Stung by a Jellyfish

So the big news of the day is that I got my first jellyfish sting.  Less than ten minutes later I got my second jellyfish sting.  More on that in a minute.

I got a call from my dad this morning.  We just discussed him and my mom coming down to visit this weekend.  My youngest sister, Andra Sawyer, goes to the Oak Island with her husband’s family every year.  Oak Island is about a half hour or so from Wilmington, so my parents are coming down to spend a day or so with me and Amanda then spend some time with Andra, Josh and Jackson.

Amanda is generally jealous of me for working at home, so I told her she could be even more jealous of me today because I was working in bed.  I had to, actually, since the only way I could get the internet to the laptop was to plug it directly into the cable modem, and the cable modem is upstairs in the bedroom behind the bed.  So really I had no option but to work in bed.  Honestly it wasn’t the most comfortable.

Michael Mercer came by to do laundry, so he and I ran out to get some BoJangles for lunch.  As we were eating he told me that he and Barry had both been stung by jellyfish yesterday while out surfing.  This was Michael’s second sting, but neither had been very bad at all and you could hardly even see where he’d gotten hit.  I thought about mentioning how lucky I was not to have been stung by a jellyfish yet, but I thought that would curse me.  Little did I know how much it didn’t matter.

Michael was kind enough to stop by Best Buy on the way back so I could return the router I got yesterday and pick up a USB wireless network card.  That worked out nicely and allowed me to move from working in bed to working downstairs like normal.  My brother, Adam Dotsey, and his fiancee, Renee Sikes, stopped by to drop of Dobja, their Pappilon.  They’re going to see Jack Johnson at Alltel Pavilion (Walnut Creek) and are just going to stay at our parents’ house instead of driving back.

After work I was trying to get out of the house so I could get over to Wrightsville Beach to go surfing.  Amanda called, as she usually does on the way home from work.  The unfortunate thing is that the reception, for some reason, is often crappy when she cals right after work.  To top it off, I was making a triple-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich to take with me, and often when I hold the iPhone with my shoulder I end up hitting the mute button or putting the person on hold somehow, so I was trying to hold the phone very lightly with my shouler, which kept it further from my mouth, which made it even harder for her to understand me.

I decided to let the dogs in the house (all three were outside) in order to do something constructive that allowed me to hold the phone better, but when I did Dobja didn’t come in.  I had to find my shoes then go look for him to make sure he hadn’t somehow gotten out of the backyard.  I eventually fond him by the lawnmower shed sitting on a pile of leaves.  He came in, and the first thing I noticed was a couple of slices of bread on the floor next to a smear of grape jam, along with the nearly empty bottle of grape jam.  Harvey had jumped up and eaten one of the slices of bread.  I wasn’t worried about the jar because it was nearly empty already and I had already gotten another one, but I was pretty ticked at Harvey.  I ended up tossing out the other two pieces of bread and made myself a new sandwich after feeding the dogs.

Amanda was on the phone the whole time.  She called me cranky.

So then I went out to surf.  The water was choppy and the waves were pretty much just shore break.  I only went out because Michael wanted to and I hadn’t gone out yesterday.  Well, I was down the shore a little bit away from him and I’d caught one tiny wave.  I can’t remember if I was standing in the water or sitting on the board with my legs hanging down (I think the former), but suddenly I felt a burning jolt of pain on my right shin and knew it had to be a jellyfish.  I let out an “AH!” that Michael heard where he was and I scrambled out of the water.  He came out to check on me, I walked a bit and after a few minutes I went back in the water, this time up near where Michael was, figuring I’d be less likely to run into the jellyfish again.

I was trying my best not to be paranoid as I was paddling around when I felt an even worse pain on my right forearm.  I grabbed my arm and I think I spun off the surf board and I thought I just shouted “SHIT!” but Michael said I dropped an F-bomb or two.  I trust his memory more than I trust my own- I was in pain.

I paddled out of the water and pulled off my rash guard and stomped on the sand a bunch.  Michael went on back out after a minute and I paced back and forth on the sand.  I was angry.  It was one of those pains that didn’t go away and just made me mad.  I wanted to punch something.  I wanted to punch the bainless, drifting pieces of crap that stung me.  I kept clenching and unclenching my right fist, but it was more to try to control the pain and itching that kept flaring up than anything.

Barry and Kirsten, and eventually Anna (all the Frazelles but Hannah) came out to the beach.  They were suitably impressed with my arm sting.  The leg one didn’t hurt or show up as bad, possibly because of my leg hair.  I was thinking about going on back in when Kirsten asked if I was going to because she wanted to give it a go.  I told her to go ahead so she grabbed Betty and headed out.  She and Michael caught a few shore break waves and were having fun, but as Kirsten was going back out one time she got stung on her back by a jellyfish.  A few minutes later she got stung on her wrist pretty good.  Sometime in there Michael got three stings (one was very minor) and they came on out.  Actually none of them seemed to bother him too much.  Maybe Michael’s just more resistent to jellyfish stings, or maybe he’s been lucky and only got brushed by them.

So within half an hour, maybe forty-five minutes, the three of us got stung seven times.

I went home and watched some TV with Amanda.  Michael Phelps got his tenth gold medal.  Russia and Georgia have signed a cease-fire.

Zach Dotsey