"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

22 June 2014

The Sting

I discovered I outgrew my bee-sting allergy a little over a year ago quite by accident. It involved what could be termed addiction, or at least a very keen interest in chocolate. Even and especially dark chocolate.

Hammond's, a local candy company, had made a sixty percent dark chocolate bee pollen bar. The label had me at dark chocolate. I found the bee pollen gave the bittersweet an interesting touch. So, I got another bar for Sabina and I to share for dessert.

"You want to tell me exactly how you're still alive after eating this, Mister?" She asked me when I showed her the candy bar in question.

"It's a complex process of a heartbeat, the intake of oxygen, the consumption of food, and sheer force of will," I said, amazed that she was shooting me something of a disgusted look.

"I meant this," Sabina said, showing me the warning on the wrapper.

"Warning! Do not consume if you have an allergy to bee pollen or bee stings..."

I know how to read and do it a lot. Once, I mentioned I had little respect for those who couldn't read and none for those who just don't. In the name of satisfying my chocolate jones, I'd become someone I had no respect for.

Apparently, allergies can change over time. I had asthma when I was younger and it seems to have long since disappeared, which is strangely auspicious given I live at elevation. When I was allergic to bees, it wasn't Epi-pen talisman allergic, just some hives and itchies.

"Well, praises be!" I said in my father's Carolina accent. "A miracle!"


I was mowing out back barefoot before breakfast and the days adventures got underway. Bees danced through the dandelions as I sliced them down. One was not so lucky, its mutilated remains flailing by pure chaos atop my left foot. In its death throes, its stinger pierced my flesh. It was a pain I'd not felt in a very long time.

Of course, were my twisted spine straight, I'd be over seven feet tall, instead of only being around six and half. I have a connective tissue disorder similar to that of Marfan's Syndrome, sans the heart issues, and because of that, even and especially when the weather changes rapidly, my joints creak and groan and snap and crackle and pop. I was married to a Catholic once. I am no stranger to pain, but, like fear, I refuse to be in its thrall.

With Sabina's help, I applied the necessary lotions and potions. After spending so much time trying to avoid getting stung, I'd almost forgotten what to do. I finished my morning tea and the mowing. We had breakfast and went about our day. Quite obviously, I survived.

It's not death if you refuse it. Only if you accept it.

I do confess to being a little upset about this turn of events. See, I once read about someone being bitten by a venomous invertebrate and they got superpowers. Unless one was to say my words can carry a bit of a sting, nothing has happened. Nothing!

My disappointment is boundless...


  1. Allergies...don't get me started. There's hemp and and anything hemp related, bananas, cilantro, humans, latex...

    Latex is a real bitch.

    Glad you're still alive .

    1. Thanx. Being allergic to cilantro must suck as well. My are mostly pollen/seasonal related.

  2. Huh....do you have Loeys-Dietz? Ehlers-Danlos? You have my email, the curious diagnostic me.
    Allergies, I have none...but my mother, in what is suspect was a fit of nastiness, told me at an early age I was allergic to chocolate.....later I discovered it was not true,
    Tell Sabina the Kreb's Cycle is working in your favor.

  3. Ehlers-Danlos. My mother had Marfan's or was symptomatic of it down to the heart mummer.

    1. Women with Marfans often don't survive pregnacy, the connective tissue of their aorta frequently can't take the increased output.

    2. There but by the grace of whatever you prey to and upon...

      My mother told the story that there was some concern when she was pregnant with my brother. I was ten or eleven when the ambulance showed up at the house and the EMTs were putting tubes in her nose. After that, the term Marfan's Syndrome got kicked around quite a bit. My grandfather, my mother's father, also symptomatic of the illness, died of an aneurysm two days before Christmas when I was nine.