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!