...a world without antibiotics.
Just before the weekend, Anders started feeling some pain around one of his wisdom teeth. It wasn't too bad to begin with, but it gradually became more painful, and on Friday he was popping painkillers continuously. On Saturday morning, it was still bearable with the painkillers, but he realised he had gotten an infection around this stupid wisdom tooth that didn't seem to go away by itself, and that he had to make an appointment with the dentist - so he did, but it still didn't feel that urgent, and he got an appointment on Monday morning. By Saturday night it was starting to be really bad, and during the night he called an emergency dentist, that would take him in on Sunday morning.
The dentist found that the infection was starting to go down Anders' throat, and that the he needed antibiotics immediately, and the tooth had to be removed.
After this episode, which hasn't been any dramatic (except, of course, for Anders' pain, and I feel very bad for him and all that), I have been thinking about what could have happened if this was 150 years ago; where maybe the infection would have continued to grow down his throat, and a stupid wisdom tooth would have ended up killing a 28 year old, completely healthy man...
Thank goodness for modern medicine and dentists and antibiotics!
But, oh, how I fear a world where we don't have antibiotics anymore; or, more precisely, a world where we don't have any effective antibiotics left. A world where all bacteria are immune to all kinds of antibiotics. What if that's where we're heading, and that we don't manage to change the direction we're going? What if one of the biggest achievements in the history of medicine will be lost?
I'm not an expert on the issue, but one thing I do know we can do as patients is to follow the doctor's orders on how to take our antibiotics: especially when it comes to the issue of NEVER stopping the treatment just because you feel fine, and also we need to respect those times when the doctor isn't giving us antibiotics, because it isn't 100% necessary :)
PS: I think Anders would also have said thank goodness for real painkillers, if I'd asked him before posting this ;)