Two days ago I was attacked by a swarm of angry bees. All because I wanted to plant a damn juniper bush.
Pretty, isn’t it? Pretty deadly.
I first spotted it two months ago at a local garden center and instantly fell in love. The berries were so pretty, and it had just the right amount of whimsy. I didn’t buy it, though, because it was kind of expensive and I was feeling cheap.
Little did I know then that it would lay in wait for me, ready to attack.
My husband and I had just about finished our landscaping project, but it was missing something: The pretty juniper bush! I knew it would be the perfect finishing touch. I’d never really gotten it out of my mind. Deep down, I knew I had to have it eventually.
So I headed back to the garden center and bought it. It was so heavy I had to heave it out of my mini-van and drag it over to where I would plant it. It took me almost 20 minutes to dig a hole deep and wide enough for it. When it came time to remove it from the ugly, black, plastic pot it was in, the problems started.
The roots were so bound and stuck, I had to lay the bush over my lap and press my feet against the pot while pulling hard with my hands. When it finally came out, so did the bees.
There were bees living in the pot! And let me tell you, they were furious I’d disturbed their peace.
It took only a moment for me to process what was happening. In an instant, I was screaming and running and swatting them away as I dashed for the house. Three bee stings later, I made it inside.
After making a sad concoction of baking soda mixed with rubbing alcohol and apple cider vinegar, which I applied to stop the stinging sensation, I ventured back outside, determined to plant the damn bush before it sweltered to death under the hot sun.
But the bees were still swarming. So I grabbed the garden hose and let loose a stream of water on them. They dispersed, and then came back. And so it went until finally, they appeared gone for good.
I proceeded to start what I’d finished. This was around 2:00 PM. When I was done, I called the garden center to let them know what happened. I was afraid some poor soul who was allergic to bees might buy another juniper bush and die.
Fast forward to 3:00 AM.
I am awakened by pain in my right hand and wrist. I go downstairs to discover they are swollen, despite the Benadryl I took before bed. I grab an ice pack and head back upstairs, but get very little sleep.
In the morning, I see that my hand and wrist are even more swollen and the skin is red. I decide to stop at a walk-in clinic near work to have it checked. The doctor prescribes prednisone and sends me away.
Ten hours later, still at work (yes, this is my life in summer), the redness is now crawling up my arm in a bright streak. I call my mother, who is a nurse. She tells me to get to a hospital, STAT, so I can be placed on an antibiotic drip before the poison goes to my heart.
Good grief, all I wanted was to plant a stinking juniper bush and now it might cost me my life!
I decide to head back to the clinic, where I see the same doctor. Apparently his work schedule sucks in summer, too. He is blasé about this recent development. I tell him what my mother, the nurse, said. He prescribes antibiotics and tells me to go to the emergency room if the line continues to spread.
On the drive home, I call a friend, who tells me to mark the spot so I can see if the redness is actually creeping up or I’m imagining it. Great idea! I thank her profusely and follow her advice. So far, it has stayed put. Perhaps the doctor was blasé for good reason.
Lesson learned: Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it all, and then some you don’t want.
I stole this last line from the song, Home, by Chris Daughtry, who makes the point beautifully. I leave you with it to enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ytod23dBeI