Bye, Bye Parasites!

We are finally de-parasitizing (is that even a word in English?) After a year and a half of living in Colombia, we are finally biting the bullet and taking chemical drugs to rid our bodies of whatever parasites we have acquired here.

Although all of the locals I have talked to take these drugs every six months, we have been holding off on doing it not only because I don’t really like chemical drugs, especially ones that get rid of all the good bacteria while killing the parasites, but also because Saige, our youngest, was too young for the drugs. They are not recommended for children under two.

Now that Saige is two and a half, we decided it was time to get on this bi-annual regimen. I still don’t like it but it’s better than coexisting with parasites or suffering complications. For those of you who don’t know what coexisting with parasites means, it means stomach aches and other unpleasant gastro symptoms which I won’t go into here just in case you are eating while you read this.

As for complications from parasites, these can be very serious since the little critters sometimes travel up to the lungs or the brain. A close friend of mine here, my only expatriate friend in fact, had to have 3 brain surgeries and almost died when parasites that she didn’t know she had traveled up to her brain. Scary! Now she de-worms every six months.

So we took our pills today and will take them again in 15 days just in case we missed some little critters. I am surprisingly nonchalant about all of this given how grossed out I was when I first learned soon upon arrival that deworming is a natural part of life here. I have adapted.

I remember when the assisitant director at our daughters’ school told me shortly after we arrived that it’s natural for humans to coexist with parasites. I thought that he was nuts and lobbied for a hand dryer in the bathroom shared by 60 girls (rather than one common towel) as you might remember. Fast forward 16 months and it doesn’t seem so crazy. Did we really manage to get rid of all parasites in the US? Is this even possible? Or is everybody living with parasites?

Are you all sufficiently grossed out now?

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