about the artist

Life is What Happens to You


. . . while you are busy making other plans. Yesterday, I had a plan for the day. Attend weight watchers meeting, walk the dogs, meet with the caterer for the party for Mark and Jayme, shop and prepare food for a family dinner and go to Julia and Julie with my girls. I got as far as getting ready to go shopping for food. Mr C had been in the front yard with the dogs. He started pulling out a locust sapling from the front landscaping and disturbed a yellow jacket nest. He came running into the house screaming and cursing with a cadre of yellow jackets accompanying him. We grabbed newspaper and swatted most of them. It became increasingly obvious that he was in distress. I told him to get in the car and I was going to drive him to the ER. We got two blocks and he began to lose consciousness. I turned around and went back home. I had Lisa go stay with him in the car while I dialed 911. A calm and efficient woman asked me lots of questions about him and what was happening which she relayed to the EMTs. It did not take long for them to arrive. By this time, he was retching and in severe distress. They loaded him in the ambulance and off they went

Lisa and I got the dogs in and followed them to the hospital. Because of his nausea and chest pain, they started treating him for a heart attack. By the time we saw him in the ER, he was not looking too bad. Then, things took a turn for the worse. He was breaking out in more hives, his blood pressure was falling as was his heart rate. He was setting off the alarms. They decided to do another EKG. I asked the doctor if he was going to be there for awhile and he said yes. Lisa and I went back home to grab a bite to eat and so I could put on warmer clothes. I was freezing. Steph met us at the house and she went back to the hospital with me. By this time they had called to tell us they were admitting him to the hospital for observation.

We arrived at the hospital to find him in a posh room in the cardiac unit. His vitals had stabilized; he had some food to eat and we all sighed with relief. I brought him home this morning. They decided that the symptoms were all related to the wasp attack and the resulting drop in his blood pressure because of that.

He was sent home with benadryl, prednisone and 2 epi pens for use if he ever gets bitten again because he will now be super sensitive. He had 15 – 20 bites, but it will only take one next time. Our co-pay was $50. We expect to get a bill for the ambulance.

Whew! I am glad that is over. I was so impressed with the response and efficiency of the EMTs and the 911 operator. I also felt blessed to have my daughters by my side.

I am pretty exhausted, but this afternoon, I finally finished updating my website. You can click on New Work up in the menu if you would like to see what I have added.

11 Responses to “Life is What Happens to You”

  1. jenclair says:

    Wow! What an experience, Gerrie! My dad had this happen years ago, and I developed a real respect for the power of those vicious little creatures. Mr. C was so lucky that you were home!

  2. dee says:

    Wow Gerrie, what a day. So glad Mr. C is doing well. That’s frightening. Hope he is up and around soon. Breathe deeply!

  3. Jennifer Coyne Qudeen says:

    I’m so happy to hear that your husband is doing well. Reading the entry had my heart racing.

  4. Pammyfay says:

    How horribly frightening, but I’m so glad you were all of clear minds to do what needed to be done. I remember seeing a report on TV news that even though the first, natural instinct is to put an ill person in the car and drive to the hospital, the ambulance people have the skills and equipment to keep the injured person alive for the ride. So so glad you turned around.

    Did this come out of the blue–was he allergic to anything like this before, or are yellowjackets vicious and extremely dangerous to everybody regardless? I might have to do some research about this. I don’t imagine myself with freak illnesses or accidents everyday, but this is scary!!!

    Hope the hubby is resting comfortably now, and that you’re in a calmer place, too.

  5. Reva says:

    Memo to Universe: Back OFF! Gerrie’s had WAY too much on her plate lately.

    I’m so relieved that Steve is okay; whew.

  6. Jeannie says:

    Exciting times in the Congdon household! I am so glad Mr. C is on the mend. Take care and relax!

  7. Dale Anne says:

    So glad everything turned out OK! A big scare indeed!!!
    And, it was good that the girls were right there for YOU – take a day and REST!!!

  8. Diane D. says:

    Wow! I’m so glad Mr. C is on the mend and that you were so quick thinking.

  9. teri says:

    Yellow jackets are among the most venemous. I react faster to them than anything else. Make sure to keep an epi pen EVERYWHERE you go and the Benedryl too. And write on your calendar in BIG RED LETTERS a note the week before the pens expire so you remember to get new ones!


  10. Karen Rips says:

    What a day you all had, I’m glad your doughters were there also. I’m surprised you are able to function now, I usually et a real letdown after an adrenalin rush like that.

  11. KathieB says:

    Oh jeez, just reading this is so frightening! Autoimmune issues are so chancy and the situation can deteriorate SO quickly. And this could happen to anyone working in a yard. What if he’d been alone? Thank goodness you were there with him, and thank goodness for rapid medical response. SO GLAD all is OK.