God Put A Bug In My Ear

God put a bug in my ear this weekend.

You think I’m kidding.

Or speaking metaphorically.

Think again.

This is my husband trying to entertain himself in Luray, VA’s emergency room at 10:15 pm last Friday night.

Somewhere inside this ear (which is mine) is a frantically fluttering moth. 

Who knew moths were claustrophobic?

Or so difficult to extract?

It took 2 technicians, a doctor, a very supportive husband, Lidocaine, a barrage of silent prayers, three attempts to flush with a syringe, one near faint, multiple pokes with an eye hook, a warm blanket, many tears, several deep plunges with an alligator grabber, and almost three hours to accomplish the seemingly minor feat.

And here I always thought I had a high pain tolerance.

Apparently insects have barbs on their legs that prevent them from backing up.  Apparently all this big guy could do was flutter forward.  Apparently he made it all the way to my eardrum before the Lidocaine paralyzed him.  Apparently that’s pretty dang deep.  Apparently the ear canal has more than its fair share of surface nerve endings.  Apparently from here on out I will never linger near a lit porch light for longer than .05 seconds ever again.  Apparently Dutchmen plug repairs are all the wood floor rage and the best time to fertilize is in early spring when the ground is cool and damp (Tim had to make me promise not to buy him a subscription to Popular Mechanics for his birthday, else he would never get another thing done around the house).

At least I got to keep the moth.

I think I’ll bring it to class next week when I plan to give my students the talk about the many ways to catch insects for their collection. 

The many, many ways.

I’m sure it will be a riveting discussion.

I just hope I can hear it.

  1. #1 by Miriam on September 14, 2010 - 2:31 pm

    GAH! That freaks me out just reading about it! *shudder* No picture of the poor moth? 😛 I bet your students will LOVE the story! Sorry it was so hard to get the moth out 😦 That’s certainly no fun way to spend the night. Hmm, Popular Mechanic… sounds like an interesting magazine. Daniel likes magazines for the, um… “reading room.” Maybe I should check into that one for him.

  2. #2 by joannamv on September 14, 2010 - 3:02 pm

    Oh gosh. That sounds awful! Glad you survived!

  3. #3 by Gretchen B. on September 14, 2010 - 5:17 pm

    I’m soorry you had to go through that! But it was really amusing to read, and I’m sure your students will love hearing about it, too!

  4. #4 by Betty on September 15, 2010 - 9:43 am

    I can’t believe that you had the presence of mind to take pictures! Maybe you could put a moth under the microscope and look at those legs with your students. But that means catching another one…..! I’ll never tell anyone again that I want to put a bug in their ear-what a terrible cliche.

  5. #5 by Susan H on September 15, 2010 - 10:25 am

    I read this last night and it creeped me out!

  6. #6 by Leah on September 15, 2010 - 1:02 pm

    I was so horrified by this that I recounted it in obscene detail to Andy who actually yelled at me to stop with the story because he was so yuckified!!!!! You poor thing!!!!!!!!

  7. #7 by Cristy on September 15, 2010 - 1:22 pm

    Thanks for all the sympathy, guys. It was pretty horrible, I have to say. But it’s all right now…the last two pieces of leg came floating on out Sunday night after I did a hydrogen peroxide ear flush! :-b

  8. #8 by Tim H. on September 15, 2010 - 2:34 pm

    This happened to a friend of mine one night. Her husband poured a bit of alcohol in her ear to kill it then they went to the doctor the next day. My dad (a doctor) said the first thing to try is to shine a bright flashlight into the ear and sometimes the moth will crawl out.

    • #9 by Cristy on September 15, 2010 - 2:37 pm

      Very smart!! If it ever happens again (and I very much hope it doesn’t), I am definitely going to try to kill it first thing so it can’t keep crawling deeper down. Interesting idea about the flashlight!

  9. #10 by Tim H. on September 15, 2010 - 2:39 pm

    Freshman year I had to pull an earplug from deep in my ear with needle nose pliers in the Memorial bathroom.

    • #11 by Tim C on September 15, 2010 - 6:57 pm

      That was probably during intervis. You show-off.

      • #12 by Tim H. on September 16, 2010 - 8:27 am

        It was in the middle of the night. I woke up with my ear in throbbing pain. It was either pull it out or call campus safety to take me to the hospital.

  10. #13 by Anna C on September 15, 2010 - 4:23 pm

    Looks like you’ve already got some riveting discusion here. I hope the last line is just a joke!

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