The history of medicine can be as strange as it is charming.
BBC journalist Thomas Morris knows it well.
In her book, "The Dagger of Toothings, which Broke Out Other Insightful Facts in the History of Medicine" (Penguin, 2018), reveals seven of the strangest cases in medical analogues.
- The eight diseases that pose a global health risk, according to the WHO (and why one of them still does not exist)
- The story of the first major epidemic of sexually transmitted disease (and why it blames America)
Here we will show you a summary:
1. The teeth that exploded
A 200-year-old cleric of Pennsylvania, the United States (identified only as the "Reverend DA"), began to suffer from a painful toothache.
From himself in agony, he did all he could to ease the pain: he ran through his garden like a raging animal, slapped his head to the ground, and dipped his face into ice-cold water.
Unfortunately, all the attempts were in vain.
The next morning the wanderer strolled from one side of the other through his classroom, grasping his jaw when suddenly "sharp rumble, As a shot he broke his teeth into pieces, giving him immediate relief. "
- The terrible and mysterious case of teeth that exploded with violence
Strange that the explosion of the priest's dog was the beginning of an epidemic of explosive teeth which will ultimately be reported in a dental magazine under the amazing title: "Tooth Explosion with Sound Report".
Apparently, a young woman's tooth ended in a spectacle when her painful tooth exploded with such violence that she almost pulled it down, silencing it for several weeks.
What could cause these dramatic explosions? Experts have proposed a variety of theories ranging from sudden temperature changes to the chemicals used in the first fillings.
None of these arguments, however, was particularly convincing, so the case of the teeth that exploded has not yet been resolved to this day.
2. The sailor swallows knives
In 1799, 23-year-old American sailor John Cummings went off to spend the night with his comrades in the French port of Le Havre.
There the band saw a magician who entertained a large audience, pretending to swallow knives.
Later that night Camons, who was already very drunk, boasted that I can swallow knives "as French"Encouraged by his friends, the gifted sailor put his knife in his mouth and swallowed it.
When a spectator asks him how many knives he can swallow at the same time, Cummings replied:All the knives aboard the ship!"before consuming three more.
It was an impressive alienation, though it was idiotic. Although Cummings was not trying to swallow more knives for six years, in 1805 he wanted to celebrate a party and repeated his performance to a group of sailors.
But not long after, it began to suffer from the negative consequences of its unorthodox "diet".
Scarred abdominal pain He was eating harder and began to starve.
He eventually died in 1809 after long illnesses.
His doctors, who did not believe in his history of eating knives, were initially confused until they split his body and were amazed to find Corroded remnants of more than 30 knives in the stomach and the intestines, one of which even pierced the colon.
3. Heal pigeons
The doctors of the nineteenth century used a wide range of strange drugs, but few were as strange as the German physician Karl Friedrich Kanstad recommended.
The prominent childhood specialist gave the following recipe to treat seizures in childhood: "If one Keeps the pigeon back against the child's anus during the attack, the animal dies soon and the attack stops with the same speed. "
That was an idea eccentric and, interestingly, Dr. Kanstad was not the only doctor who believed he was working.
When the director of the Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Dr. J. F. Wise was summoned to heal a heavily ill child, one night in August 1850, he had little success with conventional medications.
Desperate, he asked the parents to get a dove. "After the bird was attached to the child's anus," he noted in the medical journal, "he smiled a few times, closed his eyes periodically, then his legs shrank in spasm and finally vomited."
The boy regains a miracle, although the same can not be said for the dove: after refusing to eat, she died a few hours later.
When the news of the "pigeon cure" reached the medical journals in London, they caused a lot of laughter,
But Weiss does not pay attention to vices and insists on further investigation: "Experiments with other poultry are needed," he writes, it seems serious.
4. The soldier who has pulled his bladder from his bladder
The Colonel Claude Martin he was an eighteenth-century soldier who spent much of his life at the British East India Company.
In addition to his successful military career, he worked as a cartographer, architect and administrator. It became the richest European in India and also built (and flown) the first hot air balloon in the country.
But what is less well known about Martin is that he is the first person to perform – and pass – a medical procedure that will later be known as lithotripsy.
when developed the symptoms of bladder stonesIn 1782, Martin decided not to visit a doctor, realizing that a removal surgery would be extremely painful.
