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Old 12-10-07, 07:37 PM   #1
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Stung By A Bee While On My Folding Bike

I was riding on one of my folding bikes last Sunday afternoon. I stopped at a red light. I felt something crawling around in my hair. Without thinking, I brushed it off-right on my finger's knuckle. It was one very mad bee. He/she/it (?) was so angry that it attacked my finger by stinging and leaving the stinger embedded into the joint. I felt a burning sensation and extreme pain. But not enough to cloud my thinking process. I retained the good sense to quickly pull the stinger out-before more damage and venom could flood my system. My finger-which is the primary braking finger-could not bend very well and the other fingers had to take over. I got the worst headache imaginable. My pedaling and balance on the bike was impaired to say the least. I had to really concentrate to keep riding/balance and point the bike in the right direction. Not into the wrong one where all the traffic was. But it did not stop here.

When I made it home, my knees could not bend anymore. My other joints also refused to cooperate. I never had any major problems like that before. So I took one Advil and applied Jointflex to the stiff joints (especially the knees), took a hot shower and went straight to bed. I slept for 12 hours (normally I get along well with 7-8 hours). I am still somewhat stiff and still have a headache, but not as bad as yesterday. I am experiencing some difficulty in climbing stairs. I will repeat the same routine as before with the Advil (Ibuprofen) and the Jointflex (Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate) and see the doctor in the morning.

I know my counterparts in Western Europe and Northern Europe and Canada is not very pleased with the medical and dental care offered in those countries, but at least you have coverage. Over here, the United States might have the best medical and dental care in the world, but most of it's citizens cannot afford it or access it when needed.
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Old 12-10-07, 07:48 PM   #2
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Uh oh...sounds like you had an allergic reaction to the bee sting. Hope you get better soon, and stay away from those bees!! The next time will probably be worse, as is the case with bee allergies
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Old 12-10-07, 09:33 PM   #3
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....the United States might have the best medical and dental care in the world, but most of it's citizens cannot afford it or access it when needed.

Not quite right
- We have the 'best health care delivery system in the world'. That assumes you are able to afford the "delivery charge", which many folks can't.

I got stung by a bee in my neck like 20 yrs ago as I was riding my brother-in-law's motorcycle near their home in N. Vancouver, BC. I was coming back from a ride up to the ski area on Grouse Mtn. It started to swell a bit, and I wondered if it would restrict my breathing. Luckily it didn't, and I made it back to their house safely. (This was in the days before cell phone usage became popular.)

Glad it didn't cause a major problem for you.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:01 PM   #4
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Over here, the United States might have the best medical and dental care in the world, but most of it's citizens cannot afford it or access it when needed.
Oh Bullsiht. If you can afford (how many?) bikes you can afford to go to an Urgent Care for $50 assuming you don't have insurance. If you do, then you probably have about a $20 co-pay. What you wrote is just straight up a lie.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:40 PM   #5
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You need to get this checked out ASAP, as it could be fatal next time if you don't have an anti-venom kit with you.

I had a college room mate who had to have the kit with him at all times and he had 15 minutes leeway. One day at school he got stung and a professor tried to wrestle the needle from him as he was injecting himself, so he had to coldcock him.

This is nothing to fool with.

And yes, like our politicians, we have the finest medical care money can buy, if you can pay the price.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:14 PM   #6
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Oh ya, not too long ago I had a small bee (not sure what kind) fly into me as I was riding. He stung my bottom lip. Hlel of a way to start a ride.

Clown is right. You have to get an anti-venom kit. It'll probably cost about $10 million in our horrible, everything for the filthy rich medical system. I hear they make it out of poor people kidneys.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:27 PM   #7
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Oh Bullsiht. If you can afford (how many?) bikes you can afford to go to an Urgent Care for $50 assuming you don't have insurance. If you do, then you probably have about a $20 co-pay. What you wrote is just straight up a lie.
Jeese...wotta schmuck. Why the personal attack on this person who you don't know whatsoever? In what way could they have caused injury to your obviously tender sensibilities to solicit such vitriol? This has become a truly amazing society, can't very well apply the word culture. What hath Rupert Murdock wrought?

Last year my wife fell in the bathroom and cut her lower lip clean through on the shower door railing. The bill from the hospital emergency room, late at night so no choice, was $20,000.00. Yeah, you read that right. Twenty Thousand bloody Dollars. And this was a University teaching hospital which I've been supporting with my taxes. We also had to wait nine hours for her to be released and the staff basically treated us as criminals during the whole ordeal, apparently because she had the audacity to injure herself after all good, god fearing, right thinking, honest, citizens should be safely tucked in for the night. It was one of the most disgusting experiences of my life.

And last I read, more than a third of the population of the US cannot afford health insurance.


