I’ve been wanting to do a genealogy Top 10 for a while now, but for WHAT? I’ve also had this link I’ve been wanting to weave into a post. So, why not combine the two??
We’ve all seen several of these mostly-obsolete terms on the COD line of a death certificate or in an ancestor’s obituary. And now with a few new newsworthy diseases lately, I thought the timing was perfect for such a blog post. Not to mention Halloween’s coming up. So, without further ado!…
The Online Genealogist proudly presents… The Top 10 Old Diseases!…
#10: Trench mouth! They’re “painful ulcers found along gum line, caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene”. So, is trench mouth the disease itself or a fitting aftermath term for it? Either way, it doesn’t sound very pleasant.
#9: It’s a 3-way tie!… The American plague, Bronze John and dock fever are all — yellow fever! Sometimes, a single medical term is not enough.
#8: Cacospysy, which is an irregular pulse! My favorites are the ones that sound much worse than they actually are. Though, I’ve never had an irregular pulse nor do I know what may come after said pulse. Moving along…
#7: Then there’s strangery! Which is a rupture. The list doesn’t specify what’s been ruptured, so I’m assuming it’s all-encompassing. “I’m sorry, but you have a serious case of strangery.” “Oh no, doctor – did I rupture a disc?” “No, I just think you’re a weirdo!” <Tha-doomp>
#6: And how would you like to suddenly come down with a case of… eel thing? Or would it be THE eel thing? No, it’s not one of those early ’60s fad dances; it’s erysipelas. Cleared that up, huh? Which turns out to be the desired result of this disease.
#5: It’s a two-fer! Or one may be a condition of the other? St. Vitas dance is defined here as “ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed involuntary aka Viper’s Dance”. Then, chorea is a “disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing”. So, what happens here? Does one with chorea go into the Viper’s Dance and then St. Vitas dance? Or is everything occurring at ONCE?? It’s all so confusing!!!!
#4: Here’s another one of those sounds-much-worse-than-it-is diseases – epitaxis! If you have epitaxis, does that mean when you hail a cab, over 50 come out of nowhere? No such luck, as it’s a nose bleed. “And dun’t be bleedin’ inside my cab, now!”
#3: Grocer’s itch?!? Oh, so many things come to mind for THIS one. But it’s probably a condition that’s been crossed off the CDC watchlist for quite some time now, being a “skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour”. And no, I won’t tell you what I was thinking. The mites sound much worse.
#2: Then there’s the dreaded sanguineous crust, which is a GOOD thing to have! A scab means you’re healing nicely, so that wound did NOT get seriously infected and amputation wasn’t necessary. See? A GOOD thing!
#1: My favorite, which I’ve never used as an excuse in the past!… “Yeah, I won’t be into work today…… “I’ve got scrivener’s palsy“…… “Yeah, it’s really bad, I’m afraid. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment this afternoon.” And unless your boss knows what a scrivener and palsy are, you’ll be free and clear! If you don’t know either, you can refer to the above webpage for the description of this terrible affliction. We should have a GoFundMe page for it, it’s so bad!
BONUS EXTRA DISEASE: This one is inevitable. For all of us. Decrepitude. “Feebleness due to old age” sounds so broad. One person’s “feeble” is another’s “Doin’ OK for an OLD fart!”
And remember: You have more of a chance of being comically flattened by a steamroller than catching ebola in America. Well, right NOW, at least…
Hey, if you’re family history research is leaving YOU feeling like the aforementioned ribbon person, hire me… The Online Genealogist! I’ll even throw in the guarantee… that I will NOT be giving you ebola!