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Night Shade Message Boards » Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases » Therapy: Diagnosis #2--Your Questions « Previous Next »

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JeffV
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2003 - 09:38 am:   

Please feel free to post your questions here.

Drs. Roberts & VanderMeer
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Mark Tillman
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2003 - 09:39 am:   

I have a question for doctors out there. It seems in the medical world there is an epidemic of arrogant and condescending doctors out there. Seemingly curt, rude, uninterested in being there, and overly concerned with self ego stroking rather than showing interest in what they are there for. It's glaringly obvious this is rampant to people who encounter doctors like this. What are your opinions as fellow doctors? Do you see this too? Do you find there are a lot of egos in the business who are more or less there for the title and the money, rather than a passion to help others? How do you deal with a bad doctor? What can you do to sort the good apples from the rotten ones out of a group. Any suggestions and ideas on how to find a good doctor? Thanks, your input is important. I am interested in hearing it.
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Dr. Broadband
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2003 - 09:54 am:   

I seem to recall Dr. Lambshead's advocacy of a certain "music hypothesis" concerning a particular peculiar cabinet in a house of eighty-seven such. What does Dr. Lambshead have to say to the assertions of the physicists claiming that it is not in fact the sound of music emanating from the cabinet?
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Tim McWitt
Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2003 - 12:05 pm:   

To whom it may concern:

I think I contracted this curious mental illness that makes me write with words that commence merely with C/I/M/T/W. Twice they tried treatment, though it was mostly ineffectual. Traumatic causes, maybe, they told me. I'm worried.

Thanks,
Tim McWitt
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Jess Nevins
Posted on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 03:04 pm:   

Doctors--

It hurts when I do this.

What should I do?
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Thackery
Posted on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 07:00 pm:   

Don't do that.

Dr. Lambshead
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The Real Doctor
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 07:08 am:   

Dr. Lambshead couldn't thread a needle with his pet gopher.

Dr. RFW
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Dr Neil Williamson BDS
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 07:18 am:   

As an acquaintance of Thwack's of long standing, I feel I ought to leap to his defence here. The Pocket Guide itself, as well as these very electronic forums, are intended solely for the public benefit. I consider it exceptionally bad form to slight the good doctor's work in this venue, especially as it has been well documented for some years that his eyesight is not what it was, sewing has never counted amongst his chief skills (see: "Lambshead, An Unauthorised Biography, Volume 4 The Surgery Years", Gerard Van Wyck), and his pet gopher, Wendel died ten years ago this week of Emordny's Syndrome.

Besides, when it comes to threading a needle with a gopher, Doctor, I ask you: can you?

Respectfully, etc,
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Thackery
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 08:20 am:   

If the question is, can I thread a needle *through* a gopher--yes, indeed I can. And have since I was only a lad of eight years.

It is probably redundant to point out that Dr. RF Wexler has hounded me since my college days. In fact, the Guide contains proof of this--a harrassing letter, indicative of the many thousands he has sent my way.

Dr. Lambshead
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The Real Doctor
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 09:42 am:   

I can sum up my "hounding" in one word. Charlatan. And I'm not talking about my own qualifications, or those of a gopher.

Dr. Wexler
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Patient
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 01:53 am:   

Doctor, I broke my arm in several places.
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Concerned
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 04:08 am:   

Dear Dr. Thackery:

It seems to be turning yellow. Is it supposed to turn yellow?

Concerned
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Dr Montgomery Ancient
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 06:01 am:   

Dear Patient

*sigh*

Don't visit those places again.
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Dr Iain Rowan
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 08:24 am:   

I think that the common perception of egotism amongst doctors is simply a misperception; a misperception of our genius and extraordinary talent for improving the human condition.

Or rather, the genius and extraordinary talent for improving the human condition that some of us have, a genius that is not recognised by the closed-minded myopic medical establishment who choose to shun true genuis simply because of unfortunate circumstances that could occur in any medical experiments when one is reaching for greatness with true vision, and on the subject of those experiments I would like just to say that the area is now virtually free from contamination and I am pleased to report that all of the survivors survived.

