Charles Dickens never names what illness Tiny Tim has, other than to say that he wears a brace on his leg, walks with a crutch, is weak, and won't live to see another Christmas. Considering that the story is fiction, Dickens might have meant only to portray Tiny Tim as sickly and in need of medical attention, which Cratchit could not afford on his salary. However, viewers have suggested several possibilities, including polio, tuberculosis, scurvy, and/or rickets. In 1992, American pediatric neurologist Donald Lewis offered the diagnosis of distal renal tubular acidosis, a kidney disorder that makes the blood too acidic and can result in weakness, bone fractures, and problems between nerves and muscles. Although the disease as it is known today was not understood in the 1840s, doctors did recognize the symptoms and did have a cure. Patients would be given alkaline solutions to drink, solutions that would counteract the excessive acid in the blood and recovery would have been swift.