Elisha was stung today: five times.
A group of children were playing outside the church after services today and they ran into a wasp nest. Elisha was stung between fingers on both hands (one each) the thumb and bicep of his right arm.
Natasha was stung too, on her leg under her skirt. Melody came down with a freaking attack of the I’m-hurt-too-notice-me-mores (she’d scraped her heel somewhere) but Natasha took the wet teabag I gave her and went off out of the way while we worked on Elisha.
The church didn’t have any baking soda (the first thing I was looking for) but I saw a gallon ziplock of Lipton teabags, and wet those to use as poultices on each sting as we found them.
Lots of people hovered (thankfully outside the kitchen), but there weren’t many ways to be useful; we were all a little stuck for “next steps.”
At the beginning of the incident, one child offered me some leaves “to chew up and put on the sting, to draw out the poison.”
I didn’t think about whether or not she knew what she was talking about.
“I have a firm policy of not putting things in my mouth when I don’t know what they are, ” I told her.
I remember trying to be careful with my tone, but feeling disgusted at the idea. Even when an adult confirmed the idea, I couldn’t stand it. Especially since, by then, the tea had already eliminated the swelling on the first sting we applied it too and the need no longer existed as it had.
I ended up asking one family to bring Melody home behind us so I could sit in the back in between the needy-wounded. It wasn’t till later it occurred to me I could have just ignored the under-12 rule and gotten us all home in one car, but I’m thankful no one tried to point this out to me at the time.
Once home (and only a cheese-stick’s worth of silence later) I asked mom to keep the girls a while and she came to get them.
Elisha moaned and cried through the rest of the afternoon, asking for more water on his teabags when they dried out (the swelling was gone from all the stings, but he kept the last two bags on the stings between his fingers. He indicated more than once that those were the most painful.
Finally– almost 6 hours after his first dose when we got home, Jay and I decided it was close enough and re-dosed Elisha with the (nurse-suggested) larger dose of Ibuprofen. Jay took a shift of snuggling him while I ate, and maybe 15-minutes later Elisha perked up in the lap and said distinctly,
“I don’t hurt anymore!”
We all cheered and praised Jesus while I watched him adjusting to this new pain-free state. Jay talked Elisha into a glass of milk and set the boy at the table across from me. Elisha sat there, a smile spreading on his face. “I don’t hurt any more!”
Then a connection was made.
“God healed me!”
“Yes!” I answered. “We thank God for healing you!”
“God healed me!” he said again, the delight splitting his face into a grin.
The girls came home, everybody went to bed and to sleep. I responded to a few calls of concern that came in during bedtime, delighted to tell the story of Elisha’s revelation.
His Sunday school teacher filled in the missing piece for me.
All this month (the 2-3 year-olds do the same story every week for a month) his class has been reviewing the story of Naaman (who asked the prophet Elisha for help), talking about how Naaman was so sick his mama couldn’t help him, his papa couldn’t the doctors couldn’t. Only God could heal him.
And I just marveled at the perfection of God’s timing– that Elisha would be prepared to praise, and be prepared with the words to use.
If Elisha doesn’t remember this on his own, I know this is a story I’ll be telling him: Even when Mama and Daddy can’t fix it, God can.
The current list of praises:
- The quick reduction of swelling: the nurse said swelling could last up to 2-3 days
- No threatening reaction despite the number of stings.
- The nurse said if something *bad* was going to happen it would happen within the first two hours
- Elisha was wearing long pants and long sleeves, protecting most of his body.
- He wasn’t stung more. The grandma watching everybody when it happened said he was swarmed. A couple wasps even followed him into the church when he was brought to find me.
- The nest was found by investigating adults who know what to do about it.
- The teabags were there and they worked so well.
- Everyone was so respectful and responsive– helping us manage, but not trying to manage us.
- All the children were asleep by 9 p.m.
“All praise to God who reigns above.”