And to "Patient" above, I can only say with some exasperation that it is *not* turning yellow, it is in fact turning light green, and I wish that laymen such as yourselves stopped attempting diagnosis and the evaluation of symptoms and left it to us professionals (although looking at some of my 'colleagues' who appear in the Guide, I do wonder,professional at what).

Any further diagnoses or consultancy will, of course, be charged at my usual rates.
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Quack
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 09:34 am:   

I believe you do display true...genuis.
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Dr. Jay Caselberg
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 11:23 am:   

To my learned colleague, Dr. Rowan. I must question your diagnosis, I fear. Poor lighting conditions have obviously limited your observational abilities -- a problem I have not experienced because of my own shining brilliance.

The answer is clear: Frogspawn.

Or, the answer is: Clear frogspawn.

The green is nothing more than pondscum.

Yrs, Dr. Caselberg
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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 03:09 pm:   

Since you're all physicians and artists, do you have to carry an aesthetoscope with you the whole time?

Best,
Luís
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Dr Liz Williams
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 07:13 am:   

The doctor is in and the answer is maybe.

My own aesthetoscope has been permanently welded to my person via a series of small bolts.

This has caused no little embarrassment in certain social situations, but I consider it well worth the sacrifice.
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Sick
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 12:32 pm:   

I have a question for the estimable Dr. VanderMeer.

My problem concerns these delusions I have concerning hardcovers and trade paperbacks. The books in question have the same title, but one would think there is something different between them beyond their cover stock. Perhaps this 'trade paperback' is the lesser of the two because it has no color, or this 'hardcover' might be deemed superios due to the fact that it comes with a nice sandwich.

My addled brain believes that a number of important doctors have scribbled their prescriptions into the inside cover of said 'hardcover' much like giggling school boys writing naughty notes in each other's yearbook.

Perchance, is it too much to hope that there is something extra in the 'hardcover' beyond the mighty collection of doctor's handwriting samples? Perhaps some nice, yellow pills to make all these visions go away (one persists of a beak-mouthed man standing on dead snakes with the jar that used to be in my cabinet nestled in his mighty arms...)?

Perennially,

Sick N. Disturbed
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JeffV
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 12:49 pm:   

Dear Sick:

I believe you are deluded. What trade paperback? There is only a regular hardcover and a limited edition hardcover in 2004. Please recheck the Night Shade listing...

The limited edition is signed by more medical doctors than any tome in history of the world. I hope this will be enough for you. However, for you, we will throw in a catheter and a Gorming's Cutrench.

Dr. VanderMeer


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JeffV
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 01:05 pm:   

And, actually, there will probably be illustrated endpapers in the limited edition.

I should note that the signature sheets are not plain old signature sheets, either--they're made up to look like prescription forms.

JeffV
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JeffV
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 01:05 pm:   

Er, 2003, not 2004 on the trade and limited edition hardcovers--October.

JeffV
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Sick
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 01:29 pm:   

Dr. JeffV:

See, I was deluded. My brain said: 'trade' that must be trade paperback. Of course, the price associated with 'trade' also confused me. Thank you for the clarification.

Sick N. Disturbed
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Jeff
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 01:47 pm:   

Well, NS did just change it, Sick.

Jeffrog
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Frodo Buggins
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 02:49 pm:   

Any relation to the Balrog, Jeffrog?
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Gandalf The Grimy
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 02:51 pm:   

Whatever he is, HE SHALL NOT PASS.
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John Mally
Posted on Friday, June 20, 2003 - 07:21 am:   

Why are you guys doing this? Do you think being ill is funny? I can't believe you think this is an appropriate subject to write so friviously about. My best friend has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. He has to lose them both. Think that's funny, too? You are real sick bastards, and you will burn in hell for this.
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Liz Williams
Posted on Friday, June 20, 2003 - 07:48 am:   

Hmmm.