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Old 12-10-07, 11:42 PM   #8
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I do not believe you. Internal and external stitches on a wound do not cost $20k. Either you are making this up or there were some wildly extenuating circumstances. Which is it?

Of the 1/3 of the country that cannot afford health insurance, how many of them have a cell phone with $50 a month payment? How many smoke? How many work full time? How many have cable TV? Life is about choices and priorities. At 24 when I was living on scraps I bought my own health insurance with a high deductible to make sure if I really got in trouble, I was covered. It was a priority.

The US health care system is messed up, no question. The last time I went to the DMV, though, I didn't think to myself, "Wow, this is ran so well that we should get the same people to fix health care!" I guess where I also get fuzzy on the whole deal is why I have to pay for insurance for people that don't care enough to make it a priority to get it for themselves.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:24 AM   #9
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As fascinating as this discussion of our health care system is, I have a couple of observations....

--My condolences! My mom's a beekeeper, and I have been stung lots of times, and every single one hurt like you wouldn't believe it. You don't get used to the pain; it hurts like crazy every time it happens.

--I am not an entomologyst, but:

--If the bug that stung you left her stinger in your finger, it was probably a honey bee. Wasp stingers don't have barbs.

--Bees are not aggressive; normally they will sting only if harassed.

--The honey bees in some parts of the country(including yours?) are "Africanized," meaning they have interbred with African honey bees. African bees arrived in South America some decades ago and spread quickly from there, having some competitive advantages over common bees. They are nastier, more inclined to sting, than non-Africanized bees; sometimes they attack en masse when the hive is threatened, earning them the name "killer bees." They don't usually kill, of course.

--If there's a stinger stuck to you along with a poison sac, scrape it away with a sharp edge (a finger nail, credit card, metal blade, almost anything will do). If you grasp the poison sac between your thumb and forefinger, you squeeze the poison out of the sac and into the wound. Tweezers are worse still.

--I am not a doctor, but:

--If you get a stinger in your finger, it's normal for your finger to swell up. The swelling may spread from there, so your whole hand, or whole arm, may swell up; ice will help, but not to worry, this is comparatively harmless.

--If you get swelling somewhere else, without swelling in between, that's an allergic reaction and very bad. Any swelling that inhibits breathing, for example, would be very bad. But the real danger is anaphylaxis. If you go into anaphylactic shock, you need to get to the emergency room right away, regardless of cost.

--Benadryl may help.

--Allergy to bee venom tends to be cumulative over the course of your life: you may get stung hundreds of times and have no reaction to speak of, because you are not allergic. But then one day you get stung and have an allergic reaction: well, now you are allergic, and you are going to stay that way, and you may well go into anaphylactic shock next time. If that's what happened, then you should get a venom kit and carry it with you at all times.

--From your description, I am not convinced you had an allergic reaction; joint stiffness unrelated to swelling, headache, impaired balance, and lethargy do not sound to me like allergic reaction to bee sting. Confirm that with an allergist, of course.
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Old 12-11-07, 07:55 AM   #10
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I carry a couple of Benadryl tablets in my seat bag. . .

I carry a couple of Benadryl tablets in my seat bag and keep some in my car too. It is a wonder drug IMHO for dealing with allergic reations. It may save you if you react that severely to stings. Once while riding a bee got wedged in my helmet and stung me on the top of my forehead. Even though I wasn't far from home, I stopped and took the Benadryl immediately to counteract the effects of the sting.

Last edited by veloceleste; 12-11-07 at 08:00 AM. Reason: first sentence
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Old 12-11-07, 09:17 AM   #11
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Did you take Benadryl? Sort of the ubiquitous response to an allergic reaction. I would go to a doctor soon to confirm the allergy or find the alternative reason for the reaction. I recall that the second-time one gets stung the reaction is much worse.

-G

EDIT: I should add that my knowledge of allergic reactions is pretty close to nil.
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Old 12-11-07, 09:40 AM   #12
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I have heard of 'KILLER BEES!'. I saw a documentary about them; these are not to be messed with, they do however travel in huge swarms and totally devour people.

Now I think, it might have been a film!
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Old 12-11-07, 10:03 AM   #13
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Oh Bullsiht. If you can afford (how many?) bikes you can afford to go to an Urgent Care for $50 assuming you don't have insurance. If you do, then you probably have about a $20 co-pay. What you wrote is just straight up a lie.
You're right - The wife and I do have insurance.

But, how many retired couples can afford the $847.00 per month for the premium that yields that $20.00 co-pay??? (This is prior to Medicare eligibility.) Medicare for me reduces this by $250/month, but then requires a $40.00 co-pay. Any needed prescriptions are additional.

