Thursday, January 10, 2008

Futuristic Medicine

Since I had surgery a little over a week ago, my brain is still mushy. So I don't really have a discussion topic to write about. In spite of the private room, strong pain meds, pretty good food (patients order off a menu nowadays), and very nice staff, I was glad to stay in the hospital only one night. Once the catheter and IV were taken out, there was nothing the hospital could do for me that couldn't be done at home. I've been thinking, though, about how medicine of the future might handle surgery and post-op recovery. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just be put into stasis right before the procedure and stay that way until recovery is complete? Just wake up weeks to months later, completely normal, without having to live through the discomfort and fatigue in between? I can visualize being placed in a suspended-animation capsule (well, it couldn't be literally suspended, or healing couldn't occur, but something like that) from which we'd emerge with no change in weight (unless that was the object of the treatment), plenty of energy, no pain, no loss of muscle tone. Beats those diagnostic beds in the STAR TREK sick bay, which always looked a bit uncomfortable to me. And I was lucky enough to be able to have major organs removed in the least invasive way possible, but wouldn't it be great if there were an even less invasive method? To indulge in a flight of fantasy, maybe having the diseased tissue teleported out of the body and the resultant internal bleeding stopped instantly?

Almost as wild a fantasy is that sometime the day will come when our entire population will be entitled as a civil right to the kind of excellent and almost-free care I received at the Walter Reed army hospital. But that is politics, and I suppose a no-no for this space. :)

One advantage in not being put into stasis for a month: I have plenty of time to read. My TBR stack includes over twenty books I've been waiting to get around to, including Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's latest Saint-Germain novel, BORNE IN BLOOD. Lately I've read Linnea Sinclair's GAMES OF COMMAND, the anthology MY BIG FAT SUPERNATURAL HONEYMOON, and Scott Westerfeld's UGLIES and THE LAST DAYS, among others, and reread parts of Jared Diamond's COLLAPSE (about why some societies survive while others crash and vanish). COLLAPSE and Diamond's classic GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL are superb sources of worldbuilding material.


  1. Ack, Margaret! Hospital stays are no fun. Not even in my books. ;-) And you found the energy to blog--bless you! Fingers and paws crossed here in Florida for your quick recovery. ~Linnea

  2. Glad to hear you're on the mend.

    Ah, but if we made hospital stays too glorious, it wouldn't feel real to the reader.

    UGLIES is on my list too, but first I'm going to read PIRATICA by Tanith Lee. She's been around for decades, but I just discovered her.

  3. Thanks, guys. I can't help feeling down because I'm lying around not accomplishing anything. All the other women I've talked to who've had the procedure kept telling me I'm SUPPOSED to rest, though.

    Our older granddaughter is a big fan of the "Uglies" series. I thought it was pretty good (am getting the next 3 books from the library, too), but I was more impressed with Westerfeld's unusual vampire novels PEEPS and THE LAST DAYS (esp. the former).

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