Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Order of Engineers

The Good Old Times: Let us recapitulate (February 17, 2009)

Lately, I suffered from a toothache; a dentist some thirty years ago filled the tooth without killing the nerve. The filler cap was exaggerated in hight to the point that all my masticating exercises had to pound that wretched tooth. 

I have taken heavy doses of antibiotics and the tooth had to be removed because there was no bone base left.  I am still in pain; I am sleepy but cannot sleep from pain.

I know that there is no pain that cannot be soothed using one of the current wide array of painkillers; that’s what I need; just one effective painkiller for a good night sleep; any suggestions?

A century ago, there were no antibiotics, no effective pain killers (not for local anesthesia anyway), and the tools for tooth removal were to be desired.  Anyone who still longs for the good old times?  Please raise your hands.

Last summer, I had one of my saliva gland removed.  I had to borrow money to renew my membership in the Order of Engineers for an affordable health insurance in case of surgery. Other than that I should not expect anything from our syndicate until I reach 62 of age for retirement benefits, a basic survival monthly payment. 

I hope by then, with current advances in digital facilities, the amount would be directly transferred to an account at nearby banks instead of driving two hours to get checks, on condition that I would be able to secure the yearly dues till then.

I like these small detours out of the subject matter.

After the surgery of my saliva gland, I never saw the surgeon or the anesthetic.

We basically rely on our highly qualified nurses who are very human indeed.  Within two weeks I shed the skin of my tongue and other horror consequences due to overdose of antibiotics:  my jaws were leaning to one side, like our Prime Minister Seniora.  The surgeon would not return my calls.  My stitches had to be removed at the emergency section. 

I am no surgeon but would you rather live a century ago if you had to remove one of your saliva glands?

I know that over 5,000 years ago the Babylonian Empire had the Code of Hammurabi; this ancient Empire had a sophisticated medical profession and laws setting the wages for each kind of surgery and for each of the three groups (the free citizens, the plebeians, and the slaves) “after the surgery was successful”. Otherwise, the surgeon could have his hands cut off in cases of death of the sick free citizen category.

The pharmacopoeias included over 250 of plant base, over 100 of mineral base, and over 100 of animal based medicines.  Most of these medicaments are still in use today. 

If I had to select a period for my “Good Old Times” then this would be one of them instead of a century ago; obviously as one of the free men.

One of my preferred Good Old Times is Beirut before the civil war in 1975. 

The Capital of Lebanon was a true Babel.  All political refugees flocked to Beirut.  Every “Arab” and Western States patronized a daily newspaper in funds and ads. We had more dailies than all the Arab States combined. 

Every writer wanted to be published (not that people read anything but their preferred daily that expressed their allegiance)  to have their names recognized by the Gatekeeper of Heaven “Oh, okay, God recognized your name from the multitude of curses heaped on you by the thousand other factions. Please, sign your autograph first”

Two Lebanese pounds were worth a dollar; currently, a dollar is worth 1,500 LL.  I used to spend my whole day in movie theaters, eat, and tour the whole capital with barely anything over one pound. It was just lovely walking around in Beirut among the crowd of different nations.




June 2023

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