Personally, there’s nothing I dread more than a trip to the doctor, even if it’s just for my annual physical. There’s something about a doctor’s office that makes me panic. Come to think of it, this might account for that high blood pressure my doctors keep going on about.
To work on this phobia of mine, I keep reminding myself that it could be a lot worse. I mean, I could be living between 1800 and 1900. If I needed to see a doctor then, well, let’s just say I would be lucky to survive. These vintage medical photos send shivers up my spine.
1. Here’s one of the many bizarre, unfortunate ways that doctors used to treat the mentally ill. Each patient here is wrapped in a wet sheet.
2. This is the ugly result of a deadly brain hemorrhage.
3. These babies are being treated for winter rickets at an orphanage in Chicago in 1925.
4. This woman displays her artificial leg, but is too embarrassed to show her face.
5. This what they used to use for blood transfusions.
6. This is what a neurological exam looked like in 1884.
7. An old prosthetic leg.
8. Physical therapy used to look a lot different.
9. This injured boy is wheeling around in an “invalid cart.”
10. Radioactive water, anyone?
11. This isn’t a scene from 50 Shades Of Grey — it’s actually how they used to treat scoliosis.
12. Defibrillators have come a long way.
13. This is what they used to call a “birthing chair.” Can you guess what it was used for?
14. Doctors used to be forbidden from touching women’s bodies. Instead, they used anatomical models so women could show the doctors where they were hurting.
15. Here’s a photograph of one of the first surgeries performed using ether as an anesthetic.
So the next time you find yourself avoiding the doctor or complaining about something your doctor wants you to do, just remember that things could be a lot worse. At least your doctor isn’t prescribing radioactive water for your stomach aches.