The history behind finding solutions for treatment of our medical needs is very fascinating. My Mother-In-Law worked at a Mental Retardation Hospital and I work at a Mental Health Hospital. You wouldn't think the care of these two very different illnesses would have the same or similar treatment, but they do in many instances. Mental retardation unfortunately for the afflicted is not usually a preventable illness. However, mental health is usually brought on my mis-treatment, improperly medicated or over stressed individuals. Some exceptions do occur in both instances.
Mental health issues were rampant after the Civil War. Institutions were being built all of the Eastern half of the Country to deal with the over stressed returning soldiers and Doctors. Imagine assisting in an amputation procedure or watching as one of your fellow soldiers gets blown apart. Now imagine being the Doctor trying to put these people back together in a day when soldiers remained awake for repair procedures. Doctors took on the pain of the patience. They watched as limbs became green with infection. Now days due to antibiotics and sterilization procedures, this would not have been the case. Yes infections still occur, but at at less than 3% of the rate of the Civil War.
I believe we take for granted current day procedures. Being place into a state of unconsciousness while undergoing any medical procedure is far more comfortable for both the Doctor and the patient. We take for granted the ability to be numbed until the possibility to feel pain is taken away. We take for granted the ability for modern medicine to be able to look inside us and tell us what is wrong. People just 50 years ago went through all types of exploratory surgeries to determine their afflictions. We now have the ability to cut the smallest opening to remove, repair or replace injuries and worn out joints.
A hip fracture just 30 years ago required months of hospitalization and physical therapy. Today in most cases, we are almost back to normal in 6 week.s
Patients expectations are not unrealistic any longer. Our most horrendous diseases have better treatment and some have been eradicated. Others are treated with simple surgical procedures. Unfortunately we have a long way to go yet in finding cures for diseases, birth defects and syndromes. Today research hospitals all over the world, are working on cures and treatments for serious injuries like spinal cord and limb re-attachments. Tomorrow, what was once a serious illness, will hopefully be treated quickly with a vaccine or minor procedure.
Since the beginning of time we have had to deal with bacteria and sickness, but today our broad spectrum of treatments have made getting hurt or sick much more tolerable.