Late Night TV

I got sucked in last night to a show on the Learning Channel about Dede, the treeman.  I couldn’t look away.  Here’s this poor guy, minding his own business, being a human and the next thing you know, he’s growing what looks like tree roots where his hands and feet are supposed to be.

That’s messed up.

Turns out what ails him is a wart virus run amok.  Those horns growing out of his palms, soles and head are giant warts. 

Grossed out much?

The article I’ve linked to says that local doctors were stumped.

No shit.  We’re talking about a part of the world where migraines are caused by demonic possession, I can’t believe they’d look at tree man and say “Dude, get some Compound W.”

In fact, his doctors have been surgically removing the warts which grew back almost as fast as they could cut.  It took an American dermatologist to figure that until they could kill the virus causing the warts, poor old Dede would keep sprouting branches.

The story had a happy ending.  Dede underwent chemo to kill off the virus, it seemed to work and now he’s scarred but fairly normal looking with functional extremities.

Even in Indonesia, Dede is pretty darn lucky he’s alive in the 21 century.  A hundred years ago, folks would’ve thought he’d crossed a witch or committed some unforgivable crime and social ostracism would’ve been the better of his choices.  Stoning or burning would’ve been more likely.

After that show ended, I had to watch the next thing which was about two cases of people who suffered undiagnosable ailments.  One was a woman who suffered debilitating headaches, which escalated into a racing heart and heavy sweating and finally into fits of violent rage.  Turns out the poor thing had a tumor on her adrenal gland that was causing her body to pour huge amounts of the stuff into her system almost constantly.

What bothered me most about that case was that after two or three doctors told this chick it was just stress and to chill, she gave up.  Despite her husband begging her to continue to seek medical help, she decided that pain and anger were simply her lot in life. 

That’s just stupid.

Sure, it would be frustrating to have your doctor dismiss your symptoms, but nine out of ten times, the doc is probably right.  When you know there’s something wrong with you, refusing to seek medical help because your first doctor was a douche is stubborn and spiteful.    In the meantime, her kid’s childhoods were ruined and her first husband left her.

I found it interesting that he left the kids with pyscho-Mom.  WTF?

She suffered this way for sixteen years before finally finding a decent doctor and now she’s okay. 

The second half of the show was about a young man who’s now 18, who suffers from what can best be described as an acute allergy to sunshine.  It took his parents and doctors about seven years to figure this out.  I figured it out after the second incident at the community pool when he was a baby, but I had the advantage of knowing it was some weird-ass thing no one’s ever heard of.

Again, I’m impressed by the similarity of this youngster’s illness and mythology, this time of vampires.

There’s probably not much in our collective stories of monsters, gods and super heroes that didn’t come from the outer edges of medical reality, which is the premise that M. Night Shamalanamganadaa based “Unbreakable” on.  Too bad he’s such a crappy director; that should’ve been a really good movie.

The bottom line is I stayed up way too late and all I got for it was dangerously little information on a subject I know nothing about.

I love it when that happens.

Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 3:26 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I liked unbreakable! Tree man eats bananas. I’m glad he’s all better.


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