Image by: Bakarti
My husband recently succumbed to that most terrible and life threatening of ailments; the dreaded man-flu. I knew something was wrong when I came home to find him already in bed, surrounded by snotty tissues and half full boxes of Nurofen, moaning unintelligibly about the need for tea and soup.
The way he looked at me with his puppy dog eyes and weakly gestured me over, I thought this must surely be the end…but it turned out that he just wanted me to bring his phone up from downstairs where he had left it. What a brave soul.
Eventually, however, it all became too much and I decided to show him that a mildly pronounced case of the flu was not the worst thing in the world, and that some people in the world are battling truly strange and unintelligible illnesses every day.
Here are some of most bizarre afflictions we stumbled across on our odyssey of illness.
Methemoglobinemia (Blue skin disorder)
While most people’s skin colors fall within a certain set of color parameters, it is very unusual that a person has uniformly blue or violet skin. This was exactly what happened to the Fugate family of Kentucky for 162 years until the condition was cured recently. The bright blue skin color was caused primarily by the person’s blood not absorbing oxygen properly.
Trimethylaminuria (Fishy odor syndrome)
This one is pretty much self explanatory. Sufferers of this disease cannot break down certain organic compounds in their food and subsequently have no control over an incredibly pungent smell that goes with their breath or sweat. There is no known cure although the social damage can be limited through a controlled diet and antibiotics.
Cotard’s Syndrome (Walking corpse syndrome)
This truly bizarre mental phenomenon leads to a person believing that they have died or lost an important and necessary part of the body, but that they are still able to think and walk around. The exact roots of the condition are still unknown but a large amount of cases are the result of severe brain trauma.
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (Micropsia)
This (thankfully) temporary condition can affect us all if we suffer from particularly intense migraines or go a long time without sleep, and acts to throw our sense of perception completely off track. This means that we no longer become able to truly tell how big or far away an object is, due to disturbances in the brains Occipital Lobe.
Exploding Head Syndrome
Sufferers of this disease are frequently startled out of their slumbers by the sounds of gunshots, explosions and screams echoing around their heads. The reason why these imaginary noises occur with such regularity is not really clear at this point.
Alien Hand Syndrome
This one is really like something out of a horror movie. Sufferers of this neurological disorder lose all control of one of their hands, but (creepily) the hand continues to grab and poke things as if it had developed a mind of its own! This condition is caused by a breakdown in communication between the two hemispheres of the brain after surgery, strokes or infections.
It probably goes without saying that my husband didn’t really have a leg to stand on after doing a little research into some of the craziest illnesses that a person can pick up during their lifetime, and rather quickly gave up his whimpering and went downstairs to find his phone himself. He even managed to give me a lift to the kitchen discount store and look vaguely interested while we wandered the aisles!
Does anyone else know of any bizarre illnesses or conditions that you can pick up?
- License: Creative Commons image source
Estelle Page is an interior designer by trade, but who is also a dedicated member of a young family. When not trying to find the perfect balance between beauty and functionality or writing blogs for companies like KDCUK, you can find Estelle wondering causally through country mansions and garden centers.