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Bizarre, weird, and wonderful medical tales

October 14, 2009

I’ve accidentally collected some odd links over the past few weeks, and what else to do but share them?

If you are looking for things to put in your curio, check out “Radio Guy’s” virtual museum of weird medical devices.

Rather than a collecter, are you more of a diagnostician and into House’s brand of rare and strange conditions? You might like reading about  the Top 10 Strange Medical Anomalies. From Proteus Syndrome to Progeria, they sure have picked some odd ones.

Maybe you’ve never heard of it, but part of “medical student (or resident) syndrome” is that we diagnose ourselves at some point with many of the diseases we read about. I am proud to say, I have not once considered that I have Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Syndrome. This disorder – consisting mainly of an increased startle response – was first discovered in Quebecois lumberjacks in the 1800s. If that tickles your dopamine receptors, The Science Channel actually maintains a list of the top 10 little-known mental disorders.

It’s hard to tell whether some of the medical conditions listed by Oddee are a blessing or a curse; Permanent Sexual Arousal Syndrome, hyperthymestic syndrome, and not feeling cold (like the Iceman) have got to have their perks! Okay, probably not for long. Cancer sucks (a gross litotes, I know) but one cancer survivor could be a superspy, thanks to having their fingerprints erased by chemotherapy.

More of a miracle-lover? Take the  baby that gestated in the capsule of the liver, a guy who survived a survival knife being rammed into his brain, and the person whose , for starters. Oddee helps us out again with their 10 Most Fascinating Medical Miracles.

Are any of these things true? I don’t know. But not a week goes by in our hospital without something remarkably odd happening. Whether it’s ducking doughnuts lobbed at me by a certain 1st floor patient with dementia, brushing off sexual advances from a psychotic admit, or hearing about a patient shooting at security guards with a pellet gun, life at the Regional is never normal. Thank goodness for laughter.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Laena permalink
    October 15, 2009 9:54 am

    I actually knew someone (of French Canadian descent) who had a ridiculous, over the top startle response. If you would just calmly walk up to her from the back or side and say hello, she’d screech and jump and clutch at her chest and need to catch her breathe. If you approached from the front, tho, it was ok. weird–I always assumed she was just being dramatic.

    • October 16, 2009 10:42 am

      some people have these elevated startle responses for other reasons too…
      I’ve seen patients with PTSD basically hit the ceiling when a noise came over the intercom – but that, and hypervigilance, is an expected feature of their disorder.

  2. October 15, 2009 12:37 pm

    LOL – I read your post this morning and then went to lecture, where the speaker system kept making weird noises and scaring us all half to death. I was almost in my friend’s lap by the end (i kept jumping up!)… Collective Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Syndrome, perhaps? Doubtful.

  3. October 16, 2009 8:53 am

    I am totally a jumping Frenchmen. It’s found to be amusing by many the first time they see it. And maybe the second. After that, it’s just plain ridiculous.

    It also adds to my reasons for not riding bikes. Screeching and Ducking is not a good response on a bike what with the traffic all around.

    Also I would LOVE to be a super spy. I’ll keep this in mind just in case….

    • October 16, 2009 10:40 am

      i had a heightened startle response too, but only to tickling and violent/scary movies!


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