A while back, we were sent one of the grimmer questions we’ve ever encountered here at All About Worms. The reader reported that after smoking crack, she saw and felt small white worms all over her body. The worms crawled out from between her toes and protruded from every part of her skin. The reader is a seasoned crack smoker, having used the drug for years, and nothing like this has ever happened before. The reader is scared to go to a doctor because she doesn’t want to reveal her drug use and she also doesn’t want to get sent to a psychiatric institution. She therefore wrote to us, asking us this question: “What do you think is going on and how do you think I can get help?”
As non-medical professionals, we are unqualified to offer any formal counsel relating to our reader’s physical and mental health. That said, we don’t think we are encroaching on professional boundaries by advising our reader to stop smoking crack, which may require a trip to rehab given the long-standing nature of her drug use. It is, needless to say, not good to smoke crack, and we presume one’s indulgence has taken an especially dangerous turn when use of the drug is accompanied by what seems like severe hallucinations by all indications.
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We also don’t think we are violating any code of conduct for non-professionals by advising our reader to seek medical help for both her drug use and its disturbing concomitants. Physician–patient privilege is a fairly robust legal protection, and it is robust exactly so that people can seek medical help without fear of legal repercussion. We aren’t lawyers either, and we aren’t suggesting that physician-patient confidentially is absolute, but we feel confident advising our reader to go to a doctor without fear if she desires to, and in any case we can wish woe upon any legal system that intimidates a person ravaged by drug use from seeking medical help. The wholesome and the licentious are the equal objects of compassion.
Although we can’t offer anything resembling a diagnosis, we will mention as we conclude that the reader’s drug-induced hallucinations sound a bit like the symptoms of Morgellons, a mysterious condition that most medical professionals regard as a “delusional infestation,” although this view is not shared by the Morgellons Research Foundation, an advocacy group. Once more, we aren’t saying our reader is suffering from Morgellons, whatever that may mean – we are merely pointing out the similarities between our reader’s experience and the experience of those who suffer from Morgellons.
Best wishes to our reader; we hope she gets better.
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