Episode 46. In which I recommend a book, and go to the hospital.

The book I am reading right now is one I have read before.  I am very unlikely to recommend a book unless it’s something I would read (or have read) twice myself.  At least.  Unless, of course, someone asks “have you read this, should I read it?” in which case I might say “yeah, it’s OK, read it, give it a go”.

Anyway, this book falls under the unprovoked recommendation heading. It is The Knife Man, by Wendy Moore. This is a biography of John Hunter, who I, in all my ignorance, consider the father of modern medicine. I first heard of him when looking for somewhere to go in London with a visiting friend, and we found the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, on Lincolns Inn Fields.

Basically, way back in the days when some surgeons managed to be considered the best of the best despite never having seen a dead human, John Hunter came along and turned it all on its head.  He was in with the graverobbing crowd so that he’d never run out of bodies to cut open.  When he started out people considered autopsies to be a terrible, awful, evil thing to do to a body, and by the time he was done people were begging him to autopsy them and keep their organs in jars.  He recommended not operating unless it was absolutely necessary, which was a new thing, and he didn’t believe that bleeding a patient would do much good, although he did pioneer placebo treatments so he did the bleeding thing anyway.

If you’re squeamish or if you don’t care about medicine or history or bodies or organs or biographies then don’t bother, but if any of the above interest you in any way, I’d recommend you read this book.

Diabetic moment of the day

Today I had my annual check-up with the diabetologist.  It was quite interesting, really.  She admitted that they’ve no idea what kind of diabetes I have, I don’t seem to have any type that they’re aware of, and there’s not really any point in doing any more tests because they haven’t got so much as a clue so far.  I did offer myself up as a test subject should there be any “funny diabetes” testing programmes going on, but that’s just wishful thinking.

What it comes down to is basically this.  Whatever the hell’s going on, insulin by injection is the only treatment that has any effect whatsoever.

The upside is that I have perfect feet and perfect blood pressure, so that’s all good.


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