Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why I Am Afraid of Spiders & Moths

I don't think I need to say anything else. That picture speaks a thousand words. But I will say a little more:

These things (baboon spiders) live in people's homes in South Africa. I used to see legs sticking out from under my furniture. Spider legs! Big enough to stick out from under furniture! Big, hairy spider legs just waiting for me to walk by or - worse - go to sleep unknowingly.

To put these creatures into context: they are large enough to set off the internal motion detector associated with a house alarm. Believe me, I speak from experience.

I once found one in my car. I tell you, it was waiting for me. "Heehee," thought the spider, "if I can't get her with my big furry legs in her home then I will wait here in the car."

You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.

I am also terrified of moths. Yes, moths. That fear likely requires a little more explanation. I was working night shifts in an ER and was sitting outside one morning at about 3:00. I felt something fluttering around my ear and, naturally, reached up with my finger to figure out what was going on.

Lesson number one: if you are sitting outside of an ER at 3:00 in the morning and feel something in your ear, do not put your finger in your ear.

The reason is that this gives whatever was fluttering outside of your ear only one direction to go: inside your ear. And once a moth is inside of your ear, it goes nuts. Flapping around, trying to get out. But it can't get out so it flaps even more frantically.

I went running into the ER with my head tipped to one side, trying to shake the flapping nightmare out.

Lesson number two: you can't shake a flapping nightmare out of your ear once it is in there.

The nurses later said that they thought I was having a really awful seizure. After explaining what had happened, they called friendly Dr. ENT to the scene. He laughed at me before shining his penlight into my ear.

Lesson number three: if you have a flapping nightmare in your ear and have subsequently convinced the ER nurses that you are not having a seizure, don't let your friendly Dr. ENT shine his penlight into your ear.

The reason for this is that it will make the nightmare flapping turn into hell on earth. The noise was unbearable and the sensation made every nerve in my body scream out in disgust.

Friendly Dr. ENT finally flushed the critter out of my ear and I was free to go. Free to go forth and live the rest of my life with an intense fear for moths. Which makes it paradoxical that I am also terrified of spiders because they would likely be quite good friends to have when one freaks out when a moth enters their home.

I wish I could make this stuff up. I really do. My life would be so much simpler.


Empress Bee said...

oh great, now I am afraid of moths too! i have got to stop reading so many blogs! i was already afraid of spiders so that is no problem, but moths.......sigh.

(smiles) bee

Cathy said... know this isn't funny but you have given me my first laugh of this day..Thank you..I was just imagining you jumping around and nurses thinking you were having a seizure.

As for spiders. I hate them also and I'm scared to death of them. I was bitten by a spider in Fla. once. It was the most physically ill I have ever been. And I was ill for weeks on end. IVs and the whole nine yards..I couldn't even take a sip of water for weeks without getting violently ill. That spider in your picture is a horrible looking thing!

Dr. A said...

I'm with you on the spiders - I'm not a fan...

dr. whoo? said...

Ok, you have totally squicked me out, and now I have to go to bed thinking of ginormous spiders and moths in the ear! Eeek! Count me as another arachnophobic. I think it is an evolutionarily sound fear! Love your blog :)