Blog Action Day and The Flies

As you may have heard, today is “Blog Action Day” organized by which is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. The aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion and this year’s topic is poverty. I am pleased to be one of over 11,000 blogs participating.

The theme made me recall one of the most troubling cases I have seen. It happened when I was a medical student in Los Angeles.  A homeless man walked into the ER complaining about flies constantly buzzing about his head.  He was brought back into an examination room, and the nurse handed me the chart with a look of shock on her face.  I glanced at his medical history and noted that he was diagnosed with cancer of his sinuses a few months before, but he had not come back for any follow up.

He was about 50 years old, his hair and clothing were completely unkempt.  He had apparently been living underneath an overpass for a long time.  As I approached him, I noted that the right side of his forehead and cheek were hugely swollen, and there were open wounds in these areas.  I leaned in for a closer look and shined my penlight into the wounds.

What I saw nearly made me fall over backwards.  Dozens of wriggling maggots were writhing throughout the depths of these wounds.  I noticed that they were trying to escape the light, diving deeper into the poor man’s face.

He was right about the flies, of course, there were several in the room flying around.  He asked me for some pain medication, and I was more than happy to order all he needed.

  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • HealthRanker
  • Google
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • Print this article!


Bianca Castafiore 10.24.08 at 12:20 pm

I am new to your blog, and so not used to your particular quirks. Still, [deep breath!] in what way does your post address poverty or advances the discussion of it? Maybe I should pose a medical question — something like: What is wrong with me that I should introduce myself to a blog author by being bitchy? Ar!

admin 10.24.08 at 3:08 pm

Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your point…and your “medical question too”

: )

To be perfectly honest – I did not learn about Blog Action Day until about Noon on the actual day itself. I had this story already drafted and I was headed to work so there was no time to really add more to the post. But I wanted to participate and felt this story spoke to issue to some degree. Next year I’ll be better prepared.

Thanks again for both visiting and taking the time to write.

Bianca Castafiore 10.26.08 at 11:05 am

Drat! You would be really, really nice in the face of bitchiness, wouldn’t you! Drat!

Anyway… understood.

admin 10.27.08 at 8:33 am

: )

goolloog 11.08.08 at 1:15 am

I here the newcomer. Not absolutely I will understand with topic. Explain, please.

Comments on this entry are closed.