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A bug in her ear

Wanna hear something gross? Really really gross?

I can report this, because for once, I’M NOT ON THE RECEIVING END OF ALL THE GROSS. So set your coffee cup down and hang on.

Last week on Labor Day, my sister-in-law felt something hit her on the forehead as she slumbered. She turned over onto her side and that something scurried down her face AND INTO HER EAR. She sat bolt upright in bed, noticed that her ear felt clogged, and then the horror of what had just happened began to sink in. As it were.

She began yelling for her husband to GET IT OUT, GET IT OUT. My BIL is the calm sort, so I’m quite certain that he was the only thing standing between his wife and a full fledged nervous breakdown. At this point she could feel the thing wriggling around and going in deeper. She began flushing out her ear with hot water, peroxide, oil, and alcohol. I’m thinking she’s lucky that her whole head didn’t explode. A little baking soda and some ammonia and she would have made the morning news.

She called a friend of hers who works for an ENT physician, and she was told that whatever it was would most likely be dead by now, and to be careful about going to Urgent Care as they might not have the right instruments to retrieve…it.

So my SIL went about her business for the NEXT TWO DAYS before she was finally able to get in to see her family doctor. At this point her ear was still clogged, and the horror of what was lodged inside finally dawned on her as the doctor extracted PIECES OF THE OFFENDING COCKROACH.

Let me pause to say that one of the clear draw backs to residing in Florida, is that we have bugs as big as your head. And apparently, there are bugs that can FIT INSIDE your head as well.

The doctor was trying to reassure my SIL that this sort of thing happens ALL THE TIME in Florida.


My SIL was beginning to freak out as they continued to dig, while holding her down. And what luck, they couldn’t get the head out, because during all the water and what-have-you flushing, the bug BURROWED into her ear.  Because they don’t go in reverse, y’all.

Surgery was discussed, but the doctor went in one more time in an attempt to pull out the head. My SIL tried to describe the long tweezer type instruments used, but my eyes rolled to the back of my head and the room went black.

I can only imagine what she felt like.

I’m happy to report that every single particle of bug was at long last removed, the ear was cleaned, and my SIL was given antibiotics. (I would have requested a sedative.) Although after a week, she still can’t bring herself to talk at length about the ordeal.

I can tell you that she now sleeps in a head net.

Which I’m guessing is sort of like a lingerie laundry bag with a draw string. But I could be wrong.

As for me, I continue to sleep with my ear plugs and zorro mask so that most major orifices are protected. A head net is not far behind.

My husband no longer mocks my fear and loathing of All Bugs. After hearing his sister’s story, he admitted that he would have run screaming from the house in his underdrawers, and not stopped until he hit the hospital.

Anyhoo. Food for thought. Carry on. Have a nice day…

And for the record, the southern phrase “cute as a bug’s ear” is now dead to me.

18 Responses to A bug in her ear

  • And to me as well. Deader than a doornail. I thank you though. This story shall prevent me for overheating at breakfast this morning; from eating at all in fact.

    • Missy,

      (sorry, so sorry) It seemed like such fun to write last night, but this morning I was awakened by 2 children chasing some sort of bug into our room. It was either an industrial sized roach or a spider. They weren’t sure. But I have yet to set my feet down on the floor. I have been crawling over the furniture. I wish I were kidding.


  • I have been having nightmares since you and your SIL told me this story at park day. But I couldn’t stop myself from reading your blog. I couldn’t “look away” and now I can look forward to another week of sleepless nights imagining I feel a bug.

  • One word.

    Remind me to stay in Minnesota where at least our bugs die off in the winter. Oh my word.

  • Hairnet — Smairnet, I’d be sleeping with earplugs, a full cap, AND a net over my whole body. Bless your dear SIL. I hope one day she can laugh at this.

  • That is gross. I’ve seen this sort of story on Untold Stories of the ER. And all I can say is gross gross GROSS. I would be packing it up to move to Alaska. At least bugs have the decency to die off every once in a while. We’ve been dodging falling geckos around here. So tired of summer. : /

  • My poor hubby told me yesterday that he feels like something is in his ear. I just sent him the link to your blog! I bet he will be freaking out in a few minutes after he reads it! He is not one of these tough guys who squashes bugs with their pinkies. He is one that runs like a girl when he sees one!!! But he has other redeeming qualities and so I married him anyway. I am just training my boys to be bug squashers for me since my husband cannot provide that service. This really is a horror story though. I think I would die if that happened to me. Cudos to your sil for surviving to tell the story!

  • Is it wrong that I’m banging on the desk and laughing like a retarded seal? Yes? Okay, I’m totally sorry, because that’s what I got going on. Oh.my.gosh! I’m squirming just thinking about it.

  • Oh. My word.

    I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  • Ummmm…glad I don’t live in Florida. When we lived a short while in Hawaii, the geckos about did me in.

  • Oh. My. Gosh. I just read that, randomly yelling “AHHHH GROSSS!!!” and squirming in my chair. Good thing no one’s home to make fun of me… 😛

  • I can’t…..I don’t…..I think……OH MY GOSH……

    That’s one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever read.

    …….sleeping with ear plugs in…….forever.


  • Its not just Florida…a wooded lot in Sweet Home Alabama keeps us perpetually bombing the house to keep those nasty things at bay. I take great joy in killing them. In fact, I’ve been known to scream, ‘DIE! DIE! DIE! you sorry son of a cockroach!’ as I vehemently swing, swat and squash one to smithereens. Rocket Man shakes his head and murmers, ‘my sweet little church secretary wife.’ I HATE those things and I’m not going down without a fight!!!

  • As the saying goes here in Texas, we have cockroaches so big we saddle ’em! They make my skin crawl. Once right after moving here, I found one in my diswasher!!! A friend of mine, realizing my distaste of the critter, tried to reassure me that it was “just a waterbug” and “they are in everyone’s house here.” I believed that line for years until another friend mocked me, “Waterbug? Who told you that?! Why, they’re just plain old nasty cockroaches!”

    Gee, thanks.

    I’ll be wearing earplugs now.

  • I saw this once when I worked in an ER. The lady thought it was a moth because there had been one in the house when she went to bed. The doctor shined a light in her ear and the thing started to crawl out….and it was a cockroach! Seriously, I slept with earplugs in my ears for MONTHS afterward. To this day (and this was like, 7 years ago!), when I get into bed at night I think about it and cover my ears with the sheet or blanket (like that’s really going to help!).

    uggg….I have the willies now!

  • I am taking ear plugs with me next time I go down to FL!!

  • EEEEWWWWWW!!!!!!