Zooillogix

Costa Rican Ear Ache

A friend of mine (I’ll call him Duncan Lye to protect his identity) recently returned from a surf trip to Costa Rica with an amazing tale.

It all started when Duncan –a large man, known both for his voracious appetite and his unbending temperament– awoke, early one morning, to find that he had developed a pain in his ear. The pain soon worsened to the point of a full on migraine. Duncan figured that it “was just an ear ache from surfing…” Something that’s apparently, “common among surfers.”

The trouble persisted throughout the day, however, and Duncan was feeling pretty down. He’d been planning this trip for a while and now…

…he was facing the fact that he might have ear problems throughout his vacation. That evening, while watching the sunset with some friends, Duncan’s ear started to feel even weirder. He had the sensation that water was seeping out of his ear, but his ear was totally dry. Still, over and over, he felt the water pouring. Suddenly, the intensity rose and BOOM…

Out of Duncan’s ear crawled a tiny little crab, as seen here in this atrocious picture. The crab has been living in Duncan’s ear for at least 12 hours, possibly up to about 20.

i-ba68f6462e85b72f8b71560312cc6b77-crab.jpg
The tiny crab is sitting on the bottom of the white sandel. Duncan’s photographic skills have been compared to a “blind person who was recently lobotomized.”

“It probably crawled in while I was sleeping,” Duncan has pondered out loud, “Or some how got in there while I was I the water, possibly kissing the buttom when taking a spill on a wave.” But throughout the ordeal, he “definitely did not think it was a f-ing creature in my ear.” Right on, brah…Right on.

Hey, any doctors in the audience? Who’s got the weirdest story of a creature living in a human? Botfly examples are more than welcome.

Comments

  1. #1 Suze
    April 21, 2008

    Okay…what’s the deal with the OTHER sandal?

  2. #2 JasonR
    April 21, 2008
  3. #3 Elf Eye
    April 21, 2008

    I had a moth in my ear once. It crawled in and apparently could neither back out nor turn around. It was okay as long as it didn’t move, but, man, when it did, it was really disorienting as it brushed up against my ear drum. I was perfectly calm as long as it stayed still. Every time it fluttered, though, I would break out into a string of “Shit fuck goddams.” The doctor kept the office open for me (I had to drive myself there and still don’t know how I managed not to crash the car), and he and the nurse were trying not to crack up as I kept metamorphosing from calmness to insanity and back again. There is a scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in which a creepy crawly is dropped into someone’s ear and then tunnels into the victim’s brain. I get double shivers now when I watch that scene.

  4. #4 keely
    April 21, 2008

    Elf Eye:

    You get double shivers only when you watch that scene? I get completely freaked out beyond double shivers that you had a moth in your ear. That is just all kinds of oddity, perhaps weirder than the moth in your ear in the first place…

    I have no stories of this nature, and would’ve been pleased not knowing any of these existed…

    Now I’m going to be uber paranoid whenever I get ear pain.

  5. #5 caroline
    April 21, 2008

    I also got a moth in my ear once. elf eye describes the experience perfectly. Only up in the hills of Concord, NH the nurses at our health center did not believe me and i had to endure this for three days before they sent me to an ear doctor (im pretty sure the moth didn’t die for at least two days). Every time i went to the health center complaining, a nurse would essentially infer that i was crazy by pretending to pull out a piece of a moth saying it had died and the rest would find itself out eventually. I was breaking out into the described “shit- fuck” tirades – which in my case also included a violent shaking of the head to the right (as that was the ear it was in) in classes angering teachers and fueling jabs from my peers which still haunt me to this day. when i finally got to a doctor he pulled out a pretty spectacular bright green moth that i sometimes i wish i had kept as a memento. i can barely watch any insect tunnel anything to this day whether it be in star trek or on national geographic.

  6. #6 Catherine
    April 21, 2008

    As a young girl I watched a movie about some cowboys or whatever and in one scene the cowboys (??? or something like that) were sleeping out on the “open plains” and a beetle crawled into one of their ears. The dude was freaking out and ripping his hair out and I was freaking out thinking about what that would be like. They had to pour hot candle wax into his ear to kill the beetle (it was fictional, I hope) and to this very day I still sleep with pillows over my head because I think something will crawl into my ears, nose, mouth, whatevs. I’m 38 years old. I must have been no more than 8 at the time of the movie so that’s a solid 30 years sleeping under my pillow. I now call it my “Monster Snorkel” (cuz only my nose is viewable to the outside world). OCD… I haz it.

