She was quietly sitting on the curb of an empty parking lot when I approached her and quietly sat Indian style directly in front of her. As I sat down she took another drag off her cigarette and quickly dropped it to the side when she noticed my camera. “I don’t want them to see me smoking,” she said. I did not ask who “them” were and responded, “Okay.”
I noticed her arms were covered in scabs and her forehead was beaded with sweat. While talking, she would throw her head to the side to keep her brown hair from clinging to her forehead. Her shoes were without shoelaces and she had only a small bag to her side that held an extra t-shirt.
“I bet you have a good story,” I said with a smile. She then told me that six solid years of “Fuge” shots caused her to lose her childhood memory. “They shot me in the arm every time,” she said, “I was sick from a worm, I have a lawsuit, but I want to tell everyone about what happened.” As she continued to tell me about the so called “Fuge” shot I asked her who was responsible for it. She told me that she was not real sure, but she wanted to tell Washington, D.C.
Intrigued by the words of this single homeless woman in Louisville, Kentucky, I started thinking that she thought she was part of a government conspiracy. When I got home I jumped on the computer and frantically searched the word “Fuge,” but found nothing of any significance. Then I stumbled on the word vermifuge. The word was listed on a medical website. Her statements about shots to get worms out of her body while still a child were suddenly not that far-fetched.
Vermifuge is a word for a group of drugs called Anthelmintics, which include drugs that extract parasitic worms from the body by either stunning or killing them. The only problem, I could not find any results showing long term health problems from the use of the drug.
As I continued to talk with the 47-year old woman, she told me that she indeed believed she was part of a test group for the medication to be given intravenously. She said, “The shots gave me diabetes and messed up my eyesight, I was part of a serial treatment program and there are lots of us in Kentucky who were also part of the test group.”