Call Me Popeye

I’ve been home for almost three weeks and, while I worked some, I looked forward to some R&R before I embarking on another work trip.  For most of this home time however, I’ve had physical distractions.  Adjusting to no tradewinds and lots of pollen, I developed major chest congestion.  My throat clearing and hacking were somewhat embarrassing during my conference calls.  Plus, the histamine increase affected my digestion.  After a week and half of intense discomfort, I became desperate to feel comfortable for at least a couple of days before I set off for the next work trip.

Just before Independence Day, it seemed that I was recovering.  By July Fourth, the cough subsided and my innards cooperated.  I made a couple of social appointments, cooked a bit, and even had a little pool time.  I blissfully ignored that spikey headache I rarely get, the one that pulses unexpectedly and makes my eye twitch in pain, the one that screeches if I inadvertently touch those ephemeral hotspots on my scalp.  After all, everything else seemed settled

But that night, as I sat on the floor surfing my laptop, a honeybee settled on my left ring finger.  It was the fault of neither the bee nor me.  Our worlds simply crossed for a second.

I don’t do well with bee stings. My reliable histamine system immediately goes into major defense mode and whatever is stung takes on behemoth proportions.  I can’t wear shoes on a stung foot, and once couldn’t wear jeans when I was stung on my thigh.

In the case of this sting, my fingers look like sausages, my knuckles are dimpled, my entire arm is swollen and my elbow protrudes about an inch.  It looks like Popeye’s arm!

Of course, it’s not just creepy looking.  The itching is persistent, my skin hurts from the stretching, and it is difficult to hold on to things with an inflated hand.  I can’t cut fingernails on my right hand, for example. Plus, since the bee sting, my head pain spikes have become more pronounced, although I now realize that it’s sinus-related.  I can deal with that.

I leave on Sunday, and tomorrow is preparation and packing day. Nevertheless, I believe all will be well.  After all, at least for now, I’m Popeye the Sailor Man and I’m strong to the finish!

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