Thursday, June 30, 2005

Ow! Ow! Ow!

I just heard that Lance Armstrong is feeling poorly due to a crash caused by a bee sting on the eyelid. I can sympathize.

Five years ago, well before my tri-career began, my cardiologist refused to accept any more of my arguments that gardening is an aerobic sport. So with my cholesterol off the charts and his bootprints all over my ass, I returned to running for the first time in, oh, 3 decades.

One evening I was out for a run when one of the Great Suburban Outback's biggest killer wasps flew under my sunglasses and started stinging. And kept stinging as I frantically tried to remove the beast from my face. And kept stinging. And stinging. All told, I was stung at least a dozen times on the eye itself, upper and lower eyelids and face. The stinging only stopped when I ripped the glasses off my face and plucked the wasp out of my eye much like you'd remove a contact lens.

But then the truth sunk in: I was miles from home and medical attention, and, while I'm not known to be terribly allergic to stings, I'd never been stung 12 times in the eye before. So I took out RUNNING for home. Not jogging, not sprinting, an all-out, balls-to-the-wall, heart-pounding fear-pumping run. (Too bad I can't bottle some of that adrenaline; I could use it for Steelhead.) By the time I got to the ER (yes, the RN Tri-Wife made me go over my strenuous objections) the eye was gross-looking and so swollen that my sunglasses would no longer fit on my face.

There was a small upside to this mis-adventure: I was so hideous that the ER staff would not leave me in the waiting room for even a second lest I scare the faint of heart. Talk about fast service! A Benadryl shot later I was out of the ER, and out like a light. No permanent harm done, at least that I'll admit to.

But Lance, I feel your pain.


Wil said...


Man, I could never be a doctore. Those people have stomachs of steel.

My friend got a bee in her helmet on a ride and almost crashed into a tree! Crazy little suckers, those bees.

Comm's said...

that might be the most horrible story I have heard all day.

mipper said...

oh my word! that is horrible!! and you still run after that? OH.MY.WORD! you truly *are* verticle man. oh my word! that totally beats my bee swarm attack from a brother running football drills. a bee got stuck in my hair (yes, hair) and stung me two or three times on the scalp, my brother all over the legs and my dad on the hand (he got off so easy!). but really... oh my word!

Keryn said...

Ooouch! That is awful! I've heard a lot of bee stories, but that tops them all.

Vertical Man said...

I forgot to mention that, before I took off for home, I stomped that little sucker into a grease spot on the pavement!

mipper said...

attacked by a killer be, *in the eye* and he STILL has the forethought to squish the bug into oblivion before seeking medical attention... unreal! can we get a cape in here people?!