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Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Harley went to his ENT specialist today for a thorough check of his ear, to determine if the kamikaze yellow jacket caused any permanent damage. Good news is... NO! The ear canal is scarred and bruised, but all of this will heal. And his hearing should be fully recovered when the swelling goes down. He was very glad to learn this!

His doctor told him a very valuable piece of information that I felt needed to be passed on to other fellow riders...

"Should you ever encounter a lodged insect like this again... if you'll keep a small bottle of alcohol with an eye dropper on your bike, you can use it to kill the insect immediately. Then it will usually flush out before any swelling sets in." Dr. B

Cool beans Dr. B! Alcohol kills!

Some of you may have already known this, but I wanted to be sure we all did. I can assure you, we will have a small bottle of alcohol on our bikes from now on! And having a set of tweezers in your First Aid kit or dash pouch would be helpful in case you have to retrieve some ear chomping (or nose digging!) creature from hell!

I'm not going to be one to start preaching full helmets and face shields, because neither Harley or I plan to quit wearing our half lid. We are, however, going to take heed to this danger and add ear protection to our "don't leave home without" list. It's really not a big deal to make sure a couple sets of ear plugs are on the bike, or for that matter, you can use cotton.

I've had ear plugs in my ears before, and they really help block out the sound as well as provide a barrier from flying insects. But, I love the sound of riding. I need to hear my motor purr, my exhaust rumble, and not to mention the encroaching cagers around me. I don't want to cover up all my ability to pick out sounds that clue me in to all this necessary information. I like cotton because it just slightly muffles any sound. Besides, it's much softer and more comfortable to my ears.

So if your like me, you love being out on your bike every chance you get, cruising the country highways, rolling in the "high" of life. Unfortunately, country cruising means bugs, and bugs at high velocity means... ouch!

Let's just try to keep our holes covered or plugged so we can stay out of the doctor's office... shall we??

Unless of course... you like the doctor.

Lady R ;)


"Joker" said...

I wouldn't want to be the first unsuspecting person who uses the expression, "Just let me put a bug in your ear," with Harley!

Great advice on the alcohol/medicine dropper. I will make a point of adding one to my trauma kit. It certainly is more "biker specific" than half the crap that comes in an off-the-shelf F.A. kit. That's why I put my own together - so it has the stuff most likely to be needed in a real world situation while riding.

I hope to hell I never have to use anything more than the tylenol and the band-aids.

By the way, is it me, or do the blogs seem "dead" lately???

Anonymous said...

"...But officer, that flask is for when I get bugs in my ears!"

Ride on,

Jocelyn said...

Toss you some Benedryl CREAM in there too. Stick with the cream because the pills can make you sleepy.

Dean "D-Day" said...

Only one question...

How many eyedroppers full of alcohol will I have to consume before the bugs dead?

FLHX_Dave said...

LOL, I was thinking along the lines of D-Day. I always have No7 on hand...will that work? errr...maybe not...if that yellow jacket is like most people it will just get a bad attitude and even fight harder.

Good advice. I guess I'll just have to add this to the crap I already lug around. Glad that Harley was able to lend an ear to lay down some biker wisdom.

Still hurt'in just thinking about it though.

Charlie said...

I got a piece of closed cell foam in my ear from a pool once and it lodged in really deep in my ear when I was a kid. Took a Dr. a half hour to dig it all out while I screamed bloody murder and attempted to kick everyone in the office. Not fun. Glad to hear he will recover.

Baron's Life said...

Good advice on the alcohol treatment. Any bug attacking me will die on the spot due to the alcohol content already lodged in body...!
I agree with Torch on this one...ear plugs ain't for me either, love the half face helmet any time specially in warm/hot weather so the solution is no solution...but to take a risk, which is what we do anyways when we go for that ride...lol
Glad Harley is OK

Lady Ridesalot said...

Joker... He might just put a foot up someones arse too! He's a pretty good sport most of the time, but it may take a while before he can see ANY humor coming out of this ordeal.
He did make me laugh though (see my reply comment to Dave on the previous post)when he said he now knows what it feels like to be skull f*#ked! Poor baby!
BTW... things do seem a little slow around bloggerville. It might be because everyone's getting more active Spring has Sprung!)which results in less time sitting in front of the puter.

Torch... LOL! Good try anyway!

Jocelyn... great idea! You must be a Mom! Moms know all the tricks. :)

Dean... Hmmmm. Now that my depend on how big your bug is! LOL!

Dave... It certainly won't hurt to be ready, and it's like Joker commented above... this is really a biker specific incident. How many other activities can you think of where you sling yourself at high velocity into swarms of bugs on a regular basis?
As far as good ol' No. 7... that damn bug can get his own drink!

