…and it just happened to me. Like, 30 minutes ago.
(FREAKING EDITOR’S NOTE: this actually happened on August 19, 2006 @ 2:53am)
So as some of you may know, I’ve been given a prescription for Valium for anxiety attacks. And, as some of you may know, Valium can be taken recreationally. So, it being Friday, and me not having anything to do, I decided to take one at 11pm. I know, that’s not why they’ve been given to me, but screw it, I don’t ever do that really, and just felt like it.
So, around 12am (I think), I started getting drowsy while watching TV, so I zoned out. Around 1:30am, I wake up with a weird ear sensation. You know that feeling when you have an earache, but you know if you pop your ears, it’ll feel better? That feeling you get right before it pops is what I was feeling. Quite peculiar. So I’m sorta pulling on my earlobe, moving my ear around, trying to get get the sensation to go away. After about 10 minutes, I decide to get up and see how my dad’s computer rebuild is going.
As I get to the table where he’s working, my ear starts hurting. It’s similar to the pain that happens when you have an ear infection flare up. So I’m still fiddling with my ear, trying to get it to pop or drain, just to release the pressure, when it hits. Pain like nothing I’ve felt before hits me in my ear. Touching it does nothing. NOT touching it does nothing. It comes and goes, and it seems independent of whether or not I’m standing, sitting, or moving. It’s a weird sort of….fluttering or something, which can happen easily if something’s touching the eardrum intermittently. Figure I just have an earwax buildup that’s come loose or something.
So I’m gripping this chair by where my dad’s working on his PC, with my right ear downward, with me sorta hopping up and down, trying to dislodge whatever’s there. It feels like water or something, like when you’ve been swimming, and it gets way up in your ear. The only problem is that the pain is getting worse and worse, and less dependent on ANYTHING that I’m doing. Well, that and the fact I hadn’t been swimming for a few years or so. I simply cannot make the pain abate with any degree of success. Naturally, my dad’s getting increasingly worried about me, as my pain level is growing exponentially.
Pretty soon, I’m lying on the couch, curled into a painful fetal position, with a handful of the couch that I don’t think will ever regain its natural shape again. He’s telling me that we have to go to the hospital, as there’s something that’s obviously very wrong with me. I tell him to go get Joan – my wife – , in a very pathetic “I want my mommy” sort of way. She’s passed out, but apparently hit full wakefulness in what I hear is record time.
So both my wife and my father have a flashlight (we don’t own an otoscope) and are looking in my ear, trying to see just what the hell is going on with me. Dad says he can’t see much, but thinks it looks like there’s some sort of thread in there. Sounds weird to me, as there’s no way I just crammed a spool of thread in my ear and forgot it. Joan tells me that it’s possible that it’s some sort of sequin-like thing from a shirt of hers, which I disagree with, as that particular shirt is nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, I’m actually yelling, screaming, and writhing on the couch, because – as I mentioned – I’m in the worst pain of my life. Dad’s trying to hold me still, as Joan is still investigating my ear. Then, all three of us come to a simultaneous, sickening realization – there’s something alive in my ear. That fluttering sensation I was talking about before? It was apparently actual fluttering.
So my wife decides to get a pair of tweezers and some alcohol. We figure the alcohol can kill whatever is in there, and the tweezers can remove it. She gets me to lie on my side which is no small feat, as at this point, I should be recruited by the Olympic Writhing Team – I’d be their captain. Remember when I said this was the worst pain of my life? Well, it was. And once the alcohol filled up my ear, then that was the worst pain of my life. I think they actually had to hold me down. And to add insult to injury, it didn’t kill whatever it was immediately. It took about 5 minutes for that thing to die, all the while, it’s more or less thrashing around in my ear. Right up against my eardrum.
After that passed, it was still sore, but it just felt like I had about 3 cotton balls stuffed in my ear. Joan’s fiddling (very carefully and considerately, I must say) in my ear with the tweezers, and manages to move something in there. I gasp, so she stops, but resumes whenever I say I’m ready. She has me lie down again (as I had sat up) and asks “Ready?” I say that I am, and she reaches in there, grabs whatever it is, and pulls.
There’s actually a “pop” as it’s pulled out of my ear. I know this both because I can hear it (obviously) and because my father says he could hear it.
It was a roach. An inch-long motherfucking roach. In my ear. Sweet jesus.
It turns out that the constant widening of my jaw and the pulling on my earlobe only served to open the ear canal and allowed it to burrow further. Yes, the fact that I had something burrowing in my fucking ear is making me shudder even as I type it.
After irrigating my ear with some more alcohol (which was painful as well), they put the roach in alcohol, so I can show it to the doctor on Monday.
You know…when I was a kid, the two fears I had were needles and roaches. So I end up an insulin-dependent diabetic and get a roach stuck in my ear. I must have really pissed someone off in a previous life or something.
Good god, I’m going to sleep now.
(FREAKING EDITOR’S NOTE: I still have the roach. It’s in a baby jar full of alcohol. I’m going to put it in acrylic or Lucite or something and put it on the end of a cane, a-la John Hammond from “Jurassic Park”. It doesn’t get to cause me pain like that and then escape retribution by simply dying. Oh no – this thing’s gonna be around for the long haul. Jerk.)