Dr Sunshine update #2

MGH1

Just to add a visual, Kristine’s OR is in silvery building on the left. The last I time did any work here, the white building to the right was the main building, the red+silver are newer. Some famous Boston names attached to these.

Literally everyone we have dealt with, from surgeon to orderly have been super nice and calm-inducing.

When we were here 3 weeks ago, Kristine and I visited the Ether Dome, the 19th c surgical theater where surgery under general anesthesia was first demonstrated. It should come as no surprise that I’m the kind of guy that reads every little plaque and picture on the wall, and one caught my eye, which leads to this.

In Stephanie J. Snow’s book, Blessed Days of Anaesthesia: How Anaesthetics Changed the World (Oxford, 2008) the author asserts “In Christian theology, pain entered the world after Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden and remained central to humanity”. In a Christian framework, suffering during childbirth was considered to be a necessary and permanent reminder of Eve’s sin. The biblical quote “in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children” (Gen. 3:16) was commonly enjoined as an argument to disallow the use of ether or chloroform in childbirth. Christian beliefs that to avoid pain was against God’s will were common, especially in rural America in the middle of the nineteenth century, and this too impeded the acceptance of anesthesia. Snow goes on to demonstrate that it was to a large extent women—requesting ether and chloroform during delivery—that facilitated a change in the interpretation of these biblical ideas and religious mores, ushering in an acceptance by not only society in general but the medical profession of this humane discovery.” (http://ecti.english.illinois.edu/reviews/52/vannatta-snow.html)

What is is with religion and uppity women !!??

Prior to anesthesia, surgery was a last-ditch affair, in the same realm as torture, so there was something like only one per month at MGH. I cannot adequately describe the huge surgical machine that is here now .. the logistics, the staff, the supplies, the communications … it’s going to take a while to me to really get a sense of the whole thing and digest it .. but hey, I’ve got time this week!

2 thoughts on “Dr Sunshine update #2

  1. Sending you lots of prayers. Woke up saying them this morning and continue to say them even while I stand in surgery thinkin and prayin for all of you. Praying especially for you Jonathan and Leda and Jake bc I know how difficult it is to be on the waiting side of it.
    Sending tons and tons of prayers and good energy towards MGH

  2. Yea us women! Drugs are definitely better than chewing on sticks or sucking down bourbon…during surgery anyway. Please know that we continue to think of you and hope all is going as planned. Jenny, Tiffany and I had a practice session in the yoga studio this morning and held Kristine and you in our thoughts as we were deep breathing and meditating. Faith, hope and love are a powerful potion.

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