Breaking News: Bee Attack Screws Up Yoga

This is me in the beginning of summer: joyful, hopeful, hanging out at Lake Lanier with my friends. Don’t I look so happy to be doing some yoga in the sand?

yoga Utthita Hasta Padangustasana or hand to big toe pose

This is me after a bee attack.


This is how it went down.

One peaceful Sunday morning I hopped out of bed. The morning air felt so good against my skin that I didn’t bother getting dressed. I shrugged on my bathrobe and decided to take the dog out for her morning potty break. It’s usually my husband’s task in the morning but he was sleeping peacefully and I was already up so, why not? I liked seeing the deer and birds in the morning, anyway.

Riley and I headed out the back door and down the stairs to the trails that wind through our back yard. Just as I expected, the birds were singing their good morning songs. An adolescent deer bounded (halfheartedly) into the woods and waited for us to pass. Just as I was admiring the way that sun light pierced through the green canopy overhead, I heard a buzz fly past my ear. Nothing special. There are tons of things flying in the woods. Then another buzz. And another buzzzz and another followed by a piercing sting on my foot.

I began to run back towards the house. The sound followed me not just overhead, where I expected, but also below. They had swarmed into my bathrobe. I tore it off and ran as naked as a jaybird back towards the stairs.


My dog–sweet as honey but dense as lead–stood befuddled in the middle of the trail. She shook her head in protest to the storm of bees around her. I called her but she didn’t budge. Was her leash caught on something? Another sting seared into my thigh.  In a mother’s bout of insanity, I charged back, grabbed her leash, and made a run for the stairs.

A sting dug into my neck. SMACK! I slipped and crashed into the stairs. Damn flip flops. I left them where they lay and dashed into the house. I dropped Riley’s leash and flew up the stairs. I could still hear buzzing around me, one lone survivor ready to sting me whether it was the last thing he did on earth.

And he did.

I stumbled into the shower and stood under the cold jets of water, shaking out my hair. I saw his stupid little yellow jacket body fall onto the tile floor. My heart pounded and the rush of adrenaline made me nauseous. I sat down on the chilly tiles and waited to puke.

My husband wandered in. “What…what’s wrong? Are you okay? I just saw you run by…” I briefly explained as I caught my breath. He went to find some remedies to minimize the burn of the stings.

But I began to worry. Even though my body had cooled off and the heart rate normalized, I still felt incredibly nauseous. I tried to dry off and make it to the toilet–because how do you clean puke from a shower without barfing again?–but I didn’t make it and ended up laying on the floor. I called Alejandro. No response. I felt so weak I must be allergic to bees. *panic* But no swelling in my throat or eyes? Good. I wanted to go get Alejandro but I only made it to the foot of the bed before I collapsed again.

I’m not sure how long I lay there. When I came to, Alejandro handed me a bowl of crushed garlic and oil, which did help to relieve the swelling around the bites and minimize the pain a bit. But I still felt like a wreck, far too sick for four or five stings. I must be mildly allergic, just not My Girl allergic.

Fast-forward two days and it ends up that I dislocated my thumb when I fell. I can remember the distinct moment when it popped back into place in the shower. I thought it was okay. But it kept locking up and slipping out of place so eventually I had it x-rayed. Score! I get to wear this sexy beast for three week!

De Quervain's tenosynovitis

That was sarcasm.

The clunky cast has definitely screwed up my yoga game. I can’t lay my hand flat, or make a fist, or place weight evenly across the tips of my fingers. My left hand is pretty pathetic right now. I’m so pitiful! I attended a few classes, subbing dolphin for downdog and sphinx for cobra and updog. I put blocks on either side of me and rested my elbows on them for support in lunges, cat, and cow. Awkward but not too bad.

Some substitutions worked but there really isn’t a good way to evenly support my weight when trying to lower into a split. I’m not low enough to roll into it like a gymnast so my “splits by my birthday!” goal has been postponed. Dangit.

There are also a few other things that get jacked up when you’re diagnosed with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis and must wear a goofy cast that immobilizes your thumb and wrist:

  • pulling up your underwear
  • clasping a bracelet
  • dicing juicy fruits and veggies
  • trying to look sexy in anything
  • pulling your hair into a ponytail

On a brighter note, I’m still alive! Those yellow jackets are not. Win.

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