Charlie... the Dr. that took care of Harley in the ER told us of a previous incident he had, involving a child with a lodged item in their ear. He had to be sedated, because they could not keep him still enough to retrieve it. He says this is such a sensitive, tender area. We were pretty lucky, although, the pain he endured once the Dr. was actually pulling out of the ear canal was pretty intense! He was quite relieved to be free of it! =:{

Baron... Alcohol... self preservation and bug prevention! LOL! As I mentioned in the post, I like to hear all the sounds around me, and ear plugs close that off too much. Just a little cotton will plug the hole while still letting me hear what I need to. But your right, we will still wear our half helmets too. Just hope we'll be better prepared and informed if we ever have a repeat performance.

Thanks to everyone for your well wishes for Harley. He appreciates every ones comments and concerns.

Ride on and Ride safe! Lady R


Er, ahh..umm...I appreciate the alcohol advice and about the ear plugs. I enjoyed the post. But what bothers me is your last comment about keeping the holes covered or plugged so as to stay out of the doctor's office..I would normally say something like, if the hole would of stayed covered and not gotten plugged, there would not of been the need to go to the doctor..But that's a hole different story, so I won't say it.(grin)..Glad you both are okay and Harley's ear will be back to normal...Ride Safe

Baron's Life said...

It's the Sound of Music...

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Good idea with the cotton. I like and dislike earplugs for the same reasons as you. I'll have to give cotton a try. The happy medium.

Young Dai said...

I know it is rude to come to a party uninvited and then critise the hostess, but I think that here you are wrong.

If you don't protect your ears properly then in due course not only won't you be able to hear the 'music' of the V-Twin, you just won't be able to hear anything period, except perhaps a constantly ringing firebell in your head caused by Tinnius.

Before I took up riding I spent many months looking at magazines, one article in particular made an lasting impression as a ex-Road Captain explained quite dispassionately how 30 odd years of riding with no protection and open pipes had not only left him without any hearing, but how tinnitus meant that he could only get to sleep by staying awake as long as possible each day then self medicating on JD or the like until he passed out. It might sound a fun life for a couple of weeks, but it would pall I feel.

I ride in the UK, but every member of the group that I ride with uses earplugs as a matter of course. I ride to work and have always picked up sirens, trucks etc, that said our rider training empasises that whenever you move within your lane you should look over your shoulder anyway to catch the lurker in your blind spot. So we may place less importance on hearing as the main sense of warning

As a final example, if when you are in a bar,cafe or the like at then end of the day, if you can hear the background noise, or the music, but you can't make out person speaking to you across the table is saying, then you have suffered hearing damage

Lady Ridesalot said...

John... LOL! As long as we tell the HOLE truth, and nothing but the truth. ;)

Baron and Mr. M... agreed... a happy medium!

Young Dai... Even if you disagree, or feel a need to set the record straight, your always welcome here to engage in the discussion at hand. You've actually provided information with your opinion that would make anybody sit back and ponder their original stance on this subject.

While cotton may eliminate the ability for an insect to fly in your ear again, you've pointed out that our HEARING is not as protected. Something we all want to protect, I'm sure!

At least if we still choose to use cotton over earplugs, it's not like we weren't educated concerning our decision.

The example you provided on how to test your hearing protection at the end of a day of riding, may be one for us all to try. I for one, may be giving the plugs another try.
Thanks for your comment.

Ronman said...

Wow I can't imagine the pain from a sting inside the ear. Damn! I for one already fit that description of hearing the background noise and not the person at the table. Too many years running equipment, riding motorcycles, and shooting firearms with little or no ear protection. As for plugging or covering the holes..............um......I better stop right here.


chessie said...

I've been using ear plugs for about three years now. After 38 years of riding, I've learned I prefer to be able to hear after a full days ride...the wind roar is annoying...deafen me for three days after riding cross country...scares me too...don't want to be deaf by scooter!

As for the yellow jacket in the ear! OUWIEEE....sorry to hear that regarding Harley. I've heard of it happening with beetles and such, camping is a good way to get bugs in ears too...

Thanks for passing along the tips for killing the bastards...your the tops today!

ratone said...

My weekend bee got me under the frames of my riding glasses at 65 on my right side with cars behind me..Interesting getting the little shit out while throttling down and shifting..looking in the rear view and trying to pull him loose..Got done, lot's of swelling and he felt like I was hit with a rock..Oh well back in the saddle today..LOL

Lady Ridesalot said...

Ronman... Well, we can talk about other holes another day! LOL! For now we'll just remember to keep the "ear" holes plugged!

Chessie... I may have to rethink my thoughts on using cotton. I also, don't want to be deaf by scooter! Your opinion and advice on ear plugs will not fall on deaf ears! LOL!

Ratone... Ouch! You and my hubby can sure sympathize with each other. Doesn't sound like much fun for you either.
Riding can bring us so much, we just have to take the good with the bad. I'm just happy you both had enough sense and quick thinking to bring yourselves to a safe stop. Harley still don't know how he stopped himself without dumping the bike. Yikes!