Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cherry Picking Disaster

I had a frightening adventure on Thursday! I took my children and my daycare children to the park for a while in the morning and on the way home I decided to stop at my neighbors, the one with all the rhubarb. I knew that more rhubarb would be ready by now and he had told me that one of his cherry trees was ripe for the picking. Fresh cherry pie sounded fantastic and his farm is lots of fun for the kids so we stopped in. They have kittens and a cute rat terrier puppy the kids like to play with. So I got to work while they frolicked in the yard.

After picking what amounted to another gallon of rhubarb, I headed to the cherry trees and the kids followed. "Johnny" my special needs child was carrying the little puppy and was just in hog heaven! He and that puppy had become fast friends and I was enjoying watching them as I was picking. I had probably picked about 1/2 gallon of cherries when I noticed Johnny carry the puppy over to this big white wooden box sitting in the yard. I am oblivious to the danger of this, not even realizing what the box contains as I am picking and munching on cherries. Johnny sets the puppy on top of the box and is petting him and playing when all of the sudden I hear the puppy start yelping as he jumps off the box and starts running through the yard. Honestly my first instinct is to think Johnny unintentionally hurt the puppy, he can be rough without realizing it sometimes. But when I look over I see Johnny walking towards me. He has a strange look on his face.....normally his face is fixed with a great big smile that rarely leaves....but there is something showing on his face in addition to his permanent smile....fear...pain and then I saw the tears! I've never seen Johnny cry before. Ever! I wasn't even sure he was capable. He has a very high pain tolerance and is rarely upset about anything. But these were clearly tears. My heart was pounding as I dropped the cherries and I ran to him and then I could hear it.....

BUZZZZZZZZZZZ.............He had placed the puppy on the lid of a bee hive!! There were bees trapped in his shirt! I ripped his shirt off and immediately ordered all the kids to run to the van! Johnny is allergic to bees...not anaphalactic type allergic, but he gets very sick. There were multiple stings on him and I was terrified what this might do to him. I almost ran into my neighbor's house and called 911, but knew his house was in such a remote location we'd have a better chance of getting ambulance to my house, which was only 1 mile away and located on a blacktop road. (ambulances have been known to take over an hour out here) I wasn't sure how serious his reaction might be to the stings and I was nearly crying myself as we flew home. Once at my house I decided not to call an ambulance, he had very little swelling and no difficulty breathing, but I called his mom right away to see what she thought I should do. Benadryl took care of him for a while, it was only about an hour before he was up and playing and his happy usual self....but for a while I was just heartsick for this poor boy. The kids all chipped in and loved on him and hugged on him and kissed him on the head. My 4 year old told him as he kissed his head "Don't worry Johnny your Mommy will be here soon and make you good and new..."

Johnny didn't make it to my house on Friday, his mom said he vomited in his bed overnight and she found more stings on his legs. I felt so terrible! He's a farm boy just like my kids are, and fortunately his parents are understanding about pitfalls that come with rural living...but my heart still ached for him. Once he fell and knocked out 7 teeth and didn't cry (not at my house), so that tells you what kind of pain tolerance he has. For him to by crying for so long and so hard had to indicate how painful all his stings were. We still don't have a total count of the stings but I would imagine there were 8-12. Poor Baby!!!!!!!!

Note to self: Stay away from the white box!!!!

P.S. My neighbor felt really bad too for never telling me about the hive, it never occurred to him. I called to check on the puppy later that night, it had been stung so bad I was afraid it might die. For a split second it crossed my mind to toss him in the van too, but I figured Johnny's survival was of the utmost importance.....for the record, the puppy is fine now, but he had a rough day.


Hugh Conway said...

That does sound like a rough adventure.

3rd... said...

wow.. "my gril" flashbacks came to me while reading this post
I am so happy all is well now.. it seems like it could have easily been worse

Liz said...

Yikes! We have a bee hive in the back yard and I am just now (after a year) getting up the nerve to go near it... I hate the bees but I love the honey.

P.S. I like the new look

Shannon said...

I cannot imagine something like that happening when someone else's kid was in my care. Too scary. I'm glad he's "okay". Poor baby and poor you!