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I crawled into bed as soon as I got off the phone with you, I thought the coolness of the sheets next to my naked body and the fact that I didn’t sleep a wink last night would have me gone in a minute. As the rain clouds lifted and the room became brighter, I realized that the usual was going to happen, that being, I cannot sleep during the day, unless I take more drugs or my illness is accompanied by fever. The dogs had been restless, so I let them out of their kennels and they are the ones now sleeping where I should be.
The whole time I’ve been laying here with my head swirling around and the nausea plaguing my system, my fingers were circling my navel, trying to figure out what bit me and where exactly the bite is. The itch is maddening and I want to make it stop. I can’t help but wonder if my problem is coming from there, instead of what I earlier diagnosed as a bad reaction to my pain pill. Yes, the dose was too high for me, I don’t do well with opiates to begin with and it might be interacting with my other regular medication. Another possibility is an inner ear infection, since I feel exactly like this when I have one of those.
Every time I have a small belch, the nausea improves a bit, so I keep sipping my lemon infused water and lay back down. Soon, I doze off and I have this dream…or was it? Do you really want to know? If I tell you, it may be you that’s wanting to vomit next, but here goes.
Again, my fingers locate my belly button and I begin probing. It feels itchy and bumpy but I can’t seem to locate a bite, just a big lump deep in my abdominal area just under my navel. Soon, my fingers are deep in my navel again and I feel something different this time. As the realization begins to dawn on me, I recall gardening in my flip flops about a month ago and what I’m now experiencing is starting to make sense. I’m now grasping the head of a tiny, slimy, wriggling thing, and I begin to pull. The nausea rears its ugly head again, but I don’t stop. I think I must get this thing out of me before I can start to feel better, so I pull on it more, even though the thought of what is happening inside my body is freaking me out.
Once I manage to free this monstrosity from my belly, the blood starts to flow so I get up to find a washcloth. I go sit on the toilet, my hands shaking and the vertigo threatening to make me topple off. As I wipe the blood away, I see another hook worm and I pull him out. The urge to hurl is strong and I don’t know whether to keep going or call the doctor for further instruction. I’ve now pulled ten hookworms out of my belly button and I can’t bear the thought of any more being there. This is ludicrous, I think to myself. I live in America, not some third world country! This kind of crap only happens in horror movies, right? How is it happening to me?? I reach for the phone and that’s when I wake up.
Oh my God, was I really asleep? Is it possible that all of this was just some horrible nightmare in the daytime? My hands fly to my stomach as I throw back the sheets and stare at my red, splotchy yet worm free belly button. I breath a sigh of relief and lay back down on the pillows, laughing at my vivid imagination. Clearly that is what caused me to have such a night terror during the light of day, or maybe I have a fever? I get up to check it and realize I slept right through lunch. Considering the circumstances, I think I’ll fast today.
(Author’s note: this story was written from my bed with voice text due to the vertigo and nausea I’m experiencing in real life today, hopefully due to a bad reaction to an opiate I was prescribed for my knee pain.)