Friday, November 2, 2007
I thought it was over. I really did. I thought we had navigated the parasite seas and had calmed the waves. I thought wrong.
Our ongoing psychosomatic tapeworm infestation with 5 of 8 flared again in full obsessive-compulsive glory while visiting family in Oklahoma for my father-in-law's 70th birthday. While enjoying a magnificent Mexican feast in a beautiful setting, 5 of 8 suddenly found that he was once again discovering symptoms of possible tapeworm attack. He and I wandered down a little path to sit at the edge of the river outside the restaurant. He stared out over the water. His big green eyes blinked back tears. And we went through the check-list again, that humans rarely get tape worms and even if they do, there is medication to treat such an event. He looked at me skeptically.
It just so happened that we were on our way to a sweet couple's house who is related to us through the in-law of in-law variety. They had offered to host a birthday cake reception for my father-in-law and the husband is OH SO CONVENIENTLY a pediatrician. I asked to bend his professional ear upon arriving at their house and prepared him for the consult that would follow (I did feel it important to warn him of the phantom parasites before 5 of 8 could get to him). Doctor Uncle Jerry was fantastic with 5 of 8, listening to him describe his symptoms and maintaining a completely straight face (must be that medical school training for the times when Aunt Thelma asks if she might possibly have an enlarged prostate...) Doctor Uncle Jerry let 5 of 8 know that, surprise, humans rarely get tapeworms and even if they do, surprise, there is a medication that can take care of the problem. 5 of 8 was impressed that I seemed to have the same level of expertise in the advice I had been dispensing. He hugged Doctor Uncle Jerry for his time and ran upstairs to help dismantle the playroom and covet the Wii.
Consulting with Doctor Uncle Jerry definitely cleared 5 of 8's symptoms for approximately 48 hours (there was a brief intermission of asking about signs of a heart attack...). We arrived home after the Oklahoma trip and experienced yet another resurgence in tapeworm treachery. 5 of 8 began to question me as to why Doctor Uncle Jerry didn't go on and give him a pill for tapeworms 'just in case'. I decided the time had come to confront the fear. I called 5 of 8 to the computer and told him that we were now going to thoroughly research this pesky pest so that he could confront the enemy and defeat it with knowledge (yea, I know, a little lofty for a six-year-old, and yet...). We looked at pictures of tapeworms, explored sites devoted to this nasty little creature, read through ways to avoid contact, etc., etc. I felt we were really making headway.
And then 5 of 8 stumbled onto his own cure, one so brilliant and simple that I had to stand back in admiration at its elegance and efficiency. He said, "Mom, can you put in that Google thing 'How many 5 of 8's have tapeworms?'" I rapidly typed in the query, breathed a short prayer that nothing would show up, and pressed enter. And what do you know....there was nothing to match my search! (Thank you, Lord!) 5 of 8 lit up like a Christmas tree, cocked an eyebrow and announced to his siblings, "Guys, guys! No 5 of 8 has ever had tapeworms! It's on the computer!"---yea, yea, don't bother me with absense being different from exclusion--it's the result that counts....all that to say, 5 of 8 is now phantom tapeworm free.
So now you know how to cure any phantom tapeworm infestation in your home--it's Google. Clean, effective and fast, if you have a cable modem. I plan on curing myself of wrinkles and stretch marks using the same technology--after all, if it's on the internet, it must be true....oh, but wait, in this case, if it's not on the internet it must be true....hmmmm...maybe I better go ask Al Gore.....