Found in my web surfings, from

It was three years ago, and I was as bored as I was scared. The specialist my doctor sent me to had finished running a battery of tests, and I was waiting in the waiting room to hear back from the doctor. He had a Russian accent that was a little to thick for me to understand him more than 99% of the time. His last name ended in a “yanovich” or “danovich” or something. The afternoon was quickly heading toward evening, and still no word. Oh yeah, and I was at the doctor because of some ocular discomfort. It started a week or so ago, some mild itching that I associated with getting high and tried to cure with Visene. Not only didn’t that work, but then my vision started getting blurry and wiggy, and I went to the doctor. The doctor sent me to Yanodanovich, which gets us to this point in the story. The nurse enters the waiting room and tells me that Yanodanovich is ready to see me.
In the examination room, Yanodanovich tells me that I may have Retinoblastoma. That sounds awful, I think. “What is Retinoblastoma,” I ask. “Eye cancer,” says Yanodanovich happily, once again proving that Russian doctors have a bedside manner that’s lacking something important – I like to call it compassion. “It’s okay,” he says, we run more tests. Followed by more waiting. I call my friends and family to tell them I love them. I let them know that I may be dying. I cry a lot, and wonder if the tears are going to exacerbate the condition, maybe speed up the process of my eye cancer’s metastasis.

It doesn’t. Because the tests show that I don’t, in fact, have Yanodanovich’s cheery Retinoblastoma. I have hookworms. In my eye. “How did I get hookworms in my eye?” I ask, curious as to how I may have gotten hookworms in my eye. “Hookworm larvae,” Yanodanovich says, “from poop. Have you been in contact with poop?”

Well, of course. I’m alive, and as a rule, things that are alive poop … “I’ve been in contact with my poop,” I say, giddy that I don’t have cancer, horrified that I have HOOKWORMS LIVING IN MY EYE. My left eye. It was my favorite. “But, you know, I don’t touch the poop or anything. I use toilet paper. But then I wash my hands after, so…”

Yanodanovich looks at me like I’m retarded. And I do feel pretty dumb at this juncture in my life. “Not your poop,” he says, “dog poop, cat poop, do you play?”
No I don’t. And I tell him as much. “No worry, he says, hookworm larvae are very small. Sticky. You get them on your hands anywhere, you put them in your eye …” He shakes his finger at me. “You don’t put your hands in your eye anymore, do you?” No. I don’t. So they gave me medicine that would kill the hookworms hatching and hanging around in my eye. They couldn’t do anything about the scarring on my cornea, where the hookworms had burrowed into my eye meat, but blurry vision in one eye trumps cancer any day of the week. I wash my hands a lot more, now, too. And I never, ever touch my face unless my hands have been washed and scrubbed in scalding water. I wash my hands a lot now. So should you.