Bryson City Seasons — The Summons (Part 1)

This blog is from the forty-fourth chapter from my best-selling book, Bryson City Seasons, which is the sequel to Bryson City TalesI hope that you’ll enjoy going back to Bryson City with me each week and that if you do, you’ll be sure to invite your friends and family to join us.


Beth walked quickly into my office. “Dr. Larimore, I need you in the treatment room. Now!”

I threw down the chart I was reading and quickly followed her down the hall and into our procedure room. Inside the room, Patty was placing a blood pressure cuff on a distinguished-looking gentleman with beautiful gray hair and a tanned face—but he was ashen. I instinctively felt his forehead, which was cold and clammy. His lungs were clear, and his heart and abdomen sounded normal to a quick check with the stethoscope.

As I examined him, Beth gave me some history. “His name is Dan Autrey. He lives in a development above the Nantahala Outdoor Center. He was working in his yard, clearing some brush, when he was stung on the head and neck by several yellow jackets. His wife said he began to get welts and then began itching all over. She drove him down here to the office after giving him a 50- milligram Benadryl capsule.”

Patty finished taking his blood pressure. “His BP is only 60 systolic!” she exclaimed, indicating an abnormally low blood pres- sure. “Pulse is 100 and thready. Respirations 32.”

“Patty,” I barked, “let’s get an IV started. Lactated ringers wide open.”

Yes sir!” Patty responded as she turned to the supply cabinet. “Beth, get an EpiPen and give one dose sub-q, stat.”

I turned my attention to the patient. “Mr. Autrey, can you hear me?” He nodded. “Can you say anything?”

He appeared to try, but he could only whisper. I could not understand his words.

“Beth’s going to give you a shot in a second. It should help.”

He nodded again.

Although reactions to insect stings were not uncommon in the mountains, the more severe variety, such as this one, were, fortu nately, less common. I knew that with the treatment, he’d likely be better in just a few moments.

Patty had the IV started quickly. I always admired how well and how quickly she and Beth worked under pressure. It was probably their experience in the hospital that had helped the most.

Beth took the cover off the epinephrine syringe, wiped the patient’s skin with an alcohol swab, and then plunged the short needle through the skin and into the subcutaneous tissue.

I stood back, waiting for the inevitable response, which happened within just a few seconds. Dan’s color improved and his breathing slowed down. He blinked his eyes a few times, and I nodded to Patty to take his vital signs again.

“Blood pressure’s up to 90 over 60, pulse 90, respirations 22.” I felt Dan’s forehead. It was warmer.

“Feeling better?” I asked.

He smiled. “I am.”

It was my turn to smile. “Mind if your wife comes back to sit with you?”

“That would be fine,” he said.

I turned to Beth. “Let’s give him another 50 milligrams of oral Benadryl. Okay?”

She nodded, and I left to go see another patient.

When I returned to the treatment room, Dan was sitting up on the procedure table. He looked much better. At his side, holding his hand, was a beautiful woman who appeared to be somewhat younger than Dan.

As she stood, I introduced myself.

“And,” she replied, “I’m Boots Autrey.”

“Where are you from?” I inquired. I was fairly certain they weren’t from Swain County, and the development in which they lived was reportedly inhabited—some locals said infested—with Floridians.

“We’re from a small town in central Florida called Kissimmee. It’s near Disney World.”
I smiled. “My wife and I honeymooned at Disney World, and we celebrated our tenth anniversary there last fall.”

This comment seemed to spark Boots’ interest. “Did you like it?”

I nodded. “We did—both times!”

She looked at me. “Then why don’t you come to practice in our little town? We need some new doctors down there. And I can tell you, you’d have no problem building a practice down there.”

I chuckled to myself. Floridians! I thought. They come up here in the good weather, buy up our land, and run up our prices. Then they leave in winter. And what’s more, I thought, they don’t know how to drive on mountain roads. Nothing worse than needing to get somewhere and getting stuck behind a Floridian!

“Mrs. Autrey,” I responded, “I think central Florida would be the last place in the United States I’d want to set up a practice!”

She smiled at me. “Could those be what are called ‘famous last words’? It’s awfully beautiful country down in Osceola County. Big lakes with big ole bass and great fishing. Oak trees and Spanish moss. Wonderful people. No snow or ice. Good schools and churches. Great place to raise a family and build a practice. You’d love it!”

I cocked my head at her. “Do you work for the Chamber of Commerce down there?”

It was Dan’s turn to laugh. “She should, Dr. Larimore. She should!”

I smiled. “Tell you what. If the Lord ever leads us away from here, I’ll give you all a call. Sound okay?”

“It’s a deal!” Boots responded.

I finished my visit with them and gave Boots instructions on how to care for Dan and the bites. I handed her a prescription of an antihistamine for him to take over the next three days, and I also gave her a prescription for an Epinephrine Pen to keep at the house.

I had Beth explain to them how to use the EpiPen in the event of future bites that resulted in a severe reaction, and I had her suggest they take the prescriptions down to Doc John to get them filled. I knew he’d give them other potions for the bites, instructions on avoiding future bites, and an abundance of other advice they probably neither wanted nor needed but would certainly be entertained by!

I felt fairly certain they couldn’t get his type of service in Kissimmee, Florida.



  1. Dead Man Standing (Part 1) (Part 2)(Part 3)
  2. Eyes Wide Open (Part 1)(Part 2)
  3. Auspicious Accidents (Part 1)(Part 2)
  4. Answered Prayers (Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3), (Part 4)
  5. Rotary Luncheon
  6. Death by Emotion (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)
  7. The Invitation (Part 1)(Part 2)
  8. Barbecue and Bacon (Part 1)(Part 2)
  9. A Touchy Subject
  10. Family Time (Part 1)(Part 2)
  11. Chicken Pops(Part 1)(Part 2)
  12. Swain County Football (Part 1)(Part 2)
  13. Hospital Politics (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  14. The Bobcat Attacks (Part 1)(Part 2)
  15. Dungeons and Apples
  16. A Tale of Two Surgeons (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  17. Tanned Feets (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  18. Wise Counsel (Part 1)(Part 2)
  19. An Anniversary to Remember (Part 1)(Part 2)
  20. Mrs. Black Fox (Part 1)(Part 2)
  21. The Littlest Cherokee (Part 1)(Part 2)
  22. Christmas Firsts (Part 1)(Part 2)
  23. The Silver Torpedo
  24. Another New Year’s Catch
  25. Turned Tables
  26. Doctor Dad (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  27. The Phone Tap (Part 1), (Part 2)
  28. Labor Pains (Part 1), (Part 2)
  29. Staph and Staff (Part 1), (Part 2)
  30. The Ribbon Cutting
  31. Mountain Breakfast
  32. Walkingstick (Part 1), (Part 2)
  33. One Big Fish
  34. Memorial Day (Part 1); (Part 2)
  35. The Parade of the Century (Part 1)
  36. Lost Boy (Part 1); (Part 2)
  37. Facing the Music
  38. Flesh-Eating Bacteria (Part 1); (Part 2)
  39. The Best Medicine
  40. The Blessing
  41. The Runaways
  42. Great Scott
  43. Miss Flame (Part 1), (Part 2)
  44. The Summons (Part 1), (Part 2)


  1. The Murder (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  2. The Arrival (Part 1)(Part 2)
  3. The Hemlock Inn (Part 1)(Part 2)
  4. The Grand Tour (Part 1)(Part 2)
  5. The Interview (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  6. Settling In (Part 1)(Part 2)
  7. First-Day Jitters (Part 1)(Part 2)
  8. Emergency (Part 1)(Part 2)
  9. The Delivery (Part 1)(Part 2)
  10. The “Expert” (Part 1)(Part 2)
  11. The Trial (Part 1)(Part 2)
  12. Shiitake Sam (Part 1)(Part 2)
  13. Wet Behind the Ears (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  14. Lessons in Daily Practice (Part 1) — Anal Angina(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)
  15. White Lies
  16. The Epiphany (Part 1)(Part 2)
  17. Becoming Part of the Team (Part 1)(Part 2)
  18. Monuments (Part 1)(Part 2)
  19. My First Home Victory (Part 1)(Part 2)
  20. Fisher of Men (Part 1)(Part 2)
  21. Fly-Fishing (Part 1); (Part 2)
  22. Something Fishy (Part 1)(Part 2)
  23. A Good Day at the Office
  24. An Evening to Remember
  25. Another New Doc Comes to Town
  26. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Part 1)(Part 2)
  27. A Surprising Gift
  28. The New Year (Part 1)(Part 2)
  29. The Home Birth (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  30. The Showdown (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  31. The Initiation (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  32. Home at Last (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)  

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2019. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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