Doc Searls recalls a couple of reasons to be greatful for medical progress: dental anasthesia and surgery on the privates.
Although Novocaine (the familiar brandname for procaine) had come into use in the 1950s, it didn't become widespread in the dentistry profession until the 1960s. For reasons of convenience and cost, my parents sent me Dr. Phillips, whose office was upstairs over the candy store at the corner of Pleasant and Maywood Avenues, in downtown Maywood, New Jersey. And Dr. Phillips didn't believe in Novocaine. In fact, he didn't even use a high-speed drill until after 1960. His torture instrument of choice was a pulley-powered mother that dated from the 1930s. Since I required a lot of dentistry, I spent many very long hours gripping the arms of Dr. Phillips dental chair while he repeatedly said "Open..."
Many years later, when I had a defective turbinate ripped from my head by an otorhinolaryngologist — without anesthesia, because the work was too close to my brain for that — he noted how little I responded to the obvious pain. "I have a feeling you had a lot of dentistry without anesthesia as a kid", he said. "How can you tell?" I asked. "Because you have a very high tolerance of pain in the head. I see that a lot in patients who didn't have dental anesthesia when they were children."
I'll let him tell you the rest. Don't miss it.
A bit later...
This post inspired The Catfish to put together a remembrance of his own Aunt Mad. Bonus link to an AOL video of Guns N' Roses doing Welcome to the Jungle.
The internets is a great playground for a holiday weekend! I hope everybody is having as much fun as I am.