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Cactus Growing in Body?
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An_207461 posted:
I have been to 6 different doctors trying to get someone to take me seriously. I have had cactus needles, connected to the pads, complete with glochids coming out of my skin, lungs, sinuses, mouth, throat, urinary, digestive, and reproductive openings for seven months.

I have seen two dermatologists...

#1 "I'm not going to sit here and pull it out." "Looks like MRSA." "It's folliculitis." "It's allergies." "Yeah, looks like something is coming out!"

#2 "Does your husband have it on his body, too?" "Well, there is this new thing where people feel like needles are coming out. One woman even saw colors in it." My response..."Do you think I'm psychotic?"

I have seen my PC twice, "Hmmm. Never heard of that."

Went to a urologist because I lost continence...She found a nodule, removed it and called me cured as it was benign. Didn't get any info on what it was composed of.

I went to urgent care...got a breathing treatment, cough medicine and an inhaler, and, "Never heard of that happening before."

My rheumatologist is burning mad! Alas, she can do nothing. It's not in her field.

I tried to get an appointment with several pulmonologists, but there's up to a year wait for new patients. I'll be dead by then.

Honestly, my fingers are so crowded with them it's painful to even get something out of my purse or even use a washcloth. They are beginning to push out of my fingernails, and I have resorted to cutting them out of my fingertips with cuticle scissors. My mouth gets full between brushings, they attach to my teeth, I blow them out of my nose, cough them up in bloody mucous covered pieces, urinate and vacate them, and they come out in blood clots when I menstruate. It feels as if it will never end.

None of this concerns anyone. They treat me as if I'm insane, don't take a biopsy, don't even touch me, tell me they never heard of it, it's not in the literature, then send me on my way.

My energy level is waning and, at times, my breathing is labored. Today, as I coughed up more needles, I felt twinges of pain in my lungs that really concerned me. On top of this oddity, I have FMS and hypothyroid. The fibro, memory loss, and ADHD are the result of loss of oxygen after I stopped breathing immediately following surgery and the surgeon waiting over five minutes to see if I would start breathing again.

I'm a big mess, but I am not insane. I question it from time to time, and the continued rejection by doctors also makes me question it, but it is coming out of me, so how can it be imaginary?

My husband is frustrated and getting impatient to find an answer. It takes a lot of convincing to keep him from calling doctors to offer a piece of his mind. I won't go to the ER because I don't feel it's an emergency. I'm not in immediate danger of dying, after all.

I continue to teach first grade. I'm luck it's first grade because they don't really comment on their teacher's looks. : ) My coworkers are wondering if this will ever go away, and a few have suggested I visit the Mayo Clinic, but that would have to be on my teacher's salary, which is a no go. A nurse who was taking my history when I had the bladder surgery suggested it might be growing in me. That thought is eerie, but I have to wonder...how else does it continue to come out of me at a relentless pace?

Can you help? I am sooooo lost. I worry this stuff will go into my heart, or my brain. What then? Please tell me I'm not crazy.

Going Cactus Crazy
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AmigoNico responded:
Wow, that sounds horrible -- it sounds like something out of the X-Files!

However, a quick search turned up this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/5152953/Surgeons-find-fir-tree-growing-inside-patients-lung.html

so who knows!

I'm not a doctor, but I think in your position I would be aggressively trying to find a top-notch doctor who has some idea what is going on. If you have a good digital camera, perhaps you could take some photos, get them printed, and send them off to some university hospitals, the Mayo Clinic, or wherever, with a letter asking for help. Be willing to travel. I think I would also post them on the web and pay the fee at one of those Ask a Doctor sites to get a bunch of doctors to look at what you have to say. Even if none of them knows what the heck is going on, they might send email to other doctors they think might.

Good luck!!
 
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An_207462 responded:
Going to the Mayo Clinic would be very expensive, but you would have answers. Not going to the Mayo Clinic...well...on what basis are you sure that this isn't life and death? Personally I'd rather be broke and not have a body that sounds (no offense) like a nightmarish cage rather than have some money but poor quality of life.
 
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Susan Evans, MD responded:
Dear Anon 77628,

I'm very sorry to hear how much you have been suffering. Getting a panel of experts to evaluate you and all the systems that appear to be affected by this condition is certainly an excellent way to begin. Many people who have had an impossibly complicated condition have benefited from this type of approach. Going to the Mayo Clinic is certainly one approach. Another would be a teaching hospital. Perhaps your rheumatologist could help you in that regard by finding one nearby that might be less costly to you and your husband.

Best,

Dr. Evans
 
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An_247702 responded:
I don't know why I landed on your post today. It was so painful to read what you were going through two years ago. Are you okay? Did you ever find someone to help you?

You didn't mention how you became exposed to the cactus but I will never forget the day that I did. I live in Utah and these are native outdoor cactus plants. When I removed it from the garden, the tip of my thumb got one of those little cactus spurs stuck on it. It wasn't even that hard to remove.

I can't remember how long it took before thorns and stuff started coming out of my thumb but fortunately it never spread beyond my finger. And, it took me five years to win the battle.

I also went to many doctors and I know the look and reaction you got from them. The ER doctor surgically removed thorns and gook out of my thumb. I really thought he was going to help me. I will never forget the look on his face. He politely put a bandage on it and sent me home with no explanation. It seemed like no doctor wanted to deal with this bizarre situation whether they knew or didn't know what it was. I never went to the doctor again.

There were times I would leave it alone thinking it would heal but it only got worse. I swear I had a pair of tweasers in my right hand every day for five years removing "stuff" from my left thumb. And, it is very painful to say the least.

