Katie Holley, who recently purchased a new home with her husband, said they had been diligent about hiring an exterminator to spray every three months in order to keep the cockroaches at bay.
However, one night she woke up after feeling “like someone had placed a chip of ice in my left earhole — but it was something way worse.”
In an essay published in self magazine Holley said she went to the bathroom and used a cotton swab to investigate, but to her horror felt something move.
When I pulled the cotton swab out, there were two dark brown, skinny pieces stuck to the tip. Moments later, I came to the realization that they were legs. LEGS. Legs that could only belong to an adventurous palmetto bug exploring my ear canal,” she wrote.
Holley said her husband confirmed her fears that a roach had crawled into her ear, and tried to pull it out with a pair of tweezers but only managed to get two legs out. They rushed to the local hospital where a doctor administered a numbing agent that would also work to kill the bug.
“As the doctor administered Lidocaine, the roach began to…react,” she wrote. “Feeling a roach in the throes of death, lodged in a very sensitive part of your body, is unlike anything I can adequately explain.”
The doctor removed what he said was the entire cockroach in three pieces, and Holley was given a prescription for antibiotics.
Nine days later, she was still experiencing pain. She said that she told her primary care doctor what had happened, and a physician assistant flushed her ear four times. They discovered what she thought might be another leg.
“My physician proceeded to remove the leg and flush my ear again, only to examine it and see even more remnants,” Holley wrote“She ended up pulling out six more pieces of the roach’s carcass — nine days after the incident took place.”
Instead of sending her home, the doctor suggested she see a specialist to ensure the entire bug was removed.
“Once I got situated in the fancy chair in his office later that day, the ENT placed some sort of microscope beside my ear. He didn’t say much, but he did confirm there was still ‘something in there,’” Holley wrote. “Using a tool that looked like very large scissors, he extracted THE ENTIRE HEAD, UPPER TORSO, MORE LIMBS AND AN ANTENNAE.”
Holley said that the ENT told her she was the second case he had seen that day. She said she now sleeps with ear plugs and that they had the exterminator come back to the house to re-spray.