Okay entrepreneurs, there is a fortune to be made in the medical field. Recently I had an MRI. The machine is much like a coffin only it is shaped in a cylindric style. They give you ear plugs and in my case a face mask to hold my head in place. You lie flat on your back and given a panic button to press and they will come running. At least they say they will come running. I did not know them so how reliable and truthful they are I do not know. Because once the machine slides you into the cylinder you have lost contact with the outside world. In my fertile imagination for the over thirty minutes I was in the machine they were having a toga party. The technician an older woman with a mask on was reassuring me all along the way how everything was going to be all right. It was like the masked bandit robbing the bank who assures you if you are good everything will be fine. Once in the machine you are to stay still and even if you wanted to roam there is no room to. And then the earplugs are found to be necessary. As the machine begins to make noises straight from Star Wars or some other science fiction B movie reality. But what would you expect from a machine called the Tesla MRI. I ask you to think Tesla with his electrical show only this one is with magnets. Maybe to make the machine less threatening they could add a laser show coordinated with the sounds.
I have recently been reading a book on Benjamin Rush, America’s first great physician. Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, reformer for good of mental health hospitals, abolitionist society leader, the promoter of healthy sewage and baths, and many other things. Yet, Rush, to the horror of the modern mind, used a primitive treatment called bloodletting. He swore by it and taught it at the University of Pennsylvania. It was believed that to cure disease you must replace the old blood. The process was to cut the patient so they would bleed to release the infected blood. Eventually when you had bled the patient enough the new good blood would overwhelm the leftover old bad blood. It is said during one of the yellow fever epidemics of Philadelphia Rush would exit the house covered with blood much as you might imagine the Demon Barber of Fleet Street would look after giving a close shave. We would think this tactic very primitive and in fact harmful to the patient. We of course would be right.
It was in this context I started laughing aloud at me in this machine making loud noises from another world. I also began to pick up a rhythm from one of the magnetic noises. It was a definite sound of a zip. So quite naturally I would sing to the zips: zip dee do dah zip dee day. I can only imagine this disturbed the MRI technician. The reason I can only imagine this is the older woman was not there when I exited the machine. Instead a strong young strapping man helped me out of the machine. The older woman was nowhere to be seen.
I am quite sure there is money in them thar hills for someone to make the machine a bit less claustrophobic and a little more appealing to the modern human. Of course someone has tried, there is what they call the open MRI machine. Which you still lie on your back but there is no cylinder to enter. The problem is the images are not as good because the machine is open and the magnetic resonance is not as strong. For now we are stuck with a Tesla MRI and Tesla electrical cars.
The radiation and chemotherapy used to treat cancer will one day seem as primitive as bloodletting. The whole concept is to poison the cancer with radiation and select chemicals. This is a slow poisoning of your body to kill the enemy cancer in your body. The idea is if you can withstand the poisoning of your body longer than the cancer cells you are declared the winner. The person who can find a way to kill cancer cells without poisoning the body will of course be lining their pockets with millions.
I could of course go on but my doctors may accidently read this and be left with a bad taste in their mouths. But the truth is we have come a long way from the Dr. Rush era but we are not quite as far away as we might think.