Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Healthy beating

When one is contemplating health issues, the first thing I like to be aware of is my pituitary gland:

Well, not the first thing, obviously.

Like everyone else, the first thing is my adrenal cortex. One should take care of that.

"How ya doin' there little buddy? Kidneys treating you all right? Giving you some support? Good. Very good. Let me know if they give you any gyp, and I'll have a word. They sometimes like to take the piss. Keep up the exciting work.

The above poster, strangely in the toilet at work, is from The Pituitary Foundation, which aims to increase awareness of the functions of the pituitary gland and raise money for people suffering from pituitary disorders.

They've not really chosen the easiest of charities to publicise. With medical issues, like telly and politics, people have limited attention spans and only like or understand a single issue at a time.

Pretty easy if you're going for one of the biggies, like STROKE! Or even something that is wide ranging but can be summed up in one emotive word. Like CANCER! Or a more popular choice, such as HEART ATTACK! All of these benefit from being (relatively) simple to comprehend, and the fact that Uncle Bob's funny turn happened to be one of them, or all of them.

Poor dizzy, lumpy, clutchy Uncle Bob.

The pituitary gland just does too much . . . stuff.

Feeling hungry That'll be the pituitary gland. Horny? Pituitary gland. Angry? A certain P. Gland. Sad? Have a guess. Begins with P. Ends in Ituitary gland. Too tall? Too fat? Diabetic? Blood pressure problems? Too Hot? Too cold? Not lactating when you should be? Lactating when you shouldn't be? And so on and so forth.

Gregory House MD (a fictional medical reincarnation of Sherlock Holmes portrayed by Bertie Wooster off of on the telly) would probably solve most of his cases a bit quicker if he just growled "Pit-oo-it-erry glend" at his underlings, cos it's probably going to have something to do with their problem. Then they could do all the tests and doctoring and what-not in order to find a cure while he does something spectacularly mean to the patient which turns out to be for the patient's own good because, although he's grumpy, deep down he's on the cusp of regaining his faith in human nature, and it's only been five or six series so, you know, early days.

I like House.

It's not Pituitary's fault though. I mean, no self respecting gland would take on all that responsibility when it could just kick back and chillax as a minor endocrine gland, occasionally churning out a hormone when it feels like it, or maybe as a passive sort of tissue which fulfils it's role just by being there. Like hair.

Man, hair has it easy.

But no, the pituitary gland has been around for such a long time, evolutionarily speaking, that it's just got more and more important in controlling so many basic functions of the body. That's the problem with doing your best in any job. If you show you're good at sweeping up, some bugger will come along and give you a bigger broom. Or put you in charge of hydroregulation in the human body.

It's an argument for doing you averagest in any given position.

The only upside is the cool epithet it has earned itself. "The Master Gland". How awesome is that?

That really, was the gist of this quick post. I like to impart some wisdom in my day to day dealings with the world, and today's lesson is; "Never Do Your Best"

Otherwise, you might end up looking like a complete master gland.


  1. I'd give to the Pituitary Foundation, but I'm afraid it would just be a pituance.

    Hope the glands are all tip-top.

  2. My personal favourite gland (and everyone should have one) is the nearby pineal gland that controls my sleep patterns.

    Or would control them if they had not been irrevocably disrupted by years of constant jetlag and children.

  3. I loved Master Gland! Nothing better to skate to in the 80s...


  4. Well, it's better to be a complete master gland than a complete master organ. What does the pituitary gland look like?

  5. I like Bertie Wooster. And Grand Master Gland. But not that House guy.

  6. pituitary gland: I thought only teenagers had them.
    Mine hasn't given me any trouble since puberty...I think!

  7. If biology lessons had been like this I wouldn't have spent all the time smelling the handouts fresh from the banding machine and staring at Elizabeth Brunt in a lovelorn fashion.

    Thank goodness biology lessons weren't like this.

  8. I suddenly feel very well informed. I quite like it.

    Also: I love House. Not Hugh L. But House.

  9. You mean that I have one of those too? Yuk, sounds horrible. Does it go away with age?

  10. Interestingly, Master Gland was my nickname in high school.

  11. Sorry about the delay in replying to comments, but I have been away having my holiday spoilt by the English weather

    Eric - Ooh no. No no no! Heh.

    Jon in France - I'm with you 100% there, and am hoping for a pineal transplant when my kids are older, to replace the shrivelled, burnt out thing that's up there now.

    Pearl - Lol. Were you serving burgers at the time, cos I can totally see that.

    GB - Rather than the pea-size nugget it really is, I piture a sort of haughty, aloof gland wearing a mortar board and clutching a conductors baton.

    Beta Dad - As Bertie Wooster once said, "It's like a jungle up there, sometimes I wonder how I keep from going under."

    Tempo - That's not your pituitary gland. You need to go up a touch. About three feet.

    Mr London St - Lol. Banding machine smell and unrequited like. The ultimate schooldays experience.

    otherworldly one - I like to impart as much of the made up information in my head as possible.

    Mdme DeF - I'm sure it does, when one learns to control one's own metabolic processes.

    Didactic Pirate - Orsum nick. Mine was just Gland.


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