9. the second test
It’s hard not to get excited, not to get your hopes up. I tried not to. I failed. The truth is, I’m feeling better. WAY better. The symptoms have not disappeared, but they have lessened significantly. At about the seventh week since Infection Day (ID, henceforth to be celebrated with a parade) I noticed it. No swelled head feeling. No nausea. I didn’t want to jinx it. At week eight, it was time to do the test anyway. I asked my doctor for another test, which he dutifully ordered. I went to Kaiser to pick up the lab kit. I sent the stool sample off to England, and gave another to Kaiser. Within 24 hours, I got the Kaiser results: “No protozoa seen, few white blood cells, increased eosinophils.”
Hm…I’m not doctor, so what can this mean? I wrote to X, and he said, “Increased eosinophils only come from helminth infections, that they did not find ova is not surprising, most US labs are useless at it. It also does not look like they were looking for helminth ova, but protozoa. Trichome are protozoa, not worms. But to me it looks like you have worms, the eosinophil levels can indicate nothing else, unless you have a disease like eosinophilic esophagitis. Which you would know about, for sure, if you did.”
Good news! I checked in with my Vet wife, who confirmed all of this and told me a bunch of medical stuff I can’t remember. It was good stuff, though, I remember feeling hopeful as she was talking (how is that for clueless?).
So all was looking up. I was continuing to feel better. In fact, I was entering into the third week SYMPTOM FREE! Feeling crazy hopeful, I waited for the UK results. Finally, a symptom-free week later, it arrived: “You will be pleased to hear that your stool sample was positive for hookworm.”
Pleased indeed. So, successfully infected, feeling better than ever, I continue to wait for the magic five-month mark to try any of my “forbidden” foods. Meanwhile, I’ve got to do something about my weight. I’m 20 lbs over what I should be. Lisa teases me that I’m “eating for 35 now” counting all my worms. Which is funny, but I still feel fat.