Here, Sophie, 26, tells the story in her own words.
A￼fter another hard day of training, I was looking forward to a good night’s sleep.‘Up early again tomorrow for a swim,’ I told my partner George, 24.
A professional triathlete, I trained every day and after hitting my pillow, I was out like a light. But a few hours later, I jumped out of bed in excruciating pain. ‘My ear!’ I cried, waking up George with my blood-curdling screams. ‘What’s wrong?’ he asked.
The aching in my ear was so horrendous and bizarre, it was hard to put into words. ‘Something’s in there! It’s moving!’ I sobbed. The pain was unbearable. Turning the light on, George looked inside my right ear. ‘I can’t see anything,’ he said.
Our housemate Sam, who’s a paramedic, rushed into our bedroom after hearing my deafening screams. Lying me on my left side, Sam grabbed a hairpin and tried to dig out whatever was lodged in there. ‘I can’t feel or see anything,’ he said.
But I knew something was in there and I felt every tiny, horrible movement it made. I usually have quite a high pain tolerance but this was beyond anything I’d ever felt before.‘Do whatever you can. Get it out!’ I cried. George even tried to suck it out with a vacuum cleaner, but nothing worked.
After 30 minutes, George called an ambulance. Paramedics shone a torch in, but they couldn’t see anything either. Bundling me onto a stretcher, they rushed me to hospital. There, a doctor poured cooking oil down my eardrum.‘Whatever it is, it won’t be able to survive in oil,’ he said.
I spent another 10 minutes crying in agony until I could feel the movement starting to dull down. After five minutes, it finally stopped.
‘It worked!’ I cried, this time in relief. I thought my nightmare was over at last. Doctors tried to extract the still unidentified creature with medical utensils without luck. They even tried to shoot it out with a little water pistol.That didn’t work either, so I needed to wait to see an ear specialist the next day. The thought of sleeping with the dead mystery bug in my ear was unsettling.
As soon as the ear specialist opened her doors the next morning, I was there waiting. ‘Let’s get this thing out,’ she said. Her eagerness turned to terror as soon as she looked in my eardrum. Literally jumping back, she looked horrified.
‘I hate bugs!’ she said. ‘What?’ I asked. George looked closely at the monitor. ‘Is that a cockroach?’ he exclaimed.
I burst into tears at the thought of a creepy crawly cockroach inside my ear. ‘Please just get it out!’ I pleaded.
Using a funnel-like object, her camera, and some thin medical tweezers, the doctor extracted the roach.‘That’s definitely a first,’ she said. Putting it into a little container, she handed it to me. At first I didn’t think I could bear to look at it. But when I finally did, I felt such relief the 3cm critter was finally out.
George and I couldn’t help but finally let out a laugh. ‘What are the chances of this happening?’ I asked.
It took a couple of days to ully get over the ordeal, but I’m back to normal now. I’ll forever be wary of unwanted intruders in my bed!
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