As the wife of a med student I’d learned more in 10 months about the human body, bacteria, disease, anatomy and parasites than I had in 10 years in healthcare. Of course, I sat safely in my software glass tower in healthcare, but still. Tonight while I was making dinner, Jameson sat at the kitchen table with his classmate, Holly, discussing the latest and greatest Medical Microbiology class. Third semester was shaping up well.
“On slide 10 where she put cartoons of the bookworm and apple with the worm sticking out,” Holly started, “it totally ruined apples for me. I shit you not! I can’t even look at an apple now without thinking of self-induced vomiting.”
“I know, right?” Jameson agreed and then started laughing.
“What are you guys talking about? Some grossness for school?” My curiosity got the best of me. What’s the old adage? Curiosity killed the cat. Yeah, I just don’t know when to stop.
“Wife, I can promise that you do not want to know.”
“What? How bad can it be?”
Jameson leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. I recognized that pose and look combo – a lecture was about to spill.
“Kel, remember when we talked about tinea versicolor in warm climates because you thought people on the island had leprosy?”
“Hey,” I said while waving a head of lettuce and trying my best to look stern, “Anybody could have made that mistake. They’re like, almost the same thing.”
Loud sigh from Jameson, head shaking, arms up in the air and he scoots back in to his Mac. Um, does he think I’m giving up that easy?
“Oh for God’s sake, this is the best bug we’ve learned about so far,” Holly laughed and then turned her chair around so she could give me her full attention. Just to be safe, I put down the lettuce and knife to lean against the island. This was going to blow leprosy out of the water. I could tell.
“So, check this out,” Holly begins while pointing to her right eye, “There are these worms called Loa Loa that can literally swim from one eye to the other.”
“What? Worms called Louie Louie?!?”
“No, Wife,” Jameson’s head pops up. “This isn’t ‘Animal House’.” Another sigh. I’m not even talking to him - why is he so annoyed?
“Ohmuhgawd, no,” Holly begins again and I can tell she’s excited. She’s leaning forward to use her hands to describe the movement of the worm while giving me the description. “These worms can get under your skin and they basically travel through your fat to get to your eye. Then,” and she pauses for effect, “they can go to your other eye through your nose. I shit you not.”
I stared at Holly, blinked twice and then opened up the frig to grab the chardonnay. Wagon? Yep, I was back on it.
“Wife, I told you that you didn’t want to know,” Jameson challenged.
“What, you’re not seriously bothered by that are you?” Holly asked. “I mean, unless you’re travelling to Africa anytime soon you have nothing to worry about.”
“I’m good,” I answered while pouring my first coffee mug of chardonnay in a week. “I’m just going to finish this and then make dinner.”
Jameson and Holly looked at each other and then continued their discussions of Med Micro. I knocked back my chardonnay and began chopping lettuce.
Mental checklist: the less you know about bacteria and parasites the happier you’ll be. And, the more you exercise the more wine you can drink. I think they cancel each other out – like drinking a Diet Coke while eating a Tollhouse cookie.