Quiz Question What Is The Surprise Diagnosis?

by ProfKeith

Let’s see how much you know. Pretend I came to you with this symptom and asked you what to do!

Here’s the story: the patient is me (truly, this happened to me yesterday afternoon). I was sitting in a restaurant on the shores of lovely Lake Lucerne (photo), eating a plate with Parma ham and melon salad–a mix of watermelon, canteloupe and honeydew, drizzled with a balsamic dressing. It was delicious.


Suddenly, there came a sharp pain in the side of my cheek. Gosh, I thought, a fish bone spike! Then I realized that was silly; but it could have been a spicule of bone from the ham. I felt it with my tongue and it seemed soft and small.

Nevertheless, the pain rapidly increased until I was forced to borrow a pair of lady’s tweezers from a fellow diner and dash to the restroom.

It was too dark to see much in the toilet so I literally groped blindly with the tweezers inside my mouth and, after a few minutes, got lucky. I pulled something out and the pain lessened a little.

Back outside in the sunshine, I could see a strange object: it was a tiny soft round sac, about 3 mm in diameter, with a little spiky “tail”, another 2.5 – 3 mm long. It reminded me of a small piece of berry fruit with a spike, called a drupe (like in a blackberry).

All was suddenly clear!

YOUR QUESTION: what is the diagnosis? (what was this object?) and what two treatments should you always have with you, for casual emergencies, that would have made this immediately more comfortable for me?

It was a bee sting! The strange object I removed from inside my cheek was the actual sting. That meant it was a bee: the bee loses its sting when it is activated. The bee dies.

But I did not have a bee inside my mouth; trust me! The bee sting arrived on the salad. I called the attention of the management to this unfortunate event and they were profusely apologetic. The boss arrived, very concerned and offered me compensation. I was quite sure at that point that they knew. I think an employee must have swatted the bee hovering over the melon salad, killed it, that pushed out the sting and… lucky me!… I got to swallow it. Most people don’t know that a bee sting is detachable.

But here’s the second part of the question: what two simple remedies should you always have with you, that would have made me more comfortable?

Rescue remedy (Bach flower remedy) and homeopathic Traumeel. Rescue Remedy is great for shock and upset of all kinds; worth taking. Traumeel is an OTC remedy, widely available, designed for traumas of all kinds.

Unfortunately, I had neither with me! Ouch! But if I had, I would have asked for a glass of water, dropped a Traumeel tablet in it and then added 10 drops of Rescue remedy. That’s for sipping slowly over an hour or so. It would have made a big difference. As it was, I had to take the cable car back up the mountain to my apartment, feeling very sore inside my mouth!

Connect with us: Facebook – Twitter – LinkedIn – Google+ and take a look at our videos!

You may also like:


Dr. Sophia Alexandros August 16, 2013 at 3:55 am

Dear Dr. Keith,
I use Traumeel in my practice, but I have never thought of it as an emergency med to carry in my purse. Good advise for my patients. Another homeopathic that would serve well for your unfortunate incident is Apis Mellificus. Hope you present more case hx, keeps one on their toes.
Dr. Sophia

Tom Brown August 16, 2013 at 3:57 am

A little vinegar might help. It works on bites from bees, wasps, etc.

ProfKeith August 16, 2013 at 4:27 am

That was my Mom’s remedy Tom,
Yes (not sure if it worked though). I had balsamic in my mouth,
which may have helped, though it’s more flavor than acetic acid!

Betty August 16, 2013 at 4:57 am

I would have used homeopathic Ledum for the puncture wound and swabbed the actual wound with Young Living’s Clove essential oil.

ProfKeith August 16, 2013 at 5:04 am

Sure sure, the point you missed Betty is to have something in your purse/briefcase that covers just about EVERYTHING emergency!

Derek O'Brien August 16, 2013 at 5:00 am

Hey, Keith; surprised at your adoption of homeopathy I thought you were a bit more intelligent than that. 99.99 % water is an effective medicine? Hmmmm, seem to remember you saying something about water having memory some time back. Hmmm, maybe the Arizona sun is getting to you, shrivelling up your brain.

