January 1983

What You Don't Know

Author Affiliations

Department of English University of Rochester Rochester, NY 14627

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(1):86. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140270076024

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Not long ago, while glancing through the papers, my eye lit on an article fetchingly entitled, "All You Want to Know About Hiatal Hernia." I don't know what its doctor-author considers desirable knowledge, but he would be amazed at the small degree of information essential to my need to know about hiatal hernia. I speak for myself only, of course; the world may be full of those burning to master all the lore of hernias, fistulas, and herpes II. Personally, I feel there's enough sadness in life without having to read about it. Give me John Le Carré any day in preference.

I developed my aversion to medical details during the first years of the cancer scare. On reading the seven signs of cancer, I instantly developed all eight, the last being a cold sweat at the sight of the word. All those injunctions by philosophers to be self-aware most