I was asleep under anesthesia before I ever even got to the operating room, so can’t remember a thing, which is probably good since I hear that a lot of power tools are involved.
Right before, my wife kissed me and told me that the female nurses were all flirting with me–ha!
After the surgery, I was groggy like crazy.
When the nurse asked me if I knew what year it was, I blurted out “1993!”
Aside from the general anesthesia, I had some sort of nerve block.
Thanks G-d that has made the pain minimal to zero even.
The nurse this morning gave me a percocet in anticipation of the pain with physical therapy today–so I apologize if this blog is a little loopy today.
So far, although very stiff around the surgical area, I have already sat up, got up, even walked a little down the hospital hallway.
Waiting for more PT and OT this afternoon.
I just want to say thank you to G-d, the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, all the nurses, and my wife and kids and other family and friends for taking such good care of and for all their thoughts and prayers.
One friend, even called me the bionic man this morning.
It’s been a really tough year with the loss of my mom in January and my dad not being well in the hospital and now in a facility to get him back on his feet again too.
And so far, my wife has been doing great keeping us going with only one big stress attack and trip to the ER to show for it. 😉
Wow, prosthetics have come a long way–these are tough!
This video from Biodapt shows their high-performance Moto Knee being used in a variety of action sports including snowmobiling, motor biking, mountain biking, horseback riding, water skiing, snow boarding, and jet skiing.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek (11 July 2013) explains how the Moto Knee has hydraulic components that provide “tension and range of motion for intense physical activity.”
They cost around $6,000 and don’t replace the regular walking version, but Mike Schultz, the developer understands the need for these advanced prosthetics having lost a leg himself in a 2008 competitive snowmobiling accident.
I think it’s wonderful that these high-tech devices are being made available for disabled people to be able to do a wide range of exciting activities.
My hope is that as the technology continues to advance that we can have–like a person’s legs–one prosthetic device that is adaptive for use in every day use as well as more intense activities and sports.
It is hard to imagine people voluntarily trading their body parts for mechanical implants–but one day, in the not too distant future, these mechanical limbs will not only be a substitute for repair of real body parts, but will actually provide some superior capabilities–they will be used for body augmentation–and thus even be desirable by those who haven’t lost limbs.
What gives a leg up to prosthetics, as Hugh Herr in the Wall Street Journal (12 July 2013) put it is “that the designed parts of the body can improve in time, whereas the normal body, the biological body, degrades in time.”
With regenerative medicine and replacement parts by design, more than ever our physical bodies will be just the transient vessel that houses our heart, mind and soul–that which really makes us, us. 😉
This is a video of South African sprinter and Olympic hopeful, Oscar Pistorius–a double amputee fitted with curved, carbon-fiber prosthetic “Cheetah Blades” that can “challenge the fastest sprinters in the world.”
There was a fascinating article about this in the Wall Street Journal today (2-3 June 2012)–on how high-tech implants are being put in people’s bodies and brains, changing them from disabled to “superabled.”
The article explains how “the goals for many amputees is no longer to reach a ‘natural’ level of abilities, but to exceed it, using whatever cutting-edge technology is available.”
And just like body implants are helping spur superhuman abilities, so too neural implants can stimulate brain activity to focus attention, faster learning, hone skills, and augment performance.
Last September, Tim Hemmes, paralyzed from a motocycle accident, was able to use a brain implant to move a mechanical arm, just with his thoughts!
“Technology can give us brains and brawn” and those with disabilities and the elderly who have lost mental and physical capacities will be early adopters–“they have a lot to gain and are willing to face the risk inherent in new medical technology.”
There are many ethical questions when it comes to human implants–especially when it comes to the possibility of people voluntarily substituting technology for healthy body parts–just to have the Steve Austin-like, Six Million Dollar Man, bionic capabilities.
Another question is once we start replacing our body parts–our very selves–with technology augmentation, at what point do we stop being us? And at what point, do we potentially stop being human and become something else–half human, half machine–or even more machine than human?
Like the mythical creature, the centaur, which was half man and half horse–it seems like humans have always wondered about what makes them who they are and ultimately what they might become if they try to co-exist or meld with something altogether different.
By combining technology into our humanity, we are becoming something different–maybe a super human, if we use it ethically and for the good. Or perhaps we may become something more malevolent, if we go on to abuse our superabled powers to dominate or otherwise harm those less souped-up than us.
Only time will tell where technological implantation and human augmentation ultimately takes us–it holds both enormous promise that we need to leverage and frightening risks that must be carefully planned and managed.
Here is a wonderful idea to help people who use prosthetics–a smartphone built right in to the artificial limb.What was once a challenging task to hold a smartphoneand make calls, write emails and texts, or just search the web is now just a push of a button or voice command away.This is a user-centric and functional integration of technology with medical science to help those who have either lost limbs or been born without them.While a step forward for the disabled, perhaps this is also a move towards future technological augmentation of regular body parts as well.What was once a tattoo or body piercing on the periphery may soon become an implanted smartphone in the body part of your choosing.The concept reminds me of the MTV show “Pimp My Ride” where run-of-the-mill cars are completely made over into new awesome vehicles by stripping them and rebuilding them with better, cooler parts.Is this where we are going with our human bodies–where one day we are an old beat-up minivan only to have our parts swapped out and replaced with biotechnology to become a new hotrod convertible once again.Now we are moving from leveraging technology for medical purposes to tinkering with our our physical bodies, using technology, for preference.Yes, this is already being done with facelifts and other cosmetic surgery, but how about replacing entire body parts not because they are diseased, but because you want or can afford an upgrade?Lot’s of exciting and scary implications to think about with this one–as our body parts become replaceable almost like legos–snap on and off.In the future, becoming a better, stronger, faster person may not be just a function of what you do, but how much you can afford to replace.
This is an amazing video of the new FemBots from Japan. These robots are incredibly lifelike for nascent androids. With or without the background music, it evokes an eerie feeling.
The vision of iRobot and elements of Star-Trek (remember the character “Data”) are becoming a reality in front of our very eyes.
This is a convergence of humanity and technology, as scary as that sounds. (No not our hearts and souls, but definitely recognizable physical dimensions).
No longer are we talking about simple human-computer interfaces, computer ergonomics, or user-centric architecture design, but rather, we are now moving toward the actual technology with emerging human semblance, charateristics, even some notional speech and affect, etc.
I came across this video the same day today that I saw on FOX news a breakthrough in robotic limbs for people. A man had actually been fitted and was using a robotic hand that responded to his muscle movement. Obviously, this offers huge possibilities for people with disabilities.
Man to machine and machine to man. How far will it go?