Referring back to the paper: "Upon presenting the oral surgeon with photographic evidence (Figure 1A and B) and a detailed description and preliminary diagnosis of gongylonemiasis, the surgeon disputed the patient's self-diagnosis, claiming this was simply normal discoloration of the skin."
Referring back to my notes: "My jaw just dropped," Allen said. But he couldn't change the surgeon's mind. "I said, 'Look, I study these things for a living'. And he said, 'Well, I look in people's mouths every day." The scientist and surgeon did not part on a happy note. "I paid my co-pay and left. It was totally depressing."
And he stayed depressed -- "I'd lost faith in the medical profession" -- until he woke up about 3 a.m. the following morning. The spot had moved toward the front of his mouth again. He realized could remove the worm himself.
Of course, he needed help. No surgeon can work alone. He woke up his wife so that she could shine a flashlight in his mouth. With those #5 super fine tip Roboz Surgical Instrument forceps, he gently scraped the lining of his mouth until he was able to pull out the nematode. It came coiling out, a little less than an inch in length. It was not a happy parasite. "It was writhing."
"The surgeon disputed the patient's self-diagnosis."