Monday, May 17, 2010

Quaker Mutilation Syndrome -- Who Knew?

I just learned of a disease afflicting our beloved Society of Friends. I was doing a Google search on Quaker stuff and up popped "Quaker Mutilation Syndrome."

It was alarming. I read one account that said, "Her plucking has been worse ... it could escalate into mutilation. Lately she has been pulling and letting out that little scream like ... then she goes right on and does it again, ... I have seen several small spots of blood ... There isn't any way to give her more attention, unless we stay up all night together too."

As the website I was reading said, "Quaker Mutilation Syndrome, (also known as QMS by those ... who are unfortunate enough to be familiar with it), is a little-understood, yet terrifying condition ..." I can imagine it is. And the report goes on to say that this may be partly a logical result of "Quakers ... becoming quite well-known for their intelligence and talking ability."

So I began to wonder if QMS could be a result of some rancorous Yearly Meeting gatherings I've witnessed of late. Lots of talking happens there, anyhow. Still, the thought that so many Quakers are mutilating themselves that there is now a name for this ailment is very disturbing.

It seems some experts are classifying this as a behavioral problem. Others say the causes for QMS fall into two general categories: medical and non-medical (psychological).

Among the medical reasons are:
  • Endocrine diseases such as low thyroid levels, progesterone or testosterone imbalances, diabetes (hmmm, I can relate to the latter)
  • Bacterial-related ... disorders such as bacterial sinusitis
  • Skin infections
  • Fungal diseases
  • Internal organ diseases (Quakers are prone to Fatty Liver Disease -- again, who knew??)
  • Internal parasites such as roundworms and tapeworm (Yikes!)
  • Nutritional deficiencies or food allergies
  • Ingested allergens, such as:---certain proteins---carbohydrates---chemical additives (preservatives, colors, or flavors)
  • Inhaled allergens, such as:---smoke ---perfumes (!!!)---pollen---dust mold

Imagine my relief, after getting all worried about this condition possibly running rampant amongst the multitudes gathering weekly for Meeting when I discovered that QMS afflicts -- birds. Quaker parrots to be exact.

I mean, I feel sorry for the birds that suffer, but am breathing easier that Friends are not afflicted with QMS.

Or are we?

-- Brent


CJ said...

In years past I was witness to more than a few Quaker mutilations. I was hoping this had become a historical footnote; I can tell by your post that my hope is in vain. I pray for a cure...or a made for TV movie...

river song said...

tee hee?! and a huge sigh of relief, obsti as my captcha word insists. really.

Antony Sukhdeo said...

My Quaker parrot has this now. I guess it started after it got scared and flew around the house, only to smack dabb into the mirror. I guess it really wants to be free but it knows flying is useless so it wants to bit the wings off, i dont fkn know and apparently I dont care. If it keeps that up it'll be dead in a week.