Author(s): Fraile JR, de Miguel A, Yuste A
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: A descriptive analysis of references to pain symptoms in Don Quixote based on linguistic, literary, clinical, and mannerist features. METHODS AND MATERIAL: Don Quixote was read and an entry was created for each description of an injury or illness (group I/I). A second group of entries was created for each medical commentary (group C). This information was complemented using a computer search for the roots of words referring to pain symptoms, with an asterisk placed after each root to locate all word forms used. Data entries with pain references were analyzed in group I/I by examining patient, location, characteristics, causes, associated disorders, remedies, caregivers, and recovery times and in group C by examining the full text. RESULTS: Ninety-one entries were made (64 in group I/I, 27 in group c). References to pain were found in 37 entries (29 in group I/I, 8 in group C). The most commonly used words came from the roots dol (the Spanish root for dolor, or pain, among other related words) (52) and moli (for forms related to Spanish idiomatic uses of molido, suggesting severe injury) (19). All pains were due to injuries. Forty-two occasions of injury (Don Quixote 14, Sancho 9, others 19) and 51 lesions (ribs 5, back 5, other 15, unspecified 26) were mentioned. Known remedies and caregivers of the period were described, but other invented ones were also present. Associated disorders were insomnia, anxiety, rage, melancholy, functional impotence and other sexual dysfunctions. Recovery times ranged from 0 to 8 days. CONCLUSION: Pain references are subject to literary considerations. The style is simple and the descriptions are credible for the period depicted but do not meet clinical standards. Issues of current interest are treated: pain threshold and sensitivity, social influences, the placebo effect, and affective disorders.
This article was published in Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research