September 7, 2012

How to check for pinWORMS.

WARNING: Yeah, well if you don’t already have kids you may never want them after you read this. 

A couple of years ago an old friend of mine came to town with his three year old son. He was newly divorced and just wrapping his head around parenting by himself week-on/week-off. They stayed with us cuz we’re fairly close, having grown up together.

After dinner, all our kids had their baths and we started to put them to bed.

“Daddy! My bum is itchy!”



My friend's son was squirming all around and trying to give his lil’ bot-bot a good scratching inside his pyjamas.

I said to my friend, “Maybe the boy has worms?”

“NO WAY!” His response was immediate and full of certainty. “I checked, and there’s NO worms. My kid is CLEAN. And perfect in every way.”

Hmmm. Ok, but the boy was plainly suffering from something, and apparently had been suffering for weeks months quite some time.



So I put it to my friend that maybe he needed to check again.

The little boy stopped his squirming and his daddy ‘checked’ by merely glancing at his son’s bumhole.


I’m like, “Dude, that’s not how you check for pinworms! You need to really look.”

My friend slowly turned towards me. I watched his expression morph from confusion to fear, fear to horror, and horror to intense pleading.



“Sheesh! Alrighty," I caved, "I'll show you how, but no matter what you see, it’s super important not to react with disgust. You must remain calm”. He nodded.

I went and got towel, a flashlight and a magnifying glass. I explained to the little boy that there might be some tiny worms living inside his bum and that was tickling him when they wiggled around. I asked him to just lie there all relaxed on the towel and then push, as if he was going to do a poo. He loved that idea. I trained the flash light on the little pinkie and told him to go for it.

Note: This is what you might see if you were a pinworm.



The kid was amazing! He pushed until he was red in the face, giggling the whole time. His father and I looked on through the magnifying glass.



“C'mon push! Just a little more…”



And there it was: The Seething White Mass…



My friend was looking very pale indeed but he said nothing.



His boy wanted to see one of the worms – so we took one on a tissue to show him. He was fascinated by this tiny white wriggler that had come out of his bumhole. But we told him that those worms didn’t belong in his bum and he had to have some medicine to make them leave. So we put the tissue in the loo and let him flush it away.

I washed my hands, put the boy back in the bath and sent my friend to the pharmacy to get medicine for pinworms. He was there and back in record time.



But he was walking kinda funny.


UPDATE - August 23, 2013.
This post was honored with a Voice Of The Year Award at BlogHer '13. Queen Latifah was the emcee (she totally photobombed me backstage) ...and this is me reading the story in front of thousands of people:


Now go wash your hands.

57 comments:

  1. Only you could get me to read a story about pinworms. (And enjoy it.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uh oh. I may become truly famous just for this.

      Delete
  2. Well, that was worth the wait... if I ever need to look for pinworms. God, I sure hope I don't. I do remember one or all of us kids getting them when we were little. I think everyone got them back then. Thanks for the gross out trip down memory lane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember back in the day there weren't any easy pills to take either!

      Delete
  3. I wish I could tell a story this well with just words. But I can't. So great.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ohemgee. As disgusting as this was, I also think that this is one of the best you've ever drawn. Hilarious. And gross. But hilarious.

    And just how, pray tell, did you come to learn how to check for pinworms? The thought never would have crossed my mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is gross, but I care not because it's so, so funny to draw a pinworm with a face. I think I'm doing a public service. HAW HAW.

      Also as to how I came to learn how to check for pinworms, well that'll probably be in the next episode "How To Get Rid of Pinworms."

      Delete
  5. ok yeah had to read it and only you could get me to laugh at it you rock!
    mommyamc

    ReplyDelete
  6. That medicine was foul... Sodding little brothers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kids have their own set of diseases and stuff. And by "stuff" I mean cooties.

      Delete
  7. really funny.... you make me laugh...

    ReplyDelete
  8. That was so funny! I remember the doctor used a piece of tape to catch a few for the microscope!! Xx Julia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You made me just remember that we have a microscope right here in our house!

      Delete
  9. This is going on my FB wall this morning - lol ...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks JC, this is hilarious! But every time I get a butt twitch I'm going to be thinking about that 'magnified a lot' drawing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Jeannine. You better start practicing your butt-drag.

