Okay so it all started on a Friday morning. I have a wonderful night and woke up early to do some yoga I had just learned. After my morning exercises I took a lovely shower and was able to wash my hair oh so clean for the first time in three days (dirty hair, the downside to backpacking). Any way I get a knock on my door from Free (my friend) wondering if I am ready to go down town for breakfast as we are both starving from not yet having breakfast. So I finishing getting my stuff together and head to the main bungalow to where Free had parked the motorcycle. He was there waiting patiently as his, and my stomach were both screaming at this point. My hair was wet and I really didn't want to put on the helmet but as Free and I had argued about the safety of a plastic styrofoam cap on my head before but still I reluctantly put it on.
We got on the motorcycle and were finally off to a beautiful organic Thai meal when about one minute down the road I felt something crawl across my ear...I tried to brush it away and as soon as I realized that it not only didn't brush away but crawled directly into my ear, I started screaming. Now I consider myself a pretty strong person, I mean not to brag but I have been through some crazy situations including a civil war in Lebanon just four months ago, but this was a yet to be experienced pain until of course that moment. I immediately started screaming and practically fell off the side of the motorcycle. Free keep saying "what's wrong, what's wrong" and in between my screaming I managed to get a "a .....ahhhhhh oh ......MY GOD.......a ...........ahhhhhhh.......bug......OH GOD .......in my EAR....AHHHHHHH!!!" All I could focus on was the scratching in what seemed like the middle of my head. Again in between my screaming I told Free to take me to get my tweezers to pull it out. I jumped back on the motorcycle and as soon as it accelerated the wind must have freaked the little critter out because I felt this INTENSE push for the finish line type action DEEPER into my ear and in my head so needless to say I sort of fell off the side of the motorcycle again and told my friend I would walk. This is where it gets a little hazy for me. I remember walking a few steps and then feeling this ridiculous pain that inhibited me to take another step, then it would subside for a second or two and I tried to start again this time faster, then the pain came back even greater. So great in fact it made me drop to my knees. This time no continuing no getting back up. Next thing I knew I was on the ground tossing and turning like a hysteric drunkard or something. All the while screaming like I have NEVER screamed before and I mean this is scream that you could only hear in the worst of horror movies. And all I could focus on was the scratching sound and I suppose the screaming was my was of trying to drowned it out. At this point there were other standing around me flipping and flopping in the middle of a back road in the small town of Pai in Northern Thailand. All I could say was "Please AHHHHHHHH...help ........ahhhhhhhh ME.....get it out get it out...AHHHHHHHHHHHHH". Next thing I hear is one of the onlookers ask my friend what drugs I was on, after my friend so politely answered that I wasn't ON ANY DRUGS, they then decided to pour water in my ear. Without hesitation I disagreed. First of all I am enough of a nature girl to know that water does not kill bugs very well, and two if I were in some place and something that I don't like is coming from one direction...well I am going to go the other way. In the state I was in I had no chance of wining that argument will my only response as "no please no AHHHHHHHHHHHHH oh GOD it hurts PLEASE AHHHHAHAHAHAHHA!"
So the water was poured and the bug was crawling into what was I felt the side of my throat. Finally, after rolling around for maybe 5 or 10 minutes on the street and scratching up my legs and arms, the owner of the bungalows can down the hill because he heard the screaming. My friend told him to get the car to take me to the hospital. This part also a little hazy, NO not because I was on drugs but that I was crying so intensely and my head in such a state of shock that my eyes were swollen. I remember (sort of) Free shoving me in the car and closing the door. I was going from one side of the car to the other kicking screaming, pulling and hitting my head (actually no wonder why everyone thought I was on drugs). Jae, the owner and who was driving at this time just kept telling me "you be okay, just one minute". Boy that was THE LONGEST ONE MINUTE OF MY LIFE!!!
The car finally stops I open the door and fall out...I haded realized it was a HUGE hammy truck that you needed to step out of. The ER attendant was there bed ready I was pulled onto it and that is where it really gets fuzzy. Time passes and then I feel intense clawing and the sound like you just wouldn't wish on your WORST enemy. Then I hear a suction sound and the immense clawing that followed, and I knew this thing was going to fight as hard as it could for its life. The suction stops, with maybe it was four people holding me down then start cutting off pieces. At first my friend was expecting you know like a "regular" size bug, but the pieces kept coming, a leg a wing. Then the suction again... they went back in with tweezers and pulled half of it out including the guts. At this point my friend secretly thought "is that her ear??" Meanwhile, me, still screaming loud enough and strong enough mind you to grab the attention of the ENTIRE hospital. I felt like this would never end. Cutting, scratching, sucking, screaming, clawing, screaming, cutting, sucking, scratching, bleeding, screaming, clawing, screaming, screaming, screaming, then all of a sudden the pressure holding down my body was gone, but that feeling and sound still remained.
They had pulled out a little over two centimeter bloody thing that could only be physically described as a FUCKING HUGE FLYING COCKROACH of some sort. My friend said when they pulled it out it was still living and started crawling back towards me, guess it liked my ear-lucky me! He finally smashed it and they took it away. I kept screaming. I tell you I still felt something there some thing crawling something inside. My friend said it was over and I kept crying kept telling him to check again. "Please God just let them check again oh plllllleeeeeeaaaase ahhhhhh I can feel it oh please ahhhh." After about 10 minutes he FINALLY got them to check again and nothing. Both he and the nurse checked so you think that I could finally feel at ease... Oh no, ease came about hmmm lets see that happen on Friday the 22nd of August and today is September 1st well I guess you could say I still don't completely feel at ease but at least the headache, ear pain and feeling of an intruder deep in my ear went away after about five or so days. But that sound, that sound of scratching 10 times worse than nails on a chalk board, that immense clawing at what only felt like the middle of my brain...well I still hear that from time to time and it intensifies every time I see a large multi-legged little creature around. But I will get over it, one day!
So the moral of the story (multiple choice):
a) Don't go outside without earplugs.
b) Don't go to Northern Thailand in HUGE Flying Cockroach season.
c) Always check your helmet before putting it on.
d) Don't piss off the HUGE Flying Cockroach Gods.
e) Fuck it, shit like this is hard to prevent and I should chalk it up as a good "Guess what happened to me in Thailand story!"
Bitten for good
4 days ago