In a moment we can only describe as "horrifying," a woman in India was rushed to the hospital to treat what she thought was just a splitting headache. What doctors found, though, was a live spider crawling around in her eardrum.
Doctors at the Columbia Asia Hospital in India used a light to draw the spider out of the woman's ear. And, lucky for us, they filmed the whole thing and ?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen>.
Warning: if you're squeamish, don't click play.
The caption for the video identifies the woman as Lekshmi L, a 49-year-old mom. She was taking a nap outside on her veranda when she woke up with discomfort and a tingling sensation inside her right ear.
She asked her daughter to look inside her ear with a flashlight, but later went to the hospital when the "slight discomfort" turned into excruciating pain.
Her story is similar to a personal essay written for Slate three years ago.
In that case, the writer had been camping with her family when a beetle burrowed its way into her ear canal. She describes the pain as "a full-body shock from my toes to my temples." Her ear swelled so much that it took three days for doctors to finally remove the bug.
If there is any good news to come from these women's experiences it's that we now know exactly what to do should the same terrible fate happen to us.
Doctors told the Slate writer how to handle a buggy situation like this: fill your ear with some kind of oil — like baby oil or vegetable oil — to kill the bug before heading to the hospital. If you don't happen to have oil, water or a mix of water and alcohol or water and peroxide also work.
So, now you know...just in case.
Still, rest assured that something like this is actually rare. While the doctors who treated Lekshmi L told The Indian Times that they often treat people who come in with ear obstructions, that "it’s rare to see a live spider moving inside someone’s ear canal."
Thank goodness for that.
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