health

After eating raw fish, a 30-year-old discovered something "wriggling" out of him. 

A 30-year-old man from Fresno, California, who has not been named, likely to avoid being synonymous with a worm slowly exiting his butthole for the rest of his life, began experiencing stomach cramps and bloody diarrhoea in August of last year.

He sounds like a Mike, so that is what we shall call him.

Mike thought the pain might have something to do with his raw fish habit, given he was eating sushi or sashimi almost every day.

The diarrhoea landed him on the toilet, as it often does, and as he clutched at his stomach he noticed something emerging from his anus.

He later said it felt as though his “guts [were] coming out from me,” and, in fact, his sensation wasn’t far off.

As this ‘thing’ hung, Mike decided to “pick it up” (oh, okay) and discovered it was moving (cool, cool).

At that moment, he said to himself something that no person should ever have to come to terms with: “That’s a worm.”

He began pulling, and pulling, and eventually excreted a five foot parasite, which was yellow in colour with odd black spots.

Mike decided not to flush it, of course. Instead, he put it in a plastic bag and made his way to the hospital.

When Dr Kenny Banh, an emergency physician at the University of California at San Francisco, got out of bed on that Monday morning, he likely thought it would be like any other day. 

It wasn’t long into his shift when a young man walked into hospital complaining of bloody diarrhoea. He promptly asked if he could be tested for worms.

This isn’t a common request, Dr Kenny Banh said on the podcast This Won’t Hurt a Bit, produced by Foolyboo. He was skeptical about the self-diagnosis, until Mike handed him a plastic bag.

Well.

Mike knew his shit. Literally.

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“I take out [of the bag] a toilet paper roll,” Dr Banh recounted, “and wrapped around it of course is what looks like this giant, long tapeworm.”

It was dead, but Mike informed him that it was most definitely alive when he excreted it, because it was wiggling in his hand.

Mike, pls. 

When Dr Banh stretched it out on the ER floor, he discovered it was no less than 1.5 metres in length, which, by our calculations, is far too long.

“It got long enough that some of it was sneaking out of him,” Dr Banh said, and we don’t love the word ‘sneaking’.

Mike was sure he had contracted the parasite from raw fish, which Dr Banh admits is highly likely.

LISTEN: Bec Sparrow recalls her horrific run-in with Dengue Fever, on The Well.

With that said, there are a number of ways humans can contract tapeworm, including eating new foods while travelling, drinking water not meant for consumption, or eating meat that has not been properly prepared.

Although it is not clear what species of tapeworm was inside Mike, in January of last year it was discovered that salmon caught in Alaska contained a Japanese parasite called Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense.

Once digested, the larvae grows inside the host.

Mike was given medication to kill any other possible tapeworms, but it looks like his five-metre companion was all alone up there.

The California man says he is done with raw fish, but Dr Banh told The Washington Post he thinks that’s unlikely.

Us on the other hand? We’re not going within a kilometre of sushi for the rest of our goddamn lives.

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