ProfKeith August 16, 2013 at 5:16 am

What an ignoramus you are Derek! Homeopathy is mostly 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999% water.
You’re millions of orders of magnitude wrong. Homeopathy is not about substance, it’s about energy.
You are also wrong to adopt propaganda with out checking your facts.
There are THOUSANDS of studies showing homeopathy works and a few that “show” it doesn’t.
Check this one out from the Lancet, about as right-wing a medical journal as you can get!
Lancet 1994;344;1601- 06 and here at PUBMED: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7983994
Also this:
If you don’t want to bother checking out the facts, get off my list.
I don’t want to waste my vast experience and knowledge on intellectual deadbeats (but I am sure you are not one, really, Derek)

Lara August 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I would just like to add that at a local (to me) wildlife rescue shelter here in Australia they use all Homeopathic rememdies on the animals because they work better than anything conventional. The animals can’t be prejudiced or making it up because they don’t know the difference!

ProfKeith August 17, 2013 at 12:37 am

You are correct Lara,
and there are even more studies showing it works on animals than on humans.
No placebo effect!!

Claire August 16, 2013 at 5:33 am

I always carry a vial of Bach Rescue Remedy and a packet of anti-histamine tablets, just in case. It’s surprising how many times ‘just in case’ occurs! A bee sting in the mouth is quite a shock – thank goodness you’re not allergic to the venom.

Grant Davis August 16, 2013 at 5:52 am

I have carried a small vial of tea tree oil in my pocket for 20 years or more. Pain relief and antiseptic all in one. Tooth aches, yellow jacket stings, scratches from kittens, all resolved quickly. My friends know I have it, so I become the go to guy.

Donald Bright August 16, 2013 at 6:03 am

As Dr. Sophia indicated Apis Mellificus is THE Homeopathic remedy for Bee Stings.
It is known to all Homeopaths and well known all round the world. This also works unbelievably and fast. I was in Bali holidaying and went into the hotel garden restaurant for breakfast. I sat down at a table near the flowering bushes and flower garden. I no sooner sat down and i felt pain on my legs in 6 different spots. I jumped up in pain yelling and the old Balinese restaurant manager ran out side and came back quickly with a few flowers from the Hibiscus trees in the garden and then proceeded to rub the stamens the onto the bee stings. Within the space of 5 minutes i had very painfull lumps where the bees had stung me. Then unbelievably within 2-3 minutes of rubbing the Hibiscus stamens onto them the pain completely subsided and was gone. By dinner time the lumps had gone and there was only a pink mark on the skin. If you get stung by a bee and there are Hibiscus around use them. You will be amazed at the result.
Don Bright, Homeopath, Naturopath.

Maureen August 16, 2013 at 6:11 am

Great story and greater ending! Homeopathy rules again, those of us
Who use it know it works. Thanks much.

Diana August 16, 2013 at 6:14 am

my elderly mother fell and dislocated her shoulder….very painful before and after medical manipulation of the joint…..the doctors gave her conventional pain killers but they didnt help much…traumeel was fantastic though…took away most of the pain and she stopped using the prescribed drugs…traumeel is brilliant!

Bess August 16, 2013 at 6:29 am

Regarding your response to Betty (“sure sure, the point you missed Betty”) . . . I do carry clove oil in my purse – not only is it good for tooth aches, it freshens the breath, I mix it with a bit of lotion (also in my purse) for cuts, insect bites, headaches, sore joints, etc. As for your response to Derek, why not take the high road instead of “screaming” (“STAY IGNORANT . . . STAY OUT OF MY FACE”). I totally believe and use homeopathic medicine but all you had to do was point out the Lancet article to the non-believer. You can agree to disagree without being rude (on both sides). Just saying . . .

Robert August 16, 2013 at 7:00 am

A minor disagreement with Bess,…because I have a brother like, Derek.
Nothing but an “In your face response,” would even get his attention or prompt him to actually read the article the Prof recommended he read to improve his apprehension. With Derek’s repeated (Hmms),…being a clear taunt and not meant for intelligent discussions,…the Prof was correct to tell him to sit down, shut up and open your book and learn,…or pound sand somewhere else.
Bravo, Prof,…keep it real. Just saying…

Caro August 16, 2013 at 7:18 am

Great blog post, Prof. I was walking through clover (what a life I lead 🙂 ) in the garden and got a bee caught between my toes. Naturally, the poor thing stung me. As you say, a couple of drops of Rescue Remedy rubbed into the intensely painful spot calmed the pain and swelling within minutes. Homoeopathy is prescribed on symptoms, so Apis might be indicated for a bee sting (intense burning and stinging pain, rapid pink or red swelling, heat), although others might come in depending on the person’s reaction. Wounds needing Ledum are cold, which is not usually the case with bee sting, but be guided by the symptoms! And thank you for standing up for the art and science of homoeopathy. It’s so refreshing to see someone unafraid to stick their head over the parapet. Keep up the good work and interesting e-mails.

