It’s not hard to use the internet to convince yourself you have a life-threatening illness. Most of us have had a simple sore throat and, after a deep dive into WebMD, come to the conclusion that we definitely without a doubt either have stage 4 lung cancer, dengue fever, or dengue fever on top of stage 4 lung cancer (and also an unrelated case of ringworm).
The internet can be a dangerous place when it comes to self-diagnosis. But this week on Reddit, a user who didn’t think anything was wrong with him and wasn’t even scouring the internet for medical answers put some pieces together and made an awful discovery: he may have contracted a horrific parasite.
In a Reddit post about bear hunting, a user asked an innocent question.
One user posted a video of bear hunting, which prompted another user to ask if you could eat bear meat. The answer was yes — some people do eat bear meat.
However, another poster warned that while you could eat bear meat, you have to be careful.
Bear meat can contain a parasite called Trichinella, a roundworm that lives in muscle tissue. Trichinella can cause trichinosis in humans, a parasitic disease that causes vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain upon ingestion and then — once it migrates to the muscles of its new host — muscle weakness, discoloration of the skin, and swelling. So basically you really don’t want it in your body.
But then a Reddit user had a shocking realization.
User Talev2 wrote, “Serious question here, I ate bear meat in the summer and I had the worst stomach pains for 3 straight days where I just stayed curled in a ball in bed. Should I be worried about this trichonosis thing? I remember the meat having a very weird texture and having some small hard bits inside, don’t know if that’s normal. I never had such painful stomach pain before but I don’t often have any stomach problems so I don’t even know how to judge how bad it was.”
He commented later that he read up on the symptoms and they all seemed to match what had happened to him.
He wrote, “I read the wiki and I remember all my muscles feeling really weak I quit soccer for the rest of the summer after that and I also had a insanely red face with pale skin around my eyes for about a week after that too, I remember wanting to stay inside that week since I looked hella weird. I thought that was just typical symptoms of eating bad meat!”
I’m sorry but WHAT kind of meat are you eating typically that would make you feel this way, sir?
Other commenters quickly encouraged him to visit a doctor.
Once a person ingests Trichinella, its larvae moves to their muscles, where they grow into adults and can live for the rest of the person’s life.
That means worms living in your body forever.