Icky Mom Moment: Checking For Pinworms

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When you become a mother, you quickly realize that there are certain icky moments that come with the territory.  For babies, it’s spit up on your shirt, poop on your hands, and pee in your face.  Then they go off to school and bring back treats like head lice, ringworm and pink eye.  And just when you think you’ve seen it all—BOOM!  Your kid manages to bring home yet another surprise from the petri dish called the playground.  Here’s what happened…

A few weeks ago, Journey started to complain about an itch down below.  After trying baking soda baths, anti-itch cream and a probiotic with little relief, we went back to the doctor.  Once her exam was complete, the doctor said that she needed me to check for pinworms.

Me:     “Pinworms? WHAT IS A PINWORM?  Can’t you check?”  (I mean, she is the doctor, hello?)

Me:     “How do you get them?”

Dr.:     “You get them by touching surfaces and then putting your hands in your face and mouth. They are harmless, but they cause itching around the anus and sometimes the vaginal area in girls.”

Dr.:   “I don’t see anything there now, but they are more visible at night, so it’s easier to spot them.”

Me:     “You mean ‘they come out after the sun goes down’ at night or ‘when she goes to sleep’ at night?”

Dr.:     “A few hours after she goes to sleep. Take a piece of double-sided tape and put it on where the poop comes out. Then check to see if there is anything on it.”

Me:     Blank stare.

Dr.:     “They sort of look like little white threads, very small and thin.”

Me:     “And then what?”

Dr.:     “Check, then call the office tomorrow and let me know what you see.”

Now keep in mind, I can’t even look at much less pull a loose tooth.  So how the hell am I going to deal with actual worms?!  Naturally, I googled pinworms to learn more about them and see a picture of what I would be looking for.

I learned that pinworms are harmless parasites that infect the intestines and cause itching. Pinworms are spread by unknowingly ingesting pinworm eggs that can be found on hands and surfaces like desks or school lunch tables, toilets, linens, clothing, toys and bathroom fixtures.  You can still get them no matter how often you take a bath and you cannot wash them away.  But they are pretty easy to get rid of with a prescribed or over-the-counter medication.  Now to see what they look like:

(Pinworms in the intestinal tract)

Armed with this information, I am as ready as I’ll ever be.  So I get my flashlight and my double-sided tape and I wait.  Just around the time I am ready to perform my exam, Journey comes walking into my room.  She can’t sleep.  I don’t blame her.  She’s probably been lying there thinking about the possibility of worms crawling around inside of her.  Yuk! I decided I’d go ahead and check while she was awake.  I see something.  After staring at it and examining it under the flashlight for about 10 minutes, we both realize it’s just a piece of tissue.  No sign of worms.  Thank God!  I put her to bed and we both get some sleep.

I checked again in the morning and still nothing.  Now I’m starting to wonder if I even really know what I’m looking for.  Would the pinworms be obvious or was I supposed to do some deep excavation to find them?  Either way, I’m done!  I call the doctor’s office and after speaking with the nurse, it was determined that Journey does not have pinworms.  I hang up the phone and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

So I guess I’ll add this experience to the long list of my icky mom moments.  Ahh, the joys of motherhood☺

What’s the ickiest mom moment that you’ve ever had?

4 thoughts on “Icky Mom Moment: Checking For Pinworms

  1. Hilarious!! I just did the bum check tonight. Flashlight in hand and worry in my head. My nieces have pinworms and I’m freaked out! We just rid ourselves of lice a few weeks ago. Years ago when my oldest (now 6.5) was maybe 2, a friend of our discovered hookworm in her daughters diaper. Apparently this is very dangerous and even the State Department of Health came to their home and took soil samples…..in a word: CRAZY! Anyhow, because I watched their children quite often they told us that taking ourselves to the doctor and collecting stool samples would be ideal. Conveniently the season was summer so imagine a momma outside in her backyard while her 2 year old runs around naked and this momma is carrying around a stool sample container following her child around and trying to catch poop! It was somewhat of a low point. :o)

    • Yikes! Don’t get me started on lice! I posted about a wicked case we had over the summer. And what the heck is a hookworm? On second thought, don’t tell me. Lol! Thanks for stopping by:)

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