Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A story for Jessica - and for the rest of you: The time there was a worm in my head.

My bff Jessica was telling me the other day that I needed to put the story of when I thought I had a worm in my head on my blog. So here goes.

Imagine your humble narrator waking up one morning (or afternoon, whatever the case may be) and noticing a tender spot on the tip-top of her head. At first I'm pretty sure I thought it was my hair hurting, it does that sometimes, like if I haven't washed it in a couple of days and it's been going one direction and is suddenly shifted to the other direction. Upon inspection of said spot I notice that there is a knot there.

I'm sure at the time I vaguely remembered hitting my head. I do it often. I'm a klutz. (I just keep painting a positive image.) But I ignored it and went about my business.

Fast forward a couple of days.

This "knot" has now progressed to the size of a lump. It has gotten progressively bigger over the past 2 or 3 days. And it is no longer hard. It's got a squishy lumpy kind of feel to it. And it hurts. Badly. Especially when you smush it. Then it really hurts. My solution was to wash my hair. Vigorously.

The next morning.

The lump is now visible to the naked eye. Or at least I think so. Or more accurately felt so. I by no means can see the top of my head. And contrary to popular belief there is no way that you can turn in a full length mirror to reflect the top of your head and be able to look in said mirror at the same time. (Please no "Try to like your ear. Haha, you're a retard" jokes. I realize in hindsight that I could have used a hand-mirror and probably finagled a way to see it. The point is, it was a big freaking lump.)

Now when I press on it I can feel something inside of my scalp move. Yes, move. Indicative of movement. Movement upon external stimuli. Whatever is in my head is fucking alive. ALIVE. I guarantee that one of the indications of whether or not something has life is if it responds to external stimuli. Look it up. I'm a biologist. I know these things. (This is really not a positive light I am portraying myself in here. Seriously, I approached this problem with logic and reasoning. Because I'm smart. Not crazy, smart. Maybe crazy smart. The point being is that I'm smart, not crazy.) In college I took a parasitology (Parasites, not wackos that believe in aliens and out of body experiences. Yup, I've heard that joke too.) course, in which we learned about all sorts of worms that live in peoples orifices, and skin.

Do you know how long an afternoon can be when you've spent it trying to think of reasons why there could not be a worm in your head? Just a heads up, you don't really concentrate on why it's impossible that there is a worm in your head and mostly on WHY IN THE HELL THERE IS A WORM IN MY FREAKING HEAD!

Panic sets in. You spend lots of time evaluating the response time of the worm in your head to the external stimuli, ie when you mash the lump. I pushed and mashed and prodded and poked the lump on my head until it was throbbing. Now I'm freaked because there is A WORM IN MY FREAKING HEAD and it hurts really bad. I even found my parasitology textbook. I was trying to elucidate which species of worm was currently inhabiting my head. (Although I was convinced there was a worm in my head it is important to note that I knew the worm was not in my brain. I was relatively certain that said worm was embedded subcutaneously and had not burrowed through the bone into my brain, that would be impossible. Somehow I feel that this takes away from the obviously paranoid, psychotic-ness of this story but I feel it's important that you, blog reader, recognize that I'm not crazy. It was completely within the realm of reason and possibility that a worm had buried itself into my scalp.)

I'm not sure at which point Jessica and Mandy came home. I'm not sure if they came together or separately and I'm almost positive that Mandy did not inform me that she was bringing her new boyfriend (Read: Future-husband) to the house for the first time to meet me and see our house. If she had told me that I'm reasonably positive I would have postponed the events that happened next.

(This is also the reason why I now keep a scalpel at my house.)

Here is what I remember. I remember talking to my mother on the phone and informing her I had a worm in my head. (You've read my blog. You'll understand why I was upset that she didn't believe me. This is just as likely a story that would come from her as it is me.) She scoffs at my diagnosis and pretty much tells me to wash it out peroxide.

