Friday, January 27, 2012

A Patient's Minor Contribution to Medicine

I am rather proud of my two contributions to medicine – although I may be the only person to have benefited from them.
Recovering from prostate cancer, I had a catheter fitted that ran from my bladder to a bag strapped to my leg. This bag had to be emptied when it became too heavy for comfort. Then a convenience (often an inconvenience) had to be located, trousers lowered, and urine released.
I had a zip fastener put into the side seam of my trousers from which to extract the drainage tap. Then, even when in public, I could find a drain or flower bed for the purpose. I dubbed it
“The P-R Zip”.

On another occasion, when being released from hospital with a pacemaker, instructions were not to raise my left arm, the side in which the device had been inserted. A reminder was necessary for the following month or so.
I installed a cord (string) loop that rounded and fell from my trouser belt.
With the arm dangling through this loop, there was a restraining reminder whenever I started to raise it. The doctors had not seen one before.
This could be the cheapest medical aid ever invented.
I dubbed it “The P-R Loop”.
The “Loop” can be threaded through a strong safety pin attached to waist-high nightwear.

My other contribution to medicine was only an observation.
In a shaft of sunlight I was using an electric shaver with an oscillating head, and was astounded to see so many small pieces of hair flying about. These, I thought, must be an irritant when breathed in to my ex-TB lung.
I changed quickly to a rotating headed shaver that retains the cut hair.