“What are these and how do I get rid of them?” asks this reader in Portland, Oregon. She refers to organisms that have been plaguing her for almost five years, showing up in her hair, eyes, ears, feet, skin, stool and urine.
Firstly, we need to make it abundantly clear that we will unfortunately not be answering our reader’s question. Considering the fact that the organisms are coming from our reader’s body, and she reports experiencing symptoms (which we will get to later), this situation is clearly medical in nature. Since we are not medical professionals, it is not within our qualifications or capabilities to identify these organisms, as doing so would be tantamount to giving a diagnosis. Secondly, what we also want to point out is that, although we will not be able to provide our reader with any direct answers or advice, we will list some useful resources that she can use to find a medical professional who specializes in this type of condition, and who will be equipped to diagnose and treat it.
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With that in mind, we still think it pertinent to detail our reader’s story. As we said, these organisms have been bothering our reader for almost five years, and she is in her sixties. She reports that the creatures seem to “melt” into her skin, clothes and carpets, and that they “sting in defense”. Additionally, they have a 30-day breeding cycle with multiple stages. “Either that or there’s more than one type hanging out on me,” states our reader. Now, the worms are “getting bigger and more aggressive, and their sting is getting stronger.” She has consulted eight doctors in four different hospitals, of which none “have been able to see” these organisms. At one point, she presented a stool sample to one of her doctors and a nurse and explained her situation, and yet “when they came back” with the results, the nurse “suddenly didn’t know what” she “was talking about.” Our reader has understandably become frightened, and it does not help that her doctors dismiss this as “some kind of psychosis”. On top of that, she is “dealing with the fact that doctors don’t want to contradict each others’ diagnoses” and as such do not “put much effort into finding out what is going on.” Our reader’s primary goal is to find out what these creatures are and how she can get rid of them.
So, what we can recommend is that our reader do one or more of the following: 1) Search for a medical parasitologist in Portland 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 Portland” or “tropical medicine specialist Portland”. 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 think and hope that consulting with a parasitologist will prove more beneficial to our reader. As they specialize in the field of parasites and other infectious diseases, they are not as quick to dismiss patients as delusional and will take her issue seriously. It should be noted that the two physicians listed here specifically are available to consult with patients online, so it does not matter how close or far one is from their physical offices. Additionally, a reader of ours recently told us that they had been having difficulty booking a time at IDCare via email or booking an appointment online, so if our reader wants to choose this route, then we recommend calling the office directly instead.
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To conclude, we hope that the resources listed above prove helpful to our reader. We really wish we could help more, but alas, we are unfortunately not parasitologists ourselves. We also hope that any of our other readers who might identify with our reader’s story also make haste to consult with a parasitologist, as issues like this should not go ignored: they can be quite serious if left unchecked, and one’s health is their most valuable possession. We wish our reader the very best, and welcome any updates she can provide us along her journey to finding answers and getting treatment.