Yesterday I went from health to helplessness in 30 minutes. I was mowing my yard and suddenly got stung multiple times by yellow jackets. The sudden stinging pain was shocking. As I ran into my house I felt a yellow jacket lodged in my sweaty hair. It took a couple of minutes to get it out and then it began to fly around and I finally chased it out of the door.
Meanwhile I was beginning to feel a burning pain all over my body. So I jumped in the shower. But the growing, gruesome pain was spreading. As I dried off I saw red hives popping up all over my body. Then my lips began to get numb. I told my wife I needed to go to the emergency room.
As we arrived, my tongue was swelling and getting numb and my whole body was burning. I was soon lying on a gurney, nauseated, hurting, and helpless, being cared for by two nurses who were sticking me with needles, but I was so miserable I hardly noticed.
One of them said, “We’ve got the medicine (Epinephrine) going in,” and all of a sudden my vision began to slowly darken, like someone was dimming the lights. I finally closed my eyes thinking I was going out and praying. However, after a couple of minutes the pain began to ease a wee bit. Over the next two hours, helplessly hooked to a heart monitor and IV, I gradually got better. I’m still not completely back to normal today, although I’m getting close. Mostly, I’m so glad I’m not where I was yesterday!
It is so easy to take life and health (ours and other’s) for granted. It’s very humbling when we realize that we humans are only one sting, or bite, or infection, or accident, or evil act of violence away from helplessness.
Once before I had experienced the pain of being stung by yellow jackets, but then, I had no allergic reaction. So I was stunned and shocked by what happened yesterday. However, through it all, I knew that the living, resurrected Jesus was in me and with me. I am so grateful for that!