I have a long checkered past with wasps. Literally, checkered, at 12 years old while wearing my checkered mumu (yes it wasn’t one of my most shining moments in fashion) a wasp got into my shirt and stung me 12 times. As I gyrated wildly from the backyard, my Mom smiled from the kitchen window thinking, “Lois is so creative, she doesn’t even need music to dance.” Three hours later I looked like the Calamine Kid with pale pink spots over my body and a freezer full of ice packs.
Ten years later, while upstate, a wasp flew up my pant leg and stung me 5 times, this time my dance of danger didn’t illicit any “look at how creative she is,” but more like gasps of horror.
Seven years ago, I got stung twice and a week later, ended up in the ER for an overnighter with a horrible case of cellulitis.
My favorite LOIS-ism is “Sometimes three’s an Alarm, Not a Charm.”
Without realizing it, I was absolutely terrified of wasps, for obvious reasons. I went to an allergy doctor and she said I had a mild case of allergies to paper wasps, not moderate, not EPI pen worthy, but something to pay attention to. That it was actually not tending to it soon enough because I didn’t have symptoms initially that brought about the cellulitis.
Fast forward to last night while totally engrossed in a friend/colleague/client’s webinar, one planted themselves on my right bicep and chomped away. I screamed so loud you would’ve thought a 21-state alarm had been sounded.
The wasp, unlike a bee, can sting multiple times, so while my sweetheart ran to the local drug store to get non-drowsy Benadryl, (I already had it in my home but of course couldn’t find it) I hid in the bathroom and read up on home remedies and how to address it while hiding from my stinging nemesis.
I had a choice. I could freak out and “assume” I would end up in the hospital yet again, or I could do actually the opposite of what I did last time. One, act right away, not be in denial that “it doesn’t hurt or itch” before it’s too late like it did last time. Clean it out, lop some baking soda on it, call my pesticide service who I nicely gave them a piece of my mind, luckily there was still some left over, for figuring out best strategies for preventing them from entering my home using non-toxic solutions. You’d be amazed how many things wasps really hate (peppermint oil, dish soap, water, the list goes on). I also read up on their attack practices, and if wasps keep showing up in your life what does it mean on a spiritual level. Ok, I’m a personal growth junkie through and through, and clearly, I had a lot of time in bathroom quarantine before my knight and shining armor came in with my OTC panacea.
And most of all DON’T SCRATCH no matter how itchy it is!
Eyes on the prize! Today it’s pretty painful with lots of itchiness and burning, but I’m on it.
And yes, I certainly wish it hadn’t happened and will do whatever I can for it not to happen again, but that being said, I am reminded over and over, that often it’s not what happens to us but the “stories” we tell ourselves (i.e. I’ll always end up in ER if I get stung by a wasp, which of course for people with hardcore allergies and no EPI pen that’s actually a true story), about what happens to us.
My dear friend Kelly Swanson always talks about rewriting our inner story, and I’m grateful to say, last night I was able to rewrite the ending of that horrible tale, by doing a do-over!
Every day when we have challenges, not to mitigate catastrophes and horrible occurrences but in the day to day, how can we rewrite the end of our story, by giving ourselves a do-over.
I welcome your thoughts on this one!