Chronic Belly Aches and Madness

Uncovering a rare but age-old disease of pain and insanity

By Pamela Grim|Monday, April 01, 2002
The young man's mother said, "He gets like this." "Like what?" I asked. "Pain. He gets this pain in his stomach, and then he gets like this." She was a country woman, shy with doctors. She wouldn't look at me as she told her son's history. He was 22 and clearly in pain. From the moment he stepped into room 7, I could hear him wailing and moaning. The problem was that somehow it just didn't seem real. While the nurse was trying to start an IV, he lay there acting as if he were being nailed to...

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