I’m visiting Banjul, in The Gambia at the end of this month to aid the development of the link between the medical school there and the school here in Swansea. I’ll have my elearning and IT hat on for most of the week, with some anatomy teaching and much meeting and greeting of Gambian colleagues mixed in.
So, with any first trip to the African continent come the vaccinations. Last week I had a hepatitis A vaccination, and this lunchtime I had the yellow fever jab, the most painful part of which was in reading the long list of potential side-effects. People have warned me that I’ll feel rough afterwards (guaranteed me in some cases) and I’m starting to feel a little ropey. This could, however be psychosomatic or caused by too much Guatemala Elephant.
Talking of psychosomatic, we were discussing the language of anatomy and the term “hypochondriac” in yesterday’s anatomy teaching. Firstly, you can see how the word “psychosomatic” is constructed from Greek words if you look at the parts and the web-link – and you’ll remember where “somatic” comes from. Secondly, “hypochondriac” is the correct term for a person who tends to be preoccupied by their own health and continually worried about having a serious illness even when reassured by a clinician that they are healthy (rather than “hyperchondriac”). It does relate to the hypochondriac region of the abdomen inferior to the costal cartilages. The Greeks associated many ailments to the movement of the spleen, which lies in the left hypochondriac region. Some time later the term developed its modern meaning.
There’s a Wikipedia entry for this, among many other sources on the web, such as this blog by a very open hypochondriac.
Right, typhoid next.