Monday, July 22, 2013

Like a moth drawn to flame… or an ear.

Last Thursday I was sidelined by an unexpected and deviant foe.

Under the floods of my garage it crept up on me, whilst I, unwittingly, hosed off the gear I had used out in the field that day.  Then, without notice it struck. Driving itself deep into my ear canal. I doubled over in pain as wings and body struck against my tympanic membrane. I had just become another nameless victim of a moth attack.

In the following moments I rushed into my home, calling for anyone who could provide help and any sort of relief from the physical pounding taking place inside my own head. I immediately received assistance from everyone within earshot; each with his or her own opinion on what liquid should be used to raise the beast from its waxy cavern. Water and hydrogen peroxide only seemed further its rage, driving it into wild, pain inducing fits. Finally, a healthy dose of warm olive oil silenced him eternally, but the beast would not be extracted so easily.

On to the ER I went, my ear chock-a-block with moth carcass, experiencing a level of deafness one would expect when an ear canal is entirely plugged with a chitinous mass.

After the typical arduous wait, I was admitted to a room where two doctors, who seemed all too cavalier about putting small and relatively pointy objects deep into my ear, came to heal or torment me further, a distinction that I may never be able to make.

An hour and a half in, and the two seemed to have made no progress on the removal of the moth, but had certainly done a number on my ear canal, which could take no more exploratory prods. Irritated, dejected and still hard of hearing, I resigned myself to live with my new friend for the night, and hope that a specialist would be able separate us in the morning.

Once seated in the examination room of a doctor from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, I was assured that the subsequent procedure would occur without major incident or discomfort. After another hydrogen peroxide treatment to remove the blood that had resulted from the hapless exploration of the ER doctors, I was ready to be parted.

The doctor fired up her vacuum device and got to work, finally striking her target after several minutes. She placed the lifeless mass in my hand and immediately the story of Icarus from Greek mythology came to mind. An appropriate name I thought to myself.

The body she removed was dark, shriveled and broken. A mere shadow of how I imagine Icarus once looked. One wing amiss, abdomen removed. Both most likely claimed by the powerful suction of the vacuum. I however will always remember him the way he was before his final journey.
Icarus after the fall.
The story I have related here may seem to retell unbelievable, if not impossible events. The kind spawned from grim fairytales and playground lore. I may have even agreed if this were not the second time that a flying insect has entered my ear canal. Be warned.

- Cover those ears, Tom Rebula

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