I debate the wisdom of getting involved in discussions of this nature, but assuming that this is a serious post and not a windup, I might point out gently that sometimes humour is one of the few ways to combat subjects as grim as illness and death.

I feel that I can say this with some authority as (a) I am a contributor to the Guide and proud to be in it and (b) I lost my partner of 15 years to a brain tumor on Christmas Eve. He dealt with his condition with some of the darkest and funniest remarks that I have encountered of late. And he loved the idea of the Guide. We all deal with nightmares differently. Please don't judge those whose way is different from yours. It's easy to speak harshly from anger and pain, as I am all too aware.
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JeffV
Posted on Friday, June 20, 2003 - 07:59 am:   

I'd also point out that many of the diseases in the Guide are serious. Steve Rasnic Tem's entry, for example, deals very seriously with its subject matter. We were well aware of this sensitivity, and we deliberately made sure there was a mix of material.

Besides, the only people really being made fun of in the guide are doctors.

For my own part, I believe humor is an effective way to cheat death. If we're going to have to go, we might as well go down laughing and not let death have the satisfaction of scaring us.

Liz, thanks for your very thoughtful reply.

JeffV
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JeffV
Posted on Friday, June 20, 2003 - 08:01 am:   

And, John, I totally understand your point of view and I don't in any way want to seem to diminish your pain and suffering or your friend's.

JeffV
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Neil Williamson
Posted on Friday, June 20, 2003 - 09:30 am:   

John - I've had similar experiences to Liz. From my experience, the blackest humour I ever heard was in the day-to-day chat of nurses in a neuro ward. They dealt with pain and loss every day. To them it was one way of coping with it.

No-one connected with the guide is laughing at illness or suffering, and as Jeff says, not all of the guide is humourous - much of it is serious and quite affecting.

Wishing your friend a full recovery.

Neil Williamson
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Liz Williams
Posted on Friday, June 20, 2003 - 09:45 am:   

Famously, perhaps, there's M*A*S*H*, which made a great many serious points about both war and death by means of some very dark humour.
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Stepan Chapman
Posted on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 05:20 am:   

Dear John Mally:

There was a moment in chimpanzee evolution when a scream of pain broke into hysterical laughter. This was the birth of humor. Laughter comes from a dark place. It is not nice. It is not pretty. It is not fair. But there is a kind of joy in it. It is a complete response to life and death and all the tortures that go with being souls trapped in flesh.

Laughter does not cringe at your disapproval, Mr. Mally. Laughter has steady nerves and a very strong stomach. Laughter does not trivialize pain or stand outside it, mocking. Laughter has seen the worst.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 02:04 pm:   

So, we're bad people for inventing imaginary diseases, but you derive satisfaction from imagining eternal torture. Physician, diagnose thyself.
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Andreas Black
Posted on Friday, October 10, 2003 - 06:49 pm:   

My wife and I have both ordered copies of the limited edition, when can we expect them to arrive?

I thought I saw something about them being delayed.
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 09:24 am:   

The sig sheets for the limited aren't in yet, but we're hoping for November.

Jason
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Andreas Black
Posted on Sunday, October 12, 2003 - 07:35 pm:   

Cool, thanks.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 07:55 pm:   

Doctors,

I would like to congratulate you on a successful procedure. I picked up a copy of your excellent Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases yesterday, and I have not been able to stop turning pages since.1 I will say I miss the old purple-ink mimeographs we used to pass around the clinic those long July days in the Gabonese interior, but this new format leaves little enough to be desired.2 Dr. Coulthart is to be commended for lending this document an aesthetic appeal to match its scientific value, though I must confess the facsimiles of previous editions brought something of a nostalgic tear to my eye. Ah, Gabon. Ah, Miss Dentifrice.

I also find myself impressed with the variety of the entries in this edition, not only as regards the illnesses recorded, but also the surprisingly complete pallette of effects achieved by the doctors themselves in recording these cases. So few outside our profession appreciate how difficult it is to render human morbidity and deformity truly engaging.

