They Really Exist! Strange Diagnosis, Syndromes and ICD-10 CodesI spend a lot of my free time reading medical information. Yes, I know, a truly boring life. Well, maybe not so boring. 

Here is some trivia for your reading enjoyment:

I like to thumb through Taber’s Cyclodedic Medical Dictionary. Did you know these medical terms existed?

  • Stomach growl - BORBORYGMI.
  • Spicy Food makes your nose run - GUSTATORY RHINORRHEA.


Or that these are real syndromes

  • Dr. Strangelove Syndrome (Alien hand/limb Syndrome) - patient experiences unexpected involuntary limb movement and believed it is caused by others.
  • Broken Heart Syndrome (Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy) - dysfunction of the left ventricle occurring after an exceptionally stressful event.
  • Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (Micropsia) - a visual disturbance characterized by a perceived distortion of the size (and perhaps shape) of objects.
  • Vampire Syndrome (Porphyria) - a rare disease where a person experiences blistering, cramps, and possible paralysis when exposed to sunlight.
  • Stone Man Syndrome (Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva) - a patient's muscles, tendons, and ligaments calcify into bone.
  • Rapunzel Syndrome (Trichobezoar) - a digestive complication caused by a ball of swallowed hair in a patient suffering Trichotillomania (compulsive hair eating). 


I was soon saturated with medical terms so I thought I would enhance my coding vocabulary. I am a certified Risk Adjustment coder after all.  Did you know these codes existed? Or why they needed to exist?

  • Papercut - W45.1XXA - initial encounter - right index finger
  • Papercut - W45.1XXD - subsequent encounter - How bad can a papercut be??
  • Pecked by a chicken - W61.33XA - initial encounter
  • Pecked by a chicken - W61.33XD - subsequent encounter - Do I even deserve medical assistance if I was…
    Chicken coup as place of occurrence (includes Hen house) - Y92.72
  • Cloudburst - X37.8XXA (initial) and would you believe X37.8XXD (subsequent).  I can only see this as a problem if...
    Beach as the place of occurrence (includes Seashore) - Y92.832
  • Fall into a fountain - W16.3XXA - initial encounter.  AND YES -- there is W16.3XXD (subsequent encounter) - Bad enough I had to admit it once - now I have to go back and admit it again!!
  • Problems with creditors - Z59.8 - Can I get a raise of hands on this one??


And just for grins, have you ever thumbed through a prescription drug book? Can it be possible these are real meds? I just had to share.

  • Reo-Pro - my Uber ride a nice little red REO-PRO? Wrong - it's a blood thinner.  
  • Xerese - my nice Uber driver? Still wrong - it's an antiviral.
  • INTERMEZZOs - that peaceful relaxing music between operas? No, it's a sleep aid.
  • Aceon - a planet in a sy-fy movie. Maybe but for this purpose it's a cardiac med.
  • Yervoy - isn't this a nautical term? No, it's a cancer treatment.
  • Xtoro - a retired bull in Mexico? Wrong again, it’s ear drops.
  • Tabloid - a gossipy publication I can't wait to read? No, another cancer med.
  • Invokana - a seance? Voodoo ceremony? Nope, it's a diabetic med.
  • Diabinese - all people with diabetes became a whole culture? Sorry, another diabetic med.
  • Embeda - sounds painful - I might not want to take this. BUT it is a pain med.


I hope you enjoyed. Maybe my next article should be on how medications are named. ;)

Share them down in the comments!