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Old 06-02-2006, 09:35 AM   #1
love, blood, life
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For The Love of Progress

In the autumn of 1685, Louis developed an agonising and persistent toothache, and his doctors decided to extract the offending molar. However, they were ignorant of the importance of post-operative hygiene, and infection set in: the king's gums, jawbone and sinuses became dangerously inflamed. A committee of nervous physicians concluded that drastic measures were called for. Louis underwent a truly terrible ordeal: they removed all the teeth from the top layer of his mouth, then punctured his palate and broke his jaw. This was all completed without anaesthetic, the king being fully awake throughout this procedure. The most powerful man in Western Europe was helpless before the primitive medical knowledge of his time. At least the wounds were kept clean on this occasion – cauterised with red-hot coals.
I like the 21st century.
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