TALLADEGA SCENIC HIGHWAY ON MT. CHEAHA ~ ALABAMA ~ photo taken by Dianna Stover
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Monday, April 13, 2009

PIC OF THE WEEK & HARLEY'S BUG!!!

HARLEY'S BUG!!
This wasp took on a suicide mission to ride a Harley for Easter. He just chose the wrong Harley!

I decided to post the story behind this weeks Pic Of The Week as an added bonus for Monday. Come back later if you need to, but you gotta read this one! LR

HARLEY'S BUG!!

Easter weekend proved to be a great two days of beautiful Spring weather here in our little area of Alabama. Harley and I took advantage of the warm 70 degree afternoons and went riding. Both days!!

We rode to Tuscaloosa on Sunday (to visit Harley's mom and his aunt's for Easter) to help make up for feeling shortchanged for cutting our ride short the day before. Our Saturday jaunt ended up at the local ER in Tallassee for a not so nice end to a wonderful day!

Harley and I just rode through Union Springs, and we were heading North up Hwy. 29. I was following along, taking in all the lavenders and yellows and other Spring colors popping throughout the landscape, when I noticed Harley braking and shaking his side to side somewhat erratically. There was no good place to pull off, but that apparently was not going to deter Harley from pulling over. I'm thinking... WTF??

I no sooner got my kick stand down, when Harley was already off his bike and making purposeful strides back towards me while yelling, "You've gotta get this bug out of my ear!!"
I'm thinking, holy sh*t, did he say a bug is in his ear?? I get him to calm down for a few seconds so I can take a look. I don't see anything!
I ask, "Are you sure it's still in there?"
He looks me straight in the eyes and I see his panic setting in as he says, "I was looking around, when all of a sudden it hit, and I felt a sharp pain immediately. Now I hear this thing in there and it's eating it's way through trying to get out!"

Okay... I start to understand the urgency now. We have a real emergency here! I'm standing there watching my husband of 28 years, suddenly act like he's been infected by some horrible brain eating body snatcher. This bug, whatever it is, is also causing extreme pain in his ear canal, and he is getting more frustrated that we can't find something, anything (like a fricking tweezers!) that we can use to try and pull it out. To top that off, once I convince him to let me call for help, I realize we have no service!

Another 10 minutes of dogging cars and cursing cell phone technology brought us to game time decision. We pulled ourselves together and rode! Harley said, "Get me to the nearest Dr.!"

I led the way. We had our flashers on and throttles open as we sped up the highway, flying toward anyone who would be able to help. I noticed a Police car at a Gas Station convenience store as we came into Tuskegee. We whipped in and explained to him what was happening. He didn't have anything to help us, but the store clerk tossed me a bottle of Isopropyl alcohol. We poured a little of that down Harley's ear and suddenly he went berserk! Seems we just pissed off the bug!

Well, our cop pal couldn't help with the bug, but we did get the blue light treatment through town to the nearest Fire Station. I was hoping they would be able to retrieve Harley's bug before it took up permanent residency, but again, we hit a dead end. They didn't have the proper kits or tools to extract a bug deeply lodged in someones ear. It's finally concluded, that a Hospital is going to be Harley's only hope. We have to go to Tallassee, about 20 miles away. All the while, Harley is riding himself around, enduring intense pain and pressure, trying to find someone to get this bug out of his ear. The only good thing at this point is... the alcohol seemed to halt the intense activity of the bug. We figured it's either dead, or just passed out and is going to be really pissed off when he wakes up!

By the time we got to the Tallassee Community Hospital ER, Harley's bug has been in it's new home for about 45 minutes. It has stopped "chewing his way out", but was still emitting an enormous amount of pressure and was starting to cause a headache. While we were waiting our turn to see the ER Dr., I took the opportunity to look into Harley's ear with that ear magnifier thingy that hangs on the wall. I carefully inspected the area, letting my gaze follow the canal down close to the ear drum and way back as far as I could see... there it is! I saw just a tiny little bit of the ends of two hairy legs. Boy... that sucker is in there!

