MAY 14, 2011 6:19PM

Congratulations! You've Had a Disease Named After You!

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"Hey, Dad, guess what? I know how to do the Heimlich Maneuver."

Those were my eleven-year-old daughter's first words as she climbed into our filthy minivan after having completed a six-hour babysitting training session.

"Good for you. Can you do it on kids and adults?" I was curious as to any additional value the fifty-five dollar fee may have provided.

"Maybe, but I'm not sure. I know I can do it on a baby. Plus I  can change a diaper. When can I babysit, dad?  I want to practice all the stuff I've learned, like treating bee stings, broken bones, bloody cuts and allergic reactions."

"Umm, I'm not sure. And let's hope you never have to deal with any of that stuff, let alone all of it. I don't think parents wants to come home to find their kid bloody, swollen and in an arm sling."

She looked at me. "I could show them a big chunk of meat that their kid heaved up." And without pausing, she added, "They changed the name to 'abdominal thrusts.' That guy Heimlich didn't want his name associated with someone choking."

After I briefly pondered that statement's accuracy, my mind drifted to other biological terms which bear the discoverers' monikers. For instance, when I spoke of donating blood in this post, I mentioned a lengthy questionnaire which broaches the subject of exposure to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Who were these people named Creutzfeldt and Jakob? Were they a couple of dudes who slowly went insane after consuming bovine gray matter over a couple of Milwaukee's Bests, or were they lab-coat-wearing techies who discovered the cause of Mad Cow Disease and high-fived over a test tube full of brown, sludgy nastiness?

Thanks to the indisputable accuracy of Wikipedia, I learned that neither theory holds water, as the disease was first described by German neurologist Hans Gerhard Creutzfeldt in 1920 and shortly afterwards by Alfons Maria Jakob, giving it the name Creutzfeldt-Jakob. 

I'm not sure I'd want my name forever linked to an insipid brain-eating disorder, but hey, it is good to get your name out there. Some diseases even use a possessive tense, as if it's the property of someone, like Alzheimer's or Hodgkin's. 

If a person is unfortunate enough to contract one of these terrible illnesses, they shouldn't be further penalized: "I'm terribly sorry, ma'am, but the tests indicate that you have Parkinson's Syndrome, so we'll begin treatment immediately after Dr. Parkinson receives his royalty payment."

I've decided I'd much rather be passively tied to a body part, like Fallopian tubes, which were named after Italian anatomist, Gabriele Fallopio. Kind of cool when your name gets an "ian" at the end, like "Johnsonian" or "Kardashianian."

From a less formal standpoint, some anatomical parts, such as "Adam's Apple" are able to exist on a casual, first name basis. And "Hernia" sounds like it could be one of my aunts from North Dakota.

I'm not sure how you'd go about getting a disease or body part named after you at this point, since it appears everything has been covered. And since my name is Tim, if it weren't for a few years and some bad luck, things would be different.

It would be known as the "T Spot."

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Kardashianian! Love it.
There are areas in the pancreas called the islets of Langerhans. That's the kind of thing I'd like to have my name attached to because it sounds like such a delightful place to visit instead of a region that contains endocrine.
Always leave here with a smile...well that could be taken wrong, I mean your posts make me laugh.r
Margaret, will you be summering in the Islets of Langerhans or the Corpuscles?
Sounds like your daughter is a chip off the old Timian
Thanks, Hugs. Would that more of the world could leave with a smile!
I give you a big R just for spelling all of that stuff!
Next time Dr. Wonderful discovers a new parasite, he's naming it after me!!!