  7. #7 Barn Owl
    April 21, 2008

    According to a couple of physician friends of mine, insect-in-the-ear is not an uncommon reason for ER visits, at least in the southern US. You’re meant to drop mineral oil in the affected ear, to immobilize the critter; rubbing alcohol is likely to piss off the offending arthropod, and cause it to sting or bite.

    There’s an old wives’ tale that earwigs (Dermapterans) are fond of crawling into the external ear canal, and making their way to your brain, where they lay their eggs in your cerebellum. I guess they’d have to chew through your eardrum first.

  8. #8 Tommy
    April 22, 2008

    I had a weevil crawl in my ear while I was sleeping in a tent. It woke me up, apparently falling onto my ear while crawling on the tent ceiling above me. I was startled but barely awake as I reached for it, unwittingly chasing it into my ear. I sat up, heart pounding in the dark as I felt the damn thing work its way deeper into my ear canal. I was in the tent alone but with several other friends camping close by. What should I do? Should I wake up somebody? Should I scream?

    I tried to kill it by pressing my ear canal closed with my finger behind my ear lobe. A gooey mess dribbled out, but the critter remained, now dead and stuck inside my head.

    At dawn I got up and asked a friend to take me to a doctor. She laughed a very uneasy laugh when I told her why. The doctor flushed out all the bug parts and goo, and then gave the bits to me in a sandwich bag so I could show my friends. I got a lot of respect from them because they all agreed that they would have panicked and run screaming from their tent if it had happened to them.

    So that was my first bug in my ear, but several years later, on another camping trip, a mosquito flew into my ear. Like another poster said, I blurted out all kinds of “SHIT-FUCK-GODDAMN-MOTHER!!!” mainly because there was a buzzing bloodsucker in my ear but also because THIS WAS THE SECOND TIME A BUG HAD ENTERED MY HEAD WITHOUT PERMISSION! It was the SAME EAR, TOO! And it PISSED ME OFF!

    Thankfully, my buddy whipped out his trusty Swiss Army knife (which, BTW, I’d given to him as a present a year before), pulled out the tweezers and extracted the damn thing.

    Quite an experience. And bud, if you’re reading this, thanks!

  9. #9 Myles
    April 24, 2008

    Thank god it was tweezers he pulled out, I had some really nasty visions during that parenthetical statement.

  10. #10 Andrew
    April 24, 2008

    A related story that, frankly, puts all the others to shame http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=797#

  11. #11 Michelle
    June 10, 2008

    a ladybug flew into my ear once…didnt feel good at all…hurts like hell….but i feel bad for him…i think he died when i finally got him out :|

  12. #12 Siggy
    January 15, 2009

    A moth entered my ear about an hour ago. The buzzing wings are making me crazy! Thanks to Barn Owl for the mineral spirits hint, because I don’t think i can live with this fluttery feeling in my head for days.

  13. #13 Jeremy
    June 10, 2009

    today I was out working on the boat. i had my snorkel gear on and was scraping barnicals off the hull when a wave splashed into the side of my head. immediately after i felt something moving on my ear so i reached to take it off. Unfortunately this frightened the critter who ran right into my ear cannal and burrowed in nice and deep. I totally flipped shit and started screaming. First another coworked tried to splash water in my ear to flush the thing out. this didnt work at all. I quickly jumped up onto the deck and begain flailing around in a wild attempted to shake the thing free, banging my head into the side of the boat. After a few minutes of failed attempts and battering my head I was taken to the hospital. The entire way I could feel the little bastard pinching and poking and trying to wedge his way in deeper; i was flipping out. Finnally I got there and the doc put something in my ear to kill it and extracted the creature. I was surprised to see that he had pulled out a fairly large (considering how large my ear cannal is) crab. The doc then told me that the crab had punched several holes in my eardrum. It totally sucked but my recovery was relatively smooth. Next time im in the water im wearing ear plugs…

  14. #14 Mark
    August 4, 2009

    I had a weevil crawl into my right ear at 2:30 in the morning, night-before-last. Not a fun way to wake up! Just enough nail on my little finger to scrape it out – hope there aren’t any eggs left behind! They come into the house through a crack under the front door, and wander around. It was a little cool that night, so maybe my ear was the warmest place it could find.

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