Woman’s Headache Turns Out To Be Live Cockroach In Skull
In Russia, there’s a saying for never knowing what metaphorical demons someone is battling: “You don’t know what kind of cockroaches they have in their head.”
Well, for one woman in Chennai, India, that saying turned out to be a little more literal. According to CNN, the 42-year-old woke up one night with labored breathing and a severe headache that had an “itchy, scratchy feeling to it.”
She went to a nearby medical college, where doctors conducted an endoscopy and realized there was something moving around in her head.
“We didn’t know what it was,” M.N. Shankar, professor and head of the Ear, Nose, Throat Department at Stanley Medical College, told CNN. “We didn’t know whether it was a wasp, or some other insect. Slowly, we had to pull it out.”
Almost an hour later, they pulled out a cockroach — 1 inch long and still very much alive.
The way the cockroach got there is equally troubling: According to Shankar, it must have “burrowed into the roof of the nose, almost near the skull base,” and then set up residence in its comfy new home between her eyes. Shankar estimated it was there for about 12 hours before it was removed.
The woman’s headache and breathing problems stopped after the operation, but it was a good thing that she went to the hospital. Had the roach stayed in her body, it would have likely caused an infection that could have been fatal, Shankar said.
Shankar told the Daily Mail that she has never seen anything like this in her 30 years of practice. She also said there’s no reliable way to prevent a cockroach from crawling into your skull while you sleep, so good luck sleeping ever again.