Under the knife

November 16, 2006 at 12:01 am (Uncategorized)

surgeon.jpgSome things are just unfathomable. The thought of being buried alive, for one. The idea of a man giving birth to a child. You hear stories about people who become paralyzed but not unconscious from anesthesia and who then endure eye surgery aware but unable to move.
The variety of atrocities that can be inflicted on the human body has no limit in the mind. I’ve written about it before and so I’ll shut up now. The following story somewhat declares that fact on its own. And it also makes you thankful that, where pain is concerned, we have mostly become pampered.
Here’s too your most painful, most traumatic experience. It could have been worse.

By Desonta Holder
McClatchy Newspapers
Let’s go back to 1811, an era before anesthesia, a time when English author Fanny Burney lies on a mattress awaiting a mastectomy.

“The bedstead was instantly surrounded by seven men and my nurse,” she writes in a letter to her sister. “When the dreadful steel was plunged into the heart cutting through veins-arteries-nerves … I began a scream that lasted during the whole time of the incision and marvel that it rings not in my ears still.

“When the wound was made and the instrument withdrawn the pain seemed undiminished, for the air that suddenly rushed into those delicate parts felt like sharp and forked poniards… Again I felt the instrument describing a curve cutting against the grain, while the flesh resisted in a manner so forcible to oppose and tire the hand of the operator. I concluded the operation over – Oh No! The terrible cutting was renewed and worse than ever. I felt the knife rackling against the breast bone – scraping it! To conclude, the evil was so profound that the operation lasted twenty minutes.”



  1. jarheaddoc said,

    That was a good period in medicine: if the operation itself didn’t kill you, an infection probably would.

  2. Mainetarr said,

    Why would they have been doing a mastectomy in 1811 I wonder? Not like they could have diagnosed breast cancer back then. There is a show on the discovery channel every now and again called “When Anesthesia Fails” where they have these people that underwent surgery paralyzed, but awake. They could hear and feel everything. I think I would take that over being buried alive any day though. That has to be the worst. And imagine how many times that happened in the days before the medical community was advanced enough to monitor the smallest signs of life?!?

  3. Mainetarr said,

    By the way, waht the hell am I doing up so early on my day off? I have already done two loads of laundry, put away last night’s clean dishes, fed and let the dogs out, and made Chris his lunch for today. I gotta go back to bed. Yawn!!!!!!!!!

  4. Mainetarr said,

    By the way, what the hell am I doing up so early on my day off? I have already done two loads of laundry, put away last night’s clean dishes, fed and let the dogs out, and made Chris his lunch for today. I gotta go back to bed. Yawn!!!!!!!!!

  5. Mainetarr said,

    now I am double posting……grrrrrrrr. Goodnight until later.

  6. Linda said,

    I was always impressed by tough cowboys in movies, who would bite on a bullet while some grizzled sidekick cut a bullet out of their leg and poured whisky over the wound, then wrapped the whole thing up with strips torn from a bargirl’s, petticoat. Since I never understood bullets very well, the idea that the bullet COULD blow up was just an extra risk.

  7. Linda said,

    MT, you are in turbo mode this morning! Good luck channelling all that extra energy.

  8. Nadine said,

    I didn’t even like that strange (but un-painful) tugging and shoving feeling during my c-section. I’m really wimpy with that stuff though. Had a wisdom tooth pulled recently (guess I ain’t so smart no more, haha, get it?), anyway, I had to be put under — and I was happy about that! I didn’t wanna hear/feel the grinding and yanking or whatever. I cannot imagine what that woman went through (and all the others who went through ANY type of medical proceedure back then — even stitches!).

    Damn! Need a band-aid…got a hangnail…back later… ūüôā

  9. K2 said,

    “Pain is such a rush.” -Brad

  10. K2 said,

    Nadine, we agree on absinthe (although I’ve never actually had any), but Marilyn Manson, NIN and the Doodlepops all suck major monkey cock.

  11. Bobbie said,

    K2, if you had the money that these groups have, would you feel the same way?

  12. jarheaddoc said,

    Civil war surgeons used to treat broken bones by amputation.

    They also used single strands of hair from a horse’s tail as sutures. They thought the hair had some magic healing power in and of themselves. However, in order to make the strands flexible enough for suturing, the strands were boiled, which is a form of sterilization. The surgeons didn’t realize they had simply failed to introduce any more pathogens into a wound and that was why things healed quicker.

  13. Linda said,

    AND they used to use hypnotism for pain relief. One of my favorite quotes: in 1846 a Scottish surgeon did an above the knee amputation using ether for the first time. He thought the anesthesia was terrific, and he remarked to the audience, “This Yankee dodge beats mesmerism hollow.”

  14. Richie said,

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    You paid attention during 86% of high school!

    85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don’t get scores that high! Good show, old chap!
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Give it a try !

  15. K2 said,

    To me that’s non sequiter, Bobbie.

  16. K2 said,

    Crap. 91% I was hoping to ace that fucker.

  17. Bulldog said,

    I paid attention during 63% of high school! WTF!! I guess I should have rolled less joints, drank less whiskey and then I would have retained more. Oh well. What I do remember of high school was good though (I think)

  18. LaFlamme said,

    “Medically speaking? He’s whacked out of his mind on drugs.”

  19. Bulldog said,


  20. Pitbull said,

    heck, DaVinci was a stoner and he didn’t do too bad

  21. LaFlamme said,


  22. Bulldog said,

    Yo Flame boy! WTF are you talking about with your #18 comment???? confused. dazed. not stoned. not drunk (yet)

  23. Bulldog said,

    where the hell is everyone? Jeez, I’d even be happy to bash..oops, I mean talk, to Dan right now……..NOT!

  24. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah, you missed Dan. It would have been awkward since you guys used to date. Or was it just a sex thing?

