A couple weeks after my surgery, I was beginning to figure out what helped and what made the pain worse. I had realized that keeping anything light from touching my right chest helped, but cold definitely made it worse! I had also realized that the sun helped, both mentally and physically.
One day, I was laying out in the sun by the pool. It was extremely hot that day so I decided I was going to get in the pool on my seat float to float around. I go to get on the float and as soon as the back of my right arm touched the float I felt a sting! At this point, I couldn’t raise my arm very far at all, my muscles weren’t working very well and I was very stiff. But I see it fly away, it was a wasp! I get out of the pool trying not to alarm my daughter who’s swimming, it’s not like I could run, even if I wanted too! My niece, Skylar, noticed what happened, but was trying to stay calm as well. I sit in my chair wallowing again, thinking what else? What’s next?
A few hours later, I noticed that I wasn’t as stiff. With CRPS you feel stoved up most of the time, just extremely stiff. This had eased up quite a bit! I started wondering what had caused the stiffness to decrease, but I had no clue! I hadn’t done anything different! I start telling my husband how I felt and he asked what I did differently. I tell him that I hadn’t done a thing different. Skylar was still taking excellent care of me at this point. I then proceed to tell him about getting stung by a bee. He says, “Well, Pappaw always said it helped his arthritis.” I said, “You don’t think that’s what’s helped me do you?”
I hadn’t heard of bee sting therapy, but after researching I learned that it likely had helped me! I found a case study with a 29 year old male who presented with CRPS, pain rated 8/10, depression, rash and hypersensitivity. After receiving bee sting therapy, he no longer needed pain medication! At his four month follow up visit, he was still pain free 0/10! I needed this, I needed something positive! And I felt like God placed that bee in my path for a reason, to give me some much needed hope! I hadn’t been stung by a bee in so long, I couldn’t recall the last time. But at this point I needed it, I was getting pretty down. I’m not used to not being able to do things and be active, that combined with the pain and stiffness I was headed into a dark place.
Several times since this day I have intentionally gotten stung. Many reports I read don’t use wasps and with my personal experience, red wasps do not help. My husband will get the bee with a pair of tweezers and sting me with it. I tell him, I think he enjoys it way too much! Ha! He said, from the beginning of this, he knew that I was in extreme pain, but the fact that I will willingly get stung by a wasp to get help tells him how bad it is. That’s the thing that people can’t wrap their minds around. CRPS has no cure, and no designated treatment plan. Once diagnosed with CRPS, you soon find out that this is life. Life is now living in pain every day of your life, but you have to find ways to cope and deal with it! Doctors will try different things, such as anti-convulsants or analgesics, but I have never had anything as helpful as a bee sting. We’ve considered getting a hive because it helps so much!
Now, I should mention that you can develop allergies to anything, including bees. Furthermore, you could have a severe, even deadly reaction. I had actually read another case study about a 55 year old woman who developed an allergy and died after receiving bee sting therapy once a month for two years. So, this is definitely a risky treatment to pursue but it has helped me more than anything else I’ve tried!
Lastly, I should also mention to know the type of bee you’re after. My brother once had me try to get some honey from some bees when I was about 6 years old. The problem with that? Well, they were yellow-jackets, not honey bees! 🤨
Kim, J., Jeon, H., Kim, H., Cho, C., & Yoo, H. (2014, December). Bee venom pharmacopuncture: An effective treatment for complex regional pain syndrome. Retrieved March 21, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4332002/
Bee sting acupuncture lethal for woman. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2019, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/03/22/health/bee-sting-acupuncture-kills-woman-diagnosis-unusual/index.html