Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

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Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby delskorch » August 26th, 2018, 8:23 pm

Big thanks to the guys that called 911 and stuck with me in the Island Lake trailhead lot early afternoon today (Sunday). And thanks for stowing my bike and gear in my vehicle! You guys are great! I'm not sure I would have made it had you not been there to make the call. I literally could not have walked to the next nearest person. Sorry if I'm leaving any other good Sams out -- I was semi-conscious and my hearing was really degraded. It's an epi-pen in the seat bag from now on. Never carried one because I've never had anything but a local reaction to wasp, bees.

Here's the story for anyone interested.

Very near the end of the loop I felt a sting above my forehead. Rode to my vehicle, took off the helmet and watched a small yellow-jacket fly out. I was recharging and debating another loop or finding some ice for the sting. A few seconds after that, the world turned grey, sounds became muffled and I was having trouble walking. I saw a group of riders parked 2 spots down and asked if they would call 911 for me. I don't remember a whole lot after that except for the onset of a full body agony like I've never felt. I'm sure the other riders helped my down to the ground -- because I have no bumps or bruises. After my systems started coming back online in the hospital I also realized my digestive system had issued an evacuation order through any exit. So.. yeah sorry about the smell. You guys were troopers if you were within 20ft of me at that point. I feel very lucky to have had this reaction in the lot instead on the trail and am extremely grateful to the fellow bikers that called for help (and took care of my stuff!)

Thanks again. Yellow jackets suck (no offense GT grads).

~Rich
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby ihateplaindave » August 27th, 2018, 12:13 pm

YIKES!!! On another note: MTBers are good people.
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby xycarp » August 27th, 2018, 4:07 pm

Holey smokes... Went from never having a reaction, to that? Was a an unusual type of wasp? Any guess why such a strong reaction?

Congrats to you getting through. Scary stuff.
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby DynoDon » August 27th, 2018, 4:48 pm

Glad you survived, that don't sound like fun, I have a Uvex helmet, it has a bug stopping screen on the front part of the helmet, I wish it was all the way over my head, those deer flies bite my heat if I don't spray off on my head.. I may have to try to put my own screen in the helmet.. I can't imagine a bee getting in there, when the deer flies get in there I stop, now I'll panic more thinking about your experience with the bee. Again glad you didn't have a worse reaction.
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby flamingo » August 27th, 2018, 8:01 pm

Holly Crap! Glad you made it! I made me think. I have swollen so many bugs through out the years. Imagine a yellow jacket sting in the throat
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby delskorch » August 27th, 2018, 9:52 pm

xycarp wrote:Holey smokes... Went from never having a reaction, to that? Was a an unusual type of wasp? Any guess why such a strong reaction?

Congrats to you getting through. Scary stuff.


I'm still trying to figure that out. This is the first time I've been stun in the head. And I think the lil' *beep* managed to directly hit a vein because I have no localized swelling, just a small dot over the vein. It was a relatively small, normal looking yellow jacket.
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby delskorch » August 27th, 2018, 10:00 pm

DynoDon wrote:Glad you survived, that don't sound like fun, I have a Uvex helmet, it has a bug stopping screen on the front part of the helmet, I wish it was all the way over my head, those deer flies bite my heat if I don't spray off on my head.. I may have to try to put my own screen in the helmet.. I can't imagine a bee getting in there, when the deer flies get in there I stop, now I'll panic more thinking about your experience with the bee. Again glad you didn't have a worse reaction.


That's my fear now too. The biting flies are about as painful as a sting -- difficult to know which. Until now I've just considered it an annoyance and kept riding. Now I'll need to immediately stop, take of the helmet, and if I can't see the bug, then stab my thigh with an epi-pen and call an ambulance.

I'm going to try a DYI screen on the front vents.
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby DynoDon » August 28th, 2018, 5:47 am

You couild wear a skull cap under the helmet, or just spray some Off on your head, I really like the bug screen on the front of my Uvex too, but I think I'm going to try to put a bigger screen in therr. I feel the deer flies sometimes, but then sometimes I don't feel the bite until I jump in the lake, or take a shower, then I feel the pain and know I waa bitten.
There are plenty of blood vessels near the surface of your head, thats why the deer fly like to bite there, The Deep Woods Off has been working for me this year.
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby Jared13 » August 28th, 2018, 8:40 am

Oh man, that sucks!

You could look into the helmets by Smith. I have one of their Forefront models and it has Koroyd (or something like that) that is like little straws. I haven't gotten an insect in my helmet since I bought it a few years ago. Some of their other models have the Koroyd as well, not just the Forefront.
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby WICCMB » August 28th, 2018, 8:44 am

The heat and the exertion of the ride (not sure how hard you were riding?) likely had an effect on your extreme reaction.
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby Ea » August 28th, 2018, 12:32 pm

Unfortunately a systemic reaction like this can happen at any time, even if you previously only had a mild/local reaction to stings. I'm a beekeeper, and I often hear about this happening to people who have been keeping bees for years and only ever had mild reactions to stings. One day they get stung and out of the blue, they go into anaphylaxis. I'm sure it's the same with wasp venom, or any other potential allergen.

I was at Island Lake on Sunday and saw an EMS truck pulling out of the lot around 2:30 as I finished my ride. I'm guessing that was you. So glad you're ok! After reading this story, I'm going to start carrying an epipen in my camelback. I don't have a systemic reaction (knock on wood), but since I started beekeeping I've gotten them just in case anyone needs it someday.

Edit: if I were you, I’d see an allergist to be sure - I’m no expert. Maybe it did have something to do with exertion and the fact that you got stung on the head. I’ve read that bee/wasp venom allergy is pretty rare.
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby delskorch » August 29th, 2018, 2:59 pm

Thanks all for the kind words and suggestions. I've made some helmet mods that should prevent this particular case from happening again, and of course, an epi-pen will be on the bike at all times. I do think I'll talk with an allergist. Maybe they will provide some answers about why this reaction was so strong.
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Re: Wasp nearly took me out at Island Lake

Postby Ecruz » October 3rd, 2018, 2:16 pm

flamingo wrote:Holly Crap! Glad you made it! I made me think. I have swollen so many bugs through out the years. Imagine a yellow jacket sting in the throat


I did exactly that several years ago at Island Lake. Within a minute or two my throat got REALLY itchy. I knew enough to head back to the car (luckily it was at the beginning of the trail) and drive straight to an ER. By the time I arrived at Providence ER, I could barely swallow (picture spit running down my chin) and I was wheezing. They took me straight to a room, and hit me with an Epi-Pen, then another one about 15 minutes later. Doctor told me I should have called 911, instead of driving myself. Previous to that, I had never had a reaction to stings.

Glad to hear the OP is ok!
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