Vital Signs

A vague, frustrating symptom gets a precise explanation

By Pamela Grim|Friday, November 01, 2002
The patient was 29, previously healthy, well built, and male. I gazed around at the faces of the second-year medical students and said, "So, Mr. Bulinski, what brings you here today?" "I get weak," he said. With his muscular arms and forearms, he looked as though he could flatten me without a second thought. "OK . . . " I said. I had warned my students to give the patient time to tell his story. But he said nothing more. "How do you mean weak?" "Well, I mean weak, like my muscles get weak." "H...
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