We sat around and fulfilled the obligatory two and a half hour wait for treatment. Finally, Dr. Young (he barley looked old enough to vote!) was able to flush and irrigate the bug out of the canal far enough, so he could reach it with an alligator forceps... a long narrow pliers like thing. After about three very painful attempts, the nice young Dr. finally retrieved this very large wasp that just simply wanted to ride on a Harley for Easter. My hubby was extremely relieved to be rid of his unwelcome passenger, I can tell ya!

When we got home Saturday evening, we reflected on the million in one odds, that a wasp could land a hole in one like that. Still, we packed the First Aid Kit back on the bike and made sure we had Q-tips and tweezers in it. I don't think I would've been able to get this particular bug today, even if I had the tools I needed. This bugger was deep, deep, deep!

As riders, we can learn how to prevent problems like this by sharing our experiences with each other. Reading this post may cause some of you to reconsider what kind of lid you wear, if one at all. Maybe... maybe not. Or, you could be like us and just add one more piece of gear to the list of things you don't leave home without... and that's cotton! Even after this terrible fiasco, I'm not going to stop wearing my half helmet and neither is Harley. But we can promise you this... there will be cotton in our ears from now on!

Lady R

23 comments:

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Holy Icky Bug experience! Wow...I never have thought of having a bug fly in my ear...I always worry about my mouth!

I'm glad that they got that sucker out of Harley's ear and darn him for ruining your ride. But hey...that's one good ride story!

Have a great week!

Arizona Harley Dude said...

As I was reading this story I found myself scratching inside my ear. Thankfully that thing couldn't sting Harley. I hope Sunday was less eventful.

Torch said...

That was one crazy suicidal wasp! Great story, it really makes you stop and think...Glad Harley survived his ordeal. It sounds very discomfortable.

Ride on,
Torch

Jocelyn said...

OUCH!! OUCH!! OUCH!! OUCH!!

Glad to hear Harley made out ok. Even more glad Harley was able to keep his stuff together and still ride around to seek out help. I'm sure that was not pleasant.

We were coming back from a trip to the mountains once and a friend caught a bee up his nose! No hospital trip required, just mucho "rocket" action.

"Joker" said...

Eeew! I got stung on the ear by a yellow jacket a few years ago while riding, but he didn't try to take up residence. I'll never make fun of Firm again for wearing earplugs when he rides!

Webster World said...

Nice to hear Harley is fine. Not good. I once got hit by one of those big bumble bees on the eye socket bone. Glad I was close to home . Wife met me at the bike. I take the helmet off and it was like a hammer hit me in the head. Harley was lucky.

Mastercheif said...

Wasp the hell!!! That is the nastiest story I have heard in quite a while. I'm glad your man made it out OK.

This reminds me a little about when Dave and I were fishing and he picked up a can of soda filled with wasps. He drank it and all these wasps came crawling out of his mouth. He got stung a few times and his tounge swelled up like a blow fish. It was hilarious. Sorry Bro, had to retell a little.

JOHN A.K.A. SNAPSHOT said...

Glad Harley stayed upright. This could of had a very bad ending.. A lesson to be learned in this: no matter how bad it hurts or takes you by surprise, don't freak & keep the bike upright. Good job Harley. Great story Lady R..

mq01 said...

oh wow, super scary!!! reminds me that i/we should be using earplugs... glad he's ok!!!

FLHX_Dave said...

I just lost a huge ass comment cause my net cut out. So here it is condensed.

Been there and this made my ear hurt again. I got mine out after a few minutes but it hurt. Glad it didn't go in ass first.

I caught a wasp in the mouth once also and it stung the back of my tongue...that was no fun either.

I think I would rather break a leg that go through the terror of that again.

Anonymous said...

Patty told me I needed to read this post right away--I'm so glad
he got that out. Having worked in the hospital I've seen and heard of all kinds of awful experiences with the insect world. Hope you gave him your best Easter treats!!!!Take care and Talk with you soon. EM

Dean "D-Day" said...

OMG...That's a huge bug to take in the ear! Glad he's alright.

I had one fly up the sleeve and then sting me about a dozen times across my chest and stomach once. I heard that I looked pretty funny pounding myself in the chest as I was flying down the road.

Two Buck said...

Holy crap! OW!!!!

Willy D said...

All I can say is “friggin’ ouch!”

bucky said...

Well, what the hell do you say to something like that!!??

Have to be honest. We laughed our asses off but glad to hear the unwanted passenger was put to rest.

