Shelley, at Retrospectacle, once again has captured my attention. Plague week continues, of course, but another post will not be denied attention–how often do you get the chance to watch an egg-sized cyst, full of tapeworm larvae, being removed from a 16-year-old girl’s brain?
Yeah, I know, cool!
Cool…because the girl lives, and makes a full recovery. Because she lives in this century, rather than in a century when people saw the plague as God’s wrath, treatable by prayer, bleeding, herbs, mercury, or lucky charms.
You can complain about modern health care all you like. I take a bit of a wider view. It has saved my life on more than one occasion, has saved my son… There are old cemetaries in this area that are practically littered with infant and child graves, many where the child had not lived long enough to be named. Follow the link. Watch this huge cyst being removed from this girl’s brain. Be grateful to medicine, science, education… you live in a very good time to be alive.
A golf-ball sized hydatid cyst
Is not the sort of thing I’d list
As one I’d like to try.
Indeed, I’d rather think it marvy
Not to host so many larvae–
I’m not that kind of guy.
In juxtaposing these two posts
Where humans serve unwilling hosts
To tapeworms or bacilli,
And treatment may be surgery
Or bleeding, charms, or mercury,
You make my spine go chilly.
I won’t say much, but I concede
That in the past, I’ve had the need
To seek a doctor’s care;
I’m fine, of course, but even so,
I think: It’s not that long ago
My “treatment” would be prayer.
This girl here in your video
(My daughter’s age, I’ll have you know)
Is lucky as can be–
To live in this, the present day
Where science, not the church, holds sway
I hope that you’ll agree.
For her, and for my daughter’s sake
I’d like to take this chance to make
A science-based reply;
For researchers, for doctors, nurses,
Not for priests, or prayer, or curses
The stakes are much too high.