Rare Maladies

I thought I should alert my readers to some newly discovered ailments...

SNS (Spinning Nose Syndrome):
Causes: After fifteen years of dedicated research, medical experts are still unable to pinpoint the cause of SNS. This disease first made itself known in southern California around 1989 and attacked mostly Caucasian females over the age of 25. Genetics have been ruled out as it appears in circles of friends rather than in families. Up until 2000 it was believed to be passed via air-born bacteria, but that conclusion was refuted by Dr. Josef Körnhöler von München, who noted in his article in the International Journal of Curious Diseases that the syndrome never leaves a circle of friends once it has infiltrated it. Unfortunately, funding ran out in 2002, thus no further research or testing is being conducted.
Symptoms: The earliest signs of SNS will probably go unnoticed. After about three weeks the patient will probably think his or her nose is a somewhat crooked. Within six months, a patient usually seeks the counsel of a cosmetic surgeon for a rhinoplasty procedure. This merely buys the patient a little time, however. Within a year they will begin to see the crookedness reappear. Left untreated, the rotation of the nose will gradually accelerate until, after a period of about one year, it will spin at about 78 rpm, usually in a clockwise direction (there is some indication that the noses of patients in the southern hemisphere rotate in a counter-clockwise direction). In its most severe state, SNS seizures can occur anywhere from several times a day to only once a month and can last from one to two minutes to a full 30 minutes. They are almost always preceded by a tickling sensation inside the nasal cavity and watery eyes.
Treatment: Due to lack of funding for further research, there is no known treatment for SNS. Many patients simply carry a handkerchief with them and pretend to be sneezing.

DFD (Disappearing Face Disease):

Causes: Like SDS, DFD, too, has no known cause. However, scientists have had better luck in receiving research grants. As a result, studies are being conducted as of this writing. In most cases, DFD appears in individuals who live alone, or are in unhappy relationships. When it appears it is sudden and has no warning signs.
Symptoms: Often, the patient will only discover he or she has DFD if they are looking into a mirror, or are with another person. The face disappears via a fading out effect and returns to normal within seconds. In most cases these episodes occur only when the sufferer is hungry. Although an episode seems to be perfectly harmless, it can be discomforting to those who witness it. No patient has ever described any physical discomfort, although most describe a daydream-like sensation during which they lose awareness of things going on around them.
Treatment: Short of wearing a mask, there is no known treatment.

PLD (Perpetual Laughter Disorder):

Causes: PLD is usually a result of sustained hilarity. Most cases begin while two or more people are together enjoying private jokes. However, a few cases have been documented as the result of viewing comedy television programs or movies.
Symptoms: PLD is diagnosed when at least seven of the following symptoms are present (without let-up) for longer than one hour:
  • Constricted breathing or gasping
  • Silent laughter (no sound can be emitted)
  • Weeping eyes
  • Acute pain in side
  • Inability to walk
  • Incontinence
  • Flatulence
  • Coughing
  • Spasms of the upper extremities
  • Flushed coloring of the face
  • Inability to stand erect
Treatment: The only known treatment is to remove the patient from the stimulus. Often, complete isolation is necessary, accompanied by hydrotherapy and moderate doses of a prescribed sedative.


  1. Hi Wolfie! I just thought I’d post from France! I’m in Amboise right now. Talk to you later!

  2. Bonjour ma chère fille! Your mother read your email to me. You sound like you’re having a wonderful time, despite the “Ugly Americans” with whom you are traveling. Now you know why the Parisians hate us. Ah well. Soon we will go to Europe together and while you and your mother shop in Paris, I shall be bending my elbow in Munich or Salzburg. We can synchronize our watches to meet in Vienna.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip and come home to us safely.

    (Avez-vous rencontré des garçons beaux?)

  3. The best treatment for SNS is to carry a roll of tape with you, and just tape it into place.

  4. “Wolfie”? That’s cute.

  5. I think I’ve suffered all the symptoms of the PLD…

  6. The have always called me Wolfi because I’m a composer and Mozart historian, and have also done some historic portrayals as Mozart.

    It’s very special to me that they call me this.


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