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    Waterslide, Turkey


    Not for the squeamish…….eeeeeewwwww!!

    December 18th, 2006 by mary

    While everyone was sorting over visa fees and entry forms at the Kenya-Uganda border I noticed an odd spot on my left index toe. It was a white spot with a dark center. I don’t remember having a scab there. So I brought it in for a closer inspection. I poked at it with my fingers, squeezed it like a zit, and felt absolutely nothing. It seemed highly peculiar to me so I brought my toe right up to my eyes and noticed a faint dark line pulsating within the white bubble. It instantly felt somehow wrong so while everyone was bustling about the truck I asked Steve for the pocket knife. Yes, I need it now even if it’s buried in our stuff. Using the makeshift scalpel pricked at the spot in the middle but it was futile so I got brave, or desperate depending on how you look at it, and took the blade to my toe. As soon as I sliced it open white fluffy fleshy stuff bursted out of my skin. My first reaction was oops, I’m spilling out. But I figured I wouldn’t be able to shove my stuffing back if that’s what it was, and I didn’t remember having white filling last time I cut myself so I yanked and peeled at it until it ripped away from my insides. I kept thinking I was going to pull a nerve out and was expecting my body to send a pang of pain to convince me to stop. That never happened so I proceeded.
    With the white fluff gone I could see a black dot in the midst of some blood red pulp. A little digging and a small amount of dark blood spilled out so I immediately started yanking what turned out to be a small sack. Well, that’s pretty gross I thought. My fingers were smeared the fleshy bits I had ripped out so I figured I might as well finish the job. By then someone saw me digging at my toe with a knife and asked me what in blazes I was doing. I started explaining my epic to them and as I was digging out a chunk of tough meat from my incision I told the crowd that had gathered what I had refused to admit to myself, that it probably wasn’t a scab or blister. Infact, it probably wasn’t me at all. That’s when Steve inspects the latest bit I pulled out of my toe and said it looked like the carcass, or the sack of remains of whatever was living off my toe. I poke a little more at the pink spot left under my skin and finally feel a stabbing pain so I decided that was a good sign I finally reached where I started and whatever else ended.
    Kat yells out jealousy, ‘You got the first parasite of the truck!’ Lying to myself that it was a scab helped me through my extraction but it was time to face the fact that there was a parasite living in my toe, growing off my flesh, and that I ripped it to pieces with my bare fingers and the unsanitized pocket knife that we had used to cut salami just two days before. Gary’s Africa health book revealed that I had a jigger flea stowaway for who knows how long. If I hadn’t accidentally caught it the jigger would have reached maturity in my toe, laid eggs and multiplied into what would look like a big blood blister that would itch madly and have to be removed by a doctor. I still get the heebie jeebies when I think of the bursting white flesh and foreign pulse flood my mind. Now I can check that off ‘parasite’ and ‘self mutilation’ off my African experiences list. Done and done.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

    4 Responses

    1. Dad Says:

      so when are you going to look into medical school, with all the operating you’ve already done, its a shoo-in

    2. Brian Says:

      ugh….i shouldn’t have read this after lunch.

    3. Jow Says:

      Please tell me Steve took pictures.

    4. Dan Says:

      I’m going to school for how long to do that and Mary just jumps right in!

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