Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tape Worm Stories

I haven't been around the past few days, but I do have this little tidbit I have been sitting on for the last few months that I have debated about whether or not to share with you or not. Now this is not for the faint of heart, and if you are grossed out easily, please don't read any further!! But if you have some time to kill, and want some maybe really good information to chew on, or at least a great story to gross out your friends the next girls night...grab a drink and snuggle on down!
I had tapeworms on my mind one day. I not quite sure why, but it got me remembering a story my Mimi had told me years ago. Now Mimi grew up years ago in the backwoods of Tennessee and was full of stories, and this one was from when her Mama was a little girl, so it probably dated to the late 1800's. According to Mimi's mom, there was a neighbor lady that had gotten a tapeworm. Now that thing had gotten a hold of her bad! She was skin and bones and about to die from the sounds of it. No nutrition was going to the lady anymore, and this tapeworm had grown to huge proportions. Back then they treated most things with home remedy's themselves, and what they did for this poor lady was...

they didn't let her eat for days, so this thing was raging hungry, and then they made a big pot of soup. Then they put a bowl of it right in front of her and ...

that worm came right up out of her mouth with all that good smelling soup and they were waiting and ready to get ahold of it and get it out!

Now I don't know if I believe this or not. My Mimi always was a tad crazy, and I love her to pieces, but who knows!?!?! It sounds unreal!

So, I found a real story online that is (long) but soooo worth reading if you can. (it may save you!) Read it!~

The Worm Within-By:Vincent Eaton

When I go to the bathroom, I usually expect it to be a non-event. After so many years, there are few surprises left for me sitting on a toilet. Yet that's where I first discovered an uninvited entity that called me home.I had finished doing what we all do at the toilet, stood, and casually, almost like a cat, turned around to look down and make sure. This time, looking down, something caught my attention. Among the customary contents, there was a bright, clean, white thing down there.I looked more carefully, becoming a momentary tea-leaf type. Strange. I had never seen this before. And then it hit me. Of course! I had eaten some spaghetti the evening before – this was probably just a little undigested bit that somehow got through. I flushed.Two days later, the usual toilet routine. Sit, let 'er fly, liberal toilet paper usage, stand, trousers up, turn, about to flush, and there it was again. The little white thing! I quickly reviewed the meals I'd consumed recently and I didn't remember eating any pasta for days. I was going to assume this was a freakish thing, and flushed the toilet and breezed along with my life until a couple of days later, there it was again, an albino king sitting on top of his soft brown throne.

It was time to call my doctor. This being Belgium, my place of residence, I made appropriate weird sounds in my crummy French describing how a visitor had developed the habit of showing up unexpectedly every couple of days in my toilet bowl to say hi. Once seated in my doctor's office, I explained how these bits were thin and white, but how I felt fine, otherwise. My doctor sported a nice little trimmed goatee, and as I finished my story he chuckled into it. Little contented muffled sounds. I waited, patient, but brittle."Monsieur," he finally said, "ce n'est pas grave. Je pense que vous avez un ver solitaire."I had un ver solitaire? What was that? A solitary worm? A lonely worm. A worm that kept to itself; a moody worm. My kind of worm. An individualistic worm that had taken up residence in my intestines. A worm of character. The English term suddenly snapped into my head. "You mean ... I have a ... I gotta ... there's a para- a parasite ... a living thing ... in me?"I placed my hands on my tummy like a pregnant woman. I stood. "A ... tapeworm?" I climbed onto the chair as though escaping a mouse, gripping my guts, fingers scraping at my navel. There was more living in me than just me. An existence. A thing I did not want.The doctor, no longer chuckling, asked me to please sit down so he could tell me how to get rid of it. I came crashing down to sit on the chair, blathering, "How do I kill it? What's it take, doc? Where's the bullet? Give me a pill, do tricks! Make it go away!"I was leaning forward, my nails scrabbling on his desk. Some sort of living thing was eating with me, sleeping with me, sharing my childhood traumas without my permission, and was with me during those intimate moments when I achieved orgasms, with or without a consenting partner. How embarrassing.

