Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jo's Fun List Of Medical Terms Nobody Can Pronounce!

It's that time again, kiddies! Sit yourselves down and get ready for a wild ride through medical terminology. Today we'll be covering Things Nobody Can Pronounce. Ready? Go! (Please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle.)

La belle indifference: This is a symptom of conversion disorder. It's what happens when a person shows utter unconcern about whatever symptoms they've got, regardless of how scary things get. 

Homonymous hemianopsia: I still get tangled up halfway through this one. It's a complex, yet quick way of saying that a person has lost the same field of vision in both eyes.

Prader-Willi Syndrome: My personal definition of hell. It's a spectrum of disorders caused by a deletion or doubling on chromosome 15, resulting in a person's never, ever, ever feeling like they've had enough to eat. There are related problems (including a lack of muscle mass and sometimes mild mental retardation), but the feeling of overwhelming and constant hunger is the hallmark of Prader-Willi.

Glioblastoma multiforme: Look in the dictionary under Do Not Want and you'll find this particular brain tumor. It's the most common, most lethal, and least-treatable brain tumor out there.

Hemiasomatognosia: aka "neglect". A person who's had a stroke or other brain injury forgets about half of their body. In severe cases, they lose all concept of one side of the universe, so that "left" or "right" no longer exists. 

Apneustic breathing: It happens when you get a bonk or a tumor in your lower pons (v. important part of brain): you breathe in deeply, pause, breathe out...(wait about a minute)...repeat. 

Astasia-abasia: A person tries to walk, lurches around, weaves, and finally falls over--but only falls when there's something soft to land on.

Flocculonodular lobe: It's a part of your cerebellum. I learned this term once and have never used it again.

Aphonia: The inability to speak.

Blue Rubber Bleb Nevus Syndrome: Yeah, this one's easy to pronounce, but I included it just because I love the name. Unfortunately for people with Blue Rubber Bleb Nevus Syndrome, the condition isn't as fun as its moniker: it's a problem of venous malformation in which the person ends up with extremely painful, constantly-bleeding lesions all over the inside and outside of the body. 

Oligodendroglioma: A brain tumor that arises from the cells that insulate the electrical wiring of your brain.

Aaaaand that's it! Everybody okay? Good! Unbuckle your seat belts. You may now return to your normal life with some fun bits of knowledge that will serve you well at the next party you go to.


Anonymous said...

You must rock at scrabble!

Brenda said...

The first one. La belle indifference. Sounds like my ex-husband.

Anonymous said...

OK.. now that was fun..err.. funny.
Thanks for that trip down amnesia lane!

Penny Mitchell said...

Seriously, they only fall down when there's something soft? What if something soft never shows up?

JChevais said...

La belle indifference? Is that really a medical term?

I have no idea what a conversion disorder is.

Actually, I'm not sure of what you mean in a lot of your posts when you get technical, but it doesn't matter. I like the way you say the things you do.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna say, "astasia-abasia" next time I'd normally say, "potayto, potahto"!

Anonymous said...

my own favorites:

endometriosis & hysterectomy.

Diagnosed with the first a month ago, told I needed the second two weeks ago.

No one in my office can pronounce either of them (everyone has to know because of how my job is structured; if I'm gone, the whole place grinds to a halt, no permits get issued, and nothing gets done).

I'm almost over the denial, and fully into avoidance now.

Anonymous said...


I hope you come back. You might get a second opinion. My wife was diagnosed with endometriosis and even responded to Danocrine. Later, she was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome (an autoimmune disease related to Lupus and Rhumatoid Arthritis). And, even later, when she had a hysterectomy, the OBGYN did not observe any endometriosis.

Diagnosis to surgery recommendation seems very short; a second opinion might be very useful.

Dani said...

Whew! Prader-Willi. I worked in a group home where two of my clients were PW. One client snuck and ate an entire FROZEN pizza. They can literally eat themselves to death, if left to their own devices.