I had a notification this morning that told me my last post (It’s Complicated) had a pingback link to it, so I followed it.
It turns out that I had been ‘challenged’, possibly by a route similar to that used in the the Silly SOD verses, to write a post based on a prompt provided by the Normal Happenings blog. I couldn’t work out whether Normal Happenings had actually read (or liked) the post that the ping was on because there was no evidence of that.
Helpfully though, the prompt, ‘Diagnose the Future’, was further expanded (or, if the author of the blog did read my earlier posts, perhaps ‘contained’) by the following phrase:
“What is a big medical breakthrough you foresee happening in the next twenty years? Explain.“
Now then, foreseeing is pretty difficult. I can’t even see properly without glasses. And I’d hazard a guess that no one accurately foresees, full stop. Except possibly when you are reading a sentence and you will already know it’s going to end full stop. Sorry, that’s ‘period’ for our American friends.
Twenty years is obviously a long time away. Twenty years ago I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was able to run, ski, surf, rock climb and balance precariously on one leg.
I didn’t do many of those things, but that’s not the point. Back then, I could have if I wanted to.
So, if it was just what medical breakthrough’s I’d wish for personally, then selfishly, a cure for MS would be great. But then of course I would want there to be a cure for everything that is currently incurable because I know a lot of my readers have their own chronic illnesses to battle with. Plus of course there’s any other illness. Because no one deserves to be ill.
And I’d like that to be today please, which just leaves some room for conjecture about the next 19 years and 364 days.
So, the foresee bit can either be usual me, which I can guess will end up in cyborg additions to my existing physiology and other silliness, or really realistic me. And we’ll just accept that there is good work already being done to get towards my wished for aims and my powers of foreseement are happy enough with that.
Anyway, I do foresee perhaps being able to have one of my currently wobbly legs being replaced by a personal robot leg that, as well as actually getting the walking and correct balance adjustment signal messages my brain sends it when I’m on my feet, also gets other messages from my brain. So perhaps when I’m sat writing and think ‘Hmm.. I fancy a cup of tea…’
Then it would detach itself, go off to the kitchen, make me a cup of tea (or maybe simply kicks Mrs Bryntin to alert her to my needs) and then hops back with said cup of tea and a custard cream.
Probably not hop actually, it’ll need to glide on wheels or something won’t it? Otherwise the tea mug will be empty when it gets here and there’ll be a trail of wet patches on the carpets that lead all evidence for its origin to me.
I’m not sure that’s much of an advance on either ordering a tea and never getting it or going off to make one myself.
Anyway, we’ve got a few years to refine the idea and I’m sure that it is within the technical scope of ‘the next twenty years’.
Also, a real medical breakthrough in the UK might be that you have a doctors appointment when you want one. At the moment, if I phone right now, I can only foresee me getting a ten minute appointment with a doctor that is sometime in the next twenty years.
And that’s only if my medical need is deemed to be important enough for a receptionist to allow me to progress to the ‘making an appointment’ stage of the conversation. First, the receptionist has to gauge how near to death I am, which often, by the fact I can pick up my phone and talk, is not close enough for getting an appointment with a doctor.
I’m sure it will help medical science a lot if people could actually go to a doctor. Then doctors would get the valuable experience of curing people and applying their medical training in the real world and add that to their experience, instead of just having a receptionist tell them how many ill people they managed to keep away from them today.
I foresee that doctors will in fact not exist by 2039 anyway. We will have a personal doctor as one of the many functions catered for by our robotic assistant device that also controls our house lights on command and orders custard creams on a just in time basis to make sure there are always enough.
Currently, I haven’t got one of the simpler ‘smart’ devices, Mrs Bryntin does some of that, but having the doctor bit would be good. Her focus normally seems to be concentrated on causing me pain in a non-proportional amount in return for any of the regular minor tact deficiencies I display.
You will say ‘Hello Doctor Alexa, I have a sore toe,’ and stick your toe into it’s diagnostic umm… hole? No, perhaps sensor is a better word. (I expect the sensor will have to be big enough to get any of your appendages in. Or perhaps it’ll have one of those 3D laser scanners with X-Ray or MRI capability. Perhaps it’ll also have a white coat and a stethoscope too. And while we’re on doctor stereotypes, bad handwriting.)
Then, in about an hour, a robot dog will call at the door delivering two kilos of corn plasters and a carton of custard creams for you. No doctors needed. Just leave a review.
Another advance I see is people being able to have a vacuum cleaner attachment installed in one of their fingers. Some may think this isn’t medical but I think it would definitely be a step towards preventing many ear injuries being caused around the house. More specifically, to me by Mrs Bryntin, when she finds my custard cream crumbs on the floor. If I could suck them up with my finger first, that would be helpful.
Anyway, hopefully, most of the things that are not yet medically possible to help relieve and cure will be solved in twenty years, and everyone can stick to worrying about how to survive extreme weather, rising sea levels and possible asteroid strikes wiping out all life on earth.
So as I started saying, there was a pingback link for a writing prompt in my notifications this morning but I decided that I probably wouldn’t be able to take it seriously enough, so I don’t think I’ll bother.