Instead, the brave Frenchman took the questions in his own hands.
Martin designs a special tool made with a knitting needle and a whip handle. then He inserted this home instrument into his own urethra and bladder, and scraping the stone a little bit.
Besides, the colonel repeated the terrible procedure up to 12 times a day for six months.
Surprisingly, it works: by the end of this period his symptoms have disappeared.
Fifty years later, something very similar to Martin's technique has become a standard method of treating bladder stones thanks to pioneering research by surgeons in Paris who apparently did not know what the colonel had done.
Martin was not only the first to complete the procedure, later known as lithotripsy; it was also the first patient in carrying out this operation.
5. Miller's Story
On August 15, 1737, a young man named Samuel Wood worked on one of the windmills on an island dog in London.
Walking in search of another corn bag, he did not realize there was a rope hanging.
Passing in front of one of the big wooden wheels, the rope was caught in one of the gears and before he knew what was going on, he flew into the air and fell sharply on the ground.
When he got up, Wood did not feel pain, except for a slight numbness on his right shoulder. And then he saw an unexpected object hung on the wheel: the hand is amputated
His hand!he realized with horror.
Showing a delightful calm, he managed to climb a narrow stairway and walk to the nearest house to seek help.
Loss of the limbs is not a minor issue: the injury to the tree is so drastic that the doctors who were treating the young man were afraid of a fatal outcome. But they were surprised to see that the hand was it wrenched so clean that his patient's life was not in danger.
The tree recovered from its accident in a few weeks he became a kind of celebrityLocal taverns even sell images to the man who survived when a windmill broke him.
In November 1737, three months after the crash, Samuel was brought before The Royal Society as live curiositywith his amputated hand, now preserved in alcohol, which was also presented for review by the colleagues.
6. Gastric jelly
In the summer of 1859, a 12-year-old girl from London, named Sarah Ann, began to complain of nausea. His symptoms were not serious, and his parents did not worry until one afternoon a large garden was vomited, which was described as "alive and very active".
Then Sara Ann vomited seven more snails, of varying sizes, but all living, and her parents decided that it was probably time to seek medical attention.
When asked if she had anything unusual, the girl told the doctor that she was loved to eat salads in the garden,
The doctor came to the conclusion that he unconsciously swallowed a family of young snails who had grown up to maturity in their stomach for several weeks.
He also noticed that Sarah Ann had only one hand, something he attributed to the fact that his mother was "frightened by a fool" during pregnancy.
The snail's story seemed implausible and some experts suggest that the girl should pretend: "Can the garden gateway live in the human stomach?" he asks in the title of the scientific journal The Lancet.
John Dalton, professor of physiology in New York City, decided to understand. He carried out a comprehensive series of experiments, including moistening live snails in stomach acid to see what had happened.
All creatures died for a few minutes and were completely degraded a few hours later, and the teacher reasonably concluded that no; the deaf can not live in the human stomach,
So what's wrong with Sarah Ann? It seems that his illness is more mental than physical.
But whatever it was, it was certainly not a family of mollusks that lived in her stomach.
7. Burning discomfort
Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is uncomfortable and uncomfortable, but it is rarely dangerous.
In 1886, a man from Glasgow, whose name is unknown, who suffers from bad breath for about a month, is developing an alarming new symptom.
When he woke up in the middle of the night, he lit a game to look at his watch. When he tried to hit him, his breath broke, causing a huge explosion.
His wife woke up immediately and found her husband spit on fire like a dyspeptic dragon.
The man's doctor had never heard of it, and at first glance nobody knew what that unusual phenomenon might be.
But then another Scottish physician, James McNaught, found a patient affected by inflammatory fever that he had to give up smoking so as not to burn his house.
When a tube passed through the man's stomach, Dr. McNad managed to analyze the contents. He found that it was causing blockage in the gut the human stomach will be fermented, which produce large amounts of flammable methane.
While potentially dangerous, this condition also serves as a fun trick.
In the 1930s, the patient tried to light a cigarette while playing a game bridge, but he was conquered by the need to tear himself apart.
According to the medical magazine: "When he was in the company, he tried to make it discreetly through the nose, leaving his companions electrified when he produced two flames coming out of his nostrils.
What could be more discreet than that?
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