|(L to R) Paul, Steve and Randy|
And it only took one tiny drop of wasp venom.
I was out with top-shelf ride leader Steve and two other talented crank-churners...Paul and Randy. These boys are a level above master man and I was considering pulling the pin about 10 miles into our ride, a journey out to Glendale Spring and an alternate return, total 65 miles.
Being the group promoter that he is, Steve dropped back and was encouraging me up the big hills. Our halfway stop allowed me to woof a diet Mt. Dew, two electrolyte tabs and an Aleve. I was feeling locked and loaded for the second half.
Soon after that a wasp got me on the right ear. The sting started to burn but I put it out of mind and attempted to sum that pain in with the other hurts I was incurring. But within a couple of miles, it was system shut down. I barely made it off the road and sprawled onto the grass. My breathing was labored, heart was racing and my vision went to white light. My friends doubled back and several motorists were stopping to assist. Thank you Lord for my bike club friends and southern hospitality.
Steve later told me I had some sort of convulsive reaction and collapsed while they were loading me into the car. I remember parts of the ride and we were soon at the Ashe Memorial Hospital in Jefferson. Long story short, I was good to go after two bags of IV fluid, some anti-wasp meds, a CAT Scan and 2 bathroom breaks. Note photo at right; mountain cycling is hard on a master competitor...I look like Keith Richards!
Another club member, Bing, came a long ways from Boone to transport Steve and me back to our starting point. He's a great guy with a "pay it forward" attitude. I will remember how much I was cared for on this day, and offer my assistance and help when I can embrace the next person in need.
I'll need to get to my MD on Monday, to explore what happened and get a EpiPen into my back pocket for rides and runs. I had a somewhat similar event in Florida several years ago and the reaction to stings is very scary.
While riding in that car, blood pressure at about half and seeing white, I was never more sure that my life is in God's hands. I will leave this earth in His time, in the way He determines. But for now, thanks to great friends and caring motorists, I will live to ride another day.