Thursday, August 14, 2008

How my Battle with "Mothra" put me in the ER

Yesterday while I was unclogging an irrigation pipe down by our creek, an insect flew into my ear, and was unable to get back out. It moved forward against my eardrum and kept flapping around. While not exactly painful, the sensation and sound was uncomfortable and unnerving.

I was alone at home. I tried to suck it out with a vaccum cleaner, with no luck. I was contemplating pulling it out with tweezers, when Pat and Andy came home. They tried to flush it out with water. That didn't work, and only made it thrash about wildly. They eventually killed it with peroxide.

But the insect could not be flushed out, and now I couldn't hear out of that ear. So they took me to the ER. When the doctor looked inside with his scope, he said he could see what looked like the remains of a small moth. It had fallen apart from the peroxide. I asked him if I shouldn't have done that. He most people do drown the insect in such cases, just to keep it from thrashing around.

The doctor removed some fragments, but was unable to get the bulk of the body. They eventually used a saline solution to flush the carcass out. The moth itself looked something like this:

Now that's hardly "Mothra", I know, but imagine it doing a tap-dance on your eardrum. When Pat and Andy tried to flush it out while it was still alive, it was like "Mothra VS Niagra Falls". Mothra fought long and hard.

The ER nurse said they pull bugs out of people's ears about once a week on average. He also said he's never seen a bug come out of someones ear alive. I can see why.

Related Link:

When someone gets a "bug in their ear"


benning said...

Dang! I can imagine how annoying that would be. Yeesh!

Good thing it wasn't Godzilla in there. ;)

MAX Redline said...

I must say that I'm gravely disappointed by the murderous actions of you and your friends. Have you no compassion?

You might have offered a Q-Tip to the poor, frightened creature, who doubtless would have clung to it as a drowning man might to a lifeline.

But sucked its wings apart with a vacuum and dismembered it with peroxide. You are fiends, each and every one of you.

I hope that at least you have learned something from this needless mutilation and murder. Wear earmuffs when unclogging the irritation line.


Dionne said...

Yikes!! I'm glad they were able to get it out.

Chas said...

I thought of a q-tip, but then I figured the thing couldn't even turn around in there, and a q-tip could impact it and make it struggle even more.

I also didn't know what it was either; I was afraid it might have a stinger. That's why I was reluctant to try tweezers too, and also because I couldn't see what to grab.

Pat and Andy couldn't see anything either; it had gone too far inside.

I can't wear earmuffs in the woods, because I have to be be alert for larger critters like bears. Perhaps I can get some ear screens. ;-)

Poor Mothra, if only he could have walked backwards, he would still be here today.

Wade Stablein said...

Did you ever determine what type of moth-like bug you had in your ear, because it appears the same species of bug you have a picture of is currently investing my home in San Antonio, TX.


Chas said...

Wade, it's a very common insect, I've always called them "Millers". I did a Google image search for "miller moth" and that's how I got the picture, but I don't know what it's actual scientific name is.