25 September 2014

Bugs, My Eye!

The Moon, Mirrored

I rarely take off my sunglasses when I'm outside in any semblance of daylight.

But that didn't stop another gnat for finding a warm, comfortable place to give up the ghost during the second stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Crested Butte. The Lizard and I had just deposited our schwag (free stuff) in the car and were returning to our chosen viewpoint where we hoped to watch the pro cyclists just 500 meters from the finish line in a couple of hours. And then it happened. A bug flew right under my sunglasses and right into the right corner my right eye. Not a right move!!!

I had learned the first time this happened my eyes are no game, and immediate action is worth losing a cherished bicycle race lookout. I immediately returned to the car, crying but unable to get tears to fall. My eyeball felt as though it was on fire, and the only thing I could think of was to find a mirror so I could safely dislodge the bug without severing any of its body parts.

The car windows were not reflective enough for me to undertake emergency surgery. The rearview mirror was wide angle and not at a good angle to boot for me to wedge my head closely and visually locate the tiny beast.

By this time, The Lizard, who wasn't sure why I was crying and beginning to wail, caught up to me and beeped the alarm to unlock the doors. I hopped in and pulled down the vanity mirror, which is never used for typical stuff such as applying makeup or fixing hair. I pulled down my lower eyelid and inspected the damage. There in the crease was this ghastly little dead bug, apparently leaking bodily fluids all over my burning eye. Still, I could not get tears to flow.

So I did the next best thing. I grabbed the water bottle on my bicycle and began dousing my eye. To heck with clothing and car upholstery! It was just water anyway; everything I stash in my car sees worse when I leave the windows cracked and thunderstorms take advantage.

The Lizard figured out my quagmire and went searching for clean tissue, which he carefully handed to me to keep it as germ-free as possible. I dabbed the tissue right onto my inner eyelid and applied a bit of pressure.

I wasn't sure if my first bug-eyed experience was caused because I scratched my eye while trying to remove said alien or if the invader was just toxic. So this time, I tried to be careful, but I also tried to be forceful. No microscopic appendages were welcome in my orifice!

The Lizard performed a clear-eyed examination... my eyes were finally beginning to fill with burning salt water.

"You missed a spot," he concluded, handing me another tissue.

I repeated my stratagem and inspected the tissue. There before my teary eyes was a tiny leg. Or arm. I couldn't see clearly enough to make proper identification.

Because of the last experience, The Lizard insisted I use the entire bottle of water to continue flooding my eye, which still felt as though it was coated with gasoline, rubbing alcohol or sandpaper, or a wicked combination of all three. I did not object.

Ten minutes later, I decided I probably needed to wash from the other direction, too. I tipped my head the other way, and The Lizard assisted in drenching my eye again.

I looked as though I'd had more than a little accident as we returned to the bridge over what would soon be storm waters to take front and center of what other fans said was the best seat in the house. Within about half an hour, the pain was mostly gone, and a thunderstorm washed most of the rest of the fans off the bridge.

True blue fans were back as soon as things dried out, and so was my eyesight. One of my most precious possessions. About 600 photos' worth.

A good race was had by all! Well, except the bug...

rain on me


  1. damn, never had a bug do that to me. Pesky little buggers, that has to be awful indeed. I guess swallowing a bug or two isn't so bad compared to that, glad you got it out.

  2. Had that happen on a ride early this year ... spent the rest of the time alternating between rubbing my eye and trying to get myself NOT to rub my eye! It's so frustrating when you want to cry and can't. Glad you got that bug out at last.

    The thought of riding mountain roads in the rain fills me with terror. Those guys really are pros!


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