Medicine: Patient's-Eye-View

One soft, spring evening, three years ago, Frigyes (Frederic) Karinthy, popular Hungarian poet, sat sipping tea in his favorite Budapest café. Suddenly he heard locomotives rumbling, reverberating, dying away. Startled, he raised his head. He knew there had been no trains on the streets of Budapest for 40 years. But he took no treatment for his head-splitting hallucinations until his eyesight grew dim, his legs shaky, his stomach rebellious.

After long, exhaustive examinations Budapest neurologists told the 47-year-old poet that an egg-sized cyst webbed with tiny blood vessels was sprouting on the right...

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