By Mary Elizabeth Salzmann
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It’s incredibly cold, so cold that it actually burns. He explained that a sand fly had laid its eggs and their larvae were living under my skin. Every time I scratched one, it would motor to a safe haven. I did have enough wherewithal at that age to understand that there was something living in me. There is nothing more terrifying than picturing something icky crawling around inside of you. The doctors all moved in closer to see the results of this experiment. I wasn’t given any painkiller, anesthesia, or comfort.
I heard a voice. I kept looking down at the sidewalk, and I saw a pair of feet in my periphery. ” My heart sank. I thought, This is it. This is the precipice of devastation, and I’m about to go over it. ” “I just heard you on Howard,” he said excitedly. ” This random guy on the streets of New York was about to begin the public ridiculing that I had brought upon myself. “Yes,” I mumbled. “And you’ve got OCD …,” he continued. And now I was descending closer to hell than I ever imagined. Running into traffic to get away from this guy was starting to look like the only option.
Even the other doctors were telling him to stop. That’s one of the first palpable memories I have of not being in control. I don’t know why I didn’t get off the table and run. ” But being a kid almost gives you the excuse not to be in control. I don’t remember struggling to get off the table. They didn’t have to hold me down. I acquiesced to that horror I had to endure. My mother ended the liquid nitrogen treatment by rushing up to the table, picking me up, and cradling me in her arms. In front of these eminent doctors, she ran out of the room, down the hall, and into the parking lot.