Wednesday morning, I took my tractor up to the back of my property to get some fill for a project. I got a bit side tracked and decided to uproot a couple of trees that I had to negotiate around to get to the sand bank. In the process, I disturbed a yellowjacket nest and got stung 3 times. No big deal, right? Wrong! I am highly allergic to bee stings and have been hospitalized several times since childhood for severe reactions. I swung the tractor around, shifted to high range and boogied back to the house a couple hundred yards away. I came in the house and told the wife I had been stung. She is aware of my allergy, but had never seen my reaction. First, I handed her an EpiPen and her reading glasses so she could read the instructions and then grabbed a bottle of liquid Benadryl I keep in the medicine cabinet. The normal dose is a tablespoon, I swigged down a healthy shot, knowing how quickly I can react. Take it from me, anaphylaxis is no fun at all. Thankfully, due to my quick action, I had almost no reaction to the stings, certainly nothing more severe than a non-alergic person would experience. Those of you that have never been stung, or have kids that may possibly be allergic should keep Benadryl on hand. I recommend the liquid form. Had I been stung on the face or neck, in 15 minutes, my throat could have been so swollen that swallowing a pill would be difficult. The liquid form also gets into your system faster than a capsule. Different people may react in slightly different ways, but typically, the reaction would start with localized swelling at the site of the sting, kind of like a mosquito bite but over a larger area. If that happens watch very carefully. The next sign, typically is hives (smallish itchy bumps on the skin) that usually show up first at the inside of the elbow, inside of the knee, arm pit or genitals. NOW is the time for Benadryl. Don't wait for the next sign which would be full body hives because once you get there, you are dangerously close to anaphylaxis which could affect breathing and circulation. If you know you or your child have allergies that could cause anaphylaxis, PLEASE see your doctor and get a prescription for an EpiPen and learn how to use it. The reaction could come on so suddenly that you might never make it to a hospital. About 10 or 12 years ago, I was lying in bed watching TV with my ex. We were sharing a jar of cashews (I LOVE cashews). After a few minutes, I noticed the inside of my elbows was itching. I didn't pay too much attention, though I did mention it to my lady. She is a nurse, so she went into that care giver mode and was watching me like a hawk. Within 3 minutes, I was gasping for breath and my pulse was, damn sounded like a machine gun in my chest! She jumped out of bed, ran to the medicine cabinet and jammed this thing in my thigh. Within 3 minutes, I was breathing normally, my pulse had slowed and the hives were gone. If I had had to wait 10 minutes for an ambulance and more time for a dose of Epinephrine, it's likely that I wouldn't be typing this out for you. PLEASE! Next time you're at the pharmacy, pick up a bottle of liquid Benadryl. It might just save your life. The only downside to Benadryl is it will make you drowsy. Don't drive after taking it. The plus side is I got a nice nap Wednesday afternoon.