Friday, January 29, 2010


So yesterday I had an urge to write to you about the several worm situations I've dealt with while I've been here but didn't find the time. If you are a bit squeamish you should probably stop now...just a warning!

So story #1- I had probably been here about 1 month and little Augustinho came to us in the Bercario from the community. One day the tias showed me an odd "ferida" or sore on the bottom of his foot near his toes. It was nap time so I said I would come back and look at it after nap. Well before I could get back I was informed that Tracey (another missionary) had popped open the "ferida" and taken out 2 worms/maggots...and they were sitting on a tissue in the Bercario for me. Aleya and I went to investigate. All was true. There were 2 maggots sitting there...praise the lord they were dead!

Story #2- Aurelio is a little boy who attached himself to me as soon as I got here. He used to live in Laura's dorm but moved up in December. Anyway one week he showed Aleya (my roommate and another nurse) a sore on his chin. She was afraid it was the start of chicken poxes (they were going around the center at the time) so she came to get my opinion. I didn't think it was chicken poxes so we decided just to watch it for a few days. Well maybe 3 days later I saw Aurelio out playing and it looked like the sore had bust and puss was coming out. I said lets go to the clinic and get that washed out. Well something made me put gloves on (I know if you are a nurse or medical person at all it is shocking you that I usually don't wear gloves. But it's like I'm a mom. When there is blood involved I reach for gloves but if it's something else they usually just cause more tears for no reason.). Anyway, I put my gloves on and just started lightly pressing to get some of the puss out...well white stuff was coming out but then I realized it was not puss at all...but a LARGE VERY ALIVE MAGGOT! Seriously I pulled it out of his chin!!!!!!!!!!! A bit disgusted and not sure what to do I tried to ask the Moz nurses around what the word was for this so I could tell such luck...they didn't have a word for me. But that maggot was so alive that by the time I walked through the clinic and over to where the baby house tias were to ask them it had wriggled it's way through the gauze I had put it on and was actually in my hand! Nope that was it...I didn't need to learn the word...I killed it and left it at that.

Story #3- This happened just yesterday. I got a call from Erin...she said if you are bored or just want to give me a second opinion can you come up here and look in Chelsia's ear. Chelsia is a 1 1/2 year old who lives in the Bercario. So I headed up there and Erin handed me the otoscope and some normal saline and said have fun. She followed me over excited to see what I would have to say. Well I shined the light in her ear and the first words out of my mouth were, "It's a worm." Erin's reply was something along the lines of precisely. So we pulled out all the tricks in the book...we filled her ear with normal saline in hopes it would come to the service because it couldn't breath. We irrigated her ear with the only 60ml syringe we could find on base. We contemplated extraction but it was just a bit too far in. During all of this it kept changing positions and every time we would try to basically drown it Chelsia would squirm and wince like it was moving around. Finally we gave up and decided we would just send her to the doctor that afternoon. Then I get a text that says...we're next in line for the doctor if you want to come. I headed up to the clinic to walk in for the end of her consult. Erin had been told her ear looked "normal"...she said you are telling me a white thing in her ear is normal?? She walked out with a prescription for antibiotics and ear drops still with a white thing in her ear. So we called in back up...Jannie (another nurse) came to take a look as well. We decided that between the 3 of us we could probably hold her still enough to feel comfortable with extraction. So I held the light, Erin held Chelsia, and Jannie did the honors...and what did we pull out you are wondering...PAPER! Yep...Chelsia had stuff paper in her ear (or another little critter had). So we had spent all day convinced that our little friend had a worm really she is just a normal little one who thinks its fun to stick things in holes. We informed her this was NOT good and sent her on her way.

These 3 stories together speak wonders about what life is like here. Sometimes you miss the action, sometimes you are caught in the middle of something you would never have imagined you'd be doing, and other times you spend all day trying to solve a problem that you find out isn't that bad to begin with. It's just the way things go around here....


  1. ICK on the maggots! How do you deal with that?!?! My godson (6) actually put paper in his ear at school the other day ... thought it would be "fun". The copay at the doctor's office was not so fun!

  2. Hahaha...see I keep telling people kids are the same ALL over the world no matter what language they speak or where they grew up! And as for the's not fun but it's part of the job...

  3. Aggggg, scarry. I dont wanna think of a worm alive in someone's body. let alone a child.