Out comes the peroxide. By this point I somehow have opened the skin above said lump. I pour on the peroxide and the worm inside of my head proceeds to go apeshit. APESHIT. This fucker is pissed. And I am subsequently even more convinced that there is a WORM IN MY HEAD. The response to external stimuli has increased exponentially. I'm pretty sure that when I was rooting through the silverware drawer for the sharpest knife I could find, Jessica may have tried to talk me out of it. I wasn't paying attention. There was a worm in my head.

I finally find a suitable knife, curse myself for not having a scalpel handy, and turn to Jessica. Who is unaware that she will be performing the extraction of said worm.

(One of my greatest fears in life is that I will develop an wound with which they'll have to treat with maggots. Or that I'll be in some sub-tropical country and a fly will lay eggs in an open wound and there will be worms in body. This seriously gives me nightmares. And if this ever were to occur you should just remove the limb or do not leave me alone because I will remove the limb. I'm not kidding. I would cut off my own arm if I knew that it had a worm in it at some point. That being said, I recognize the difficulty involved in cutting off one's own head, hence I was going to have it surgically extracted. Right then and there.)

I wish that I could remember the argument I gave to Jessica for why she must be the one to remove the worm. Or really that there was even a worm in my head. Because for a fleeting moment I think she was actually considering taking a knife to my head to open up the lump and extract the worm. Of course this is the exact instant that Mandy's new boyfriend, Vinny, walked in the door. I'm not sure how much of the "There is a worm in my head and you have to cut it out" exchange he caught, but it was enough for him to give me an odd look. Of course by this point Jessica has backed out and is now refusing to cut open my head. In fact now she's adamantly denying the presence of the worm at all. I'm pretty sure I may have been crying by this point. I was sure, positive, certain and all of the other superlative adjectives that describe the "THERE IS A 100% FUCKING CHANCE OF A WORM BEING IN MY HEAD."

So I drop back and punt. I call my mother once again. Who, to her credit, comes over to inspect/extract the worm out of my head.

The great thing about my mom, and probably all mom's in general but especially mine, is that she can diffuse me when I'm in pain or injured or upset. She knows exactly what to say to to subject me to her inspections, even if she may be getting ready to impart great physical pain upon me. (Yet I still return. I swear she's got an evil mom curse on me. Heaven forbid I get a splinter around her. I'd almost just rather lose the finger.)

She swears to this day that there wasn't really a worm in my head, that it was just infected. That I must have hit my head and there was an open wound that got infected at some point. That at no point when she was squeezing the infection out through that little hole in my head (which she could have used the knife to make said drainage hole bigger. I'm just saying, me bringing the knife wasn't totally useless, it could have been used. I was thinking ahead.) did she see a worm or worms or anything representing macroscopic life. While this is somewhat likely, I do not believe it. You could never possibly understand the certainty that I believed there was a worm in my head. These things happen. Cows and squirrels get those things called wolves all the time, which I'm told are the worm/larval stages of flies. Random hunting fact: That's why you have to wait until after the first frost to go squirrel hunting, because they HAVE WORMS BURIED IN THEIR SKIN.

Needless to say. I am worm-free now. And Vinny married Mandy anyways. And Jessica still loves me and everyone is happy.

And I do not think about worms inhabiting my scalp. Because that's just disturbing.


  1. This story makes me happy. And I'm glad that you do not have a worm in your head. Love you!!

  2. I heard this story second-hand from Mandy a week or so ago as she was telling me about bringing Vinny to meet you and Jessica. It was pretty funny as she related the events, but your narration almost had me on the floor laughing! Anna, you are special!!

  3. Haha! Thanks Rhonda. I think it's a small miracle that Vinny still speaks to me.

  4. OMG!!! That is a HUGE fear of mine as well! The thought of something alive, underneath my skin, disgusts me beyond all reason. When I was 16, I read a Jackie Collins book about a plane that crashed in the Amazon, and some girl fell asleep outside and blowflies laid eggs in her arms and they started hatching. Ewwww! said I. And I vowed never to fly to the Amazon. And I haven't.

  5. Oh man Yvonne at the time it was awful. I was convinced that there was a worm in th my head and it had put me in this frenzy of which there was no escape. I still honestly believe there was probably a worm in my head and my mom is just smart enough to lie to me about it so I don't scalp my ownself.