The doctor educated me. Broadly speaking, there were two types of tapeworm that could be my roommate. There was your basic pork tapeworm, and your basic beef tapeworm. Eat some not-so-well-cooked pork or beef and you could get some eggs inside you that your warm, moist innards would nurture and hatch and help the parasite infants grow big and strong, but, for the pork parasite, only for a few meters inside the intestine.However, your beef tapeworm was an altogether mightier alien. In came cow food slightly undercooked, and eggs-hatch-grow, but the beef worm could grow more than just a few meters; it would keep adding to its body, lengthening and snaking through the miles of intestine. I have it on good authority that, with the small and large intestines combined, it could reach the moon, loop it twice, then come all the way back down to earth and you'd still have enough left over to play skip rope with.This beef tapeworm would fill all this out until it eventually ran out of intestine upon reaching the rear exit. My beef-based house guest had grown so big, so happy, so healthy, had filled me up so much that it now had to drop little bits of itself in the toilet bowl every few days just to let me know how great he was doing.Diagnosis: I was pregnant with a parasite that had started its life going moo.

I thought hard how I could have become impregnated. Oh yeah. When I first came to Belgium way back when, I had sat in a restaurant looking at a menu in French and Flemish, neither of which was very enlightening. I spotted something on the menu that read, "Filet Americain." I was American, it said a filet; this was made for me. I assumed it had to be a hamburger, or a steak; I didn't want to reveal myself as a typical American abroad and demand explanations in slow, half-shouted English; I was a hopeful sophisticate. I ordered my filet, sat back and waited to be served something recognizable with a little American flag stuck in it.They returned with a platter of raw hamburger; an equally raw egg lay in a mini-crevice they had pushed into the top of the mound. They showed it to me. I thought, This is special. As though this lump of meat was some exotic fresh fish or an expensive piece of sirloin they were displaying to me before cooking. I nodded, thinking, Great, go cook it, put it in a bun and bury it in ketchup and yellow mustard and onions and bring it back. Instead, my nod was taken as agreement and they placed the dish in front of me.I looked from my plate to the retreating back of the waiter, back to my plate of raw meat, raw egg, mayonnaise, garnish, and fries. What lay before me was a good start, not a finished meal. I glanced around at fellow diners, to see if they were staring in horror at me, but no. In fact, some guy two tables over actually had the same thing and was mixing it all together in his dish and then putting forkfuls of the stuff in his mouth. This seemed a typical Belgian dish. Be cool. When in Rome.So I squished the meat and egg together, stirred the mayonnaise in there, mixed in some raw onions, added salt, pepper, sat back, gathered courage, put some on the edge of my fork, slid it between my teeth, slid it out clean. Let my tongue judge. Amazingly, it wasn't disgusting. So I took another forkful, tasted, judged, and in went another. I ate, and ate it all. And ordered it on several occasions thereafter, one of which, probably, wasn't as moo-fresh as could be hoped, and hence the origin of my beef tapeworm

Okay, doc, thanks for the lesson. But how do I get rid of it?" I was already entertaining dramatic fantasies. I visualized the tapeworm securely hooked at the bottom of my throat using the spiny little stabbing things they had, its mouth ajar, and every time I ate, it ate; I drank, it swallowed; when I got caught in the rain, it stayed dry.My doctor handed me a prescription for a single pill. Take it in the morning on an empty stomach, he said. This pill would kill the head of the beast, which needed doing since if the head wasn't killed, the tapeworm would continue growing and flourishing, and possibly with time begin making menu demands.I headed directly to the pharmacist, purchased the pill, took it home, created an altar, placed it there and worshipped it for forty-five minutes as the answer to all my dreams and prayers. "Oh mighty pill, death to the demon residing within..."Next morning I popped out of bed, got myself a glass of water, removed the pill from its altar cushion, placed it on my tongue, closed my eyes, and swallowed, declaring, "Take that, monster of the deep! You neverending strand of unspooling spaghetti!" I smacked my lips and thought that was that.It wasn't.

