EppsNet Archive: Disease

Spartans Are Overrated

Some of my work colleagues participated in a Spartan Race this past weekend, which seems like a good way to acquire a bacterial infection but to each his own. Slightly off-topic but Spartans didn’t fight very well and instead of fleeing, they let themselves all be killed by Persians . . . so I’ve always wondered why Spartans have become synonymous with positive qualities like commitment and toughness and resilience, instead of being remembered as milksops with cool headgear . . . Read more →

George Washington Died on this Day in 1799

On this date, Dec. 14, in 1799, George Washington, the American revolutionary leader and first president of the United States, died of acute laryngitis at his estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia. He was 67 years old. That is according to History.com. Acute laryngitis is not something that’s likely to kill you today but in 1799, medical “science” was still so medieval that doctors believed that diseases were caused by an imbalance of fluids in the body. In particular, they believed that fevers were caused by an excess of blood and they treated fevers by bleeding the patient. Not surprisingly, draining off almost half of Washington’s blood not only didn’t cure him, it probably killed him. The moral of that story is: When you don’t know what the heck you’re doing, just leave well enough alone. Read more →

Measles Cases in the United States, 1944 – 2007

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See You in Hell, O Ye of Little Faith

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] Greetings from the underworld! I was catching up on Facebook this morning and saw that a woman is going in for brain surgery and her family and friends are asking for prayers for her recovery. Isn’t that overkill — prayer and brain surgery? Why not just pray for her recovery and if she doesn’t make it, you chalk it up to God’s will? Some “true believer” religions, e.g., the Christian Science church, do that. They believe more in prayer than in medicine. They decline medical care because they believe that God can heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, etc. as he did in the Bible. These are the folks you hear about when they come up on criminal charges after refusing medical care for their seriously ill children and the… Read more →

The Who: The Kids Are Alright … Except the Ones With Ebola

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Ebola Outbreaks: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

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It’s Not That Hard to Be a Saint in the City

Pope John Paul II is being canonized this weekend because of 667,302 prayers for divine intervention, he miraculously answered two, years after he was already dead. What sort of evidence is required to certify that an earthly phenomenon was caused by a dead person? William of Occam would have pointed out that there are simpler explanations for a sick person getting well, e.g., The disease responded to treatment. The disease went into remission. The patient was misdiagnosed and did not really have the disease in the first place. I assure you that if 667,302 people with diagnosed medical ailments prayed to my dog, in at least two of those cases (and more likely, thousands), something unusual would happen. Years ago, a lower GI series revealed that I had a golf ball-sized (4 cm) tumor in my colon. The doctor did a colonoscopy a few days later and the tumor was… Read more →

Sick Day

A full day of sleep, systematic overdose of cold medicines, and phlegm reduction techniques (like hocking and nose blowing) that tend to be disruptive to people when practiced non-stop in the workplace can really help in battling a tough cold. It’s also a perfect excuse to close your eyes, curl up in a ball and hide from the world, which is my preferred leisure-time activity anyway . . . Read more →

Diagnosis Please

What disease is indicated when a fecal sample smells of menthol? I’m asking for whoever used the men’s room before me this morning . . . Read more →