You guys are going to the doctors more to find out all that’s wrong with you. Life is an ongoing educational journey into obliviousness and consternation.
On this trek, you’ll hear about heart disease, toe fungus, diabetes, and many other conditions that threaten to end your life.
But look on the bright side. There are some terms you’ll run into that may or may not resonate. That’s OK because what’s more important is you’re aware there are uncool medical terms and cool ones.
No need to go to The New England Journal of Medicine or Physician’s Desk Reference to look them up because I’ve pulled together what you need to know right here.
To waste some time, let’s kick things off with the uncoolest terms based on no empirical evidence but rather unsubstantiated and meaningless bias.
I don’t know what phlebitis is but it sounds lame. Is it something the Navy plebes in Annapolis catch when they feel light-headed from all the puritanical discipline they have to go through? Is it some derivative or cousin of having too much phlegm in your nose?
The answer to both of these questions is no. But phlegm reminds me of asthma largely because both words are tricky to sell. But there’s more to it. I feel sorry for people who suffer from asthma but I also feel sorry for them because asthma isn’t a cool-sounding condition. It blows to have asthma.
I’m not crazy about the term hernia either. A hernia is some sort of thing where you go into your backyard and lift a pile of rocks and your scrotum pops. You go to the doctor and he tells you that you have a hernia and you need to stop lifting rocks. For that, he charges you $459.
But enough rock talk.
Let’s get to the good stuff, the coolest sounding medical things. We’ll be counting these down from 10 to 1 as they do on New Year’s Eve in Times Square before the ball drops from the Manhattan skyline.
- Spine Surgery
Gotta love that alliteration. And when someone asks you what you’re going to the hospital for and you get to tell them Spine Surgery, they’ll think you’re a combat warrior. Spine Surgery ain’t for sissies. Your spine is basically as important as your heart and Johnson in keeping you alive. If some doctor is gonna cut up your spine, you’re a badass.
- Testicular Cancer
No question one of the coolest-sounding anatomical words is testicular. Four syllables of glorious literary yumminess. I know testicular cancer is a serious situation and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But if someone asked me what’s wrong and I got the opportunity to tell them “I have testicular cancer,” it would at least sound cool to the ear and impress the person I was speaking with. Sometimes good things derive from bad things.
- Bone Contusion
Listen to those sounds: Bone Contusion. Sounds delicious. I think it’s the contusion that really arouses me because it sounds sinister like “Bone Confusion” or “Bone Fusion” and “Cold Fusion.” What is cold fusion? Stick to the subject.
Something wild and mysterious is going on with you if you have a bone contusion. You’re worth thinking about and maybe even writing about.
- Rotator Cuff Surgery
This doesn’t even sound like a medical condition. It sounds like some ring jewelry you shift around on your tuxedo shirt sleeve. Well, the surgery part sounds medical, but the cuff word takes me right back to the yellow tux I wore to my junior prom. Everyone wondered why I chose that color.
No medical procedure sounds more radical than a lobotomy. For a long time, I didn’t know what it meant but when I found out it’s when you take out the important part of a person’s brain my reverence for the word lobotomy shot to the sky.
A lobotomy is one of those things you don’t even talk about at a cocktail party because people shiver when they hear the word and can be known to dry heave. The only medical term to use less at a cocktail party is phlegm and with good reason. Phlegm is snot.
- Lacerated Disc
Lacerated sounds wicked serious and therefore cool. “Hey man, what are you going to the hospital for?” “Got a lacerated disc, man.”
Tell your bud that and he’ll automatically respect you. And be a little confused. Because when he hears the word disc he immediately thinks of music tools such as a compact disc. Unless he’s a doctor, he doesn’t realize your body has a disc in it. We can’t know everything.
So we know about comas. Aside from comas being near-death sleep on and on situations, comas sound cool. At your next cocktail party, listen to all the people trying to share their most impressive stories like how fast they drove their BMW to the party, and see how they all react when you drop this: “Hey, I was in a coma.”
None of them will have a comeback because none of them will be able to top you saying you were in a coma unless they tell you they died and came back to life but that’s not likely because people who say that either is lying or need to be viewed with skepticism because that sounds far-fetched.
This would have been my number one medical term on this except when you see the one I chose it will all make sense. I like tracheotomy for the sound and sense that if you’re getting a tracheotomy something serious is going down in your life.
“Hey man, what are you doing today?”
“I’m going to get a tracheotomy.”
You’ll impress with that answer. Anyone getting a tracheotomy deserves respect. They’re going to get their throat cut up, which could affect their ability to eat and breathe and it’s all profound. It’s like a horror movie procedure for mainstream people.
- Vasovagal Syncope
This gets the number two ranking in part because almost no one knows what this but it’s a real medical condition that sounds whacked. When you’re lying in bed and get up fast without allowing time for blood to run into your head, you can fall down on your face and bump your head because you’ve fainted.
While stumbled to the Jiffy John, you’ll just drop. You have Vasovagal Syncope, which is a name that has no connection with the condition actually is. Vasovagal Syncope is a Shakespearean witch voodoo mind trick.
The Winner: Sigmoidoscopy
This wins this contest for two reasons: it sounds like some procedure Sigmund Freud would have conceptualized and revolutionized had he been a lobotomy surgeon. Or if he had been a psychiatrist, it would be how he would suggest one of his patients get over themselves. “Hey,” he would say, “you need a sigmoidoscopy. Get over yourself.”
But when you consider what a sigmoidoscopy really is, you can’t put this anywhere but in the winner’s circle. This procedure is so godawful and unspeakable that medical officials had to create a name for it that no one could make a logical connection to. It’s a medical euphemism using a weird guy’s name, Sigmund, and for that alone it stands above the rest on this list.
Get a sigmoidoscopy and you’ll become Sigmund Freud.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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