Pain, Not Enough

Hello Friends!

My Beloved made us tuna sandwiches if you want one! The greens are from the garden.

Now that you’ve had a bite, join me while I spin a tale of Willow Manor Cattail Harvesting!

So, yesterday I went to a nearby waterway to collect cattails for my garden and encountered a painful experience.

My skin blistered, my forearm swelled, and I had localized pain and tingling in my arms and hands. The pain lasted at least 6 hours well after the swelling went down. It actually hurt so bad I could hardly sleep. Think persistent bee sting or fire ant bite at a consistent rate and you get the picture.

I really examined wher I hurt to clean the area and find out what bit me. There was a small puncture and scratch where it hurt the worst.

I made sure the area was scrubbed clean of all debris and it continued to deliver, especially at the scratch area.

Extensive internet research (oxymoron) Yielded few similar results.

I spoke with Herb Thiel my father about it and he thought I could probably figure it out if I returned during daylight hours.

Return I did. I examined the area where I began harvesting. In the picture below, you can see the small area is all I could harvest by the root before I had to return home.

At the place I started working I found a cluster of these.

They appear to be a thistle of some sort and I perhaps I had a reaction to it.

It would make sense as having a wasp or hornet crawling on me at 45F (7C) is pretty unlikely.

I did a little research and the thistles may just look scary.

The live plant next to the thistle may be a nettle. Here is a Boston Globe Article about stinging nettles.

The leaves of the nearby plant are earily similar and the instantaneous painful results are similar to this YouTube Stunt as well. As I go about fully clothed all the time, I may never have encountered these all my life walking through them.

Stinging Nettles Pixabay
What I was harvesting next to

Scientific method would require me to replicate the exposure, but I will make assumtions for now.


After I had done some research, Petra from confirmed this.

Thank you Petra!

Author: The Storyteller

Benjamin Thiel is a husband, father, correctional professional and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire. His favorite quote is "Don't count the lions. It will make you afraid and slow you down."

73 thoughts on “Pain, Not Enough”

          1. 🦁🐅🐆🐺🐘🐻🦌
            If you come to India, beware these. Following them will get you ⚰.
            Except for the deer. I added that as a joke

  1. When I was a kid, occasionally one of my siblings or I would contact what was known as a “stinging weed”. The weed wasn’t like the nettle you pictured, just a solitary low-growing weed that cropped up here and there in fields. It stung terribly, but I don’t remember if it caused a rash. We all went barefoot in the summer months, so this happened to me on quite a few occasions.

  2. Sandwich looks awesome. Will be making some on Saturday for a picnic. The allergic reaction made me itch…still scratching at nothing. Hope you get relief soon. 😊

      1. It’s all good. Made tuna again tonight to take to the beach tomorrow. I’ve only been to the grocery store once this week and am looking forward to getting out. I’m still not comfortable being anywhere people are. 😊

  3. Of course I want a tuna sandwich! That’s a pretty nasty reaction to nettles. I’ve gotten stung by nettles a gazillion times. Have I ever had welts like that from them? Maybe, I don’t honestly remember.

  4. fyi: looks like wp’s new media bug hit a couple of your pics… they show broken links. To fix, you need to backspace to delete them, then reinsert from wp media.

    Glad you got a diagnosis!

      1. Soooo weird… doesn’t show in web view but on the reader there are broken image icons immediately after the 1st food pic and the 45/7 degrees paragraph.

          1. Wp currently has a media image bug. From what I’ve isolated, the upload process doesn’t always close successfully even though the uploads themselves complete. I tried to report it but their bug reporting system wouldn’t let me log in.

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