The Time I Worried About My Surgeon

So I went to the doctor this morning to get the stitches out of my foot (what happened? See posts here and here.), and he told me that I had been showering ALL WRONG for the past two weeks. See, I had this weird waterproof rubber boot thingie, and had been stuffing my entire surgical boot into the narrow opening. This was only done with great difficulty and gnashing of teeth. Apparently, the boot wasn’t supposed to go in there at all, and I’ve been cursing a piece of rubber needlessly for weeks now. Great.

But anyway, this post is mostly about my surgeon’s office decor. I didn’t really notice it the first time I went to visit, but I sure did this time, and whipped out my camera to document the madness. The entire office is filled with vintage medical supplies, including an ether inhaler and bottles filled with the dregs of myrrh resin and morphine. I mean, shit, I thought myrrh was just a Biblical term, but evidently it’s also an astringent and disinfectant. Thank God the baby Jesus got it as a gift along with all that gold and frankincense.

Click on each image to see it full-sized.

Oh yeah, this is comforting to see when you first walk into a doctor’s office. There’s ancient eye wash, some ominous-looking tubes in the lower left, and the aforementioned ether inhaler at the bottom right. I’ll have to get a better picture of that next time I go in.

Yup, nothing but a super modern medical office here. Yesiree, you’ll never get anally probed with that bottle on the top shelf during your visit, I swear! Now let me just put the ether mask on ya…

The “TINCT. CHLOR.ET MORPH.” (perhaps a cough suppressant?) and the mysterious MYRRH. Also some chest rub and a well-used tin of Vaseline. All totally normal for a foot doctor!

Finally some foot-related medicines, along with six different mortar-and-pestle sets. Because you never know when you might need to grind up some herbs for your patient’s feet!

“Bacorn’s Vaporizing Forkola Jell.” Holy shit, that sounds like the most awesome medicine EVER. What the hell is it?! I found the answer in an old court case from 1929:

Analysis of a sample of the article by this department showed that it was an ointment consisting essentially of a petrolatum base containing benzoin and volatile oils including peppermint and eucalyptus oils, camphor, menthol, turpentine oil, and methyl salicylate.

The article was labeled in part:

Relieving Allaying
Abating
Congestion and Inflammation
For Spasmodic Croup
Nasal Catarrh, Bronchitis, Sore Throat, Coughs, Whooping Cough, Tonsilitis, Asthma, etc., spread
Incipient Pneumonia

Then rub Forkola Jell in well and spread on
Leave covering loose around neck so that vapors arising may be freely inhaled. Continue until fever is reduced
For: Bites, Boils, Eczema, Itchings, Neuralgia, Pains, Itching Piles, Muscular Rheumatism, Salt Rheum.

Behold! It’s an “entirely new” and “daring” ceramic bottle that GETS HOT when you put HOT WATER IN IT! Stop the fucking presses!

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  1. July 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

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