Inspired by this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=667451, about stupid reasons you’ve had to go to the doctor.
A terrifyingly (to me anyway!) high number of posters have had a bug fly in their ear or known someone who has. I’ve just discovered that, to me, this is a nightmare of Lovcraftian proportions.
So scare me that this is common or reassure me it’s not.
I had to take my son to the ER when he was 2.5 due to a suspected bug in the ear from when we were at a local lake. Luckily there was nothing there, but the ER doc indicated that it was shockingly common, especially in children living in squalid conditions. As you might imagine, having lots of bugs in your sleeping space can be dangerous in many ways.
We went to have engagement photos taken in DC, and while we were setting up at one of the monuments, our photographer suddenly dropped her bag and started dipping to the side and swatting at her head like she was trying to get water out of her ears. We rushed over to help, and were told that a mosquito had gotten in there, it tickled tremendously, and it was really loud!
After a minute or two of dancing around and pulling at her ear, she said she couldn’t feel it anymore, so we got back to business. I figured it had flown back out, but my husband helpfully suggested it may have died in there, at which the photographer shuddered and gave him the stinkeye.
I’ve never gotten a bug in my ear, and I’m so very grateful that it’s not an experience I’ve had to endure (knock wood). Ever since watching Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan when I was a wee child, I am wholly terrified of the possibility of something crawling into my ears and getting comfortable, maybe in my warm squishy brain. I always sleep with a comforter over my head, and I’m pretty sure it’s all that movie’s fault.
Yes, and it was horrifying. It was just about the tiniest moth I’ve ever seen and the horror was in feeling it in there moving about. I got it out with vegetable oil. There were tears and whimpering until then. I was the only survivor in this encounter.
It was the tiniest of gnats. And yes, when it moved it was terrible-- and loud. But it didn’t move much and after a while the waxy buildup muted all.
Come to think of it, my husband still laughs at me when he remembers how, every now and again, I’d stop whatever it was I was doing to knock the side of my head silly that first day.
One time I was over at my friend Dave’s house. Another friend, Mark, showed up and we went out to Dave’s garage to drink beer and relax (and not drive his wife crazy). It was dark out and the garage had two bare light bulbs for illumination.
A very small white moth was flying around between the two bulbs when it suddenly flew directly into Mark’s ear. “Aah! Aah! Get it out!” he said. Dave & I laughed and considered various options for how to get the moth out.
“Get it out! It’s on my ear drum! It’s LOUD! Get it out!” Mark said.
Dave picked up some hemostats that happened to be lying on the workbench. “Maybe we can get it out with these.”
“No!” I said. “No, that’s a bad idea. We really shouldn’t go digging in his ear with those.”
“GET IT OUT! It’s driving me crazy!” said Mark.
We finally decided we had no choice but to go to the Emergency Room. Dave’s wife drove since she hadn’t been drinking. The doctor looked into Mark’s ear with that little device they look into ears with.
“Well look at that.” the doctor said. “It’s looking back at me.” He called other doctors and nurses over to see. “Well look at that.” they all said.
“Get it out.” said Mark.
Eventually they poured some water in his ear and floated the moth out. We went back to Dave’s place and had another beer (and found another use for the hemostats).
I woke up in the middle of the night when a bug crawled into my ear. I could feel it moving around. It was awful.
Any thing and every thing you had planned goes right out the window. Nothing like an insect in your ear canal to make you focus on the truly important things in life. Such as getting the fucking thing out RIGHT NOW.
Went to the ER that night, got it taken care of.
But you know how when you find a wood tick on yourself or one of the kids or the dog, and you feel phantom wood ticks on your body the rest of the day?
Yeah, like that-- only 100 times worse. It felt like that bug was still in there, moving around for about a week.
My mom got a bug in her ear when she was in the hospital as a child. She kept complaining to the nurses that she could feel and hear it moving, but it was in there for a full day before anyone believed her.
It’s more common than one may think.
Funny story. About 50 or so years ago.
True story…happened to me.
Back when I was young teenager, we were camping at Zoar Valley, NY.
We were all sitting at the raging camp fire (Dave my age, Jack his younger brother and Bud, their Dad) . Just talking. All of a sudden I grab the side of head and spin through the middle of the fire on my side yelling like crazy! Bud, thought a spark had hit me and grabbed me to hold me still. Dave and Jack just look on in horror. I was not burned but I kept yelling about a loud buzzing my ear and trying to jump around. The buzzing in my head was unbelievable.
Now you must understand that very little would get Bud upset, being an old Navy man with submarine service under his belt during WWII in the Pacific. He experienced depth charges and was made cook on the boat by the captain because the regular cook injured himself during a depth charge and was not very good at cooking anyway. Bud also went through 2 years of Tuberculosis and lost one lung. But to to see him work you would’ve thought he had three lungs.
Also our camp site had no electricity, no running water or any phone service and the nearest neighbor was at least two miles away over wood country side.
Back to the story… Perhaps because I was not actually one of his son’s he got very scared and rushed me to the nearest hospital in Gowanda, NY about 10 miles away on a semi dirt road. Now I’ve been in the car with him many times and he would not go easy on the gas peddle during regular driving. This time he had his foot to the floor all the was there since my head was on his lap and I could see the gas peddle.
We get to the hospital and the attending physician (an older gentleman if I remember) takes a look at starts to chuckle. He takes a water powered syringe and flushes out my ear. A moth had flown into it.
Now here is the funny part, The Doctor kept chuckling and explained that this phenomenon was quite common among campers and the prescribed method to flush out the victims ear when no water power was available was to pee in the persons ear. And since most campers have a steady supply of beer there is little lack of peeing power among the group.
I have never lived this possibility down among my friends since. And yes I have heard of this remedy over the years.
A few weeks later the hospital bill arrives at my house and my mother throws a conniption fit. To this day I don’t know what Bud told her but I was still allowed to join them thereafter. My Dad knew but never said anything.
bot3, I think the doctor was messing with you. Why not just flush the ear out with the beer?
A while back one of those medical mystery shows told the story of a guy who was brought into the emergency room, basically comatose but occasionally making an ungodly kind of moaning scream. During the examination, a doctor noticed a huge roach poking its antenna out of the guy’s ear; it was removed with tweezers, and the guy slowly got back to normal. Turns out that his worst fears included (1) roaches (2) getting a bug in his ear. When his nightmare became real, he was so terrified that his brain tried to block the experience.