Monday, July 12, 2010
Giardia - A little intestinal visitor
So my youngest had a little intestinal visitor. We were doing a serious of random tests to confirm or, hopefully, dismiss certain allergies or problems. That's when we found our little friend Giardia.
Oh Giardia, how you hide. How you manage to not be found in random stool tests. Your spontaneous diarrhea is a thing of wonder.
A gross post you say. Well, if you are going to live or visit Rio de Janeiro, get used to the idea of parasites. It's not something that is even hardly noticed. My 3 year old has been taking anti-parasite medication every 6 months since he was 2. They don't even bother to test after that age, it's so common. And, if you are from many 1st world countries, you don't know that the stool tests don't always find them.
Tricky little bastards.
I think the funniest part of the whole thing was the shock of a friend of mine's doctor girlfriend. I had finally received the results of my youngster's more basic stool and blood tests. They were not on. It was the first time I've ever experienced that. My oldest, myself, and my husband are like horses. We can take pretty much anything and still be some pretty fine steeds.
She was kind enough to offer to look over the results. Keep in mind that in Brazil you go to private testing centers, receive the results, and then take them to your doctor. Fun and scary at the same time. You get the results with listed norms and think, OMG I have no Eosinophilias!! I'm dying! What are Eosinophilias?
So she got down to the part about parasites. Colonies of Giardia. Lovely. Her comment? In Scotland they'd treat the water if someone got it. My husband and I had one hell of a good laugh at that. I don't think they treat the water as is down here! Of course we drink from a filter. We make ice from a filter. We cook from a filter. I don't even boil tap water. You can. I know many who do but I can't handle it. I always know when I've had boiled tap water. My tummy lets me know.
So, how did he get it? Well, you can get it many different ways but I'm pretty sure it was from drinking bath water. Any time I turned around he'd try to drink some. From a cup, suck it out of the washcloth (which I brought because I've still yet to find them here), or from his hands. The little typhoid Mary likes him some bath water.
We have since taken care of the bath water issue. He lost interest. Not funny anymore, thank goodness. But note to self, visitors, tourists, and residents alike, if you get the poos think parasite. That's especially true if it lasts longer than 5 days.
Disclaimer, Giardia isn't particularly easy or necessarily the most common beast to manage to attack the intestine. They can be killed by stomach acid. Our kicker, the little one takes Prilosec and has little to no stomach acid. Oh those beasts found their perfect target. Too bad his Mommy is a bad ass and had them knocked off.