Warning: Fairly gross story that will mostly be interesting to people as juvenile as myself

When I was in medical school, I was fascinated by a video shown in our Parasitology course. It was shot sometime in the 1950’s and showed an operation for small bowel obstruction due to a worm parasite called Ascariasis. They cut open the bowel and it looked living spaghetti spilled out. It was awesome! I’ve been looking forward to the time I would finally see something like that myself. Since then I’ve participated in operations on two other continents plus the United States and I’ve never seen it… until now. Unfortunately, my triumph was quickly stolen.

I helped one of the residents operate on a woman with a small bowel obstruction. Once we got into the abdomen, it was evident she had an abnormal narrowing of the very last part of the small intestine just before it entered the colon. We had to remove this part, along with some bowel on either side of it, and sew the ends back together. Before sewing the ends, though, I needed to drain all of the liquid out of the largely distended small bowel so that we would be able to close the abdomen after the procedure. Placing a bowl under the cut end of the small intestine, we removed the clamp and began milking all of the stuff out. The resident was milking while I was holding the bowl in one hand and a suction tip in the other to evacuate all the liquid. Suddenly, to my utter surprise and delight, a six or seven inch worm plopped out! At last! Get my camera! Then, to my utter dismay, one end was sucked into the suction tip. It was just like watching someone slurp a long piece of spaghetti into their mouth. Before I could react, the worm spun around a few times and disappeared into the tubing, gone forever. The last kick in the pants was when, as the last bit slurped into the sucker, it flung a drop of intestinal goo onto my glasses. Oh, well… maybe next time. (I’ll include the picture when I get it.)

Paul

Nathan's response to being told this story while eating homemade carrot baby food

Nathan's response to being told this story while eating homemade carrot baby foood

Advertisements