I am not afraid of having a heart attack. It's all the little weird things like anal fistulas and necrotizing fasciitis that freak me out. I know that I am not alone in this. I had an instructor in medical school who said that he was always afraid of the produce section at the supermarket. Whenever the automatic misters would come on to spray the fruit and vegetables, he said he would take off running. There is a somewhat rare bacteria that can inhabit irrigation systems and he didn't want to get Legionnaire's disease. It's kind of funny when you think about a grown man racing out of the grocery store, but I guess we all have our little quirks.
Anyway, back to my point: the other night a child came in with a complaint of worms. It turned out that she had pinworms. Not a big deal-- easy to treat, but kind of gross! I never really expected to encounter them as in med school they tell you that the worms typically only come out at night. If you suspect a patient has them, you place scotch tape over the patient's anus and by morning, there will be worms stuck to the tape. These worms weren't even bashful... they were easy to see! Fortunately, the child was young enough that she wasn't even aware that they were there.
Seeing them reminded me of this song that one of my little friends taught me in grade school:
Did you ever think, as a hearse goes by,
That you might be the next to die?
They wrap you up in a big white sheet,
And bury you down about six feet deep
They put you in a big black box,
And cover you up with dirt and rocks,
And all goes well, for about a week,
And then the coffin begins to leak!
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A great big worm with rolling eyes,
Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes,
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You spread it on a slice of bread,
And that's what worms eat when you're dead.