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The Sting; Would a 600 Pound Tiger Be Allergic to a One Inch Wasp?

This Is Officer Lee Groinman, and that’s What I Need to Know…

But Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here folks…

Hey I went ahead last week and got home from work just in time to catch that San Diego State home opener. Yeah I gotta say that I came away a little less than enthused about the whole affair, especially with the thought of losing another offensive lineman to injury, this time Ben Riva. The hits keep coming for this year’s squad. Hopefully the brakes get applied sometime soon…(photo: Naches Fire Department; 1929 G. M. C. Pumper Truck)

Now the talk is about burning Shane Brostek’s red-shirt this week against LSU. What do ya think, should we wait until November to burn it? Take him out and play him for the cougars? And who are we red-shirting him for? The Green Bay Packers? One of my favorite Don James lines…

Yup, play Shane now, this is week two! This line will need more help due to injury sooner rather than later, we just ain’t that lucky. Besides, Shane is about as ready to play as any pure frosh has been.

As has been said, I got home in time to watch that SDSU home opener. I did that www.frontrowsports.com  deal, watched streamline style on my little laptop. Holy Crapes, but hey, it worked.

What I didn’t know at the time was that I was getting in practice to watch more little tiny TV screens, as in the hospital variety, what are they, about 6 inchers?

Football, and everything else worldly was about to take on an entire new meaning…

On Monday I went to my neighbor's, 'RJ's Tire Shop and Automotive’ bidness to help him clear out some brush with my field-mower and some other outdoor toys of mine. After only about an hour or so, I seemed to have hit a wasp hive. I took a sting on the upper left side of my head. Within seconds I knew this was no 'ordinary' hit. I have had some slight reactions to bee-stings before, but about a year ago I started taking blood-pressure medicine complete with a beta-blocker, for that high blood-pressure, don’t cha’ know…

Seems these 'beta-blockers' tend to enhance the Wasp sting experience...they limit the rate of the heart, so the heart can’t keep up with the newfound demand, that’s like in plenty of adrenaline as in right NOW!!

So the venom has a bit of an advantage, kinda’ like the visiting team returning the opening kick-off for a score. Kinda’ takes the home team crowd right out of it…

Within a minute I'm going into anaphylactic shock. With this 'anaphylactic' shock comes an extreme sense of 'doom'. RJ thinks I should sit in the shade. I tell him that this is not going good. The hills in the distance are beginning to get fuzzy and starting to disappear. My physical earth world is disappearing around me like an enclosing circle.

RJ calls 911. I don't really hear him make the call, but I can sense it. I'm walking toward RJ's Dodge pick-up and getting into the passenger seat. I can now barely see across the street. I tell RJ, "I'm not putting on my seat belt, ‘cause I don't think I freakin’ can.” RJ's Tire and Automotive is less than a mile from the local Fire Department, I remember RJ's truck starting to roll and that's it. By the time we get to the Fire Station, I'm nearly gone. They figured that I had less than a minute left, kinda’ a squeaker…

The truck door flies open and I hear a guy yell. "Lee! Do You hear me? I'm gonna stab you in the leg with this needle! You aren't going to hit me are you?" The Fireman was waiting in the Fire house parking lot with an EpiPen. (Epinephrine). The Fireman was kinda' transparent. I could see right thru him. The surrounding area looked different to me. Everything was surrounded in white except for what was directly in front of me. I knew I was still in RJ's truck, I could sense it, but not really see it anymore. There were these five really big dudes in the background, standing in the boundary between this side and the 'other' side. At the time I thought it was cool how all these Fireman showed up for one little wasp-sting... There was a white light shining right thru these big dudes. Now it all made sense, that 'white' light is what was shining thru the Fireman, making him look transparent. Well now, okay...seemed to make perfect sense, perfectly normal to me...

"Lee! You ready?" "Just don't miss, you clown!" Seemed I had to make a joke even in what could be my last gasp...

I could see the Fireman's hand; it was perfectly solid, while his arm seemed transparent. His fist was solid too as he rammed the needle right into my thigh. I jumped to high heaven, pun intended, but hey I was still in the truck! Seems I broke my promise not to hit the Fireman. Did I actually ever promise? I'm told RJ tried to make an excuse for me. "Remember, he's a corrections officer, they always hit people when they get mad." Thanks RJ... Yesterday, I went back to the Fire Department and apologized, and thanked them for saving my life...

