A 47-year-old South African man has become the first known diagnosed case of post-gastro stress disorder or PGSD.
Mark Greenfall, from Durban, was diagnosed with gastrointestinal flu on 7 October 2014, and only fully recovered 16 days later.
“It was terrrible,” Greenfall said. “But I had to adapt my lifestyle accordingly. If I knew I was going to be driving for more than 4 minutes, I would place a big plastic basin on my car seat with a braai [barbecue] grid over it and sit on that. You know, in case something happened in the traffic.”
Greenfall’s GP, Dr Martin Harvey-Spear said Greenfall’s case of gastro was one of the worst he had ever seen. Dr Harvey-Spear has practiced for 28 years, and even assisted in countries such as Uganda.
“I hadn’t done a house visit in eight years, but for Mr Greenfall I knew there was no other option. At first, I suspected he might have had Ebola, but Greenfall assured me he had been nowhere near any Western African countries, nor had he pushed the green pedestrian button on any traffic light,” said Harvey-Spear.
Despite Greenfall’s recovery from the gastrointestinal flu, he now has what experts are calling post-gastro stress disorder or PGSD. It is a condition in which the patient is unable to pass wind, without either sitting on a braai [barbecue] grid or a lavatory.
A Durban psychologist, Dr Charla Tan said Greenfall would be treated in a psychiatric facility for at least 6 months.
“We use a method known as hypnopaedia, whereby the patient is completely sedated for 18 hours a day, while we play sound effects of a toilet flushing. We do this for 6 months or until I decide the patient is ready to pass wind without fear,” said Tan.
Dr Tan said it was a massive relief to have finally given the condition a name, as it made it easier to treat.
At the time of writing, Greenfall was being transported to a psychiatric facility firmly strapped on top of his Weber.