Hunan Hand and Other Ailments: Letters to the New England Journal of Medicine

Shirley B. Moskow, Editor Little Brown and Company $15.95 (186p) ISBN 978-0-316-58533-0
This sampling of the medical journal's lighter correspondence of the past 20 years devotes a chapter to treating the physician's ""acute case of jargon fever.'' Despite these good intentions, freelance medical writer Moskow offers many letters that suffer from untranslated ``Medispeak'' (a typical missive begins: ``This summer and fall I had a rather stubborn lateral epicondylitis of my left elbow, and in turn a medial epicondylitis of my right elbow''). Diverse topics include the use of zippers in abdominal surgery; treatment of hiccups (a spoonful of sugar); the hazards of ``Big Mac'' allergy and handling hot peppers (Hunan hand); sports injuries (bicycle-handlebar palsy, frisbee finger, jogger's nipple and penile frostbite); atropine poisoning inferences in Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter; and sciatica resulting from carrying a credit-card stuffed wallet in the back pocket. A chapter on flatulence (with bedpan-humor poems) or a letter detailing how a three-year-old contracted gonorrhea by eating a culture dish containing the organism will turn lay stomachs. Illustrations. (October)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-21653-8
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