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Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969 at a benefit for Open City. Photo: Alan Gotkin.

QUESTION: My husband drives me nuts every night. His right leg sort of jumps every 30 seconds on the dot (trying to put myself to sleep I timed it). He used to chew and grind his teeth but since he got a pin between his two front teeth and it hurt him, he stopped, but replaced that with scratching his head and rubbing his arms.

I’ve asked two doctors about this, The first one said my husband was nervous (obviously!) and the second gave him a prescription for some kind of pills to be taken before bedtime. He said that if they didn’t work for my husband, I should take them. Very funny, but my problem still isn’t solved because he still jumps, scratches and rubs.

What really puzzles me is that his leg jumping seems to be worse after he’s spent a quiet day doing nothing but relaxing and sleeping. If you could print an answer I’d sure be happy—and so would two of my married friends who have similar problems.

ANSWER: Most people, have had the experience of feeling themselves jump or twitch just before falling asleep. The cause is unknown—perhaps it’s from a reluctance to leave the state of consciousness we know when awake.

The University of Chicago School of Medicine has recently begun a study of another common and little understood domestic malady—teeth-grinding. The first reason to be considered may well be disturbing thoughts or dreams.

A hip skydiver told me recently that his woman sometimes grinds her teeth at night. He attributed it to marijuana withdrawal.

QUESTION: Recently I came down with non-specific urethritis or NSU. My doctor told me that NSU was non-communic yet he advised me not to have sexual intercourse for at least a week. This sounds self-contradictory to me. Is it?

If left untreated will NSU eventually clear up?

ANSWER: Non-specific urethritis may cause the same initial symptoms in the male as gonorrhea—itching, burning and a discharge from the penis. But microscopic and bacteriologic examination of the discharge does not show the characteristic coffee-bean shaped gonococcus bacteria which causes gonorrhea.

Since no one organism can be shown to cause the symptoms, this troublesome ailment is known as a non-specific urethritis (NSU).

Treatment usually consists of broad-spectrum antibiotics such as tetracycline. Often, the treatment and the drip continue on and on and on. Your physician advised against sexual intercourse in order to lessen the possibility of irritating the already inflamed tissues.

The Cream does a song called “NSU” which consists in part, of what seems to be wails of anguish.

QUESTION: Please don’t laugh—I’m very serious! My boyfriend has a perpetual hard-on. He is 23 and I’ve never met anyone like him.

It’s absolutely amazing. We make love, he ejaculates and still pulls out with a hard-on and wants to start all over again, leaving no time in between.

He could do this all night, if it weren’t for my getting sore. It bothers me because I recall reading sometime ago about a physical ailment causing a perpetual hard-on. I also recall it supposedly causes great pain to the male, not to mention the soreness it can cause the female.

ANSWER: Priapism, an abnormal state of continuous erection of the penis, can be caused by several diseases or by trauma to the spinal cord. The condition is commonly observed when a man is hung (literally, not as described in underground classified ads).

One of Balzac’s “Ribald Tales” concerns a woman who brings a hanged man back to life through an unusual method of resuscitation.

But your boyfriend is not diseased—you just turn him on. The use of a lubricant may prevent or relieve soreness.

Dear Dr. Hippocrates is a collection of letters and answers published by Grove Press. $5 at your favorite bookstore.

Dr. Schoenfeld welcomes your letters. Write to him c/o P.O. Box 9002, Berkeley Calif. 94709.