A 46-year-old Athens, Ga., man suffering from bronchitis went to the emergency room for respiratory relief, only to come home with a pearl, which doctors pulled out of his ear, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

Calvin Wright told the newspaper he always had trouble hearing himself speak, but could never figure out the reason why. When the ER nurse was examining his ear, she thought he had a Q-Tip stuck in it, except it felt too hard, so she referred him to a specialist.

Wright said when he was 5, he and his sister were playing with their mother’s pearl necklace and it broke. Wright’s sister shoved two pearls into his ear, and the pain was so bad, their mother took him to the hospital, but at the time, the doctor assured them he had removed the gems.

Wright said he didn’t think anymore about the incident.

“Everybody would say, ‘Why don’t you lower your voice?’” Wright said. “Now, when I went to the barber shop, they said, ‘You’re not talking loud like you used to.’ I notice I can hear myself better.”

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