That 'needle' seemed to bring me back to life so to speak, but then I went back down, no vital signs. I black out. "Lee! Do You Hear Me?" Another semi-transparent guy had shown up. The ambulance had arrived with sirens blarin’, lights spinnin’, I did not hear it, nor could I see it. "Can you make it out of the truck big guy?" Everything was now white. The 5 big dudes were still just over there, about 10 feet or so. Just watching, in a perfect line, shoulder to shoulder, not saying a word. Hindsight is always 20/20. I should have asked them if they had any college eligibility left for football. They were all about 6'6" and probably a good 350 pounds with 0 % body fat. The Huskies could use them this week. No, they had no wings... but hey, I bet they could play both ways…

I looked down to the ground. This paramedic still seemed to be semi-transparent, a little guy, but not really, seems I was looking 'down' on him from above. I can see a spot of black pavement on the ground and what appears to be the front wheels of the gurney. A white-out seemed to be everywhere else. I make a move for the gurney. I can no longer feel my legs or feet. I seem to be floating toward the stretcher. Big Dudes still watching...

I land in the stretcher and some more IV's start flowing, and another oxygen bag. They are pumping enough stuff into me to drown a horse. I get placed in the back of the ambulance. I can now see it, well, sort of...

"You need any help?" The Fireman asks the paramedic. "Nah, we got it." I shoulda' kicked him, hindsight being 20/20... "Let's ROLL!" The ambulance hits the freeway; we're doing a good 85 mph, sirens blarin’. I'm lazily looking out back at all the cars pulled over. Hey, this is kinda' fun...

"I think we better pick up the pace." I tell Jason, the paramedic. Jason rechecks the on-board monitors. "LEE! You got chest or abdominal pains?" "Well yeah...” Jason now goes into complete panic mode. “LEE! Did you have these pains before the sting? Be honest, I may need to get drastic!!" I was crashing again, no blood pressure or pulse. No vitals. And Jason is all alone with me. The fireman who saved my life? He was back at the Fire House, could use a guy like him right now...Up to you now Jason...it’s show time...

"Stand on it Julie!! We got a code THREE!" Jason yells into his radio. With that the female driver goes pedal to metal. I can hear the engine roar wide open. Hey it's kinda quiet and peaceful back here, even with all the sirens. It's all good...

Jason starts to go ballistic on my IV bag. He's giving IT CPR! Squeezing as much fluids into my body as he can. "Hang on Lee, how old are you? Breathe Lee, keep breathin!! How old are you?" He kept telling me to breathe and kept asking my age, just to keep me alert. The last time he asked my age, I thought about replying '19'. but I didn't think Jason could handle any humor right at the particular moment...

"Almost there Lee!" Yup. I think we hit 110 mph on the freeway; the trip from the Fire Department to Memorial Hospital took just about 8 minutes. Now in the parking lot of the hospital, it seems we attracted a welcoming committee. They pop open the ambulance doors and wheel me out. Julie the driver was coming my way. "Lee!  You made it! I tried to hit every pot-hole I could!" Thanks Julie, we always appreciate that. That was Julie driving like that? Yup, all 100 pounds of her...

They get me into the ER, where just for good measure, I tank it again. But only the blood-pressure this time. I think I was about finished now, my shirt and pants were soaked to the bone in my own sweat, the 'show' was now nearly over. Seems it wasn't time for me to give up the ghost...

They kept me in the hospital for 24 hours. Said it was possible for another rebound attack in 12 hours. And in my 'extreme' case, up to 24 hours. Seems they haven't seen a presentation like mine in some time. My 'reaction' drew plenty of attention...and they weren't takin' any more chances on a guy like me. They'd seen enough bad behavior for one day...

I did suffer some heart damage, but NO HEART ATTACK! Just some heart muscle strain. The heart and blood-pressure issues were all venom and blood-pressure meds related. I'm good to go run 5 miles today! If you've had bee-sting, wasp or insect problems in the past and have recently got on these types of medications, you should ask your Doctor some questions, and get a prescription for an EpiPen. I've got one now! :-) Store it in the fridge, or a cooler when you are going somewhere.

Ya' know, I always told myself that if I ever experienced one of these 'incidents' that I would share it, not keep it a secret, so there you have it folks. Yup, and BTW, my thigh still hurts where the Fireman stabbed me, but not much of a price to pay...

Yup, I went back to the Fire Department and thanked them for savin’ my bacon, and apologized for any extra-curricular activity. I then took a little walk around to look for those 5 big dudes. I didn’t really think that I'd see them around anytime soon, well ya' never know. But they're still here. Somewhere...

Probably in Baton Rouge…

So now for the Louisiana State Tigers. Wow, I get to go back to work today. I’ll get to enjoy a couple cups of coffee. I’ll be home in time for the big game, probably have a Papa Murphy’s Cowboy pizza, they always give me those wild dreams, and I’ll get to watch the game on my 40 inch Toshiba! Hey, life is good…Especially when my Dawgs win in a squeaker…Speakin’ of squeakers…

DO YOU HEAR ME!!

GO DAWGS!!

Lee Groinman can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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