AHH, SPRING IS IN THE AIR. Students all around Hopkins are doing typical Hopkins things – playing Frisbee, working out at the new A.C., reuniting with friends, drinking heavily – confident that the upcoming semester will bring both good times and hard work. Little did I know that my first few weeks of the new semester would be spent on the can with a few thousand unwanted visitors living inside of me.
That’s right, I’ll admit it. Sometime while I was in Ecuador, whether from swimming in freshwater lakes in the jungle or from drinks with ice cubes in them, I accidentally picked up some parasites. I first started to notice something was wrong when I got back to Hopkins in January. Before I had gone to Ecuador, I usually had about two meals a day and prided myself in going to the bathroom very sparingly . By the time I got back to Hopkins this spring, I found it necessary to put reading material in the bathroom because of the increased frequency of bathroom usage.
At first, this reading material was just old copies of The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly and Maxim. As the problem got worse, though, it soon became necessary to keep sizable novels within arms reach of the can. When volumes of Proust and Nabakov began to compete in number with toilet-paper rolls, I realized that perhaps I had a little problem, or many little worm-shaped problems, as the case may be.
Over the course of a few days, my appetite started to increase. I didn’t notice this increase until I realized that all my money was disappearing into the coffers of Crazy Marios and Orient Express. When my credit card statement arrived, I saw that on top of the meals I was making for myself at home, I had been ordering food like a bulimic supermodel. In total, I was eating seven meals – seven full meals – a day. When I noticed my increased food intake, I decided to get over to a friend’s bathroom scale and see how much weight I had put on. Rather than gaining weight, however, I had lost five pounds. The situation came to a head when I ran into a pregnant lady at Silk Road, who told her friend that she had ordered so much because she was “eating for two.” I yelled back at her: “Yeah, well, try eating for 10,000, see how THAT feels!”
With the final acceptance that I perhaps had a problem, I called my folks. In what I deemed over-cautiousness, they suggested that I get over to Health and Wellness as soon as possible. Being both stubborn and lazy, I thought I could outsmart these brainless perpetrators that now lived in my gut without the help of modern medicine. I thought my method was simple and foolproof – namely “The Meat and Whiskey diet.”
Not surprisingly, after a couple of days, the situation had gotten far, far worse. Instead of curing the problem, my “simple and foolproof solution” had turned my worms into alcoholics. They demanded, at all hours of the day, that I stop whatever I was doing and head to CVP for more hamburgers and shots of Jack Daniels. OK, so maybe I did this before I had the parasites.
The point is, the problem was out of control and I had to act fast. I made a lunch time appointment at Health and Wellness. Though many students complain about the on-campus medical services, the doctors there couldn’t have been more understanding. They soon came to the same conclusion – that I had a parasite problem and should start some antibiotics as soon as possible. Though I tremendously enjoyed the meat and whiskey diet, it was now time to give modern medicine a chance. When I asked the doctor if there was anything I should know about the medicine I had just swallowed, he said that 1) I had to take them for 10 days, no stopping, and 2) that I wasn’t allowed to drink any alcohol while on the pills.
My world was shattered. To somebody who considers Southern Comfort a sixth food group, this “no alcohol” thing just wasn’t going to cut it. Many times, doctor’s are just overcautious, setting down rules just because it’s inadvisable rather than impossible to do something.
So, I called up my father, who is a doctor, to ask him if I really couldn’t drink while taking the medicine. He told me that there were two basic side effects to drinking while on the medicine: seizures with vomiting and seizures without vomiting. I then asked him if even a little, tiny glass of wine could do that. He said that once, he had a patient who tried a sip of wine while on the medicine. This patient said that he didn’t die, but he wished at the time that he had.
With this heartwarming news, I braced myself for 10 whole days without alcohol – perhaps my longest dry period since I was in eighth grade.
I’m proud to announce that for the past several days, I’ve been feeling better. Not that I didn’t like the illegal aliens living in my lower intestine: In the end, I started to regard the worms as my little pals who just didn’t get the hint to leave. Though I’m trustful of modern medicine, I sure hope that this round of antibiotics doesn’t just kill off the weak worms, leaving the fiercer Über-worms to repopulate my body.
If that happened, I guess I’d just laksjd;ihoslnm.skdj GAH! THEY’RE TAKING OVER MY BRAIN!
Source: The Johns Hopkins News-Letter.