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Stings and Kicks!

Ahhhh the country life, sometimes I feel like I am in a movie, other times on a sitcom and still others in a reality show!

This last week I got stung by 3 wasps at 2 different times on the same day. The first thing to know about wasps is they don’t like to be bothered. They don’t really care if it’s intentional or not as they strike back with equal force in both situations if they feel threatened!

I fell into the unintentional wasp aggravating category! On my way back from the compost loo I stopped to pick some weeds growing out of the stone steps. I was conscious not to pull so hard as to throw myself off the terrace (which is a good thing not to do!) so to gain leverage I put one hand on the wall and the other hand on this rather stubborn weed. Unfortunately my awareness was all on not falling off the terrace so there wasnt any left over for what might be in the wall! I placed my hand right over a wasps nest and Whammo one got me in the finger, then another in the shoulder. So the first thing to know about these small but efficient sentient beings is they are very fast, the second lesson is they don’t hesitate and the third is the sting hurts like hell!

An hour later I had to go down the same path and I swung wide to avoid the nest. Unfortunately it didn’t work and the 3 characteristics described above were once again proven correct! So the fourth lesson that one should know about these fast little fellows is don’t think you can go past an already aggravated nest and go unnoticed! This may seem obvious to some folks but its worth a mention, maybe there are others like me who think the little devils (opps I mean sentient beings) wont strike if I give them a bit of space…WRONG!

So the intention of this post is not only to tell my sorry tale but to pass along some important information of what to do if one does get stung by a wasp or two or three. I didn’t know any of this information so I did all the wrong things and my finger, arm and hand swelled up quite badly. I am told even if one does everything wrong they still might have the reaction that I did but if you are interested in minimizing your chances of days and days of agony and incredibly itching follow these simple steps immediately after getting stung:

· Take Rescue Remedy and Apis or Ledum if you have it.
· Take any rings off if you are stung in the finger (I did this one and I was glad I did otherwise I would have had to cut my wedding ring off!)
· Put vinegar on the sting right away
· Continue to put vinegar on over the next few hours
· If you have any clay – soak your finger in warm/hot water and put the clay on it. The warm water opens the pores and the clay draws out the poison
· If your´re English have a cup of tea (this is a joke but it probably wouldn’t hurt!)

Any other remedys are most welcomed so please add a comment if you have some good ones!

OK now moving on to the donkey part of the story…

A day after my stings finally got to the point where I didn’t want to rip my arm off due to the itching I got kicked by one of our donkeys. I was always very careful about not getting too close to Nunos back end especially when he was eating but Saturday morning I got casual and Whammo!

So the first rule that one should never forget – DON’T GET CASUAL AROUND A DONKEYS BACK END!

You see my brilliant plan formulated in the compost loo (hhmmm the loo has played a big part in both of these incidences – maybe that means something. J). After making my deposit in the Bank of Mizarela (this is the name of our loo) I went down to see the donkeys. I got this brilliant idea to feed them some grass and then while they were busy eating the grass I could move their fencing out a bit and they could get to some nice green, succulent grass just out of their reach. So my intentions were obviously very saintly, albeit my plan was majorly flawed and very stupid!

So Nuno and Mingo are happily munching away and I start to move the fence. It took them all of 2 seconds to realize they could get out, so out they came. First point – Donkeys are not stupid! Next I thought OK they aren’t doing any harm and they aren’t getting too close to the corn patch so they will probably stay there. Second point – Don’t use irrational wishful thinking, it doesn’t usually work! I continued to move the fence. That’s when Nuno headed for the corn patch. Third point – Donkeys like corn A LOT! I went the wrong way around him and didn’t give myself enough space and he swung around and kicked me in the chest and clipped my jaw. He knocked me back and I dropped to my knees. I won’t go into the gory details but after a few seconds I yelled for Pavlik (our volunteer) and Pete. They came racing to me and eventually got me up to the house.

To make a long story short I have been in good hands ever since and I am recovering quite well. Nothing was broken, my jaw has been out of whack and my stupidity earned me a week on mushy food but after a lot of rest and loving care I am getting back up to speed.

So what to learn from this kick in the ass…

1. DON’T BE CASUAL AND GET TO CLOSE TO THE BACK END OF A DONKEY – even one you love!
2. Have emergency numbers handy
3. Take Rescue Remedy right away
4. Take Arnica and apply it to the injured areas immediately.
5. Don’t drink anything until you know the shock has subsided – maybe 3 hours or so. Dab water on your lips if you are thirsty.
6. Seek help right away. In my case it was from a cranial sacral therapist (Donald) and my dear friend Ria who did some amazing work on me over the phone.
7. Rest, rest and rest!
8. Surround yourself with loving people as getting kicked is not only physically challenging but it freaks one out a bit too!

So the moral of my story…

When we got our donkeys we were led to believe that there were basic things one needs to provide, like food, shelter, medical care and other than that it is easy. Well think again! It is easy to provide those things but there is a lot more to having a donkey then that. We are just learning about it now. Here is a link with some of the basics information http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/assets/274.pdf. We love our donkeys and have given them good care but out of our ignorance we haven’t given them all the mental stimulation and training that they need. Also please make sure that you don’t put others who are even less experienced than you in harms way by having them get too close to the donkeys too soon. We were lucky as no one has been hurt but after being kicked myself I consider it a warning that we can all heed!

For many of us who are inspired to come and live the sustainable life in the country it’s important that we realize that we are NOT actually in a movie, on a sitcom or on a reality show. This is real life and even though most of the time we laugh at our silly mistakes its important not to be too casual about things, living this life has its risks and these risks can be minimized with preparation. I was VERY lucky with my casualness as it could have been a lot worse. I make light of it in what I wrote but I also want to leave everyone with a serious message and that is take time to learn about things before one dives in. Simply put being cautious is GOOD, being casual is NOT GOOD!

So thank you Universe for all the lessons I have learned this week, thank you for presenting these lessons without any long term damage and thank you everyone that has helped me through this learning process!

Please comment on this post with stories of your own that might help others.

Love,
Cynthia

3 Comments

  1. sophie says:

    read some mark rashid – you’ll love it – and your donkeys will be grateful! x

  2. Cynthia says:

    Thanks Sophie I will!

  3. Gar says:

    Get some bees and then you will not waste time thinking about wasp stings.

    Golden rule is “Flick out the dard with finger nails as quickly as you can before the venom sinks in, then you will rarely be ‘stung’ again.

    You will just be nipped, and forget it.

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