KT Did said...

I've heard of situations like this and you hit all the odds of not being close to a hospital! Yikes! 45 minutes of wait time...your man is a tough one and he rode with that thing in still! Luckily his equiliberim didn't go nutty. Happy to hear he is safe.

Lady Ridesalot said...

IHG... The odds of a flying insect hit the ear hole so precisely is just amazing. He sure doesn't want to go through that again!

AZ Dude... but, it did! Probably more than once! It was terrible! I hurt too, just thinking about it!

Torch... "discomfortable" to say the least!!

Jocelyn... I don't know if I could have done it. He almost wrecked more than once during our little ordeal.

Joker... Harley was ready to evict his new tenant as soon as he moved in! We won't be riding without cotton in our ears from now on! Tell Firm, thumbs up! He's a smart fellow.

Webster... Harley really had no choice. He wasn't about to get on the back of my Glide with me, and we had no cell service. He rode. I don't know if I could have done it! Having a stinging, chomping wasp in my ear canal, while riding a motorcycle takes some real concentration!

Masterchief... He's okay. He goes to the ENT Dr. this morning, so we can find out if the bug is all gone and how much damage to his ear drum it left. He's already teased me that if he doesn't get all the sound back, he won't be able to hear me bitching so much. He's such a turd! (I don't bitch! LOL)

Snapshot... Your sooo right! Harley even reflected later, he doesn't know how he DIDN'T wreck! He said when that thing hit... he nearly went down. About four or five times between initial impact and until we were at the hospital, he almost lost it. I'm proud of him, but I sure did hate he was having to go through it! Yeah, I got me a tough guy. ;)

mq01... thanks! Earplugs or cotton! Cotton won't muffle the sound out as much. I already tried both to compare. Either way, plug that ear hole!!!

Dave... Harley has read most of these comments, and he agreed... getting stung on the back of the tongue would be NO fun! After this happened he said, "I guess now I know what it feels like to be skull f*cked!" I thought of you, warning us about all the bees chasing our pollenated bikes down the road for a little love action. At least he didn't lose his sense of humor.

EM... yes, he got his "best" medicine! ;) LOL! He's doing better today.

Dean... It was pretty intense! We both laughed at your story of pounding your fist on your chest to kill a bee. He figures he'll be called the "bee keeper" or some sh*t like that now. He's already been hearing some new nicknames as a result of our little experience.

Two Buck... Harley said more than "OW!" But you got the drift. LOL!

Willy D... see my note to Two Buck!

Bucky... Harley said, "laughed our asses off" heh? June is just around the corner! LOL!

KT... It was a problem alright! As I said to Snapshot above, he's very fortunate he didn't spill it. He almost did several times. Can you imagine having a stinging, lodged wasp deep in your head, chewing his way through, while your trying ride down the road? UGH! He was going crazy!!

Baron's Life said...

I'm glad I read this post and that Harley is OK...How did the bug get in there...guess I'm going to use ear plugs when riding in your neck of the woods.
Loved the suspense and the way you wrote the story...did you ever consider publishing?
Take care LadyR!

GYMONR said...

I had a bug hit me between the flap of my helmet and my ear…it fluttered around for a few seconds before I could stop and get my helmet off all the time I was waiting for the sting, it never happened and I never saw what kind of bug it was…so I know his fear…glad it worked out ok.
Big Al

Lady Ridesalot said...

Baron... He was looking around while we were riding down the road. Hell, I was doing the same. Our roads around here are really pretty right now, and it's fun to ride and gawk. While he had his head turned, the damn thing when straight in.. and I mean "do not pass go and do not collect $200.00" straight in! Yeow!

I just posted my update to the whole ordeal.

Thank you for your supportive compliments. :)

Big Al... the thing is, I think we've all had our little "dances with bugs" episodes, we'd just as soon as not relive again. I know one guy who doesn't! =:O

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Boy, you couldn't make this shit up! What a story! Little bugger. I can't believe he didn't get stung too!

Lady Ridesalot said...

Mr. M... He was getting stung! That's why this was so freaked! He was getting stung while it was in his ear! OUCH!!!

Your right, I couldn't have believed it, if I didn't live it.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

OUCH!!! That's even worse! Even though it's water under the bridge, I feel bad for him still.