Of Bites and the Garden

Of Bites and the Garden

Last week I walked outside my front door on my way to get the morning newspaper the same as usual. Sometimes I’ll go out the back door to walk around the garden to the front yard and other days I come out the front door. There is little rhyme or reason to it, just however I feel like going. But on particular this day something was lying in wait for person venturing to pick up the newspaper. I opened the door without any care in the world and quickly felt a sharp bite on my knee. I looked down but saw nothing on my knee, no bug, no spider, no grizzly bear hanging with its jaws around my knee. It was a very sharp pain with no obvious cause. Something got me. Maybe it was the ground wasp I tested the flying insect killer on the other day, just waiting for the moment to get his revenge. I could rule out spiders since the wound only had a single puncture mark and I could eliminate normal bees since there was no stinger remaining.
Whatever it was the pain dissipated about an hour later.  I resumed my normal day getting the kids their breakfast and getting life going around the house. I even mowed the yard in the evening. The day passed and the next day arrived along with pain and swelling. My knee was red and growing, kind of like a tomato, not the kind of thing you want to see on your knee. I figured I had better get to the doctor.
The doctor looked at my knee and prescribed me an antibiotic in case there was an infection as well as a steroid for any possible allergic reaction. While there at the doctor I decided (at the insistence of my wife) to add on a tetanus shot since it had been eons since my last one. It’s a good thing for every active gardener to keep up their tetanus shots up to date. I went by the drug store, picked up my prescription, and headed home to take my first dose of medication and rest my knee.
I kept off the knee as much as I could the rest of the day. Needless to say the garden didn’t get much attention. To make things a little more interesting we had a family vacation planned. The swelling went down in time for our trip to Chattanooga where the girls were thrilled by sharks and penguins at the aquarium, but something strange began to happen that I have never experienced in my life to this extreme. I ended up with a case of the hiccups from you know where…
They came unexpected and lasted the whole weekend. Every time I ate food…hiccup. Every time I drank…hiccup.  Every time I tried to sleep …hiccup. Every where we went…hiccup, hiccup, hiccup. When I slept at night hiccups woke me up on average three times a night.  They were painful, hiccup. I would gladly have taken another bite from the beast that originally bit me if I could have just gotten rid of those hiccups.
The hiccups are finally gone but have left behind an acid reflux feeling in the base of my throat. The crazy thing is I can’t remember the last time I was bitten by a bug before last week, at least not any that are of any account. I’ve had mosquito bites, chiggers, sweat bee bites, and the occasional small spider bite that they give you just to let you know they are there but not anything like this.  I wasn’t even going out to work in the garden. All the time I spend around bees and wasps everyday in the garden and I get assaulted while going to get the paper. Next time I’ll be more careful when going for the paper but if you ask me which I would rather have, a bug bite or the hiccups, I think I would choose the bug bite!


Dave has written GrowingTheHomeGarden.com since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Oh my, could it have been a scorpion?
    I really don't like bites or stings of any kind as I have an allergic reaction. I've done went through spider {possible brown recluse} bite on face, now I have a hole there. It bit me during the night. Gladly it bit me rather than my ggs as he was too little to explain.
    I hope you don't have any lasting effects of it.

  2. That is terrible Dave! I hope you you are completely over the bite and the hiccups. Not a fun way to spend vacation time. gail

  3. Sorry to hear it Dave! I wonder what the darn thing was! Very stealth like whatever it was! Hopefully the antibiotics are doing the trick!

  4. I bet it was a wasp. You sometimes can't even see them and wonder what the heck you did when they begin stinging you. Do rest and get well soon. That tetanus shot was a good idea!

  5. For goodness sakes, Dave, that is just awful! What a strange combination of ailments too. I know your girls and wife must have loved the aquarium. I wish you had come on up to my house, I would have loaded you up with plants, but it sounds like maybe another time would be better. The offer stands. 🙂

  6. Dear Dave .. My goodness the hiccup thing must have worn you out .. people usually laugh at that weird and wacky physical reaction .. those people have not had them in a long or intense enough period of time to understand how physically draining they can be .. I went a bit over board in my garden yesterday and never thought about the bite issue .. I did however have my husband do spider checks on my head and neck a few times that afternoon .. who would think gardening and getting the morning paper would really be that chancy? !! haha
    Glad you are feeling better : )
    Zantac works well if it goes to full acid reflux !
    Joy : )

  7. Dave, Could the hiccups have been related to the meds? My husband was stung by a wasp a couple of years ago and ended up in emerg, too, with a hugely swollen arm. The doc said it wasn't the wasp venom that caused it; it was infection due to dirt on the stinger. Those wasps get into mischief (and lots of other nasty things) at this time of year.

  8. Lola,

    I don't think it was a scorpion. I've never seen one here although they could be somewhere. Brown recluses are scary things. Someone I knew in college got bit by one and let it go. His leg began to get a softball size wound from necrosis.


    They are gone now for two days thankfully!


    I probably startled a wasp but I really wish I had seen it just to know for sure.


    I was a little overdue for that shot. Jenny's been on to me for a year to get one!


    I thought about heading up there to visit but we only had a little time to squeeze in everything and the rain made that difficult! I think we'll be heading back that way in the spring time.


    I wish reading the newspaper wasn't so dangerous. Maybe that's why the papers are all going out of business…

    Thanks Donna 🙂


    I'm almost 100% positive the hiccups were due to the antibiotic. I looked it up when we got back and it is a rare side effect that has been known to occur. A miserable one for sure!

  9. So sorry about the tomato on your knee..I have had some very strange bites myself. I know the hiccups are annoying……your story did make me laugh out loud though….

  10. My daughter deathly allergic to bee stings, and also has a reaction to spider bites…enough to render her semi-conscious. Needless to say, she carries two epi-pens with her at all times and bottles of liquid Benadryl — and she's a wildlife biologist who is constantly in wooded and wetland areas. I've only had one spider bite, on a toe, and it was so painful. Too bad you hadn't seen the culprit, just for interest's sake, given your reaction. The hiccups could possibly have been related…they're caused by contractions of the diaphragm which is just a big muscle. Whatever, I hope both are gone and you don't have to deal with them again! 🙂

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