The (Coming) Age of Medical Capability

By | May 15, 2010

Personal update: I’m hoping to check out of the hospital today. I’ve been in for the past two nights after the back and chest spasms that initially caused me to miss this week’s show turned into a whole melange of seemingly unrelated symptoms. The final diagnosis is severe gastroenteritis of unknown cause. A CT scan showed my appendix as borderline, but my doctor (and a couple of his buds he conferred with) agree that it’s not the culprit so it stays. Anyhow they’ve had me on an IV for two days and I’ve finally stopped vomiting — plus the pain is mostly gone — so I’m hoping to get out later today.

A couple of days in the hospital is a handy reminder that — although we have made huge steps forward in basic medical care in recent years — we still have a long way to go. One of my three wishes is for everyone on earth to be healthy. For that to truly happen, human illness needs to become a solved game. We have a long way to go before that’s the case.

  • MBA

    In medical school, I had a professor who insisted that IV hydration was one of the greatest medical advances in history. Don’t underrate it. I suppose you could make the argument that it’s so simple that you could just do it yourself, but then who would rule out all of those other things you and your doctors were worried about? Maybe when we realize that a good night’s sleep even while in the hospital is also very healing we will again have come a long way in medical advancement. But we are still waking people up at all hours of the night and putting loud machines in their rooms. But you can thank recent medical advancement that almost all new hospitals are built with single rooms only (I wonder if we can keep that one). These things will come faster the more the patients are in charge, and we risk backtracking when patients get marginalized to bureaucracies. Do you think Medicare cares if your IV pump is too loud for a good night’s sleep? Nuff said.

  • DCWhatthe

    Yeah, it does make for a certain degree of impatience, when we know that most diseases will be mere memories in decades – but then get reminded by our present vulnerabilities, whenever we have an allergy or a headache or worse.

    Damn, can’t wait for the miracles to happen. But I’ll settle for P.B. to get better, for now.

    Good point about sleep, MBA. I’ll wager that one of the breakthroughs in the next decade will come from some novel way of simulating a good night’s sleep – and then observing the fitness benefits.

  • Rick Titsworth

    Huh? I thought my filed of long term insurance was tough.