It's been about 10 years now and I have had no reoccurrence of this problem. It was so easy to get that cactus spur stuck on my finger. One would think this would happen to more people and that doctors would know this could happen from handling cactus plants.

I hope with all my heart that you are better. I am writing this for you. Also, I want people to know this can happen to them.
 
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ratlinon responded:
This is a crisis ! If it was me, I would ask my rheumatologist for a research specialist at the Mayo or wherever because it is so unique I can't imagine a scientist worth his salt not taking your case for free !
 
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Rickyfantastic responded:
I saw a program on the history channel of this exact problem. Strange looking multicolored spines coming out of people's skin. They didn't seem to even know what the substance was. It was a long time ago when I saw it but it might be worth looking into, not sure what it was called but I am sure It can be found.
 
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DO1971 responded:
I am going through same situation I have CACTUSES in my home and recieved a splinter from re planting and took out .Know there in mouth under nails, etc,etc,etc. Could MOLD be involved ,I live in an old cointry home with alot of wetness in cellar. any help or info out therre...
 
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glochidsgotmehere responded:
Going Cactus Crazy: I want to know how you are now? I just am going through the same thing you have described with the glochids in all mucous membranes and coming out of the skin also. It has been only about six weeks, but it is terribly horrible. I can't understand how there are no doctors who can relate to this at all, like you said. I hate them in my throat and on my tongue and in my stomach. They hurt. They take all your energy away just trying to relieve your constant pain. I pray each day God will take them from me. I wonder if you will find this and if I will ever get to talk with you.
 
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mabs552 replied to An_247702's response:
My brother is going through the same thing!! Since July of 2012.... He has them (tines) coming out of everywhere in his body, penis, nails, head, eye, mouth, nose, ears... You name the anatomy is has come out.... They are painful and come in different forms.. He and his wife cleared out an OLD cactus garden, not knowing anything about removing cactus plants ( who would think there is a process).. He was knee deep in them in a dumpster, packing down stuff being cleaned up in the yard!! It has been a nightmare. He spoke to someone at an Arizona Hospital, who suggested he do barometric treatments, but when they learned how long he had had them, they said it was too late and they have to run their course.
I can not believe no doctor has every treated or heard of this!! Makes me lose faith in our lovely medical world.!!
 
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mabs552 replied to glochidsgotmehere's response:
Are you still dealing with them? Lets talk..Do yours move around in your body? My brother has them something aweful.. I posted some of his story earlier..
Hope you are better, what a horrible ordeal!!!
Mabs552
 
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mabs552 replied to An_247702's response:
ARe you still dealing with them? I need to know, like my post below regarding my brother.. It has been a year and a half!!!
 
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glochidsgotmehere replied to mabs552's response:
Yes, I am still working with these glochids. I have been given neurontin also known as gabapentin medicine by my doctor to help with the nerve endings. It helps me not feel the pricklies but I take 300mg. 8 of them a day right now. It works. I usually only have them on my scalp when I do get them now. It is also cold out right now, which I hear freezing weather kills cactus. It is the weirdest illness I have ever had. I keep thinking they are gone. each month. I used a ton of epson salt baths. two a day, then a shower. lots of scrubbing of the skin with my nails. exfoliating to get down to them trying to get them out. when they say can't remove them without treatment, but don't tell you the treatment, it doesn't help.!!!!!
It's cuz no one knows the treatment. Mine has been around since April 15th when I was removing cactus from boyfriends backyard and also did some jumping up and down in his dumb backyard. What a fool I was. I haven't been back on this sight since I first went on here since I didn't think anyone had any answers. But exfoliating and olive oil and epsom salt baths and constant, constant wearing yourself out working on them is the only way I have been able to get myself to the point of feeling somewhat better by now. It is 8 months, I can't say they are gone, I can only say I am in a better place with all the treatments I am giving myself constantly. It may be the rest of my life.....I just don't know. I wish you luck and I wish the medical field would stop calling us psychotic which they do.!!!!!!!!!. They even sent me to UC San Francisco with a diagnosis of psychotic to a skin doctor who said it is a mine memory problem and I should take the neurontin medicine if it continues. So my psychiatrist, who believes it really is real said he would put me on it and it would probably help either way, put me on it. It does help anyway.
 
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dendc responded:
I share in your pain and frustration. I have been battling spines since August 2012... nearly two years!

I have seen a slew of doctors who have done NOTHING to help me. They all think I'm a lunatic, which I clearly am not.

In November 2013 I went to the Mayo ER because I was scared it was affecting my breathing. They knew nothing about glochids or microdaisys and wouldn't even look under a microscope at the samples I had brought. They did refer me to mayo dermatologist, Angela Kearny, who walked in and said, "I hear you had a bout with a chihuahua." Frickin' cholla! Shouldn't a dermatologist practicing in AZ know of our native cacti? I was then referred to a psychiatrist at mayo, who put me on a bipolar drug. This drug knocked me out and took half the next day to wake from it, so I quit and canceled my psych follow-up appointment.
I dropped off several samples to mayo and they said it would take up to 30 days for lab cultures. It has been well over 30 days and I called the other day to inquire - still nothing! If I were you, I wouldn't waste my time at the mayo. All I'm left with is a bill over $1,000.
I'm at my wits end too...
 
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mabs552 replied to dendc's response:
I am so sorry.. What a bunch of fricken idiots.. I cant believe nnot one would at least check out the samples of hte crap coming out of you.. I have seen it first hand out of my brother and his wife!! MESSED UP!! I feel for you.. Best of luck. If they find a cure, I will post...Shame on all you doctors out there that may read this....


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