It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Horsehair Worms

I just got home from a doctor's appointment, where he sent electrical impulses up my arms and through my hands. He attached little electrodes (I think that's what they were) to my hands and then tazed me! The unit that he used to send the shocks really did look just like a tazer, with two prongs and everything. He shocked me in numerous places on each arm, all the say up to my elbows. Then when he was through with that, he stuck me with a tiny, little needle in five places on each arm and tested my muscle strength and something else, I can't remember what. I tend to bleed nicely, so I was mopping up blood all over my arms and hands. He even asked me if I was on blood thinners! He said I have an extreme case of carpal tunnel, which I already knew, and told me I need surgery in both hands. Now I have to meet with a neurosurgeon to set the date and place. I have no idea what it will entail, yet, because I know there is more than one way to do this surgery. Some ways require a longer recovery time, and some make it possible to use your hands within days. I think it all depends on how it's done and how bad the damage is to start with. I'm not looking forward to having more surgery, but it will be nice to be able to use my hands like a normal person again.

How many of you know what a horsehair worm is? I had never heard of one until I found one in my dog's water dish! My son got on the internet and started looking to see what we had, and that's what it was. A horsehair worm. They are little, tiny things, about the size of a horse hair, hence the name and they are a type of mind-control worm. They don't live in humans, and they don't harm humans, plants, or animals, but they live in beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, etc.. The beetle swallows the larvae and it bores its way into the gut of the insect and feeds there, causing the insect to get really thirsty. So it goes to water, the worm emerges from the bug and swims away, to await another bug, which will swallow it and start the cycle all over again!  Weird, huh? It just keeps going from beetle to beetle. You find them a lot in watering troughs, pet water dishes, swimming pools, and sometimes bathtubs and toilets.

My husband was outside one morning, having a cigarette, and he called me to come look at something. There was this little, tiny, writhing thing in Molly's water dish, and a black beetle swimming around. I got the beetle out of the water and sent it on it's way, (so that one didn't drown) and then I got a bamboo skewer and picked the worm out of the water.

I brought it in the house and laid it on a piece of paper. (A half sheet of paper. You can see how small it is!) It wiggled and squirmed and was fascinating to watch.

After the kids got home from school and had a good chance to look at it and touch it and all, we finally killed it so it wouldn't practice it's mind control on any other beetles. If you would like to see more videos (not mine) and read more about the horsehair worm, just Google it and you'll get lots of information.

It was an interesting day and a good learning experience for all of us. And learning is good. So go learn something with your kids! Or just by yourself is OK, too. Until next time,

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