The Life and Times of Sir Ear Alot

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David Attenborough

The case was dropped in June due to a lack of evidence. Share this article Share. There are two main types, depending on where the problem lies: Sensorineural hearing loss — caused by damage to the sensitive hair cells inside the inner ear or damage to the auditory nerve; this occurs naturally with age or as a result of injury Conductive hearing loss — when sounds are unable to pass from your outer ear to your inner ear, often because of a blockage such as earwax, glue ear or a build-up of fluid from an ear infection, or because of a perforated ear drum or disorder of the hearing bones However, you can also have both of the above.

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The Life and Times of Sir Ear Alot by Deb Fee -

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I knew it! Joel returned with the jar, and we captured the silverfish easily. It was active but not too fast, perhaps in shock at being in the bright, cold world after however many weeks it had spent inside my ear canal.


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I was panting and nauseated—disgusted, horrified, and infuriated. All along, there had been a bug living in my head, tickling me from the inside. A t 2 AM that night, I posted a picture of the silverfish in its jar on Facebook. I wanted to share my horror, maybe get a few thumbs up of support from friends. I woke up the next morning to hundreds of comments and reactions; people expressed outrage that a doctor could have missed a bug in my ear. That got more responses than anything else I've posted. The insect crawled out of my ear on a Friday night.


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She did not apologize for missing it. She did not admit to dismissing me. There are scratches deep in the canal, as if something was trying to get out. She prescribed me antibiotic ear-drops. I asked for an ENT referral, as I still felt an itchy, crawling sensation accompanying some residual ringing and buzzing. I felt powerless. With the state-issued health insurance I received from teaching at a state university, my choices were limited. I filled the antibiotic prescription and dropped a cold liquid into my right ear for a week. It was soothing, but my ear was still ringing, and I felt the same inner tickling and itching from before.

The questions quickly began swarming: Was another bug in there? A deeper infection?

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After a week of continued symptoms, I returned to the doctor requesting to see an ENT. A few days later—my ear still ringing, itching, and now spasming in the ear canal—I called the office for a referral. Can someone else in the practice please refer me? Finally, I demanded to see the practice manager.

Sir Cliff Richard spotted wearing hearing aid in public for the first time

She made some calls, recorded my formal complaint against my doctor, and handed me what I'd been begging for. A week later, I met with an ENT.

He didn't see an infection—there was nothing in there, not even much wax. I wanted to be comforted by the good news. But I had already been told there was nothing wrong with my ear—and then, a bug fell out of it.

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

I have it in a jar on my desk. Thanks to many late night Google searches, I now know that silverfish and roaches can find their way into people's ears when they're sleeping at home or lying down outside. After my incident, Joel and I noticed several silverfish in our home—which means the insect likely crawled into my ear one night while I was sleeping.

Women especially women who are of color , obese , or gender non-conforming need to be ceaseless advocates for themselves. Then, we are entitled to seek out second opinions and demand referrals, even if it makes you an unlikeable patient—or an unlikable woman, which many of us have been warned not to be. And any additional refusal gives you the right to file a complaint with a practice manager.

Having a bug that lived in the ear was a lot like my anxiety: An invader that came into my body without permission, causing vague symptoms that no one believed could have a physical cause.

For those of us who are both women and patients with anxiety, going to the doctor is an even more difficult task. My disorder has caused me to grapple with the conundrum of how to differentiate between physical ailments and anxiety symptoms. I now constantly consider the question: When do we trust doctors when they say that our symptoms are benign, and when do we demand more testing?

As horrifying as the bug ordeal was, it taught me one incredibly important lesson: The first person I should trust, above all, is myself. For more personal essays, plus all things Oprah, sign up for our newsletter! Type keyword s to search. Getty Images.

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It was as if something was writhing around, scratching to get out. Related Story. Women, disorder or no disorder, are routinely told their symptoms are due to anxiety. I placed the bug that had been living inside my ear in a jar and kept it on my desk.

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