5 Things I Learned By Having A Face Parasite (Nigeria– Love youuuuu!)

Lying on a doctor’s table here in Nigeria last Sunday, I learned, to my nigh-barfy horror, that the big red sore spot on my face was neither pimple nor boil, but in fact a critter who had been couching himself in my chin for approximately two weeks.

In that moment of truth, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am the kind of person who can faint in public (WHO KNEW? I aced that Hepatitis B vaccine in Grade 7, no probs!). I learned that I don’t like having multiple cell organisms live in my visage.

But this was not the end of my learning process. And so for those of you who have not yet had face parasite revelations, but are curious of such life lessons, let me enlighten your day:

1) Vanity. It’s not just in the title of my favourite magazine and 19thC novel

I’m still wearing the same clothes I owned in undergrad (seriously— these pants I’m sporting today are from The Gap circa 2004). I rarely put on makeup and when I do it’s concealer, eyeshadow, mascara, MAX. I don’t care what people think of my looks— it’s what’s on the inside that counts, any children’s show will tell you that. But as soon as I got a giant swollen critter-filled lump on my face? I just wanted to crawl in a hole and interact only with a robot puppy for the rest of my life.

2) It is possible to discern between pain that is regular pain and pain that results from “burrowing.”

Can’t blame the guy for wanting to get comfy, but come on…

3) Sometimes it’s best NOT to be the perfect host.

This is one of those times.

4) Sticking needles into one’s face goes much easier when one is listening to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill on noise-cancelling headphones.

Just skip over “Ex-Factor” and you’ll be fine.

5) Promises of ice cream cones are the way to prevent The Host from folding herself into the fetal position at the side of the road after the clinic visit.


Cones, people, cones— this is crucial. None of this “bowls” of ice cream crap. You can try, but it won’t prevent the roadside fetal curl.

P.S. RIP Perry Mangostein, the Mango Fly Parasite. You taught me whole new manners of being angry and hurty and for that you will be remembered. Bet you never thought you’d be immortalized on the internet, did you? Welcome to immortality, you burrowing bum.

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