The Hess Report

Friday, July 01, 2005

Bug Spray In My Eyes Makes Me Happy 

I haven't written anything in a while not because there has been nothing to write about, just that I didn't feel like it.

Break's over now, I guess. So, what I'm going to do is write up all the stuff that's been going on and post it as it suits me. I'm not going to say "two weeks ago" or time stamp it, because the chronology isn't critical. You can just pretend that it happened in the order that you're reading it, and ten years from now, I guarantee it won't make any difference.

And now, on with the show...

Bug Spray In My Eyes Makes Me Happy

We've had almost no bees/hornets/wasps around the house so far this year. I took out a big paper wasp nest last fall (long-range dowsing by insecticide followed by nest-destroying bombardment by slingshot - fun!), and maybe the rest of the little suckers saw that, got the message, and got the hell out of Dodge.

The few we've seen this year, we've tried to kill off right away. I saw two yellow jackets crawling into a tiny crevice where my back patio roof connects to the main house. We have Ortho Hornet & Wasp Killer 5, some cool stuff that shoots up to twenty feet(tm), and expands into a sticky foam that knocks the bastards right out of the sky, as well as blocking them from exiting their nests. So, I grabbed the foamy stuff, stuck the nozzle in the crevice, and let rip. Sounds dirty, doesn't it?

That taken care of, I checked out the corner on the opposite side of the patio, and Lo! and Behold! a similar situation existed there as well. Yellow jacket crawling out. I hit him with the foam, then filled the crack with it. As he plummeted to the ground, I felt something hit next to my left eye. Horrible dangerous insecticidal foam! Argh! I should have been wearing sunglasses, at least. Oh well, I thought. I'll just head inside and wipe it off.

"Ouch! Waah!" I looked to my left. Maddie had scraped her knee, which is apparently a major injury these days. I went to her to handle it. And the eye? It was forgotten.

That night, as I brushed my teeth, I thought that something in the mirror looked a bit weird. Upon further examination, I noticed that the skin around my left eye was puffy and red, and my eyelid was swollen. Ulp. The bug killer. I flushed it with some water, dried it carefully (it was a bit sore), and put some anti-inflammatory cream on it. I figured that if that was as bad as it had become over the last six hours, it would be okay.

The next morning it was about the same. When I got to work, I called Pittsburgh's Poison Control line. Now, I'm no wuss-bag, and if it had been anywhere else but around my eye (okay, not anywhere else) I wouldn't have bothered. But the very nice Poison Control lady took my info, put me on hold for a few minutes, then came back on to tell me that my eye was going to shrivel up and fall out. Well, obviously not, but if I worked for them, that's what I'd do. Then I'd laugh, and say that I could tell they were nervous, and I was just trying to break the tension.

She said that it wasn't a big deal, but that I should wash it thoroughly (check!) and not apply any creams (doh!), as they can seal the chemicals into your pores and make it worse. She also mentioned that I should wear safety goggles when I use insecticides and that actual contact with the eyeball would have been significantly worse. Like, duh. Just to clarify, that's a "Duh" for me, not for them, as I'm the one who came within about 1/2 cm of screwing up my eye. So kids, when you're using the bug spray, at least put on some sunglasses.

By the end of the work day, everything was almost back to normal. Around 3:00, Poison Control called me back to see how I was doing, which was very cool. They were professional and pleasant to talk to, so if you're feeling lonely, you could do worse than to call Pittsburgh Poison Control, pretend you just ate moth balls and chat with the nice people for a while. Don't forget to wheeze and gag every now and then to keep it real.

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