Hendrick Helmer recently felt something moving around inside his ear. Much to everyone's absolute horror, the source of his irritation was a large cockroach.
It's believed that the roach managed to crawl into his ear while he slept. Instead of seeking medical attention after discovering that the insect had burrowed its way into his head, Helmer decided to try some home remedies to solve the problem. One proposed solution involved sticking a vacuum cleaner to his ear in hopes of sucking the cockroach out of his skull.
Unfortunately for Hendrik Helmer, that didn't do the trick. In fact, this seemed to only make the problem worse. At the urging of a friend, the Australian man decided to seek proper treatment at a medical center. By the time he finally sought treatment, the pain in his ear was almost completely unbearable.
Helmer told 105.7 ABC Darwin that he originally thought the tiny critter that found its way into his ear was an arachnid. Hendrik said he was preparing himself for the absolute worst.
"Later on, when I stood up and it happened it would sort of hunch me over and drop me down to the ground. I was hoping it wasn't a poisonous spider. I was hoping it didn't bite me," he explained to the radio station during a recent chat about the incident.
A doctor at Royal Darwin Hospital told Hendrik Helmer that she believed the source of his problem was a "little" cockroach. To flush the insect out of his head, she poured some olive oil into his ear. Unfortunately, this only drove the roach further into his canal.
"Near the 10 minute mark... somewhere about there, he started to stop burrowing but he was still in the throes of death twitching," he explained.
The descent into Helmer's head ultimately caused the cockroach to suffocate and die. When the doctor removed the creature from his ear, she realized the mistake she'd made by initially describing it as little. As it turns out, the roach was the largest insect doctors in the area had ever pulled out of someone's ear.
"She said, 'you know how I said a little cockroach? That may have been an underestimate.' They said they had never pulled an insect this large out of someone's ear," Helmer said, adding that the cockroach in question was a frightening two centimeters long.
To prevent this sort of incident from happening again, Hendrik Helmer said he intended to take extra precautions before bedding down for the night.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]