And, luckily, we are very healthy.
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Old 12-11-07, 10:05 AM   #14
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I'm pretty sure that KILLER BEES! was an 80's made for TV movie. If it's what I think it is, then not exactly documentary material.
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Old 12-11-07, 10:17 AM   #15
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Hospital charges can be outrageous. Two months ago my son-in-law was bitten by a rattlesnake on the little toe. At first he was going to ignore it . . . but the swelling soon changed his mind.

Two nights in the hospital and 4 doses of anti-venom. They received the bill recently [round numbers]: $82,000 for the hospital, approx. $70,000 of which was the anti-venom. They haven't received the doctor's bill yet.

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Old 12-11-07, 11:57 AM   #16
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I do not believe you. Internal and external stitches on a wound do not cost $20k. Either you are making this up or there were some wildly extenuating circumstances. Which is it?

Of the 1/3 of the country that cannot afford health insurance, how many of them have a cell phone with $50 a month payment? How many smoke? How many work full time? How many have cable TV? Life is about choices and priorities. At 24 when I was living on scraps I bought my own health insurance with a high deductible to make sure if I really got in trouble, I was covered. It was a priority.

The US health care system is messed up, no question. The last time I went to the DMV, though, I didn't think to myself, "Wow, this is ran so well that we should get the same people to fix health care!" I guess where I also get fuzzy on the whole deal is why I have to pay for insurance for people that don't care enough to make it a priority to get it for themselves.
What you believe is immaterial.

Lessee...24 is college age. Life was a bit different then, eh? But you did have a phone, I imagine, and spent a bit on entertainment as well if a normal college kid. Would you have had insurance if the cost was the same proportion as it is now?

Should have said 30% of the working population, which is also close to the children in poverty level. And don't forget the millions of retirees who are uninsured due to corporate America leaving them to twist in the wind.

You have no problem paying for the multi-million dollar annual compensation packages of the top corporate officers and their absurd severance deals, so why the problem with helping those less fortunate. Actually, by promoting poverty, ignorance, and substandard health care, you are still paying for the costs in the end. Your also paying the middlemen...the prison industrial complex, the law enforcement industrial complex, and the legal industrial complex.
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Old 12-11-07, 03:33 PM   #17
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folder fanatic, benadryl aside, consider also getting an epipen. sounds like you have a fairly serious allergy to bee venom and that thing might just save you a trip to the emergency room one day.
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Old 12-11-07, 03:42 PM   #18
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It was one very mad bee. He/she/it (?) was so angry that it attacked my finger by stinging and leaving the stinger embedded into the joint.

It was a female. Male bees have no sting and there aren't that many of them anyway. They are called drones. The worker females, like their mother the queen bee have a small hollow ovipositor, an egg laying pipe. In the case of the worker female (all worker bees are females) the egg laying pipe is adapted to inject venom into those that threaten the hive.

I used to keep bees. I once got so badly stung that my wife managed to remove 48 stings from my face, neck and ears. I spent the weekend shivering like I had the flu.
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Old 12-11-07, 03:46 PM   #19
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folder fanatic, benadryl aside, consider also getting an epipen. sounds like you have a fairly serious allergy to bee venom and that thing might just save you a trip to the emergency room one day.
You need proper medical advice before deciding on any such thing. Epi pens contain adrenalin. It is usually fatal if given under the wrong circumstances.
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Old 12-11-07, 04:01 PM   #20
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Oh Bullsiht. If you can afford (how many?) bikes you can afford to go to an Urgent Care for $50 assuming you don't have insurance. If you do, then you probably have about a $20 co-pay. What you wrote is just straight up a lie.
Those bikes were purchased some time ago. The first one my father bought for me because the transit system here is so unreliable and even unsafe. And I already gave this bike (the Dahon Boardwalk S1) to my sister. The other 2 was from part of the insurance money my father left me after he died 2 years ago. They were bought as back up to each other if I really need to get somewhere and one has a flat or something like that. That money is long gone and a one time reward. Health care is an ongoing expense that is both expected (office visits) and unexpected (bee stings and the like). I live in one of the most expensive regions of the country. Even the LA County USC Healthcare Network-poor people's care-charges 60 or more (usually more) dollars per visit. And if you don't pay, they will place a lien on anything valuable you own. Where would I live? On the street? And remember I do not have a car at this time. The bikes serve in that capacity. My father's huge hospital and medical bills already placed us in danger of losing the house-and they did not pay me to care for him during his last few years and could not even work part time and look after him. I have to walk a very precarious path for a while longer to save what little he left behind. And even a tiny bee could push me and mine over the edge.

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...Bees are not aggressive; normally they will sting only if harassed...From your description, I am not convinced you had an allergic reaction; joint stiffness unrelated to swelling, headache, impaired balance, and lethargy do not sound to me like allergic reaction to bee sting. Confirm that with an allergist, of course.
I wish I knew it was a bee. I would have left it alone. People react somewhat differently to different things. My doctor confimed that my symtoms probably were caused (or made worse) by biking pushing venom into the body faster) and a person's unique chemical/biological makeup. I am getting a Tetanus vaccine tomarrow as a precaution.

