Summer Stings + Things

Throwback circa 1992

Julie B!! Oh I was so fond of the time I spent at summer camp with this dear one who just the other day had no idea I was going to post a bunch of old pix in honor of my bday month and sent this to me out of the blue!

I lied about my age to become a CIT at Golden Slipper Camp a year earlier than I was able to legally obtain a work permit. oops

Grateful that I did because those were some of the best times of my life. Even though I was a weirdo emo art kid trying my best to hide my desperate childhood poverty and parental abuse from everyone, there were these kinds of moments with amazing humans that I got to call my friends.

This was the same summer that I was stung by a bee at 2am while painting the bunk plaque for the end of the first encampment. Bunk J I believe. Despite the rumors that bees prefer daytime, this night bee flew into Julie’s long, thick mane and she jumped around the cabin trying to shake it out of her hair. It finally got free and then we went back to painting.

A few minutes later it came out of nowhere and stung me on the knuckle of my right ring finger. I had no idea I was allergic at the time but I wasn’t feeling well right away. Our other co-counselor Denise said I was probably allergic like her. She said she just takes Benadryl and it solves the problem. I took some, but a couple minutes later I still felt really weird.

I went into the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror, the impetigo on my chin that I got a week earlier from a mosquito bite was oozing and my face was rapidly swelling. Denise and Julie agreed I should go to infirmary so I hiked over there.

Nurse said the same, probably just an allergy, take some Benadryl and sleep there for the night. I got into bed and after a couple of minutes my armpits hurt. Huh? I went to the bathroom to take a look and I was covered in hives, the teeny baby armpit hairs growing in now felt like daggers in my skin.

Back to the nurse, “um, I really don’t feel well.” This time she looked at me and immediately called the head counselor to take me to the hospital. Since we were in the middle of the woods, the hospital was about 45 minutes away. By the time we arrived I was unconscious and had gone into anaphylactic shock.

The next thing I knew, I shot up from the hospital bed, instinctively diving to rip an IV of steroids and whatever life juice they were filling me with, out of my hand. The doctor and nurse restrained me before I could succeed and calmed me down. I remember at one point seeing my heart rate monitor at 14 BPM.

After they stabilized me, they left the room for me to recover, or to go get the heart attack patient that had just come in. They came rushing in with him on a gurney and drew the curtain between us while they pumped him back to life. The curtain was not the full width of the room so I could still see almost everything going on, but didn’t have enough strength to interpret my surroundings. This was a one or two room hospital in the middle of the mountains so there weren’t alot of resources. Apparently the middle of the night is when it’s hoppin’ around there.

He kept moaning, “Oh the pain!” I looked over and saw his heart rate monitor, 148. I remember lying there thinking, if I only we could combine our heart rates we would both be normal. Bee Daze Math.

Most of the days I spent at camp and with Julie were not life threatening, but this was the day I found out I was allergic to bees. Well, maybe not the day in this picture. I wore that 70s knit sweater t-shirt any chance I could. I wish I still had that little gem. It was cropped too, back in style..because that’s how old I…I mean that’s how old that picture is now, printed on unpredictable film with a weird saturated smudge and everything.

SO overdue for a camp reunion!

ps if you want to add a little pop, bling, or zing to your photos HMU. I love making digital art for people!

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