Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Bee's-Eye View

The scariest moment of my trip—of my life—up until now is when I spent the evening in a Czech Emergency Room. And it is all thanks to one little bee. 

The youth group spent Friday afternoon hiking up “Holy Hill” outside of Olomouc, and as much fun as I was having, I needed to leave early. With a friend's wedding in Vysoke Myto on on Saturday morning, I needed to catch Friday evening's train. To get me there, one of the Czech youth leaders, Jarek, was going to drive me back down the hill/mountain to grab my bag and get me to the train station. However, at the last minute, the leaders decided to have Ivan drive me (the reason is still unknown to me, because they made that decision while speaking Czech).

Visiting as we drove into town, Ivan and I were about two minutes away from Dorkas (the Bible school where I'm staying) when a bee flew in the car window and stung me on the shoulder. I was obviously in pain, but since 12 years had passed since my last sting, I didn't think much about it.

Arriving at Dorkas, and I ran to grab my backpack. Upon reaching the 4th floor, my face and ears began to feel funny. Attributing the sensations to heat and exertion, I grabbed my pack and ran back down. Nearing the car, I noticed that my lips were going numb. Telling Ivan of the situation, we decided to call Mike Young (he missionary taking care of me, who lives about one hour away) Mike asked Ivan if he could drive me to the hospital, so we jumped back into the car and took off.

Roughly three minutes later, my lower back began to itch. Reaching back to scratch it, I felt bumps along my skin. Asking Ivan to check, he told me that he saw “bubbles” (hives). By the time we arrived at the hospital, hives had broken out over my entire body—back, chest, legs, arms, neck... even in my hair. In addition, my face had become significantly swollen. Rushing into the emergency room, Ivan began to speak to the nurse in Czech. Her first concern was about my breathing, and I answered that it was fine... for the moment. She then began the neccessary paperwork, and I presented my passport. Luckily, I had stuck it in my purse on a whim earlier that day.

Within a minute or so, breathing began to grow more difficult. Panic setting in, I told Ivan of the new development, and he in turn translated the message to the nurse. Standing up, she tossed my passport onto the desk and rushed me back into the doctor's room. He began to ask me the usual questions through Ivan's translation, “Are you allergic to anything else... are you taking any other medications... are you allergic to any medications...” A we spoke, the nurse pepared my arm for the injection, which eased my breathing within moments. Once my breathing was back to normal, they set me up with an IV to treat the swelling and hives.

A while later, as I lied in my hospital bed, IV dripping into my arm, Ivan prayed over me, thanking God for His protection. When he finished, I turned to him and said, “You know... I can see that God was with me. He really was protecting me.”

The events of this attack may have been frightening, but even lying on a gurney, I could look back and see how God kept me safe. From the time the bee stung me until I began to have difficulty breathing was about 25-30 minutes. What are the blessings that kept me safe?

  1. Ivan would drove me--his English is impeccable, and a a result, we didn't have any translation issues. Had the original driver, Jarek, been my escort, communication with the Doctors would have been much more difficult.
  2. We had a car--this was one of the mere handful of times during my trip that we've had a car readily available. Most of the transportation here is by foot or public trams/buses. If I'd had to wait for a tram, or for someone else to come pick me up, the extra time could've been lethal.
  3. We were already in town--instead of having been stung on top of Holy Hill (I did see several bees up there throughout the day), I was stung within city limits, extremely close to the hospital.

I praise God, because I know that He is with me. And He's stronger than anything I face.
The view halfway up "Holy Hill"

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you." (Psalm 5:11)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome reflections Leslie. I'm so glad that you were okay and that you were in good hands. God was definiately with you that day.