Sunday, January 02, 2011

The year in weird: 2010's strangest health stories

Oh, the odd things we learned this year: Hannah Montana can give people seizures. Facebook can trigger asthma attacks and something you're probably doing right now -- sitting! --is slowly killing you. Here, we remind you of all the things that made us say lol wut in 2010.

'Sleeping beauty' girl
Most of us are feeling pretty sleep-deprived this time of year -- but Louisa Ball never has that problem. The 15-year-old British girl has a rare condition called Kleine-Levin Syndrome, which causes her to sleep for days on end -- she once slept for nearly two weeks straight. And because she's as pretty as a Disney Princess, we all know her now as the "sleeping beauty girl." Sleep tight, Louisa.

When Facebook takes your breath away
An embarrassing amount of my sleep deprivation is directly linked to playing on Facebook late at night. But who knew Mark Zuckerberg's time-sucking creation could be linked to asthma, too? A case study last month reported on an Italian teenager who had an attack every time he looks at his ex-girlfriend's profile. It's complicated, indeed.

Stuck in 1994
In Michelle Philpots' world, Facebook doesn't exist, and Zuckerberg is only 10. For Philpots, it's still 1994. An extreme case of retrograde amnesia due to two car crashes wipes her memory clean every morning. When she wakes up, her husband must convince her that, yes, they're married and, no, grunge is no longer in style.

The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out ...
If only retrograde amnesia could scrub out the terrible images you've seen on the Internet, but, as they say, some things cannot be unseen. A 25-year-old California man lived your worst fear, a fear you probably didn't even know you needed to have: A worm crawled its way into his eye. This was reported back in June -- and then, incredibly, almost the same thing happened to an Iowa man in September. And then there was that report earlier this month about swallowing worms to ease ulcerative colitis. Here's to fewer worm news stories in 2011.

And we can't forget the poor Swedish Weight Watchers group whose combined heft caused the floor to cave in, the 82-year-old Yogi who says he hasn't eaten for 70 years, the German teenagers who guzzled down chili sauce and ended up in the emergency room and the story of Kiko, the terrier who gnawed off his owner's big toe and may have saved his life in the process.

Kiko apparently sensed an infection festering in his master's right big toe -- and chewed most of it off after his owner passed out in a drunken stupor.

A trip to the hospital confirmed Kiko's master's digit required amputation, and Kiko is being heralded by his owner for helping him realize he has been suffering from Type 2 diabetes. He had a dangerously high blood-sugar level of 560 when admitted -- many times the recommended 80 to 120.

OK- These are strange tales!


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12:18 AM  

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