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Bees, Wasps, and Hornets ...

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Brunello

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I hate to bring this up in light of all the more serious problems going on in the world, but I wonder if anybody has ideas on how or if insect stings can affect the smoking palate.

Living on 11 acres in rural Virginia I've had my fair share of experiences with the stinging sorts. On my personal 1-10 pain scale I'd rate Carpenter Bees at a 6 and the pain quickly fading, a Mud Dauber Wasp at a 7, a Yellow jacket at a 7.5 with lingering throbbing pain, and a Bald face Hornet at a 9. Thankfully we do not have the Murder Hornets here which by all accounts are a 10.

So, Sunday morning I got stung by two Bald Faced Hornets, one in the wrist, one on the neck. I immediately took two Ibuprofen and a Benadryl as an antihistamine, and cold packs, and the intense pain subsided within 45 minutes. However, my reaction was more severe this time with red swelling halfway up my arm and upper shoulder, which kept me awake like the worst sunburn and poison ivy combined.

I tried smoking a pipe that night figuring it would distract me (McClelland Virginia Woods) but had to stop within 10 minutes because it just felt like acid in my mouth. No smoking for nearly four days until tonight. I haven't had any Ibuprofen or Benadryl today and my eating seems normal, so I thought I should be back to normal. I did finish the bowl but it was really rough.

Anybody have tips on how these stings and/or meds interfere with enjoying a pipe? Somebody told me that at some point the body starts to react worse to stings, when I thought maybe the body would get acclimated to it. Anyway, I suppose this will all go away with time. :|

 

peanubutter

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Hope the palate is back to normal by now. The antibodies kicking in might have been a contributor but, I'm no doctor and can only speculate.
 

Segovia

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I am unburdened by actual knowledge, training, or expertise in the area, but it sounds to me like your body's reaction to the stings included a change in your oral pH level. I have no idea about the "why" part of that, but it should settle down pretty quickly if I am correct. Best of luck to you.
 

Puffy

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Last time I got stung was about 25 years ago..I had a severe reaction that ended in a trip to emergency.After some shots things slowly got better..I can't actually remember about the smoking part.
 

Brunello

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I've been waiting to respond hoping that I could say the Tempest in the Teapot has passed - but so far only partial recovery. I wonder what Puffy meant when he said "things slowly got better" - Weeks? Months?

It's not just smoking, I also seem to have sensitivity to any bitterness and have had to water down my morning coffee, and then brush and gargle right afterward. I'm beginning to wonder if something else is at play here. My older brother doesn't have the patience to hear about all my little gripes, always reminding me: "Getting old ain't for wimps!" :|
 

Segovia

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Sorry that you are still having a struggle with this. I asked my wife who recently retired after a zillion years as a hospital pharmacist and she had no idea except that you apparently had an allergic reaction and that it might be complicated/extended if you are on some meds that somehow interact with hornet venom.

The internet is the absolute worst source of health advice, I'd say just go see a sawbones if it is still an issue in a week or so.
 

Brunello

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I've been trying nearly everyday and tonight was my first enjoyable pipe in nearly two weeks. Maybe 90% back to normal. I guess the lesson learned is that these things take time. Feeling relieved and and in good spirits again! :lol:
 

D.L.Ruth

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Glad to hear things are getting back to normal, how that last 10% clears up quickly
 

beeman86

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That was an interesting and thought provoking post. As a beekeeper having had 100's of stings I've never thought if they had any affect on my palate. I know that as one who smokes a pipe only occasionally through the cooler months, (maybe three times a week) on average and probably not at all during the hot humid months, (just no interest in it when it's it's hot) I have times when I've enjoyed the smoke and other times when I haven't. I've usually put it down to a combination of tobacco and pipe - but never considered the affects of venom. Kind of makes me want to go out and take a couple of stings then try my favorite tobacco/ pipe combo.

The first thing I thought of with your incident was the benadryl but the previous theory regarding a temporary chemical change in the body from the venom makes sense. Maybe it's a combination of both?

I really have no idea...but it's interesting to consider.
 
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