I like bubbles. I do.
I like bubbly water. Bubble gum. I even like the song Bubbly.
But bubbles in my ear? Not so much.
The other night I was jolted awake by the strangest sensation. I shot up, thinking my new kitten had climbed into bed and confused my ear with a particular piece of anatomy from its mother. (It's strange what your brain comes up with when awakened suddenly from a dead sleep.)
I soon realized my little Prince was nowhere to be found. As for the bubbles in my ear, they kept bubbling. So I did what any logical person would do. I jabbed my finger inside to see if I could make it stop.
It came and went for the next couple of minutes. I sat there in the dark, trying to convince myself the dream I just had about a cricket did not mean that a cricket had, in fact, crawled into my ear. But then I started thinking about The Discovery Health Channel and the shows I've seen where cockroaches have actually climbed in and died in people's ears! I wasn't too concerned about cockroaches, but by this point I was fairly certain my cricket dream was my subconscious telling me I had a critter in my ear.
I shook my husband in a mild state of panic. Even bleary eyed and semi conscious, he could tell I was freaked out about something. I demanded he look in my ear.
He saw nothing.
A cricket in your ear isn't going to bed down and then readily wave at an exterminator.
I went back to bed and tried to sleep as best I could, hoping whatever was inside my ear would stop moving, die or crawl back out.
It didn't. Twice more I was awakened by bubbles in my ear. That is the best way I can describe it -- like a bike tire that had been punctured. When wet, little tiny air bubbles bubble out. That's what it felt like.
I got back up and performed an exhaustive search online at 2 a.m. for "air bubbles in ear." Sadly, I came up with little information that convinced me that I was not housing an insect inside my head. So I marched myself to the doctor's later that day.
There was no critter in my ear. In fact, the doc said bubbles in the ear are a perfectly normal occurrence.
Me: Well, what causes it?
Doc: Have you coughed, sneezed or laughed recently?
Ha. He wasn't kidding.
Apparently air and fluid can get inside the Eustachian tube by way of the throat. The bubbles are a release of this mixture. The best part, when it drains, it doesn't come out the ear, but down the throat.
Fortunately, I did not have the privilege of that experience. The bubbles just vanished. And after a sleepless night and a $25 copay, I can now blog about ear bubbles. And crickets.