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Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Green Man

ImageI’’m not sure how long I have left so, I thought I better tell my story before I’m gone. You’ve probably seen me on the news today. It seems my “condition” is so strange, that everyone wants to know about it. What a way to get famous because of a weird bee sting. That’s how it happened. I was outside working in my yard pulling these creeping vines, when I saw a weird looking wasp flying around. At first, I wasn’t even sure it was a wasp. I mean, it looked like a wasp or maybe a hornet but it was electric green in color.
Now, I’m as curious as they come but there was no way I was going to bother any kind of bee just to satisfy my curiosity, after all I’m highly allergic. You know Epi pen, anaphylactic shock, die of suffocation kind of allergic. So when I see this weird bee flying around the vines I’m trying to eradicate, I head for the hills. It was too nice a day to end up in the Emergency room. I almost made it too. I had just grabbed the handle on the screen door when the stupid thing landed on my wrist and stung me.
Needless to say, I raced up the stairs, grabbed an epinephrine pen from my night stand and dosed myself quick. Usually even with the pen I would swell up and feel miserable for a day or two, but not this time. All I had to show for my sting was a large reddish-brown circle on my wrist, and a slight itchy sensation. Still, I wasn’t taking any chances and decided to relax the rest of the day. I plopped down in front of the TV for a little entertainment and dozed off fairly quickly.
I woke hours later to a burning sensation on my wrist. I looked and noticed that there was something green and small sticking out of the center of the place where I had been stung. I guess that bug was more like a bee than a hornet, because it looked like it had left its stinger in my arm. I grabbed the little green piece and tried to extract it from my wrist. The pain was so severe that I must have passed out. When I came to a while later the burning sensation had moved down into my hand and up my arm as well. What really surprised me though was where the stinger had been when I passed out were two perfectly formed green leaves. It looked like someone had taken two of the leaves from the weed I had been pulling earlier and placed them over the site of my sting. I went to brush them off only to realize they were growing out of my arm. I turned on the room light to have a better look and realized not only were the leaves growing out of my skin but under the skin running down into my hand and up towards my elbow was a green line almost like a vein popped up under a tourniquet. Every couple of inches there seemed to be a new stinger sticking out of my skin. To be honest I freaked out and tried once agin to pull the leaves and stuff of my body, again it hurt like I was trying to pull my own skin off.  I didn’t know if I was hallucinating from the bee sting or if I was just going crazy, but I knew I need help, so I called 911. I wont go into the conversation but eventually paramedics were dispatched to deal with the nut-ball calling about a plant growing out of his arm.
Imagine the surprise of the EMT’S when they arrived to find I wasn’t some crazy or druggie junked up on hallucinogens. They took one look at my arm, tried to remove the leaves then after a brief discussion between the two of them  decided to take me to the Emergency Room. Seems what I was going through was beyond their experience to deal with. Listening to the paramedic try and give the ER nurse the report of the patient coming in would have been humorous, if it hadn’t been me they were talking about.  “Patient is a white male 40 years old with a history of anaphylactic reaction to bee stings. Primary complaint is a burning sensation in the right hand and arm below the elbow. Patient has a green leafy rash on same arm. No, this isn’t a joke. I’m serious, listen the guy has a freaking plant growing out of his wrist. Fine report me. Our ETA is ten minutes then you can see it for yourself. I’m not waisting your time, this is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. Fine, see you in ten, and then you can apologize to me!”
When we arrived at the ER there was a very angry RN standing with hands on hips just waiting to give these guys a piece of her mind. The guy riding with me threw open the back doors and helped the woman up into the ambulance. “See for yourself.”
The woman gave me a dirty look and roughly grabbed my arm lifting it to put an end to this “hoax” as she was calling it. When she saw the green vine under my skin and the now several groupings of leaves running from between my fingers to almost half way to my elbow she stopped. I watched as she realized this wasn’t some prank or hoax or even some nut gluing leaves on his body to get attention. She looked at the EMT and said. “Take him to the isolation room and I’ll get the doctor. After he’s isolated make sure you disinfect yourselves we don’t know if this is contagious or not.”