      Delete
  11. Hilarious! Do you have the cream bun treatment over there? Or is that just for tape worm?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for the laugh, I needed it this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I had NO idea that kids could get pinworms. And now I'm remembering when my daughter was constantly scratching her butt... and...

    Just. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm fascinated by the number of parents who never heard of pinworms.

      Delete
  14. Parenting's best kept evil. Had them twice in these parts. The medicine is awful and I can't drink egg nog anymore because the coloring is the same. That's a kind of a blessing, really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean you never had the blood red medicine? *gag*

      Delete
  15. My MIL had told me this and I thought she was full of bunk. Then I heard about it for real and feared it, but the itchy butt stopped. If it starts up again I will be looking. Scared to, but looking. And I'll have this post as my guide. Oy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pinworms are probably the least of our worries...

      Delete
  16. I have never even heard of such thing, but it doesn't surprise me. Kids are dirty little creatures. That is why I stopped with 2!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Okay, that was perfectly charming and disgusting at the same time. You have a gift.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Nasty, but hilarious. My daughter has had them & it was probably the most disgusting thing we've gone through thus far in parenting. That's just not what you expect to find...down there. So gross.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great story - and useful too, great public health teaching! There are hundreds if not thousands of PH issues in dire need of this genre, attitude and compelling compassionate teaching. If you're ever interested in another career path you've got a great start!!
    Loved your pres at GirlGeeks yesterday evening!

    ReplyDelete
  20. JFC I am still lmao with the king pinworm ridin dirty with his possie. BEST drawing ever. FUQ YEAH -

    ReplyDelete
  21. im nine just decovered i have pinworms

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am shocked... In my 25 years of parenting I have never even thought to check my children for pin worms, nor has the word pin worm every crossed my lips. I didn't know humans could get that, I'm shocked and grossed out, but THANK GOD you animated this in true JC style to make it all a bit easier to swallow. EWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I can't believe I willingly read this, and laughed my (worm free) butt off at it. Thank you for making even the gross stuff funny.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Omigod, you are a REALLY good friend. If my kids ever start dancing the bum bum dance, I am calling YOU! Your illustrations were hilarious! Congrats on winning VOTY and getting to read your story live! I can't wait to see it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Been scowering the internet because my little one has pinworms and found this post!! Thanks for the comic relief - this whole ordeal is truly disgusting!

    ReplyDelete
  26. You absolutely slayed me at BlogHer. Well done. And also, my husband has a pinworm story from his youth. You're the only other person I've ever met who knows how to check for pinworms.

    ReplyDelete
  27. :-)

    Pinworms. Who knew?

    Very funny -- and over from Mandy. Hi! :-)

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm laughing that so many parents had no idea about pinworms. My kids haven't had them (yet!!! fingers crossed) but I distinctly remember learning about them in high school biology. The teacher had many stories & we, the students, we disgusted! lol

    ReplyDelete
  29. Gross how can I tell if my kittens hav pinworms hopefully not the same way

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cats can't get them

      Delete
    2. Cats get their own equally horrific parasites.

      Delete
  30. Awesome and funny! Thanks :) I needed that too!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Awesome and funny! Thanks :) I needed that too!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Also had it... Most annoying thing that will ever happened to me ever! Try not to scratch down there bc it makes it even worse.

    ReplyDelete
  33. so pin worms only go in groups? i mean what if you only have one pin worm?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Excuse me but can young adults get pinworms?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. No one is safe from the Pinworm Apocalypse.

      Delete
    2. What's the best treatment for pinworms?

      Delete
  35. It's embarrassing but I had pinworms a few years ago. I am 25. I was really itchy each night and could feel a wriggling sensation. And then I wiped and found one. I was shocked and wanted to cry out of embarrassment. I had to go with my mom to the pharmacy. Now I feel I might have them again. :( I might just get the meds and take them anyway. But ever since then anytime I feel the slightest itch it makes me paranoid. It sucks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...I'm thinking I should really move this book up on my list of priorties.

      Delete

Cuz You Rocketh.