Wee beastie story has really made me squirm

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone
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I’m not a particularly squeamish person, I don’t faint at the sight of a spider and having two tearaway children and now grandchildren, I’m used to mopping up blood from scrapes and falls.

But one thing I read this week has stayed with me and made me feel really quite ill.

I read about a woman from Edinburgh who thought she had a blood clot in her nose but it turned out to be a three-inch leech she had picked up on her travels to Asia the month before.

No, not a leech like you can find in any of Falkirk’s fine drinking establishments any night of the week, but a slug type beastie that snacks on your blood.

The poor woman could feel the leech moving around in her nose - even saying she felt it on her lip once - but never suspected it to be a worm until a trip to A&E and an appointment with a brave doctor and a pair of tweezers.

Since reading this, I swear I can feel something moving around in my nose, so apologies to readers that weren’t aware of this lovely news snippet and now feel queasy.

I relayed the story to my mother, telling her I couldn’t stop thinking about the awful beastie and how I was scared it could happen to me - not that I’ve been anywhere more exotic than Largs recently.

“Oh Kate,” she said. “Leeches aren’t scary at all. In fact I remember my dad being treated with leeches when I was a wee girl. They’re amazing creatures.”

I didn’t believe her and thought she’d finally lost the plot but, after a quick consultation with my favourite GP, Dr Google, I found that leeches are still used for medicinal purposes to this day.

The little bleeders - pun intended - can help wounds from becoming infected and promote new healthy blood to the skin to aid repair.

After falling out of favour with patients apparently leeches are making a comeback and being used more and more often in treatment.

Interesting stuff, but if I have another tumble off my bicycle, I think I’ll leave the healing up to Mother Nature rather than take a chance with a leech.