About an hour later, I felt something move, squirm, within me. I sat very still, as though listening to echoes in a canyon. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. There it was again!There was a shifting inside my guts. Then there was a more sudden, thrashing movement. And that's when I realized my tapeworm was going through its death throes. It squirmed and twisted, spasming – and why didn't the doctor tell me about this part, the bastard? My guts cramped and churned. This went on for five, ten minutes, until, just as suddenly, it subsided. It was over. My tapeworm was at peace.I celebrated by going to lunch at a restaurant and ordering a large mixed salad, something inert that had never breathed or mooed or snorted or had a face. I was famished after the slaying of the dragon within, and eager to eat for just one again. I consumed my meal with gusto; life was good when parasites were gone. Before ordering dessert, I detected that gentle pressure of my bowels demanding relief. So I patted my mouth with my napkin, moved my plate aside, and asked directions to the toilet.Once within a locked cubicle, trousers down, in position, I relaxed and thought pure thoughts. Upon completion, I leaned over, gathered some toilet paper, reached down and under in order to wipe myself clean, as usual. But for the first time in my life, when I wiped, not everything wiped away. Something remained. Dangling.

I sat up ramrod straight, utterly immobile, my brain flying. I hadn't thought further than swallowing the kill pill and then living my life. I assumed my intestines would just magically absorb the monster, and that would be that.With immense dread, I reached over and got some more toilet paper. Folded it over. Then, cautiously, like descending into a dangerous lair, I reached down, went under, found me, wiped me, grabbed the dangling entity, and pulled. Something long slithered out, giving a distinctly zigzagging back and forth sensation within my intestines.I dropped everything and held my breath. This could not be happening. This was not my life. I began panting, all alone in a locked cubicle in a half-decent restaurant with a dead tapeworm hanging out my ass.There was nothing to do but to wrap great gobs of toilet paper securely around my hand, swallow hard, again reach down, again get a grip on the thin and slippery thing, and tug. Again that slithering feeling deep within. I pulled, and pulled again, and it kept coming. I dropped the tissue and sat back. Jesus. How long was this sucker? I remembered the doctor's brief education: to the moon twice, or something pretty damn close.I calmed the trembling of my hands. More toilet paper. Reached down. Got a grip. Pull, slide. Pull, slide. I got into a rhythm like someone on a chain gang, condemned to break rocks in smooth, repetitious movements – no whack/crack, just pull/slide. I started moaning an old spiritual, pulling and sliding, endlessly. Oh Lord, bring me on home.
Five minutes of this, ten. Maybe fifteen. I thought about jumping up and running, shouting from the toilet stall, "I can't take it anymore, I just can't take it!" I had an image of my rushing through the main hall of the restaurant and out onto the sidewalk and down the street with this long, flowing, undulating, thin white membrane snaking and snapping behind me, getting caught in pedestrian's feet, having dogs and cats chasing it as if it were some sort of plaything. So I kept sitting. Almost sobbing.The routine reinstated itself. Toilet paper, stifling sobs, reaching down, pulling it out, hand over hand, the zigzag feeling deep in the guts, thinking about grocery lists, wondering about the meaning of life, pulling and lip trembling and knowing I had had killed it without thinking – never even given it a name or or taught it to do tricks. Then suddenly, I reached down and there was nothing there. Nothing dangling. Just air!I leapt up straight into the air, spun around, and nothing spun around with me. I faced the bowl. Slowly, cautiously, I moved my face toward its opening, wary that the worm might leap up at my throat. There it was. Twisted around in all sorts of swirls and crisscrosses, resembling limp linguini. There was also a hell of a lot of toilet paper in there.My tapeworm did not pant, did not throb, did not shake or tremble. It lay tangled in itself, seemingly harmless, and I had a momentary urge of scientific inquiry, wondering whether I should not scoop it out with my bare hands, place it in an airtight jar, and take it with me on trips to show to people when I tell this story and relive this life-changing experience. Share. Publish it online or in learned print journals. With illustrations.As if. I flushed that sucker goodbye.
What's lived in you?