Monday, September 19, 2011

Stop Bugging Me

"I think I have  a bug in my ear", said the guy in triage.  "I was mowing my lawn and brushed against a rose bush and it feels like something is in my ear canal.  I didn't dare poke it with a Q tip"

Good plan.  Every time I get someone with a complaint like this, I think of the old Night Gallery episode hosted by that creepy guy Rod Serling.  Some guy gets and earwig planted in his ear which then proceeds to munch its way through the brain (being unable to reverse direction), reducing the poor bastard to a shrieking mass of agony until it crawls out the other side.  Whereupon the doctor informs him that it was, in fact, a female....which had laid eggs. Shudder.  All of which is myth.

OK, I'm being dramatic.

So the guy wasn't having any particular difficulty while I was triaging.  As I a walked him to registration, he freaked and started screaming.


I grabbed him by the t-shirt and dragged him into the nearest treatment room.  Kate went to grab some lidocaine to immobilize whatever was in his ear.  Suddenly, the guy stopped screaming and  froze.

"It stopped". 

No shit.  "Let me see if I can see anything", I told him.  As I pushed back his longish hair, I saw it: a GIANT Japanese beetle sitting in his outer ear.  "Don't move for a second", I said.  Trying not to either panic the guy or lose sight of the bug I reached for a glove or 4x4 gauze on the counter behind me.  In the nanoecond I took to glance behind me, the beetle...was gone.

"Did you see anything?  Is there anything there?  Is it a bee?  Did you get it?"

Shit.  No, wait!  There it is up on the very tip of his little, pointy elfen ear!

WHACK!  I smacked the flap of his ear with my hand.  Yes, I struck my patient.  A first for me.

The beetle crawled on the floor unconcerned.  I scooped it up with a wad of 4x4's.

"Oh, thankyouthankyouthankyou!  You saved my life!"

Gil wandered in and wanted to know what all the shouting was about.

"This brave nurse saved my life!  She got a beetle out of my ear, I thought I would go crazy!  She's a genius"

Gil:  "Oh, that's great!  Did you use lidocaine?"

Me: "Nope.  I just told it to go to the light, so it did"

Gil: "Hahaha!"