Thursday, September 27, 2012

Few minutes with Venus

Those were pre penicillin days. Penicillin came into universal use only in the late forties and early fifties of last century and revolutionized the treatment of many infections. Venereal diseases [diseases that are transmitted by sexual contact] were amongst these. When I was a medical student in the early sixties we saw a few of these relics who were suffering from the effects of having contacted gonorrhea in the pre penicillin days. The common complication was stricture [narrowing of the urinary passage]. These sufferers would periodically come to the hospital to get the passage dilated. The instruments uses were called bogies [don't ask me why this name] . These were graduated curved steel tubes which were slid down the urethra one after the the other and the narrowed portion was forcibly opened. Then the whole passage and the bladder would be irrigated with liquid mercuric chloride solution [an antiseptic].The victim would howl with pain during the procedure.

Once when I was doing this procedure, hearing the cries of the patient my senior said 'few minutes with Venus [sex worker] and life long with Mercury'

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