"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


Like A Moth To A...........

"Lori help me. Lori help me," my husband cried out as I watched him slump over the kitchen cabinet. He went down quickly. He was down to his knees by the time I turned from the stove where I had been cooking. He had his head in his hands and he was still crying out, "Help me, help me."

I could tell it was not just some kind of joke he was trying to pull on me, as it was not his regular voice that was crying out. I could not see his face, as his back was to me, but he seemed in distress as he had his head in his hands and shook his head quickly back and forth.

Literally by this time only a few seconds had passed. I dropped what I was doing and ran across the room to see what was wrong. Five seconds earlier my hubby had been putting a pot of mashed potatoes in a big bowl, when he suddenly screamed and was down on his knees.

Several of my sons and their friends were in our large kitchen as well. Right off the kitchen was our den that was also full of people.

It was a football game night and our extended families had driven to Kansas earlier that day to watch the boys play ball. After the game all the family, the boys, and many of their friends gathered at our house for a big meal we had prepared for everyone. So the house was full when Hubby went down. They all heard him scream, but none of us knew what had happened.

I grabbed hold of Hubby's arms that were holding his head and said, "What, what, what, what?  What is wrong? What is wrong?"

He was saying "ahhhhahahahhaawwwwahahahwwwwaahhhaw" the entire time I was trying to find out what was wrong.

FINALLY, he eeks out, "Something just flew in to my ear."


I said, "Are you kidding me????!!!!  I thought you were having a heart attack or something.  I thought something was really wrong."  I was relieved. I was ready to get back to getting dinner for the crowd onto the table. I could not believe he was acting like that about his ear!

Yes, really his ear. He knew we were up to something when we took the pic. I cropped just the ear, as he threatened to never help me with my computer problems again if I used his pic!!!

Hubby did not get up.  He continued to moan. He moved his head back and forth. He tried the "getting-water-out-of-your-ear-routine." Nothing.
At times Hubby would get very upset and cry out.
He said whatever it was,was trying to fly and flapping around.
He said it was deafening.
He said it hurt.
He said I had to help get it out.
By this time he was standing back up, but barely.
He was using the cabinet to stay upright.

Exasperated that he could not be "more mature" about it, I went over and grabbed (quite harshly) his ear lobe. I then 'pushed' his head over and tried to look
into his ear.
I couldn't see well, so I continued the
hand-yanking-the-ear-lobe-routine and
pulled him over under the light.
I pushed his head over again.
And indeed, I thought I saw it. 
But just barely.
Whatever it was, 
it was trying to bury itself in
deeper inside his ear.

I got a flashlight out.
Sure enough I could the very bottom (end?) (back?)
of the critter.
Using my (unbelievably high!) intelligence
I figured that since it was a moth it would
"come to the light". (At least I didn't try flame!!)
I did not take into consideration that to
do so
it (the moth) would have to
"turn around"
and come back out.
Wasn't happening!
I did joke later that when I put the flashlight in the ear
the light beam came through
the other ear.
Hubby didn't laugh then, nor does he now.

I tried to grab it with a fork prong.
Only thing that did was to "prong" Hubby with the
other three prongs.
I suggested a Q-Tip
but Hubby quickly said that
would just push it
in further.

This entire time we had
from our crowd (of onlookers by now).
This entire time
Hubby would
scream out
each time the little critter
would try to take flight.

He said it was about to make him throw up.

Yes, that is the actual moth that caused all the problems.

No matter what we tried it did not work. Clearly
Hubby was not in any shape to
just let the moth stay there.
We didn't know what else to do.
I gave instructions to the crowd about all the
food we had prepared, and told them to enjoy.
Hubby and I left to go to the ER.

And as we left there were all kinds of
being thrown Hubby's way about
his condition.
He still did not find it funny.

The ER was only about two blocks from our house,
and I had to drive.
Hubby could not even do that.
He was in bad shape.

We got to the ER and Hubs is still holding his head and still not dealing with the wing-flapping very well.

A very feminine male nurse greeted him.
He seemed very glad to hold and look
into Hubby's ear.
Hubby did not even notice that.

The nurse used tweezers (we had tried that at home too)
and tried to get the moth.
He could not reach it either.
He used one of those looking-into-the-ear-devices that doctors use.
This seemed to agitate the moth, which in turn
agitated Hubby.

After several failed attempts by the nurse,
he called in the doctor.
The nurse said clearly it was a moth
and it was big enough that it needed to come out.

Hubby told us that as he was putting the potatoes
into the bowl, he could see something
out of the corner of his eye
right as it dive-bombed his ear.
He thought it was a moth.

I was still somewhat amused and told Hubby I hoped it
did not eat parts of his brain
before it could be removed.

I am often kind that way.

Well, they called the doctor in.  He said he has never seen any bug quite this big in the ear, so he was a little perplexed as well on what to do.

He sent someone over to his office across the street to retrieve a book that might have a solution in it.

NOW Hubby is starting to be more alert. FINALLY. We gave each other "the eye".  We were both thinking, "Uhmmm, if you need your medical book to help you figure this out, AT LEAST DON'T TELL US YOU ARE CLUELESS!!"  I whisper (in his clear ear) about the hungry moth and brain cells again.

At last the book made its way to the ER.  Doc read how if you pour water into the ear, somehow, someway, this causes the moth to come out. (By this time the moth was no longer visible by looking into the ear. It was that buried deep.)