  25. Bulldog said,

    excuse me? Date? you have me mixed up with Pitbull. I don’t like pussies, especially those named Dan.

  26. LaFlamme said,

    What? Then why were you and Dan together at the Samoset that weekend? Admit it. You’re lovers.

  27. Bulldog said,

    Samoset? Dan couldn’t afford an hourly rental at the Super 8, never mind the Samoset.

  28. Bulldog said,

    I know you missed me Flamer but to accuse me of being lovers with the FB is unacceptable. Can’t you cum up with something better? Accuse me of having a 3some with AO and MT or K2 and you- but DAN??!! for shame

  29. AO said,

    Bulldog would kill Dan. She’s way too much of a woman for him.

  30. Bulldog said,

    Thank you AO. I don’t think any man could really tame me– although it certainly is fun trying!!

  31. LaFlamme said,

    Okay. Now I’ve gotta think about THAT for the rest of the day. Very cool. Thanks, Bulldog!

  32. Bulldog said,

    Anytime that I can give you a hard time Flamer, just let me know! myuh

  33. LaFlamme said,

    Ahhh… Sweet!

  34. LaFlamme said,

    As far as I can tell, Dan is still posting on the SJ stories on the Poirier slaying. His time here was joyous but brief.

  35. Bulldog said,

    awwww, too bad I missed him. But, I am VERY proud of the lashings everyone gave him during my absence. I was like a proud mama watching her son tip a cow for the first time…

  36. Linda said,

    Ha! Tip a cow! what a picture, and i never even saw the man

  37. LaFlamme said,

    Bulldog’s only being mean to mask her deep love for the man. She weeps at night.

  38. Bulldog said,

    I weep for your soul Mark. This is the Lost Sole, isn’t it?

  39. AO said,

    Somebody needs to tip Dan.

  40. Bulldog said,

    Maybe we can go to DD’s and knock him off his stool. It’s not the only stool he has stuck to his ass, I’m sure.

  41. AO said,

    You mean “stools”.

  42. Bulldog said,

    actually, I meant “it’s not the only stool he has stuck UP his ass”

  43. AO said,

    His ass would require more than one stool. At least 3.

  44. LaFlamme said,

    Dan had strong opinions about the Scott Poirier case. More correctly, he had strong feelings about my handling of the case. I think he wants me.

  45. Bulldog said,

    You think everyone wants you Flame Boy. In Dan’s case, I think you’re right. Be careful when he drops the soap in the shower though……

  46. AO said,

    Face it, Flammer. You’re his secret desire.

  47. AO said,

    I’ve heard he’s got a dozen donut’s with your name on them.

  48. Bulldog said,

    yea, and they’re all cream filled.

  49. AO said,

    Chocolate cream.

  50. Bulldog said,

    aw, that’s nasty! I was leaning more towards banana cream

  51. AO said,

    I thought of nastier but, I’ll keep em to myself.

  52. K2 said,

    For LaDoorre:


    And Bulldog, I like my cream-filled on the clumpy side. Kinda like fish eggs. . . .

  53. "The Weasel" said,

    Q When is a deer not a deer?
    A. When you buck it.


  54. AO said,

    Cottage Cheese, K2?

    Weasel…how ya doing?

  55. "The Weasel" said,

    AO. things are just great…….

  56. Linda said,

    What are poniards? Some kind of knife?

  57. Linda said,

    Whats with the “server maintenance” message? I miss the cowboy thing.

  58. AO said,

    Did you have a good time at Oktoberfest?

    Linda, I’ve been wondering the same thing. Maybe we’re getting shut down….again.

  59. Martha said,

    I paid attention 69% of the time.. Not bad since I’ve been out of school almost 35 years, huh?

  60. Bobbie said,

    Mine was 80%. I was surprised that I knew that much stuff! LOL

  61. Linda said,

    My name is Linda and I’m an autodidact. Sounds almost as bad as having sex with roadkill.

  62. Nadine said,

    K2, no absinthe yet? Awww, you’re missin’ out. Next time I order, I’ll get ya a sample size (that shit’s expensive!).

    “Got tight last night on absinthe – did knife tricks.” — Ernest Hemingway

  63. Nadine said,

    86% on high school quiz, 100% on grammar quiz.

    Wait, isn’t that a fragmented sentence??

  64. LaFlamme said,

    Hemingway sucks.

  65. Nadine said,


    Just kiddin’. I only wrote that cuz I got a free t-shirt with that quote on the back when I received my last absinthe order.

    The 14% I got wrong on the high school quiz was all about Hemingway, haha. Too boring.

  66. LaFlamme said,

    Ah, I was outta line. Clearly Hemingway doesn’t suck. I just hate his rigid need for syntax and proper sentence structure. I mean, have you really ever enjoyed anything Hemingway wrote? Beautiful stories, sure. But goddamn! It’s like a military march from introduction to climax. Salute after every perfect paragraph. Forget the characters, look at how this sentence adheres! Can you imagine telling a real story that way? Give me Jack London any day. Or Fitzgerald. Or Shirley Jackson. Undisciplined, avante garde rubes though they may be.
    End rant.

  67. K2 said,

    Fitzgerald undisciplined?!? Me disagree long time. The most wonderful use of the Englsih language by an AMerican writer, to me, at least.

    And Hemingway too structured? Now this is getting personal, man.

    Two of my all-time faves, for sure.

    Nadine, that line was from ‘The Sun Also Rises,’ right?

  68. Linda said,

    This blog has everything. Sorry I missed a good blog night.

  69. Nadine said,

    K2, don’t ask me, I have no clue where he used that line. They didn’t give the source on the t-shirt, haha.

  70. K2 said,

    I didn’t know Hemmingway wrote ‘Made in Taiwan’.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: