Saturday, May 20, 2006

More Googling

I haven't told you about the time I thought I'd invented a disease. It was about four years ago, around Easter time. In the course of a week I saw five or six young boys, brought by worried mothers with a funny rash. As it happened all the boys had a red, blotchy, painful rash on the tops of their ears. Nowhere else. Just bright red ears.

I mentioned it one morning at coffee and the doc in the next room said he'd seen a couple of lads and one girl with a similar rash too, so we started looking in the dermatology books. Nothing. All sorts of rashes that could include the ears. Some scary lesions thet often came on the ears (but generally after a long life lived in the glare of the sun-- not something you see a lot of in kids in Borsetshire). But nothing like what we were seeing.

We began to argue about whose name should go first on the eponym for our new mystery erruption. Of course I stuck out for "Jest-Neighbour Disease". He churlishly argued for "Neighbour -Jest Syndrome". Well you can all see that doesn't scan nearly so well and sounds much less imposing can't you. (And it would inevitably get shortened to Neighbour's Syndrome and not Jest's Disease-- plainly wrong, after all I had more cases AND I had raised it at coffee time, so there.)

Then, just to be on the safe side before rushing in to print for the Christmas edition of the BMJ, which is the one where they put all the quirky stuff that isn't really "hard" science, I just thought I would Google the description and see what came up.

It was like getting to whichever Pole it was, only to find a blooming Norwegian flag there and "Ammundsen woz 'ere" scrawled in the snow. Some blighter had seen it before, and described it. What we had both been seeing were cases of "Juvenile Spring Time Erruption" (another diagnosis you can't help smiling at-- "that's not a proper erruption, stop being Juvenile!").

It plagues boys with short haircuts or sticky out ears. And the occasional Tomboy girlie obviously. The thing is, they all get to have a break from school in the spring, the weather -- please god-- turns sunny, and they all want to go out to play. Without their woolly hats. The combination of cold wind, bright sun, and innocent little ear tops causes the rash. Needless to say it soon gets better all on its own and it needs no treatment, which is pretty much how we had been "managing" our little outbreak anyway.

Now I come to think about it I'm sure I had it a time or two as a nipper.

Looks like I'll have to wait a little longer for my shot at immortality though.


Shinga said...

Sorry to learn that your shot at immortality is temporarily delayed pending the discovery of another lurgy.

Did you Google the skin disease from the Dermatology Image Atlas as recommended both by Dr. Crippen and (according to the Baltimore Sun) various bizarre fetish sites throughout the world?

Regards - Shinga

Sooz said...

Dr Jest... I don't wish to be presumptious or anything but as a NNEB trained Nursery Nurse (TMI) I would hedge a bet at this being sunburn!

Shall I get my coat?

Doctor Jest said...

shinga-- sorry it's so ,ong ago now I can't really remember, but the Dermatology Image Atlas is certainly a useful resource. Bit worried about the fetish aspect though.

sooz-- perhaps I didn't describe my ground-breaking discovery well enough. the erruptoin is rather more urticarial and got better a lot quicker than proper sunburn would have.

No need to get your coat though. Indeed you are most welcome to the mad-house ;-)

Katy Newton said...

Urticarial, eh? That's never a real word. I bet you made that up to sound doctory.


Stupid Google.

Doctor Jest said...

We don't need to make this stuff up you know. Aparently Medics in their first two years at University learn more new words than Linguists do in a three year degree.

GPs then spend a career figuring out how to translate it all back into English without sounding really vague and waffly.

It's working well don't you think?

Mr Angry said...

I invented a disease once. I was 11.

It's called "angryinfestitus". It's when your head swells to twice the normal size, your legs fall off and your left ear turns upside down.

No-ones ever contracted it as such, but when they do, boy, I'll be famous!

Doctor Jest said...

Mr A-- Ah! So that's what that is. There's been a lot of it about round Ambridge way this year. Still as I always say, "Just keep taking the tablets".

Old Moses keeps looking at me funny though.