Four years ago today, a swarm of bees tried to kill me

I’ve told the story before, so I won’t waste your time getting into it again.

But it was four years ago today that I left for an easy ride along the beach on a beautiful late summer day, and woke up to a lifeguard placing an oxygen mask over my face.

And just my luck, after a lifetime of Baywatch fantasies, I got a David Hassalhoff-equivalent instead of a Pamela Anderson.

Four years later, I still have a few lingering health and fitness problems stemming from that solo collision that started with a massive swarm of bees and ended with a trip through the ER and ICU. Although anytime I make a mistake, I’ve got a built-in excuse thanks to the moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) I received that day.

And no, I didn’t get stung. And no, I still don’t remember what happened in between.

But it wasn’t the concussion that threatened my life. It was the internal bleeding from a massive hematoma that nearly sent me into shock three times, and could have bled out or lead to a heart attack if I’d followed my instincts and tried to ride home.

But I’m here, I’m alive and I’m healthy. And on days like this, I’m reminded just how lucky I am.

And after all these years, my wife is finally starting to find the humor in the phone call she made to my cell phone that afternoon. The one that was answered by a paramedic saying “Now don’t worry, your husband is going to be fine, but right now he’s in an ambulance on the way to the emergency room…”

So let me take a moment to thank the L.A. County Lifeguards, the fire fighters and paramedics of LAFD Station 69, and the ER and ICU staff at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. The care I got from each and all of them was truly exemplary, and kept a handful of moderate injuries from becoming something more.

And thanks to Trek for making — and replacing — the helmet that limited my head injury to a moderate concussion; it’s exactly this kind of relatively slow speed impacts that helmets are designed to protect against.

You can read about the Infamous Beachfront Bee Encounter here. And if you haven’t already, you can still catch up on last weekend’s long list of links and upcoming events.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s a beautiful day, and I have to ride.

And hopefully, I won’t run into any bees along the way.

4 comments

  1. carolyn laing says:

    wow…im glad your ok…what a experiance…

  2. Let ME take a moment to thank you for this wonderful blog! You offer a lot of wisdom, touching personal accounts, and fantastic links. Thank you!

  3. Opus the Poet says:

    Can’t tell you how glad I am that your encounter with death turned out better than mine did ten yeas ago. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone, except maybe the guy that did it to me. Enjoy the rest of your day.

  4. bikinginla says:

    Thanks all — I really appreciate the kind words.

    Opus, the difference is that my injuries could have been life-threatening, but weren’t thanks to all the people who helped me that day. Yours would have been fatal if the rescue personnel hadn’t managed to bring you back from the brink. Glad you’ve made it back; the world would be a poorer place without you.

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