Infected tissue
Perforated viscera

Medicine is rife with fabulous words, like bezoar and borborygmi, and haiku is particularly well suited to them. Phlegmon is one of my favorites…. you don’t even have to know what that word actually means to know it is something bad, right? The very sound of it gives me the willies. In case you are interested, a phlegmon is inflammation and infiltration of subcutaneous tissues due to infection. 

(Oh! And please forgive the accidental premature posting of Mediocre Medical Poetry last night!)


79 thoughts on “Phlegmon

  1. I almost couldn’t read your post after seeing the title and quickly assuming it had something to do with phlegm. Give me all the inflammation, infiltration, and great lakes of erupting pus after incision you want, but phlegm…I feel one of those gag reflexes coming on.

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  2. Yeay! I guessed the broken link thingy right. Just the word phlegmon took me back to my boys’ high school days when they’d look up words in the medical dictionary and insult each other passionately with the worst sounding ones they could pronounce. Initially it seemed a grueling season. Well, Fourth Born was in a Magnets “pre-pre-med” program in 9th grade and First Born is a Chicago Firefighter/Paramedic – married to a oncologist’s daughter, also a FF/PM. The other two are also brilliant and know their ways around medical terms better than I. Thanks for the happy memory, Victo!

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  3. Borborygmi is a great word. I’ve seen it only one time on a doctor’s order at my work and I just had to look it up. It looks like it should be an old Australian word. πŸ˜€

    Another good medical term is leukocytopenia.
    I like the da-da-da-da-DA-dada. rhythm of it (if that makes sense πŸ˜€ )

    Liked by 1 person

      • No, not at all Victo. Smart people like yourself spend a lot of time linking actions,words, people, concepts – as if seeing reality as a whole – all inter-linked – is important/ Many that I know are much more eccentric than you are – it comes with the territory. If anything, given your intelligence and knowledge, you are decidedly normal – at least what you show us is anyway, although I have to confess that my experiences with those who contribute the most in our society, is very limited. Perhaps you collect frogs or like to walk in swamps at night as a recreation.

        Anyway, it is always a given that when a smart person is recreating (i.e. engaging in activities not related to work for the purpose of relaxation or amusement) it is often eccentric. Your amusement at linking Latin words you work with to haiku that you enjoy – is so normal for someone of your skills I had to giggle at your shyness of even sharing.

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      • I knew one brilliant physicist who liked to dig. He had a backhoe in his backyard and he had acres of land in a rural area. When he needed to think he would put on his overalls, fire up the backhoe and start digging holes. He would sometimes dig all night while he thought. Another liked to tunnel and he had started tunneling out of his basement – putting in the appropriate braces and such. He was over 1/4 mile underground away from the house last I heard. He did all the work by hand because the point was to help his mind relax while doing something “useful” with his hands.

        So, your haiku seem pretty normal in that context. πŸ˜€

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  4. Reminds me of Monty Python’s “Quest For The Holy Grail.” Arthur king of the Britons leads a pack of shiny ironclad knights to achieve something holy and glorious.

    Then the scene sets on a Medieval village, “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!”

    Even the lovely haiku can convey the foulest words to contrast its elegance…

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  5. Phew!! Good to have the definition of phlegmon cleared upπŸ˜‰ Medical terminology is not unlike that found in legal brief. I think eye doctors are the worst offenders. At times I’ve sat in the examination chair thinking they’ve got to be making up these words. πŸ˜…

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