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I carry a couple of Benadryl tablets in my seat bag and keep some in my car too. It is a wonder drug IMHO for dealing with allergic reations. It may save you if you react that severely to stings. Once while riding a bee got wedged in my helmet and stung me on the top of my forehead. Even though I wasn't far from home, I stopped and took the Benadryl immediately to counteract the effects of the sting.

Great idea. I think I will keep a couple of tablets for emergencies like stings.

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folder fanatic, benadryl aside, consider also getting an epipen. sounds like you have a fairly serious allergy to bee venom and that thing might just save you a trip to the emergency room one day.

My doctor suggested me to call 911 the next time an emergency strikes.

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You need proper medical advice before deciding on any such thing. Epi pens contain adrenalin. It is usually fatal if given under the wrong circumstances.
I am quite cautious about using medical substances on myself-even an aspirin. I tend to stay in a populated area when I ride. In case of emergency, I would seek out medical help which would probably be far more better to handle anything.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 12-11-07 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 12-11-07, 04:18 PM   #21
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You need to get this checked out ASAP, as it could be fatal next time if you don't have an anti-venom kit with you.

I had a college room mate who had to have the kit with him at all times and he had 15 minutes leeway. One day at school he got stung and a professor tried to wrestle the needle from him as he was injecting himself, so he had to coldcock him.

This is nothing to fool with.

And yes, like our politicians, we have the finest medical care money can buy, if you can pay the price.
I just ended a visit to the doctor's office. I do have very limited access to medical treatment-at my local community college's health center. That center is only open during some hours and days during the week. It is not open at all on weekends, holidays, or end of term breaks. But I am grateful for some sort of medical help. I actually had a previous appointment made quite a while ago (at the beginning of the present term). So I combined the two issues into one doctor's visit.

I am happy to say that while I did have an reaction to the bee's venom, it was not a life threatening one. I was able to breathe, function somewhat, and made it home under my own power. Removing the stinger would have been better with a credit card or some other similar type of object to insure I did not unintentionally squeeze more venom into my wound. I was miserable during Sunday, lesser on Monday, and even now on Tuesday afternoon with far few effects on my body.

I think there are some important lessons here. I never thought about actually having an emergency while just out on a short trip with one of the folders. While the folding bikes are far more portable and compact than a regular bike, I never thought about not being able to take the bike everywhere with me. Usually if there was a choice in the matter, I would pass and go somewhere else than separation from the bike. Locking is not an option for me. But if I had to ride an ambulance to the hospital for some life threatening problem, what would happen to the bike and other valuables? While most people are honest and pure, I think about those fools that ruin it for everyone concerned-hospital or patient. There is much to think about.

Thank you for your concerns and advice. I am glad that we are such a tight knit community of cyclists here.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 12-11-07 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:30 PM   #22
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I got stung on my lip while riding a motorcycle.....
When I tell you it ballooned up to bigger than anything
you might see on a tribeswomen in a National Geogrphic I am
not lying
Later, I worked in a cemetery (1975) and would get stung by 15 or 20
at a time. I developed a very serious reaction to them that would swell
everything up and make it itchy and brite red. I had to keep a needle
full of some stuff in the ice box for when it happened again.
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Old 12-11-07, 09:55 PM   #23
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Guys - Keep in mind that you can go to the nearest hospital emergency room, insurance or no insurance. They need to take care of you regardless - even if you are not a US citizen (something that has completely overwhelmed and bankrupted the hospitals in places like southern Cal.) That sounds like what you should have done, Folder F- and if you can't get there yourself you can dial 911 and call an ambulance to take you.

I've been attacked by freakin' ANTS twice in the last month. We might be dealing with an insect uprising here on Earth!
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Old 12-12-07, 09:46 AM   #24
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This forum needs an ignore function.

Edit: This forum has an ignore function and I am now using it.

Last edited by destro713; 12-12-07 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 12-13-07, 01:02 PM   #25
keithnyc
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It sounds like this forum needs an ignorant function as well. C'mon, can't we try to keep off the non-folding bike politics (or those somewhat passive-aggressive political-spin missives that started this whole thing off in the first place)????

I mean, REALLY...we're all angry about something. But these anonymous p*ssing matches stuck into an unrelated forum just strike me as kinda whiney (actually, not quite sure how the bee sting saga found it's way into the folding bike forum,either......I mean, unless it's because it was the folder that specifically attracted the bee. Then I could see the connection....).
Have a good weekend, folks

Last edited by keithnyc; 12-13-07 at 04:06 PM.
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