Saturday, April 29, 2017


That’s from me, not Duane.  Duane is doing very well.  Even after 3 1/2 hours of pt today his pain has been manageable.  (Son) Jeremy and family stopped by for a visit and brought him a big plate of freshly baked home-made cookies.  He has been well rewarded for his efforts.

I, on the other hand, have not fared as well.  Yesterday while helping Jeremy I was unknowingly standing on a very hidden fire ant colony.   Usually they look like the picture below.  When you disturb it, even just brushing the top lightly, the ants come boiling out looking for the enemy and willing to fight to the death.  If you blow up this pic, you can see how small they are.  Once they come out they swarm all over whatever is there and start biting to get a grip.  Then they use an abdominal stinger to inject a toxic alkaloid venom.  In humans, this is painful and feels like being burned by fire.  They usually eat young plants and seeds, but often attack small animals and can kill them.  The effect on humans is similar to being stung by a wasp or bee.


The mound I was standing on was small and had been flattened and hidden in the grass.  I didn’t see any ants until they started attacking me.  I counted 8 stings,  three caused the big red welt on my toe.  My food swelled just as if I had been stung by a bee.  My ankle swelled also. 


The treatment for these bites is the same for any other sting.  There are many home remedies.  (Son) Matt, an RN who happened to call, told me to take Ibuprophen or a Benadryl tablet.  I only had Benadryl cream but that does help with the itch.  I was wearing sandals, which accounts for the number of bites.  If I had been wearing shoes, the ants would have found their way into the shoes and even socks, but I probably wouldn’t have had as many.  Being a veteran of bee stings, I know that I just have to wait it out. 

I stayed home today doing chores.  Tomorrow I plan on visiting Duane and sitting in on his pt session.

Louise and Duane

1 comment:

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

Glad to read that Duane is doing well.

Boy do I hate those ants. My feet looked like yours in November. I didn't see the hill but boy did I feel it. As soon as I get bit, I run cold water over the bites for about three minutes. Takes the itch and sting out of the bites.