Monday, October 22, 2007


The term "running the bowel" is one I've used before. Not to be confused with this, it refers to the process of inspecting the intestine from one end to the other, looking for trouble. Often it's done by pulling the bowel with one hand, through the gently closed fingers of the other. As the bowel is slippery-moist, it glides greasily over rubber gloves. Sometimes it slips the grip, requiring starting over nearly at the top, since the whorled loops retract gloppily into a pile, in a way that erases traces of where one was, quickly. It's very slithery.

While performing the task on one occasion, on a person whose background was justifiably in question -- the less-than-innocent victim of a sharp object or missile of some sort -- my fingers found a circular object within the man's gut, the size and texture of which made me think it was a condom. Or possibly a balloon. My conclusion was that the punctured person was a drug-runner, since ingesting condoms and balloons filled with heroin is a known way of crossing borders (and an explanation of why so many addicts got such horrendous infections where they ultimately injected the stuff, after the, uh, passage of, uh, time).

My next conclusion was that it was time to release the bowel, which I did with a notably unprofessional and sissified shriek and a rapid and uncontrolled unclenching of my grip and yanking away of my hand, arm and much of the rest of myself, as the "condom" unfurled and wiggled under my fingers. "YEAHHGGGGUHH!!!" The startled crew jumped in unison in response to a likely unprecedented display of wimpishness. But that's what worms'll do to you (to me, anyway) when they show up unexpected.


Dr. Rob said...

There once was a surgeon from Paris
Who's affect occasionally would scare us.
But what brought him down
Was a worm that was round
That parasite known as ascaris

Sid Schwab said...

I see where Seattle doesn't work as well...

rlbates said...


Dr. Val said...

Sid, you've inspired poetry with this post! Here's my contribution:

Sid Schwab spent an afternoon wishing
He'd locate an object gone missing
He squeals and he squirms,
"The gut's full of worms!...
I'll use 'em for when I go fishing"

Anonymous said...

Ooooh my! I'm glad the NYT's been and gone! *LOL* ;o)

Great post ... and hilarious limericks!

Anonymous said...

My gut reaction to this was, "EWWW!" Not normally the squeamish type, but that's truly nasty! Love the limericks in the comments, though!

Sid Schwab said...

It really was not my intent
To evoke my commenters' bent
For rhyme and for verse
And for many things worse.
My purpose was simply to vent.

On the other hand, it's very cool.

Anonymous said...

haha, that's hilarious. i can't laugh too much, though. i'd have probably done the same thing. (nice limericks, btw.)

Anonymous said...

Ick. Ick. Ick.

And how do I avoid getting these?


Anonymous said...

so he wasn't just using a worm as a diet aid?

Bongi said...

well you know i agree with you. i haven't figured out how to do links on comments, but if i'm not mistaken you mentioned this episode on two of my posts.


Lynn Price said...

Sid, that's just freaking creepy.

Sid Schwab said...

Yes, bongi, and it's not the only example of something you said inspiring something I said. In fact, before writing this one, I had to look through my archives to be sure it wasn't here that I'd already mentioned it...

Eric, AKA The Pragmatic Caregiver said...

There once was a young lad from Cork
Whose favorite chops were of pork.
He ate them quite pink
Standing over the sink.
Now he's causing skilled surgeons to hork.

Eric, Pre-Caffeinated.

Kerri said...

Blah! Again a reminder that we're just animals... sometimes containing other animals.

SeaSpray said...

That whole image of you reacting (which obviously isn't the norm) and then scaring staff and then pulling out condom...hilarious! Of course if I was thinking some big yukky worm was crawling for me...staff would have to scrape me off the floor...but not before I let out a quite a scream. :)

Limericks were great!

Anonymous said...

There once was a surgeon named Schwab
Running the bowel was his job
He once felt a bump
Or was it a lump?
It was a reservoir tip kind of blob

The Enormous Clinic

PS: This will look very bad at my annual review, I am sure.

Sid Schwab said...

TEC: your secret is safe with me. Mic....

mscriver said...

Well, worms are a problem. I once became convinced that I might have worms and asked my doctor at my next checkup what I should do. (I was dressed again and sitting properly.) His response was to move back about two feet. Then he mumbled something and became inaccessible for the next month or so.

I finally read about a self-diagnosis test that advised keeping a roll of Scotch tape by the bed and sticking it to the appropriate aperture directly on waking because worms occasionally emerge in the night. (Night crawlers, right?) Presumably, one could capture some samples. I got samples of something but couldn't interpret what. Maybe lint from a flannel nighty.

Finally I sort of forgot about it all. Maybe my immune system just took care of it. Maybe I read too much.

Prairie Mary