Ringworm: No worm required

Ringworm: No worm required

And what a relief that is.

I have a huge fear of parasitic beings. Everyone has their big phobia; mine is tapeworm, ticks, lice—just about any parasite you can think of (oh, and maggots). Some of this stems from childhood experience; some of it is from seeing the movie The Faculty, or at least that’s what I blame. I can stand mosquitoes and fleas, for some reason, but anything else that wants my blood gives me the heebie jeebies.

I even used to sleep with my hair over my ears so nothing could crawl in and deposit eggs and eat my brain! And even though that is a ridiculous form of prevention, I must admit that I sometimes still even do that, especially after watching a scary movie.

So when my best friend, a registered nurse, took a look at what I thought was a mole on my hand and pronounced it ringworm, I nearly fainted. I started to scream. I told her to get a knife and to cut my hand off lest the worms infest my body, nevermind that the mark had been there for weeks. I nearly cried, but I was so upset that I could only manage sheer horror.

Though you probably believe this to be exaggeration on my part, none of it is.My friend thankfully laughed and put me out of my misery within minutes, but not before enjoying my complete and total freak out first. She told me that it is actually not a worm at all, thank god, but a fungus much like athlete’s foot that could, in fact, be treated with creams created for similar fungal issues. I suppose you can imagine my relief, though I did hotly announce that I would be phoning the American Medical Association on Monday to demand that the thing be renamed RingFungus or Fairy Ring Fungus or something much more friendly and less wormy-sounding. They have no right to tell me that I have worms living in my body when I don’t.

If you do come down with this fungus—which is contagious and passed from other people or cats, by the way, which makes sense since I am around many people and many cats—keep in mind that its treatment may also make you uncomfortable, as the pharmacist took a tube of jock itch cream and handed it to me, pronouncing it their best product for such a thing.