I keep honeybees not wasps.
    Oh yes, that is right, how do you know it was a honeybee, and not a wasp, did you see her?
    Yes, I saw her sting me.
    You saw her sting you, and scraped the stinger out? How did you see that?
    I had my glasses on my face. ???
    Through a veil? You do wear a veil? How did you scrape the stinger out?
    Yes, of course I wear a veil, I used a hive tool.
    A what?
    Okay doc, it’s a mystery tool us beekeepers use in our profession to scrape stingers out with and other uses, like mystery tools you use in your profession I don’t like the looks of….
    Doc laughs. I laugh.
    Okay I understand, you removed the stinger and venom sac. Let’s cover the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] er visit. (long pause).
    Just a personal question, why do you keep honeybees?

    :lol:
     
  2. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    I am deeply sad for you-I have had one trip to urgent care for extreme swelling and hives after getting stung on the chin. I've had quite a few since with a pretty severe reaction but so far no airway involvement. I have an Epi-pen just in case . I love keeping bees but I know I'm skating pretty close to the edge and one more sting could be the end of my beekeeping. I am truly sorry.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I'm so sorry to hear of this for the first time now.
    Please keep us posted- perhaps writing your thoughts here will help you in some way, it would definitely help others in the future who might be going through the same thing and come across this thread.
     
  4. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    O man Im soo sorry, to have something like that happen to something you love, I love beekeeping, I dont think a hour goes by that Im not thinking about some part of it, I just hope it never happens to me, is there any way to restore your immunity?
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Sometimes there just isn't any words to say it.

    Hope you can get on an injection program and build a resistance.
     
  6. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    I'm so very sorry this has happened to you Riverbees.

    You'll be in my thoughts, and I hope like Iddee said, that perhaps something can be done to get you back with the bees.
     
  7. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I've taken my wife to the ER several times with anaphylactic shock because of the way she reacts to certain foods and medicines, and we've done the no medication/steroids before testing, and we've done the testing, so I can empathize with you.

    You've been a bright spot in my learning year this year. No matter what, you won't lose your memories and experiences. I do hope everything turns out for the best for you! Please keep us posted on your progress!
     
  8. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    :sad:.... Positive thoughts here....you simply can't stop keeping bees...not an option....:wink:
     
  9. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    My prayers are with you, hope all tests turn out ok for you, please let us know how it goes.

    kebee
     
  10. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Thoughts and prayers are with you riverbee. Best of luck. Like slowmodem said, keep us posted. :thumbsup: ...
     
  11. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    What everyone has said. But, you don't want to srew with life! You have a wonderful attitude and that will continue...you can't pretend that.

    Hoping you find you can continue with your passion. We shall always be here for you...and you for us, I'm sure.

    Please keep us posted. And if you ever want to come to the south "El Paso", only a little further East...

    Walt
     
  12. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    I understand your love of beekeeping. I don't have the passion for it that you have, but I deeply enjoy my bees. If something caused me to have to part with my bees, I would really miss them.

    All of the above being said, I am sure your life is intertwined with other's. The world will be a better place with you here, so factor that into your final decision on this matter.
     
  13. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Sorry to hear of this Riverbee!! Sure do hope the test can lead a good outcome, I know you have such a passion for your bees. Good thoughts and prayers sent your way. Please keep us posted.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    some road blocks are more difficult to circumvent than others. I myself fully understand your dilemma. it is not much comfort but most folks even without some allergy regime normally outgrow their allergy... but then the question is when. but you do have more time that most might think... since I have found that most times you can leave hives for extended period of time (mindful that certain minimum task must still be taken care of) and when you return most if not all your bees will still be there. and don't be surprised if they don't do better without you participation than they did with.

    what effects mine effects me... you will be in my own thought and prayers.
     
  15. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh Riverbee, I'm so sorry.

    And I know exactly how you feel. Not about bees. I wanted to be a veterinarian. All I wanted to be, no second career option, carried a double major in math/science in high school, working on getting scholarships from 9th grade.

    In 10th grade I became allergic to pretty much every fur-bearing animal. Not a "little allergic". My allergist told me pre-vet would kill me. And as for outgrowing that allergy, well at 30 I was able to get a cat, but I still have to give my cats baths every time I catch a cold. At 50 I got brave enough to bring my dogs inside. They are bathed often.

    The shot regimen is the brightest spot on the horizon. I've never done it, relying instead on time and allergy meds, but I have read GOOD results for beekeepers that did the one for honey bees. As for me, I basically became a fish vet - minus the degree, 20 years later. When one door closes.....

    Gypsi
     
  16. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    Riverbee,
    Whew! That was scary; and to think that this once healthy rewarding thing that you love so dearly has become life-threatening...that would be hard to bear. Whatever happens, remember this forum is a big bee yard where you can't get stung. And I, for one, need your experienced elbow to grab unto to get me through my learning years.
     
  17. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    I'm sorry to hear that riverbee. I've heard several stories now a about people who have had to quit bees for the same reason. Does anyone out there know how common it is statistically? I always thought that more stings lead to less sensitivity, but I guess for some people it's more. The same thing happened to me with eating crustaceans, I used to eat them and now even looking at one makes my throat tighten up.
     
  18. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Riverbee, man! what a crossroads to face. My prayers are with you as you deal with this. I believe we're put here for a reason and you've been spared and allowed to stay around. That's a good thing for you, your family and all of us. There's a reason you're still here, now it's up to you to make the most of it.

    As I said, my prayers are with you. Good luck my friend.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  19. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Iddee: Hope you can get on an injection program and build a resistance.
    Marbees:And The Forum will pray for that to happen

    You are one of the unique members of BF, we enjoy your company, but you have to stay safe.
    Keep us posted. Good luck.
     
  20. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Hey Riverbee:

    Thought about it for a while.
    First, until you doctor concludes that you are in fact allergic and tells you that you shouldn't keep honey bees, there is hope. You may find that you are only allergic to a particular type of bee, I have heard of some people that are affected by wasps and not honey bees as well as the other way around. (not saying you should take up wasp keeping)
    Second, I want you to take a good long look at the name of this forum! Notice that it does not say "honey bee" anywhere?
    Perhaps mason bees are a possibility? I have been fascinated by the possibility ever since watching Omie's video of them hatching out on her porch. The pollinating world is just chock-a-block full of species that are deserving of our attention.
    Lastly, this forum is very much like a family. (no matter how hard you try, you will always be a part of it.) :lol:
    You have been woven into the fabric of this place with your "threads". :wink: