10.21.2007,12:01 PM
Mutant Bees in Tennessee
We stopped at several of the many overlooks while riding the Skyway on Sunday. Leaving the fourth (or fifth?), I had my face shield up; it was getting hot and I like to ride with it up sometimes just to feel the wind on my face (and hear my engine). I was entering a tight sweep to the left and I felt a bug hit my left cheekbone. It was like a soft bullet, but then it became sharp and extremely painful. Right on my cheekbone, under my eye. I knew it was a bee of some sort but I couldn't take my hand off the bars in that turn.

The moment I was out of the tight twist and on a stretch of relatively straight road, I pulled the offending bug out of my face. I have a high pain threshold, but *this* hurt like hell! And I knew that in short time my face was going to swell, and my eye may swell shut. This was NOT good.

With the pain still acute and now throbbing, I rode until we stopped at another overlook. Jumping off the bike, yanking my gloves and helmet off, I found the dead bastion harbinger of pain caught in the pocket of my helmet chin protector. Looking down I could feel my eye was swelling. And it stung like all get-out, now radiating down to my upper teeth and into my left temple.

This must have been one powerful mutant bee that impaled itself in my face.

Ed couldn't tell if the stinger was out; he thought it might still be in my skin. I put some hydrocortisone ointment on it hoping it would help keep the swelling at bay, but it didn't. We rode on towards Robbinsville, getting closer.

My speed dropped dramatically because concentration was split between the road and the pain engulfing the left side of my face. I craved ice and knew it would keep the swelling at bay; I knew that in a short amount of time my eye may be swollen shut. And I was not relishing riding off-road in that condition.

We stopped at Thunder Mountain, six miles from Robbinsville; they had no ice. I put Ed's packaged ice cream on my left cheek, but it didn't help much. We decided to curtail our intended return loop off-road and head back. I needed ice and ibuprofen before my eye swelled completely shut.

I woke with my eye almost swollen shut for the rest of the trip, applied ice compresses whenever I could, tried to massage the edema out of the area and generally spent the rest of the trip with a water balloon under my left eye. The only time it didn't bother me was when wearing the MX helmet; I think the compression of the cheek pads kept the skin pulled enough for me to see and the swelling at a manageable rate. Once the helmet came off, the water balloon returned.

It was a week later, still slightly swollen and discolored, but the majority of the swelling gradually went down last Friday.

Man, there are some powerful X-bees in that area.
And yes, I do have a slight allergic reaction to stings.

(note to self: pack anti-histamine ointment in first-aid pack and anti-histamine meds)

Labels: ,

posted by Macrobe
Permalink ¤