Doc put some water from the sink into a small pitcher-type-chemistry-class-beaker-thing.  He had Hubby lean his head over and Mr. Nurse held Hubby's head. Doc poured the water in.  Hubby jerked his head up.  He said he was about to throw up again.  He said it was painful. (He said all this in his very agitated voice). Hubs was not getting any relief....in fact things were getting worse.

Mr. Nurse goes over to "the book" and then said aloud, "Doc, we were supposed to warm the water up first."  (I didn't even say anything then. I knew my joke wouldn't float.)

Before Doc and Mr. Nurse could experiment try something else, a Miss Nurse comes into the room. She told Doc that his wife was on the phone and wondered if he had time to talk.
He did. For a short time though. (Not even kidding).

Doc was then ready to get back to the saga-of-the-moth and pulled out a huge needle from a drawer.  When I say huge I mean HUGE. I didn't even have a joke in me at that point. Once again he had Mr. Nurse hold Hubby's head while he put the needle deep into the ear.  Hubby screamed out.
Blood came out the ear.  
No moth. 
Just blood.  
The needle idea had not worked.
On the moth at least. 
It did give Hubby a big poke into the inner ear. 
And just put the littlest hole in his inner ear.  
Really, just little. 
Not too much blood. 
Just enough for a couple of tissues. 

By this time I went over and suggested that I hold Hubby's head/ear/whatever while they experiment worked on him. I figured Hubs could use a little comfort. I felt very sorry for him by this time and I didn't joke.

Huge tongs were tried.  
Chins were scratched as Mr. Nurse and Doc consulted.  

Hubby could "hear" the moth very loudly. 
I assured him it was just wing noise not munching noise. (OK, so I had  a few remarks left in me.)

Finally, Doc and Mr. Nurse gave up.  They said they had tried all the tricks in the magic book suggestions in the book.  They were going to call the ER in Topeka and have an ENT Doc meet us there.

I could not believe it.  I had a huge crowd of relatives that had come to northeast Kansas (and braved the bitter cold) to watch my sons play ball. 
I had homemade chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, hot rolls, salads and a dessert bar at home. 
I had food to eat and people to visit with. 
I had PLANS!!!!
And I had to go to Topeka because of some stupid moth????

Hubby could not believe it either.
But we had no choice.  The moth was going crazy by this time. Hubby said it was making him sick. They made the call for the specialist to meet us.

Then the Doc came in and made one more attempt.
This time he had very long-needlenose-like tweezers.
He wiggled them in. 
He twisted and turned.
I (bravely) held onto Hubby.
And then. (cue music here......Hark the Herald Angels Sing......)

The Doc had the moth. At least most of it.
The entire ER broke out into a frenzy of jubilation. 

I got my mo-jo back and asked the Doc to please save the moth for us. He did. You have been seeing pics of it throughout this little novelette. That's him. The real deal.
Yes, the Doc thought it was weird that I wanted it, but hey, I questioned him that night too, so we were even.

And for those unanswered questions that are weighing on your mind: The part of the moth that got left behind in Hubs ear....well, the Doc said that Hubs body would 'just absorb it'.  Gross me out.  I never kiss that ear.

Yes, Hubs ear did hurt for several days.  Probably more about the poking and prodding and PUNCTURE than the moth. 
The moth really did affect Hubs equilibrium that night. 
Did I mention that there was a little silvery trail that came out/went into his ear?  Yep, gross me out again.

We don't know if he called the Topeka doctor and told the specialist. We hope he did. We were just glad to get home.

Yes, there was food left over. Yes, we got to eat. Yes, our company was still there. Waiting.

Yes, Hubs did/DOES get teased unmercifully about this incident.  The boys (and their friends) like to drop to their knees, grab their head and yell out. They do it very well. I don't laugh or anything. Or encourage. Or do my own version. No. Not me. 

Why am I sharing this sad great story with you today?  Well, it is the Hubs birthday.  And what greater gift can I give him than to share this story.......
Keeping in mind that I do this ONLY to help you so that when you are putting mashed potatoes in a bowl that you don't let a moth fly in your inner ear.
Not to embarrass him or anything. No. Not on his birthday.
Plus, chances are he will never read this. SO  you get the story. I get to laugh again, and we are all hoping he has a great birthday!!

My phone is great to remind me...you know, just in case I was to forget!!


  1. Wow! I have a friend whose uncle was combining on their farm out west and a huge beetle flew up and went into his ear. I think the doctor poured warm oil into his ear to get it out. And I read once about this woman who had a spider build a nest inside her ear! I'm scared to death of spiders at the best of times, can only imagine how horrific it would be to have one in my ear! :(

  2. Good grief! Are you sure you went to an emergency room and not a mechanic shop? Even I know that cold water is one way the pros have of telling if a man is dead or alive. It's so painful it'll even get a response from an unconscious person.
    Li's cousin (he was the one with her when they were kids and she got stuck in the dryer) got a bug in his ear recently and after being poked, prodded and nearly drown with WARM liquid, ended up at the specialist where they had instruments made for ear fishing.
    Tell Timbo HBD from C Town! And thanks for he grins.

  3. Wow what an ordeal you both had to go through. I'm glad they finally got that little critter out :)

  4. Anonymous9/12/2010

    Hi Lori
    I remember when this happened and how bad I felt for Tim. I think I remember you telling me you were trying to quiet him down in the ER so you could watch a football game or football highlights on television. Am I remembering this correctly?
    Michelle Vitt

  5. Anonymous3/22/2011

    wow !poor guy ! Ive heard of roaches in the ear . yuck ;)


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