ProfKeith August 16, 2013 at 10:31 am

Love this Caro!
Thank you, Prof.

Gill August 16, 2013 at 10:17 am

Hi Prof Keith,
Seems I am a little behind on this discussion, I do agree, Both Traumeel and Rescue are excellent, I also use homeopathic remedies as a continuous form of treatment however, I don’t carry it around with me. My first action would have been to whip out my small Scenar device (this is always on me at all times – no exceptions) and place it on my cheek over the ‘inside’ area affected and I would have immediately dosed* the spot 3 times – then held it there for the next 3 to 5 mins, generating healing impulses at a very fast frequency rate. If necessary, I may have had to repeat the procedure later. But probably unlikely if treated immediately. The pain would have subsided almost immediately as well. Thanks for sharing the opportunity to learn new emergency treatment methods.

ProfKeith August 16, 2013 at 10:34 am

Touche Jill,
Yes, SCENAR too. Unfortunately, I don’t carry one all the time.
But you are totally right!
I have given more priority to transporting my communication devices, than healing devices, this trip!

Fabian Foale August 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Hi Prof.
Loved the way you dealt with that smug bastard Derek. My wife carries a little squeeze bottle of ‘thieves oil’ for just such an emergency as you had. Works very well.
Bless her.

Daphne August 16, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Enjoyed the story and all the recommendations. Perhaps carrying a pair of tweezers and a small, pen-sized flashlight in your first aid kit would also be a good idea.

Marten The Canadian Libertarian August 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Just plain sea salt, gargles and swish

Marsha D August 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I nice way to tell someone where they can go ……………………………

I refuse to engage in a battle of wit with an unarmed man!

At 62 I may have unfortunately forgotten what I ate or did an hour ago, but I can remember things like that! I do enjoy sharing those little bits of wit when I can.

I think the Rescue Remedy is wonderful and I’ll go put my bottle in my purse….. right now before I forget! : )

Marijke August 18, 2013 at 1:27 am

Hi Prof. Keith, I am a bit late but I thought right away it was a bee sting but it would not have ocurred to me that it would have been a sting alone. I know of course the sting can come loose from the bee. Would be very difficult to notice in your food.
I Always carry a pair of small tweezers in my purse for emergency and tee tree oil and lavendar oil when I am travelling. I also have Bach rescue drops at home but never used it before and traumeel creme. So your advice is very important and I learned from this. I am 71 but never too old to learn and I will inform my friends. There were also interesting reactions from others.
I love your posts and through one of your links I discovered Tooth Wizards which was quite a discovery for me but that is an other story.
Have a nice continuation of your holiday, I love the Mediterranee too.


ProfKeith August 18, 2013 at 3:30 am

Thanks for joining in, Marijke!

sandra August 19, 2013 at 3:51 am

Hi Keith Just back from St Andrews at a wedding so playing catch up. I would always use Traumeel mixed with Arnica for all aches pains and bites. All shocks and joint pains work very well with Arnica and Traumeel mixed we call it the sportsman’s remedy.
I cant understand how intelligent people don’t realise that life is a frequency and everything connected to it is also. They seem to think that only the heart has a current. But then that’s why we are successful and are still busy after twenty years.

Tim August 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Like someone else commented – tea tree oil is the way to go for me. I always have a small vial on hand. I’ll have to look into Traumeel – saw it at the health food store but never knew much about it . . . now I do. The thing about alternative medicine – like religion or politics – you really can’t change someone’s mind the hard way (i.e., arguing, yelling, insulting). Lead by example. What’s that old saying? Living well is the best revenge. I have family members who marvel at how I rarely get sick but then call me an “old hippy” because I drink green smoothies, do yoga, take vitamins, watch what I eat . . . they, on the other hand, take prescription medicine by the handful and discuss their ailments with great zeal. Nothing I can say will change their minds. A few have started following my example, though – very slowly, but it’s a start! Honor and respect the godliness in you! Cheers, Tim

Comments on this entry are closed.