Three strange medical stories

In the spirit of “If something strange is going to happen, it’s probably going to happen to me” comes three medical anomalies that have occurred to me in just the last seven years.

I receive the pneumonia vaccine.

Did you even know that the pneumonia vaccine existed? I didn’t, and most people don’t. But after having contracted pneumonia four times over the course of ten years, my doctor said to me, “I’m going to give you the pneumonia vaccine.”

“The pneumonia vaccines?” I said. ‘I’ve never heard of the pneumonia vaccine.”

“Of course you haven’t,” my doctor replied. “It’s a shot we give to elderly women . And now you.”

A bunch of old ladies and me. Of course.

I get tubes put into my ears.

For reasons that no doctor could ever explain, my left ear began getting blocked with fluid a couple years ago. After having it cleared twice without success, my ENT recommended that I get tubes in my ears.

“The kinds you put in kids’ ears?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said. “Those.”

It hurt like hell while he was putting the tubes in, so I asked, “How do you do this to kids without them flipping out?”

“Oh, We put them to sleep,” he said.

After suggesting that maybe I could’ve been put to sleep, too, I asked him how many adults get tubes put into their ears.

“I think you’re my first,” he said. “This never happens to adults.”

Of course.

I contract canine scabies.

About seven years ago, our now-deceased dog, Kaleigh, contracted canine scabies, which is an impossibility in itself since contracting them requires a dog to come in contact with an animal with scabies. Usually a fox or squirrel or some other wild animal. Kaleigh was never off a leash, and she never came in contact with any wild animal that I can recall, so how she managed to contract the scabies will forever be a mystery.

However, we had no idea that she had canine scabies. When rashes began appearing on all of us (including newborn Charlie), we feared that it was bed bugs. We had multiple bed bug companies come into our home to inspect, and the opinions differed amongst the experts,.

It was a summer of hell.

Eventually, Elysha took the kids to her parents to escape, and I was left to await bed bug treatment when I happened to bring Kaleigh to the vet for a routine visit, and the doctor diagnosed canine scabies almost immediately. There were so many live scabies on her body, in fact, that I was then asked to bring a sample of her hair and skin to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, who had never seen a live sample before (and doubted that they were even scabies until putting them under a microscope).

It was quite a visit.

Kaleigh’s treatment was two weeks of heart worm pills, which killed the scabies almost immediately, but the humans reported to the dermatologist for treatment

I asked the vet if I could just take the heart worm pills, too, and he said, “I might, but I can’t recommend it for you.”

The dermatologist examined our skin. On Elysha and the kids, the rashes were caused by the contact of scabies to their skin, as expected. An application of some head-to-toe cream several times would clear up the problem.

But on my body, and especially my forearms, the scabies had actually burrowed into my skin.

Nice. Huh?

The doctor then asked if she could take photos of my skin.

“Why?” I asked.

“You’re the first human being we’ve ever seen who has live canine scabies under the skin like this. We didn’t think it was possible. These picture will probably end up in a medical journal.”

Of course.