So quicker than you can say, “A bright green bee stung me and this happened.” I was being poked and prodded all by people in isolation suits. Masks covered their faces and bright yellow paper suits and stark white latex gloves covered everything else. The doctor examined me, they took blood work from both arms. Then someone got the bright idea to try and take a sample of the leaves and vine that was beginning to grow toward my shoulder. When they clipped the first leaf the pain was unbearable and I yelled bloody murder. They quickly gave me a shot of pain medicine and the doctor informed me he was going to call in a plastic surgeon for a consult. The only idea he had was to open up my arm and remove the vine growing under my skin.
By the time the Surgeon had arrived the vine had branched off and was starting up my neck and down and across my back and chest. My whole right arm was covered with leaves bursting through my skin. The surgeon was concerned with the amount of skin that would have to be opened and berated me for not coming in sooner. When he was informed that the vine had not reached my shoulder when he was called he looked startled. No one could tell me that they had ever seen anything remotely like this before.  I was becoming concerned that there was nothing they were going to be able to do.  The surgeon called and had them prep a surgical room for emergency surgery, and I was rushed in to the OR.
Several hours later, I awoke in extreme pain. The surgeon came into the recovery room to tell me that they had extracted the vine from my body. They were going to keep me for a few days and schedule some radiation treatments to make sure no spores, seed,s or whatever had caused the growth to begin with, was left behind. Also, because of the evasiveness of the foreign matter I would need to undergo some physical therapy to regain the use of my right arm and hand. But overall the doctor assured me the surgery was a complete success. You can’t imagine my relief. I still didn’t know what that green bee had been, but I decided right then I would have an exterminator come out and tent my whole property and fog it. I also decided to call a landscaper and have them spray the whole yard with weed killer. I’d rather loose my beautifully manicured yard than go through this again.
Even while I was on the phone, I began to notice that same burning sensation under my bandages. I put it down to pain associated with my surgery. Not long after I was moved to a private room, and still partly groggy from the surgery, fell fast asleep.
When I woke, I noticed that my arm didn’t burn or itch but the bandages seemed strangely shaped almost as if something were pushing against them from the inside. I was about to page a nurse to take a look at it when I noticed a burning sensation under the skin on my right cheek.I climbed out of bed and went to the mirror over the sink turning on the light as I stood there, and couldn’t believe my eyes. Running from under the bandage on my neck and up into my face was that green vine. All along my check were these small green leaf-pods, like a green five o’clock shadow. I paged the nurse as quickly as I could, when they came on the intercom to ask if they could help me I screamed “I need someone now something is very, very wrong with me.”
“Calm down sir I will get your nurse to check on you as soon as she can.”
“NO you don’t understand I need to see the doctor right now! He has to go back in again.”
“Calm down sir, I’m paging your nurse now.”
“Calm down? I can’t calm down! It’s covering my face now.”
About that time the door to my room opened and in walked the nurse assigned to me she said in a bored voice without really looking at me, “What seems to be the mat….” Then she caught sight of me and she screamed and ran out of the room. Just in the short time since I had paged them the leaves and opened up covering my cheek like the Jolly Green Giant’s beard. I opened my hospital gown to find the vine running all across my chest and weaving down towards my stomach. Those green sprouts were everywhere. The nurse came back with several others and before I knew it I was back in bed and people were franticly paging the doctor and the surgeon.
That was an hour ago. I don’t think anyone expected the News team but they showed up during the panic and got some video footage that I’m sure you’ve seen by now. Even I saw it, after all it was a special news bulletin on every channel. I don’t think the doctor is going to get here in time to help this time. I just started to feel that burning sensation inside my head. I wonder what will happen when that vine reaches my brai…..

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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Short Stories