“I am polluted with this parasite,” starts this reader in her submission to us. What she describes as an “iridescent, curvy, wiggly worm” has been causing her trouble for a year and a half, and she writes to us to find out what it is she can do about her situation.
To start off with, we must bring to our reader’s attention the fact that we will unfortunately not be able to identify the worms that have been plaguing our reader. Not only does she explicitly state that these worms are parasites, but she also lists several symptoms she has been experiencing. As such, her situation is clearly medical in nature and needs a professional’s opinion. Since we are not medical professionals, we are not qualified to give any sort of direct advice here, which includes identifying the worms and suggesting treatment. What we can do is suggest some places our reader might go to receive the opinion of a medical professional.
That said, our reader does say that she has been to see her doctor. However, her doctor dismissed her concerns as delusions, telling her she “was seeing things that were not there.” She has not been back to her doctor since, due to the humiliation she felt. “If she would have even taken a swab of goo in my eye, I’m sure it would explain my symptoms”, she says of her doctor. In addition to this, she has been to see an eye specialist as well, who told her that she has dry eye (a condition by which one does not produce enough tears, or one’s tears evaporate at a rate faster than normal). She writes that there is “NO WAY” that it is dry eye, as the worms are not in her eye, but rather under her eye lid and eye lashes. Yet, the specialist told her there was nothing in those areas. Our reader states that she has a “video” and “1000 pics of every stage” of the worms, but as she has not sent in any videos or pictures, we are not able to include them.
Now, for some context behind our reader’s story. She lives in West Virginia and works as a charter bus driver, which entails visiting plenty of other regions. The previous two weekends she was in Charlotte, North Carolina. While she was there she had a fish dinner, and now she wonders if it was cooked completely through. She likely wonders this because there are indeed parasites one can contract from eating under-cooked fish and meat. Additionally, her pool used to be “polluted with many bugs”, but she swam in it despite that, “using a window screen to filter them out.” The worms that are now bothering her were first discovered in her hair. After that, they made their way to her ears, eyes and nose. Her eyes “always hurt, drain goo” and “won’t stay focused for long”, and “light blinds” her. She has lost 80 lbs, and her stomach is “a mess.”
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What we will recommend is that our reader consult a parasitologist. This kind of physician specializes in infectious diseases, particularly of the sort involving parasitic organisms. The problem with seeing one’s doctor (or an eye specialist for that matter) when one is concerned about parasites, is that they typically do not receive training in parasitology and are thus not equipped to deal with these types of issues. Of course, that does not excuse dismissing patients as “crazy”, when they could just as easily refer their patients to a parasite specialist, who would be equipped to deal with this sort of issue. Unfortunately, this has happened often with our other readers, and as unfortunate as it is, we hope our reader can take some solace in knowing she is not alone in this.
So, if our reader would indeed like to consult with a parasitologist, then she can do one or more of the following: 1) Search for a medical parasitologist in her area in West Virginia using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory. 2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city in WV)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city in WV)”. 3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com. 4) Contact Dr. Vipul Savaliya of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) at idcarepa.com. We should note that the two physicians mentioned here specifically are available for online consultations, so our reader can consult with either of them from wherever she is, which may be especially helpful given her job.
In conclusion, we sympathize for our reader, and wish she would not have been met with such skepticism from the two medical professionals she has been to see. We urge her to not give up on trying to find help and to consult with a parasitologist. It is unfortunate that we are not able to provide any direct help with our reader’s situation, but we hope that the resources listed above are useful. Finally, we welcome any updates our reader can/wants to provide us along her journey toward a healthy body and sound mind. We wish her the very best!