Heather in Senegal

Monday, November 13, 2006

A little while back I had a worm in my left foot. It created a sguiggly raised line as it meandered toward my toes, getting closer every day. I first noticed the line when I found myself scratching an itch on my foot.

I called a Peace Corps doctor,and after I described my symptoms, the first thing she asked was whether there were any cats or dogs in my life. Oh Gidget, the Kolda Peace Corps kitten, dear little playful furball. I remember her playing with my foot one day not long before the itch began. Her claws were out, but the pin pricks were not too bothersome. Perhaps she failed to clean her claws after her last walk through her litterbox, and thus gave me a fresh worm out of her. Does that sound right? But I know some volunteers get their worms from working in dirt, so there is really no telling the source of mine.

The doctor told me to buy two tablets and a special cream that fights worm-induced itches. One tablet I swallowed, and the other I crushed. I mixed the dust with the cream and rubbed it on the worm-trail three times a day for a week. (The tablet is also good at fighting giardia, and I am happy to say I have not had any very sulphuric burps since taking the pill.) After a few days of treatment I saw the line fade slightly, while a bubble like a blister rose at one end. The worm never exited there, at least not that I saw.

I have since taken Gidget to the vet for an anti worm shot and for a vaccination, and the worm line on my foot has disappeared.


At 12:38 PM, Blogger Ellia said...

Heather, your aplomb in the face of parasites is no surprise to me, though I continue to be impressed by it. When my own street-rescued cat had visible worms, I knew you were the person to call, and you talked me down from my freaked-out ledge, whereupon I got her deworming medicine and the rest is history. I'm glad your worm story has had a similarly undramatic conclusion.

I haven't read your blog in a while and just had the treat of reading several vivid, entertaining entries in a row. That was fun. Keep up the good work, and happy Thanksgiving!!
Much love


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