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7:20PM

The first test missed it

Both girls have tapeworms.

As they say in the sitcom world: . . .  and hilarity ensues.

Well, at least their bizarre food intake levels make sense now.  For a while there, I half-expected Sally Struthers to walk into my kitchen one night, turn to the camera and plead, "Won't you spend just a few extra dollars and feed them just a little bit more?"  I mean, these two eat like their lives depend on it, and now we know they were eating for themselves and maybe a dozen or two inside friends.

Bad days to follow with giant pills, but these too shall pass--literally.

Had to go with the gag pic; the real stuff is just too godawfully gross.

So, to sum up, when we got them they had: 1) bronchitis 2) ear infections 3) giardia 4) hepatitis A, and 4) tapeworms.

And people wonder why your average kid in Africa might not summon up all the mental strength required to score as high as their northern brethren on IQ tests.  Well, if you spent that much of your body's energy every day fighting that array of stuff, you'd have less power to your brain too.  It's as simple as that.

I have to tell you, these are two tough little kids.

Reader Comments (3)

God help you guys all. Hang in there.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack

Add some dengue or malaria and you've got a fairly common punchcard for childhood in the gap. Nasty brutish and short. More and cleaner water would help a lot, and that moderately sexy topic has some money and movie stars behind it now. But water quality can't progress any farther than sanitation will allow - almost 20% of the world still practices open defecation. Crap and trash, that's where my soft power efforts go, helping folks into the 18th century. Can somebody get me Bono's number??

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTEJ

Hope the girls feel better soon!

We forget that chronic pain and disease and not health was the norm in rural America into even the 20th century and that everyone who survived childhood growing up in dirt were genetic supermen in terms of immune systems. In the 19th century most adults suffered long term with rotting teeth, bouts of dysentery, unexplained fevers, parasites and the possibility of septicemia from any cut or wound and were at risk from outbreaks of cholera, typhoid and smallpox ( the last of which annihilated the American indian population). This is still the lot of the world's poor in many places.

The other commenter Jack is right - potable water is the single biggest "bang for the buck" in terms of improving health for the poor of the Gap.

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterzenpundit

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