On Tuesday evening, as I was stepping off the Ellis Island ferry I felt a little sting on my right hand. I gave it an absent minded swat and continued on my way. Overnight on the bus, I could feel my right hand itching, and my left as well, but didn't pay too much attention to it. By yesterday afternoon, as I was typing at my desk at work, I began to feel my right hand cramp up. There was a huge red bump on my arm just below my wrist and I was experiencing sharp shooting pain in my arm and in my elbow, wrist and fingers. My left hand was also rapidly swelling below my little finger and the rash was spreading to the back of my hand as well.
Going to a hospital emergency room was no good. I'd be there until midnight - unless I went into shock before that - and I really didn't want to resort to that! So I decided to head off to my GP's clinic near my house. An hour later, as I walked into the clinic, my forearm was 3 times its normal size with a huge red welt running from my wrist to mid way up my arm. The rest of the arm had cramped up and I could barely move my fingers. When I approached the check in desk, and indicated that I was experiencing some sort of allergic reaction and showed them my arm, the nurse looked a little worried. She asked me, "Are you experiencing any trouble breathing?" to which I replied "no". BIG mistake. I was waiting for the next 45 minutes, all the while my hand getting more numb and the itching driving me to near craziness!
Finally when I got to see the Doctor, she prescribed a bunch of pills to get the inflammation down, deal with any possible infection and a cream for the rash. And oh yeah, because I have a preexisting gastric condition, she then has to prescribe another pill so counter the effects that all the first pills will have on my stomach!
Woke up this morning after a night of tossing and turning (thanks to the rash) only to find that the arm is just as swollen as the night before. Back to the clinic it is; this time I'm looked at right away and given a shot. Thankfully that works and in about half an hour I see a vast improvement.
And now, just about 24 hours after all the drama began my arm seems to be back to its normal size with most of the rash gone as well.
Moral of the story: The next time something bites me, I'm going to bite back. And if that's not possible, always mention "trouble breathing" at the clinic - you'll get seen to quicker!