Wednesday, 12 November
I was stung by a bug this morning on my ride to work. Given that we're in mid-November, I expected bees to be dead or hibernating by now. But this one latched onto my neck and delivered a dose of venom that could only be described as "on steroids." The sting site hurt like heck, and I nearly collided with one of those posts in the middle of the trail as I tried to make sure the bug wasn't still under the collar of my jersey. I seemed okay for the rest of my ride (5 miles).
But when I got to work, I was mostly covered in a red rash that itched like crazy. Then I got lightheaded and watched my peripheral vision close in like I was going to pass out. I've never had a reaction--other than "ouch!"--to a bee sting, even as recently as this summer, so I searched for some sound medical advice from Google. Apparently, if you're going to die from a bee sting, it'll be in the first few minutes; at least I was past that worry. A coworker told me to take Benadryl and implied I'd then need to go home to bed to sleep the stuff off. The welts on my arms were getting worse, and my eyes were red-rimmed. Time for "urgent care."
The doctor told me I was having a mild allergic reaction to the sting (imagine that!) and that Benadryl would help (but I thought the side effects sounded worse than the symptoms). However, what he spent most of his time assessing was my low blood pressure (90 over 60-something) and HR (less than 60). They took my blood pressure and pulse SIX times--sitting, standing, lying down. When I explained that I had ridden my bike for 5 miles after getting stung, they figured out that there was probably not a cardiac incident going on.
From the clinic, I went straight for my drug of choice--caffeine--and skipped the Benadryl altogether. But I think I'm going to start carrying it on my epic bike rides out in the middle of nowhere. Bee sting reactions supposedly get worse as you get older, and anything much worse than what I had today would have me sitting in a ditch somewhere for a while.
Watch out for (s)low-flying bugs on steroids!!!