At first when this assignment was presented to us I planned to write something about the worst disease anyone could get. At first a lot of diseases came into my mind. I thought about cancer, AIDS, ulcers, thalassemia etc. But as I was surfing the net in order to find more information about one of those diseases I realized that there were so many diseases that were even worse than the ones I thought. I had had the chance to hear about some of them but when I read more about them I realized that I knew so little. Some of them may not be life threatening diseases but anyway it is hard for those people to live in that way. Healthy person has a million wishes, a sick one only one. Unfortunately, for this people, even the wishes wont help. Some examples of these kind of diseases may be: * PROGERIA => is an extremely rare genetic disease wherein symptoms resembling aspects of aging are manifested at an early age.
* Leontiasis Ossea (LION FACE SYNDROME ) => is a rare medical condition, characterized by an overgrowth of the facial and cranial bones. It is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of other diseases, including Paget’s disease, fibrous dysplasia, hyperparathyroidism and renal osteodystrophy.
* PORPHYRIA (THE VAMPIRE DISEASE) => The porphyrias are a group of rare inherited or acquired disorders of certain enzymes that normally participate in the production of porphyrins and heme. They manifest with either neurological complications or skin problems, or occasionally both.
* NECROTISING FASCILITIS => commonly known as flesh-eating disease or flesh-eating bacteria syndrome, is a rare infection of the deeper layers of skin and subcutaneou tissues, easily spreading across the fascial plane within the subcutaneous tissue.
* FIBRODISPLASIA OSSIFICANNS PROGRESSIVA => sometimes referred to as Stone Man Syndrome, is an extremely rare disease of the connective tissue. A mutation of the body’s repair mechanism causes fibrous tissue (including muscle, tendon, and ligament) to be ossified when damaged. In many cases, injuries can cause joints to become permanently frozen in place. Surgical removal of the extra bone growths has been shown to cause the body to “repair” the affected area with more bone. But I would like to center my attention on two diseases of this kind.
Imagine yourself having dinner with your family when suddenly you fall into a trance-like state, your eyes roll back into your head, your body becomes
rigid and you are completely oblivious to the outside world. All your family hears is swearing, grunts and painful groans coming from your taunt, stretched face. Your body suddenly goes into convulsions before you jump up attacking your family members or unseen assailants with all your strength (double what it was before you fell ill). You tear at your skin, pull out your hair, eat whatever roaches, spiders or insects are within reach and speak in tongues. Other victims are reported to have performed superhuman feats or they speak the names of the next to be infected, although it is not always accurate. During attacks, victims report mental visions in which devils or evil spirits come for them, and have sex with them.
These victims will remain in this state for days or even weeks and they are completely unaware of what is going on and what they are doing during this period of time. It sounds like a horror film scene or something like that, doesn’t it? But that’s nothing more than the Grisi siknis. Grisi siknis (in Miskito language, means “crazy sickness”) is a contagious, culture-bound syndrome that occurs predominantly among the Miskito People of eastern Central America and affects mainly young girls from 15 to 18 years old.
According to western physicians this is classified as a dissociative fugue, which is distinguished by impulsive travel and amnesia, identity uncertainty, stress, and impediment to normal social function. It is most often related to intense emotional stress, emotional upset, worry, fear and general anxiety (whereas Miskito tradition holds that Grisi siknis is caused by possession by evil spirits). But despite the western physicians theories the Grisi siknis can be treated only by traditional Miskito healing methods. The Miskito healers may use vapor baths, herbal remedies, exposure to dead people, pregnant women and various meats etc.
What about the Odine’s curse?! Have you ever heard about that? According to the French folk tale Odine was a breathtaking beautiful nymph. But as we all know if a nymph or mermaid falls in love with a human and bears his child than she will “lose” her immortality. That is what happened to Odine when she saw the handsome Palemon. When Palemon saw Odine, he was taken by her incredible beauty, as well. Eventually thay fell in love and got married (after Palemon broke his engagement with the young Berta). When they exchanged the wedding oaths, Palemon vowed that “My every waking breath shall be my pledge of love and faithfulness to you.”
The following year Odine gave birth to their son and as a consequence she lost her immortality. After a long period of time things began to change until finally Odine found her husband lay sleeping with his arms wrapped around his former fianceé Berta. Having sacrificed her immortality for this man, she was filled with anger and regret. She woke him and uttered her curse. “You pledged faithfulness to me with your every waking breath and I accepted that pledge. So be it. For as long as you are awake, you shall breathe. But should you ever fall into sleep, that breath will desert you.” Ondine still retained some of her magic . . . enough to make the curse come true. ******
Ondine’s curse, also called congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) or primary alveolar hypoventilation, is a respiratory disorder that is fatal if untreated. Persons afflicted with Ondine’s curse classically suffer from respiratory arrest during sleep. It is is congenital or developed due to severe neurological trauma to the brainstem. In other words these patients should make a voluntary breathing; if they forget to do so then the consequences would be fatal. The symptoms of this disease are:
* tumors of the sympathetic ganglia
* difficulty swallowing
* anomalies of the pupilla
* darkening of skin color
* inability to sleep at night etc.