In My Day: Medicine

It’s no surprise that I find a lot in common with people 30 year older than me – we share similar memories. But since I am physically not old enough to retire to a front porch where I’d whittle and chase kids off my lawn, occasionally telling educational “in my day…” stories to anyone who would listen, I have to resort to occasionally posting these stories on this here blog. Just like it says in these unfunny pictures old(er) women share on Facebook: “age is nothing but a number”, and my number is 67. I wish the Social Security would agree.

In my day we didn’t go to physicals, the physicals came to us…

© Time Inc.Bill Ray

…and while the entire class and Lenin himself were watching, the annual health inspection would commence.

© Time Inc. Bill Ray

In my day the syringes where made out of glass and stainless steel.

Glass and stainless steel syringe

Glass and stainless steel syringe

And like it says on the box, these syringes were not disposable. They were kept in metal containers and then sterilized by boiling for a long time in various types of oven-like devices.

Syringe in metal container

Syringe in metal container

Reusable syringes

Reusable syringes

That thing that looks like a bicycle needle wasn’t for bicycles at all.

Getting a shot

Getting a shot

In my day thermometers had mercury in them.

Mercury thermometer

Mercury thermometer

These thermometers didn’t beep when done, you had to hold them until your Mom was satisfied that she couldn’t possibly squeeze any more degrees out of you by making you hold them any longer; it always seemed like forever.

In my day when a thermometer broke, the correct way to deal with it was to call your friends over and play with little silver droplets of mercury until you got bored, not to evacuate the entire population of a small town. Then you just swept the mercury into trash and waited quietly for your mother to come home and yell at you.

In my day doctors used industrial strength gauges to measure blood pressure.

Blood pressure gauge

Blood pressure gauge

In my day when a nurse took a blood sample from your finger she had to actually suck on a little tube to create vacuum. The tube wasn’t connected directly to the blood collector, so she couldn’t possibly take a sip of your blood but it still seemed disgusting. I couldn’t find a photo of this system, so consider this an eyewitness account. That’s one of the many reasons I don’t work in medical field.

In my day dentistry was cruel and painful, and to make it worse you had to sit next to other victims taking turns watching each other squirm in pain.

Typical dental ofice

Typical dental office

In my day appendectomy was done orally while you were awake. Or was it tonsillectomy. I forget.

Appendectomy

Appendectomy

And that’s how it was in my day.

© Time Inc.Bill Ray

  • Between that quackery and the dinosaurs it’s a wonder you survived…

  • I Travel for JOOLS

    Is that tar?

    • No it’s mud, like Dead Sea Mud but from some other source.