I should like to offer special thanks to Drs. Gaiman and Langford for their personal sacrifices in the cause of scientific knowledge, and to Dr. Mieville for the tremendous risk he undertook to bring knowledge of Wormword to our attention.

Again, my thanks and congratulations. I am now and remain

Your Servant,
Dr. Neal Stanifer, MD, DDS, PhD,
Administrative Director,
Flavius P. Speiderhaus Foundation for the Promotion of Autotelic Research

Notes

1. My assistant and the woman of whom I am embarrassingly fond, Dr. Gretchen Schwimweir, has diagnosed me with a rare acquired compulsive disorder I seem to have picked up from my copy of the Guide. I find myself literally unable voluntarily to stop turning pages; in fact, I am dictating this letter now to the excrutiatingly lovely Dr. Schwimweir because it has become necessary to bind my hands to forestall calluses and weeping sores. Of course I don't hold you or your publishers, distributors, or vendors to blame for this. On the contrary, the brilliant and statuesque Dr. Schwimweir is quite grateful for the chance to study this disorder. Assuming I survive the exploratory procedure she has planned, I will make sure you receive a copy of her brilliant and sensual report.

2. Among the "little" things this hardcover leaves to be desired, I would include the distinct pleasures of fanning oneself with looseleaf mimeographs. Not only did this go some distance toward mitigating the Gabonese swelter; the scent of fresh mimeograph is a known intoxicant.
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Andreas Black
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 07:32 pm:   


I guess it's time to ask again. What is current status on the Limited Edition?
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 11:35 am:   

We are hoping it will be out by the end of Janurary, but more likely, the beginning of February. We apologize for the delays -- most of the authors have been working really hard to get the sig-sheets signed and sent along in a hurry, but of course, a couple bad apples can ruin the whole barrel, so to speak.

-Jeremy
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thwack
Posted on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 11:49 am:   

"busy" apples might be a better way to put it. all of the doctors in the antho are marvelous human beings who i would back to the death.
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Andreas Black
Posted on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 12:44 pm:   

Thanks for the update, Jeremy. I understand how difficult it can be to get all those doctors to write you a script.

-Andreas
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 04:28 pm:   

Thwack, I meant no disparagements towards ANY of the doctors... I meant only to imply that some are better than others. :-) I agree completely that they are all fine specimens of humanity. (except for that Vandermeer character, of course).
-jl
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TT
Posted on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 04:58 pm:   

Yes, VanderMeer is a jerk.

Thwack
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Billc
Posted on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 05:53 pm:   

Given that they're all Doctors who's going to be able to tell what signature applies to whom?

Looking forward to the book, regardless!
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Stepan Chapman
Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2004 - 03:07 pm:   

A very good question. Alan Clark's scrawl, for example, resembles a smeared mosquito.

Night Shade Books has anticipated this problem and brilliantly printed each doctor's name in gray ink in the space reserved for his or her signature. The signature and the printed name coexist in a boxed 2-dimensional space. Why this doesn't work in three dimensions, I've never understood, which is why I often bump into things.
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Glenn
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 10:00 pm:   

Actually, doctors...why do you think they call us patients? is it because we're irascible? No! we put up with people who are supposed to know us better than ourselves.

...Now if I could just remember who I am...
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Andreas Black
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 03:59 pm:   

Okay, seems to be the bast place to ask. have all the pre-orders for the limited edition shipped? If so, my wife and I haven't recieved our copies yet, and are growing quite concerned.

-Andreas
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Andreas Black
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 02:19 pm:   

Um, nevermind. I just got a shipment confirmation from Brian.

-Andreas
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 11:48 am:   

Thanks for your patients with this project, Andrease.

-Jeremy
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Name Deleted, Esq.
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 06:22 am:   

Dear Doctors,

I have a thing in my thing. Can you help?

Best regards,
Name Deleted, Esq.
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Andreas Black
Posted on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 10:09 am:   

No problem. We received our books and it was worth the wait.

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