Desirae Kelly, 29, details her "traumatic" experience of learning she had a spider in her ear — and its subsequent removal at urgent care
Talk about an eerie experience.
When Desirae Kelly woke up on the morning of Oct. 18 because of a “fluttering” sensation in her right ear, she never imagined a creepy crawler was responsible.
The 29-year-old insurance agent figured the feeling was probably just from a rogue tassel on the end of her bedroom comforter and went back to sleep.
"By the time that urgent care opened, I had almost talked myself out of going because I was like, ‘Oh, it's all in my head. It was 5 a.m. I was tired,’” Kelly tells PEOPLE. But at the behest of her fiancé (Kelly is getting married in two weeks), she set off for the clinic.
“I'm sitting in the waiting room, and that's when I felt it move again. It was painful. It felt like something was at the base of my eardrum. In that moment, I was convinced it was wax," she explains. "And then I started crying, one, because it was uncomfortable, but two, I felt embarrassed that now they're going to look in my ear, tell me it's wax, tell me to clean my ear out, send me home, and I'm going to get a bill in the mail."
While she was being examined, Kelly says a nurse who treated her remarked that many kids often place small objects in their ears. “I didn't have the heart to tell her, first of all, I did not put a bead in my ear,” says Kelly.
After checking both of her ears, however, one of the nurses declared Kelly most definitely had something in her right one — and casually mentioned it wasn’t “a moth.”
“I didn't even think about it being a moth!” Kelly says. “And [the nurse] goes, ‘It's curled up in the back.’ And that's when the fear started to set in.”
The nurse then began to irrigate Kelly’s ear with “a water bottle with this tube, and they kind of set it at the base of your ear, and it sprays water in the back and it flushes it out. And I'm holding this little bowl under my ear, and she's squirting and squirting and squirting, and the water's coming out," she recalls. "We're dumping the bowl and we're dumping, we probably dumped it three times. And then she goes over to the sink to refill the water. And while she's refilling the water bottle, I feel it moving at the back of my ear. And she's rushing back over and telling me, "Put the bowl up to your ear!'"
Kelly adds of the moment: “I watch, from the corner of my eye, something black fall from my ear to my sweater, and the nurse took a step back. She literally stepped back. It all happened so fast. She takes a step back and then immediately steps forward again and starts to grab and shake at my hoodie that I was wearing. I watch something jump from my shoulder to the ground. And then I watch it crawl. And that is when I realized it was a spider and that it was alive."
"I was looking at a live spider, and it wasn't small," she adds. "I would say it was about the size of a nickel.”
Kelly’s immediate reaction went viral when she posted videos she had filmed of herself waiting in urgent care on TikTok, and she tells PEOPLE the whole experience was “awful.”
“They had to give me a bag to throw up in because I was gagging. It was so traumatic. And I'm throwing up, I'm watching as they're putting this clear medical container upside down over the spider [on the floor]… I was sobbing,” she says.
Ultimately, Kelly (and her ear) were both perfectly fine after the spider was removed: her eardrum was intact, and she didn’t need any medication to prevent an infection.
The nurses assured her the eight-legged critter seemed to be a house spider, and Kelly, who lives in Missouri, acknowledged spiders aren’t uncommon in her neck of the woods.
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“I knew the seal on our back door in our bedroom needed to be replaced, which let me tell you, it has now been replaced,” she says. “So, chances are it was just crawling across the pillow, which is so unsettling to think about. And it had to have been the perfect setup for it to crawl into my ear."
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