May 18, 2006

Think On This

The tapeworm is one of the many banes of the intestinal tract. They come in many different varieties, but all of them are hideous. They creep into your guts and attach themselves to the lining of the intestinal wall, sucking nutrients from you. These parasites don't need mouths or digestive tracts of their own, since all their food comes predigested. Some specimens have been recorded at 80 feet in length!

I don't know if it is a blessing or a curse, but many tapeworm infections are asymptomatic - you may not even know you have one. Think of that the next time you feel unusually hungry or bloated.

Photo courtesy:
www.micrographia.com & www.parasitology.co.uk



1 comment:

Leah said...

My friend had a tapeworm, and I'm dead serious when I tell you that that doctor's only recommended course of treatment went as follows:
1) Fast for many hours
2) Open your mouth
3) Hold a piece of bread in front of your mouth and stay that way for a very long time
4) When you get a tickling/choking sensation in the back of your throat, ignore it and keep on doing what you're doing with the bread and whatnot.
5) When you see a skinny white thing emerge from the back of your mouth, ignore it, stay relaxed, and keep doing what you're doing with the bread and whatnot.
6) When the skinny white thing makes its way to the front of your teeth, grab onto it and pull.
7) 80 feet later, you will be the proud owner of an 8 pound bouncing, bright little bundle of parasite cuteness.
Go ahead, just try and enjoy your life after that story. My friend told me about it years ago, and I still grapple with the feeling that life just might not be worth it anymore on a pretty much daily basis now, thanks to stupid tapeworms. .