Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The things we take for granted...

This afternoon my mother and I took my grandmother to see her pacemaker doc. She had a new pacemaker installed? Inserted? Implanted? December. Last Thursday, I wrote a blog over at Delilah Devlin's talking about watching the Apollo moon landing as a nine year old child. Amazing technological advances over the last fifty years.

But today, watching my frail eighty-nine year old grandmother, I realized that I've seen nothing compared to her. She grew up with no electricity, no phone, no running water, no indoor plumbing. One of her chores was to pull water up from the well with a bucket. Her mean spirited male cousin enjoyed spiting in the bucket after she hauled it out of the well. She'd have to pour out the water and wash the bucket before hauling up more.

She remembers when people supposedly died of heartburn because they didn't understand heart attacks. Her own mother died at the age of forty-nine due to complications from gall bladder surgery. Gall bladder surgery! My mother had her gall bladder removed as an outpatient last summer. The difference between medicine in 1946 and in 2009.

And today, the doctor showed us the monitor for Granny's pacemaker. Her pacemaker has gone wireless! The box hooks up to the phone line. There's a splitter so you can still connect a phone. You place the monitor near the bed. During the night, the monitor will run a scan of Granny's pacemaker without her ever knowing. If there's a problem, the monitor can send an alert to the doctor's office.

When she was born, the technology we take for granted wasn't even dreamed of. Today, she walks around with a phone in her purse, a tiny device implanted under her skin to regulate her heart and a monitor doing things I thought only Star Trek could do.

What a world we live in and take for granted. Even now, I'm writing on a laptop with more computing power than rooms full of computers when man walked on the moon. I'll click on a button and send the post out into the ether where anyone can read it, anywhere in the world. How cool is that. Wonderous times we live in.


Allie Standifer said...

You are so right, Shayla. But think about what the world will be like in another ten years. Yikes, what will they come up with next?

Shayla Kersten said...

Granny thinks in fifty years people won't have to go to the doctor anymore. They'll just scan patients from home. She might be right! LOL

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Go, Granny!

Regina Carlysle said...

I'm constantly amazed. My mom was a 'late in life' baby and was the only one of seven kids who was actually born in a hospital and I had many friends, growing up, who had no indoor plumbing. They pulled up water from a well and used an outhouse. I think we're really lucky to live in a day with all of these modern conveniences...miracles really and still have among us those who drove 57 Chevy's and wore poodle skirts or remember what it was like to hide from the Nazi's during WWII.

Pat said...

My mom told us about going out side to go to the outhouse and not having no toilet paper. I loved her clothes that she had from high school for dressup at school

Word Actress said...

I was thinking the other day that I wanted to start a day of gratitude movement. At least once a week, I want to encourage everyone to send an e-mail reminding friends and family how happy they are to have them in their lives. Your post reminded me of this...Mary Kennedy Eastham, Author, The Shadow of a Dog I Can't Forget and the upcoming novel Night Surfing

Shayla Kersten said...

Hiya, Cindy! Granny is definitely a character. She's buried three husbands and as many "gentlemen" friends. LOL

I'm with you, Regina. Sometimes I forget about the things we take for granted everyday. We live in the most interesting of times!

Hi, Pat! I still remember the outhouse at my paternal grandparents house when I was a kid. *shuddder* Hated that thing! And for the longest, their little church only had outhouses. Two three for men, one for women. LOL

You are so right, Mary. I try to remember to be grateful for the small things but you forget about the miracles you've lived with all your life!

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by!

Rachel Lynne said...

Hey Shayla! I graduated HS in 1989 (so I'm not that old LOL) but I'm constantly telling my 8 year old how cartoons were only on Saturday morning, the only TV channels were 3,5,8, and rabbit ears for UHF! Cable and satellite TV weren't widely available, (I was 15 before it came to our area), cell phones were so big they had to be carried in a bag, and no one I knew had a computer. Internet only became popular to the masses around the mid/late 90's.
The technology burst we've seen in just ten, fifteen, twenty years is incredible.
I think the future is non fossil fuel-monorail type transport, and within 75 years I think we'll have a colony on the moon. (A friend works at NASA and yes, they have plans for it!)I'm betting you'd pack your bags, right?

Great topic!

Shayla Kersten said...

Hiya, Rachel! I'm a few years older but you're right! The last twenty years have been amazing. I just hope I'm around to see a colony on the moon. I'll be too old to go but I'd be there in spirit!

Thanks for stopping by! And that moon colony gives me ideas. Well, I kind of already had a few but I wasn't planning on using it so soon. *cackle*