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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hilariously-named medical conditions

I'm still a little pressed for time when it comes to writing a real post, but hopefully this little gem will tide you over. This is a continuation/expansion of the conversation we all enjoyed on my Facebook yesterday.

It all started when I finally got the time to start reading my pregnancy textbook "Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn." Yes, it is exactly as interesting as it sounds, and I recommend you all buy a copy and get your learnin' on. But anyway, so I'm reading this book and I get to the chapter on pregnancy complications -- scary-sounding stuff like preeclampsia and placental abruption and so on, and then one complication with a name so ridiculous I couldn't even handle it: incompetent cervix.

I'm not going to explain what incompetent cervix actually is, because there's really nothing funny about it. But no one can deny that that's a funny name for a medical condition. Well, at least, no one can deny that it's funny to call a cervix "incompetent." I mean, it's not like you can give the cervix an IQ test or something. Or sit it down with a psychologist to determine if it is adequately able to understand what's going on around it. It's a cervix. It just ... sits there. And sometimes, apparently, is incompetent.


This reminded me of another wonderful medical condition -- one suffered by legendary philanderer and golfer Tiger Woods: cervical radiculitis (I just googled how to spell it). It's some sort of back pain relating to compression of the cervical nerves ... but tell me that diagnosis doesn't immediately make you think Tiger's suffering from Ridiculousness of the Cervix.

Now I'm just imagining how that doctor visit would play out. I mean, how ridiculous does the cervix have to be in order to be diagnosed with this condition? Is there a ridiculousness spectrum upon which your cervix is judged? Can a cervix be both incompetent AND ridiculous?

PATIENT: Hi doc, I'm here for my follow-up appointment. Have you been able to figure out what's wrong with me?

DOCTOR: Yes, we have. It appears you have cervical radiculitis.

PATIENT: Oh dear. Is it serious?

DOCTOR: Well, yes and no. From a health perspective, it's very serious. But from a-- [doctor dissolves into fits of laughter] I'm sorry, I'm sorry [continues to laugh. Begins deep breathing exercises to regain composure while wiping tears from eyes]. Ahem. What I mean to say is, you have one of the most ridiculous cervixes we've ever seen. [laughs uncontrollably again; wets self]

PATIENT: Doctor, I'm afraid I don't really understand. How exactly does a cervix get branded as "ridiculous"? What does it all mean?

DOCTOR: [momentarily pulls self together] Well, it's very hard to explain. I'll just show you a few pictures here until you get the idea of just how ridiculous your-- [doctor explodes again into laugher; urine spot on pants doubles in size]

PATIENT: Oh for God's sake, just show me the pictures already.

DOCTOR: Quite right, quite right. Here we are:

PATIENT: Oh dear, I think I'm beginning to see. Is there anything that can be done about it?

DOCTOR: [collapses onto floor giggling uncontrollably]

PATIENT: I think I'm going to need a second opinion.

And this is why I can never be a doctor.


  1. What in the ever loving fuck is that last picture?!

    1. I have no idea, but it is my new favorite thing. It is the answer to every question, the solution to every problem, and the cherry on top of every sundae.