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I am in my 30's and have suffered from threadworms since being a small child. I discovered I had these after seeing them in my faeces at about age 9. (Although in reality they are rarely seen in your poo once it has hit the water!)
Until seeing them I had not realised that the sore itchy bottom that I suffered from on occasion was due to worms! After realising what you have the itch becomes excruciating - in your mind as much as your bottom!
I was treated but the symptomatic itch returned a few months later. The whole family was then treated but again the worms returned.
Over the next few years both myself and my family were treated on many occasions whilst my mother paid scrupulous attention to cleaning of clothes and linen and regularly damp dusted the entire house to try to eliminate them - she could not have tried harder!
Over the years I continued to be reinfected - I began to recognise the particular irritation and knew each time reinfection occurred - even when not seeing any live worms! Eventually at the age of about 18 I gave up even trying to combat the worms - the embarrassement became too much. I even gave up telling my mother!
As a result I have experienced guilt about 'carrying' worms and what I can only describe as an ongoing emotional battle/termoil. I know I have infected others - friends and family - I recognise the symptoms, but I feel there is little I can do without a public and widespread treatment. How do you tell everyone you know or anyone who has visited your home that they need treatment!?
Most of the time I have simply tried to put the whole thing out of my head - not always easy!
Recently I have had a family of my own - and of course recently they became infected. At first the symptoms were the sore irritation of the bottom/vagina. I knew what this meant but was afraid to act.
When I finally saw a live worm on my childs bottom it gave me the impetus to act. I showed my partner (I needed reinforcement that it wasnt just in my head) and went to the chemist for treatment - 2 doses, 2 weeks apart. I cleaned like I have never cleaned before - and yet again they have recurred. Again my partner saw one - so I know I'm not going mad.
Since then I have read as much as possible about them and continue the battle. I have also found one other person who has suffered in the same way for many years - I thought I was the only one!
I have come to realise a number of things about this parasite:
1. Many people have them - but are largely too embarrassed to tell you. I believe incidence is even higher than current research suggests, though studies are few and I do not have evidence to support this.
2. Many people do not have or do not recognise symptoms. I have seen from experience that if worms are present from an early age the irritation becomes 'normal' and the brain fails to attend to it.
3. Even if you eliminate infection from your household, you are likely to be re-infected by someone you know who has them. Sods law!
4. If you have kids, it is practically impossible to stop children from putting hands/toys in mouth or to ensure that they scrub before every hand to mouth contact. Worms are therefore likely to recurr again and again.
5. The eggs are very difficult to get rid of - they can be anywhere - in dust, clothes, furniture, door handles - in fact anywhere that is touched in your home... think about it! Eggs can be killed easily - but getting them all is practically impossible.
6. The only real way to combat them is through taking another dose (Pripsen tablets are easy and fairly effective) every time the symptoms occur - dont give up and dont get too embarrassed - keep going back to the chemist every time or even give your family a regular dose eg every 6 months.
7. Throw away the guilt - you are not dirty or scum - just normal. You are not alone - even if you think you are!
Because of shame and embarrassement I have not even been able to give a real name or email address but I hope that these experiences can be of some help to others in the same situation.
[i:4ed33a07ff]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:4ed33a07ff]
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