Pinworms – a squirmy story

I’ve just been googling poems about pinworms. I hoped for something light and funny to quote in this post because I’m not sure this topic can be anything but cringey (though it’s early days and one never knows how the words may weave). I didn’t quite feel up to writing a pinworm poem myself you see. All the poetry left my body at 11.30pm last night when I shone a torch up my daughter’s bum to investigate the cause of her significant distress. The poetry left my body.

Dear pinworm you’re very uptight
Laying eggs in my bum through the night
Your itch and your sting
Are disturbing my ring
I’ll see you the next time I shite.

Or something equally appalling. I told you, the poetry is gone. I only have limericks left in me. Bad ones.

I’ve been known to over share. I know it. But I really did hesitate about writing about this, being about my daughter’s bottom ‘n all and about the hideous reality of the living little white worms fidgeting and squirming around in people’s colons and, well, arseholes.  It feels a little like an uncomfortable confession. But pinworms are apparently a hurdle which parenthood thrusts in your path when you thought you were simply running the 100 metre relay (much like lice whose acquaintance we have yet to make). I felt that this blog would be somehow dishonest or even rose-tinted if I chose to omit this discussion from my usual rantings. Incidentally, I googled images of pinworms and I recommend that you do not follow suit. They were largely far more horrendous than my particular sighting…far, far worse…gag-worthy. Don’t do it.  The image below is by far the best of a very nasty clew (this is one of several collective nouns for worms; others are bunch, clat  or bed…another slice of rather useless information to take up a part of my brain which would be better deployed to remember birthdays and film titles).


But I’ll keep this short. Well shorter than my usual dribblings. Like the nasty little bastard worm I saw crawling around my daughter’s poor wee bot-bot late last night. She was desperate. Such discomfort, such itching and craziness down there in her oh so private of private places. She was clawing to get away from herself. Searching for an eject button so she could rid herself of her arse completely and forever (just imagine!). She brought to mind images from my childhood of dogs dragging their butts across the grass, desperately trying to ease the burning, squirming horrendousness of the worms that plagued them. I held her and let her know that I understood and that she had every right to holler and feel revolted and wretch at it all (oh that was just me…I didn’t tell her about the worms…another time).

So my fella legged it to the nearest 24 hour chemist, thankfully not far away. He returned to me sitting in the half dark with my daughter on my lap clinging to me desperately and writhing to free herself of aforementioned ring-piece, and my two year old son snuggled in my arms, most pissed off about these wriggly night time antics. Combantrin to the rescue. Chocolate squares for all intents and purposes. We all had to be treated and the necessary squares were dished out and the children obliged immediately. Definitely the easiest medication to administer. Beds were stripped and thrown into piping hot washes, door knobs, light switches, loo flushes…anything which Mae had touched in the last however long was disinfected with an air of the OCD about it. (If you’d been the one with the torch you’d be scrubbing the fecken place down too…I will never feel clean again). The child continued to sob and in fact, post treatment, things got much worse. I have never seen her so distressed. A quick read of various forum threads revealed that pinworms enter into fairly vigorous death throes once the poison enters the system, so for my daughter, the torment increased. We popped her in front of the TV at midnight to distract her with a bottle of milk and finally there was calm. I administered a drowsy-making antihistamine and some anthisan cream (for bites, stings and general itchiness) for the butt and these things seemed to work. The trouble is that while pinworm is annihilated by only one course of Combantrin, it can take a good 24 hours for those worms to bugger off and die. So I was desperate to find some sort of home remedy to ease the insufferable itching. This seemed to do the trick. She slept until 8.30am when I had to drag her reluctantly from the deepest slumber.

We are a clean family. Initially I thought “Oh gawd, this is my fault, I’ve missed something”. But pinworms aren’t about bad hygiene…well they can be, but in general anyone can get pinworms. They just have to ingest a pinworm egg (which can be just about anywhere…cut those finger nails and ramp up the hand-washing regime) and it’s all over. I admit that I had kind of dismissed my daughter’s recent complaints of itchiness as needing some attention with a wet wipe and another bath. Never again. I might run straight to the box of Combantrin rather than rushing for the torch though. I’m guessing that’s an image that I won’t be rid of for some time to come.

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One Response to Pinworms – a squirmy story

  1. Jena Lowndes says:

    Oh, that is hideous- poor Mae! Poor Mum! I recall the discomfort from when I was a kid but had never heard them referred to as pin worms. Just the generic ‘worms’. Good to know. And Mama – clever, clever thinking for mixing up your own cocktails for relief. Oh, what a night!

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