Friday, 15 July 2011

Jellyfish Jeapardy

There I was, minding my own business, having a bit of a swim in the sea in the evening at Gullane and feeling pleased with myself that my swimming was improving when not suddenly but gradually I became aware of a bit of heat in my right wrist. Earlier when I was swimming my ankles had burned a bit too. Like the heat of chillies in food - hot but not even unpleasant. And that seemed to have gone now. My wrist was red when I looked at it. We were just coming out the water so I didn't give it much thought. Hey I've been stung by a jellyfish or something - there's a first.

We went back to Lucy's for tea and I tried soaking my wrist in red wine vinegar to see if that would help - and then had a bit of a Google to see if I could see anything else to do. Since it was unlikely there was anything very toxic in UK waters then the main worry would be anaphylaxis. My legs got very restless and tingly and I couldn't settle, meanwhile my wrist kept burning. I assumed it was going to be a short-lived thing but it didn't go away so we left Lucy's rather promptly and I put plan B in place which was to get some antihistamines and painkillers on the way home. I'm not really up on my antihistamines but Cetirizine for hay fever looked like a good bet also being for general allergies. We got lucky and caught the Prestonpans Coop before it closed at 10pm and I got what I wanted and took it right away. Its difficult to explain or even relate to how I was feeling but I felt like I had little electric shocks running up and down my legs and my hand was throbbing and I felt just generally very irritable and very tense. I tried to get Peter to distract me but all he could come up with was a list of all the things that were really really irritating him at the moment and it felt like this was just making the irritation in me intensify! I'm getting itchy just thinking about it...

I had a long day of work planned for today with my new job running from 8.30 - 12.30 and then a bank shift from 1 - 9, so I knew I needed plenty of sleep - but as the hours ticked by the chances of that happening receded. I couldn't lie still in bed and I couldn't put the light out without everything getting worse. My hand was a big red puffy thing with no veins and little drops of moisture on the surface. At 4 or 5 in the morning I phoned my new job and left a message about blah, blah jellyfish (I'm not really looking forwards to seeing them on Tuesday morning when I'm due back in!) and finally about 6 in the morning I fell asleep - 1st for just 10 minutes - but then for longer. At 8am I was awake and thought about phoning my GP but didn't think they'd be able to help or tell me anything and I needed sleep more, so slept through til 10.30 or so and got up to go to my second lot of work.

So now my hand's the normal size and although writing this has brought back some itchy feelings, its mostly resolved. But what am I to make of it? Was it a jellyfish? Was it a more-than-usually-toxic jellyfish? Or did I have a reaction to it - am I allergic to jellyfish? Is there anything I can do to avoid further stings from jellyfish?
Why is life acting weird? What does it all mean?

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