Commiserations to any of you out there who've injured yourselves playing sports. We mean, we never imagined that a strained rotator cuff or torn anterior cruciate ligament could be anything less than ex-cruciate-ing.
But we had no idea just how bad it could be until we read a survey of 236 injured people conducted by a sports medicine Web site, http://www1.SxSportsMed.com. Here's what survey respondents said about their post-injury lives.
* 71% helped their kids less with homework.
* 67% gambled more.
* 78% had less sex.
* 59% argued more with their spouse about money.
* 59% watched more TV.
The injured, says the report, were also three times more likely to lose their wallet, post-injury. They were seven times less likely to give to charity.
And they were five times more likely to watch the WB network. The No. 1 show they watched was "Dawson's Creek."
(Our hearts, as we said, go out to them.)
The "Dawson's" thing is a mystery to us, and representatives for the Web site couldn't explain it either. But the point of the survey, they say, is to show that sports injuries can really affect people's lives--and to encourage them to avoid such injuries in the first place, by treating their bodies with care.
And You Think Going to the Doctor Is Scary Now
Last week we wrote about oddball medical museums, and this week we have a chance to start a collection of our own.
On Wednesday, Christie's Los Angeles is auctioning off a private collection of historical medical books--"the most complete library on plastic surgery ever to come to market." (We're tempted: It would make the health editor's office look so much more distinguished.)
The collection contains illustrated books and journals dating to the Renaissance, when plastic surgery was very different from today's world of liposuctioning, lip fattening and breast enlarging. Back then, surgeons were more concerned with repairing noses and ears lopped off during duels.
In Renaissance times, much of the surgery was done by so-called barber-surgeons, whose techniques were closely guarded secrets--at least until one of these books was published in 1597. (The book described, among other things, making a new nose from some arm skin and was condemned by religious leaders at that time.)
A few titles that took our fancy:
* "An Account of Two Successful Operations for Restoring a Lost Nose," from 1816. This book, we're told, was a classic on artificial nose-making that set the stage for modern plastic surgery. (Christie's estimates it will go for $15,000 to $20,000, should you be interested.)
* "Autoplastic Surgery, or the Restoration of Parts of the Body Which Have Been Destroyed by Borrowing from Other Parts More or Less Distant," from 1836. (Probable auction price: $3,000 or more.)
* "A treatise on The Blood, Inflammation and Gun-shot Wounds, to which is prefixed a short account of the author's life," from 1794. (It's likely to fetch $2,000 to $3,000.)
There are plenty of lavish illustrations--of noses, stitched up every which way, plus a lot that is not for the squeamish. And there is one exquisite etching from 1743 of three neatly dressed doctors holding a patient who is sitting calmly in a chair while another doctor saws his arm off. Perhaps they built 'em tougher back then.