This is weird, but true. The other day I was thinking that if humans had a short coat of hair over our whole bodies like cats do, that maybe we would look better. OK not all of we. Gorgeous people like [Halle Berry] or [Jude Law] (fill in the names of your favorite sexy stars) could stay hairless, but those of us with lumps and bumps and blemishes and cellulite and stretch marks and scars, well, some silky, slinky fur might make a world of difference.
It seemed like a good idea at the time but my thinking may have been impaired by too much wine.Â My hairy thoughts, however, were not fruitless because they led me to our next featured monster: werewolves.
Werewolves are not amongst my favorite monsters, although I do have a special affection for An American Werewolf in London. I guess I just prefer my monsters to remain in human form, or at least to be kindof cute when in human form, which is why Jack Nicholson just didn’t cut it for me in Wolf. Yes, yes, Michael J. Fox was kindof cute in Teen Wolf, but come on, there’s only so much stupidity I can take in a movie.
Werewolves, like vampires, may have originated as an early sort of urban legend to explain serial killings, but more likely the stories were exaggerations and misunderstandings of physical ailments during the Middle Ages, when superstition was much more prevalent than reason and anything out of the norm might be considered Satanic. Today, you’d think, people would be more reasonable.Â
a.real.girlÂ recently called my attention to this article:Â A “werewolf” boy has suffered from syndrome since birth…has tried everything, no success. Now turning to *gasp*….. medical science.
The boy in this photo, 11 year-old Pruthviraj Patil, is one of only 50 people on the planet withÂ Hypertrichosis, a rare genetic condition that causes hair to grow on his entire body. When Patil was a baby, he was already hairier than grown-up Robin Williams. Although the condition doesn’t cause any other physical problems, as you can imagine it wouldn’t be easy growing up looking very different from all of your little classmates.Â Patil almost never leaves the small village where he lives because he is treated like a freak.
According to the article, “Pruthvirajâ€™s family have tried a range of treatments – including homeopathy, traditional Indian Ayurvedic remedies and more recently laser surgery â€“ but none has proved successful.Â Now he has appealed to doctors to help him find a permanent cure.”
Patil’s doctor said the only thing that might work is plastic surgery, because the hair grew back even after laser treatments. I can understand the frustration of parents who turn to alternative medicine when medical science has no solutions for their child. But this makes it sound like Patil’s parents tried woo first, and only later decided that maybe medicine could help. It’s not really surprising, given the superstition that is apparently prevalent in the area:
When Prithviraj was born villagers told his mother she had given birth to a God. Others thought he was a supernatural creature and a bad omen because of his unique appearance.
Anita, 32, admits his condition had been hard for the family to accept.
“Why did God do this to us? He looks so odd and wherever we go people throng to see him,” she said.
One might be tempted to ask, “If God did this, why are they even looking for a cure?”
Patil suffers from a physical disorder, but there are also people who suffer from a rare mental disorder called clinical lycanthropy. These people believe that they transform into an animal (not always a wolf). The syndrome is considered to be a side product ofÂ another root condition such asÂ schizophrenia,Â bipolar disorderÂ orÂ clinical depression.Â Contrary to popular belief, the cure for this is not a silver bullet in the heart or homeopathy, but rather some good ‘ole psychiatric treatment. Unfortunately, again, medical science is not a panacea and many people prefer the sure-thing promised by magic.
I know sometimes stories like this sound funny and is easy to laugh at superstitions, but it is sad when modern medicine can’t help someone and it’s hard for people to accept “I don’t know” as a valid answer to some of life’s hardest questions.