Sunday, November 2, 2008

November 2: I'm Thankful For . . .

Anesthesia.

Human beings have been dulling their pain with everything from coca leaves to sour mash whiskey for a long as history records, but only since the 1860s have surgeries been performed with the benefit of formal anesthesia.

Want to know what it was like to undergo surgery before then? You can imagine battlefield amputations by handsaw, or you can read this essay, which details the October 1811 mastectomy surgery of Nabby Adams Smith, daughter of John and Abigail Adams, older sister of John Quincy Adams.

I'm grateful that we have anesthesia, and those who know how to apply it. May we not have to partake of this particular blessing anytime soon.

What are you thankful for today?

1 comment:

  1. I had to get stitches recently and remember thinking this exact thing. Also, my boyfriend (who was born and lived in Soviet Ukraine)has told me awful stories about having major dental surgery sans anesthesia as a child. Ugh...just the thought of it makes me shiver. So yes, I am thankful too.

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