The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cuban Medical Terminology

I received this via e-mail today and thought I'd share it with you all.

My grandmother believed and espoused all of these and I can attest that I have actually suffered from some of them. Really.

Maybe this will help explain why I am the way I am...I can't help it!

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  • Aire: Any pain in the body is probably "trapped air."
  • Destemplanza: Mysterious body temperature, not high enough to be considered fever, but serious enough to miss school and work. Illness is unknown by the American Medical Association and understood only by doctors of Cuban origin.
  • Patatú: Attack of obscure origin that can strike at any time. Could be serious enough to require hospitalization, yet is undetected by medical technology. Victims tend to be males and females over the age of 50.
  • Sirimba: Attack with similar symptoms as the Patatú but not as serious and with shorter duration. Can be alleviated by lying on a bed with a wash cloth soaked in alcohol on the forehead.
  • Sereno: Occurs when someone steps outdoors suddenly at night and is sprinkled by a mysterious substance. There are no physical symptoms and can only be detected by the Cuban elderly. The effect of having this disease is unknown: children must not be taken out at night without proper head gear or risk of contamination is certain.
  • Empacho: Digestive disorder which occurs after the consumption of a large Cuban meal, ( i.e. Noche Buena or Christmas Eve). The only known cure for this disease is "Sal de Fruta ENO", (Alka-Seltzer is completely ineffective).
  • Mollera: Soft cranial spot found on new born babies of Cuban origin. Much more sensitive than that of Americans. The slightest touch to that area can lead to irreparable brain damage.
  • Pasmo: (Ovarian Induced Dementia): A strange phenomena that occurs when a woman proceeds to wash her hair while menstruating. Can also strike if a woman takes a shower (as opposed to a bath) in the 40 days immediately following childbirth. Symptoms include inappropriate behavior requiring the sufferer to be committed. Every Cuban family has at least one case.
  • Chochera: Syndrome affecting all Cuban senior citizens to different degrees. Characterized by all around bitchiness and irritating behavior. Treatment: Permanent stay at nearest nursing home.
  • Punzada de Guajiro (Brain Freeze): Sharp pain of short duration in the head occurring after a particularly cold beverage. First reported by "guajiros" (rural Cuban farmers) upon first experiencing refrigerated liquids. Although bothersome, it doesn't have long-term effects.
  • Cuerpo Cortado: (Cut Body): Frequent and mild condition of unknown ethnology. Symptoms include but are not limited to: Fatigue lack of energy and chronic whining.
  • Moño Virado: (Twisted Bonnet): Psychological imbalance of short duration that causes strange mood swings, violent irritating behavior as well as general unpleasantness. Extremely common. Can strike anyone regardless of age or sex.
  • Rabadilla: Skeletal region located at the end of a Cuban's spinal cord. Has absolutely no equivalent in the American anatomy.
  • Luz de Luna (Moonlight) - If the moonlight shines upon you while you sleep you will catch a cold.
  • Cafe con Mango - If you drink Cuban coffee after eating a mango you'll have a Patatú (see above).

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2 Comments:

Blogger Dixie said...

This was hilarious! Germans have some of the same ideas - getting a draft on your neck will give you a cold, your kidney region not being kept warm will make you sick and then there's the ever popular idea that when it's really hot out you can have a "circulatory collapse".

4:43 PM  
Blogger Toni Lea Andrews said...

I had a Mexican employee who had a much more complicated explanation of Pasmo - she couldn't get water on her feet OR wash her hair while menstruating! When she got a little, er, ripe, the other Mexican women in the office (us Gringas were not considered a reliable source) had to explain to her there was no such thing as Pasmo and she could bathe at will Really.

She finally gave in and was ASTONISHED that no horrible symptoms ensued...

10:32 AM  

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