Sometimes — very often, actually — I think about what my grandparents would think about some of the technology now available to us. For example, one day last week, I had a Facebook Messenger conversation with a friend of mine in which we texted about the possibility of my taking her to a doctor’s appointment scheduled for yesterday. I’m not sure if I need your help or not, but I just wanted to see if you were available if necessary, she said via Messenger. I went to my Google calendar to check my availability. The only thing on my Google calendar was a tentative appointment to take this friend to her doctor. Hand to God.
The thing is, I’m no longer shocked to see these sorts of occurrences because it’s so commonplace. And I long ago decided to stop worrying about my lack of privacy because the reality is anyone who wants to can have access to my calendar or my shopping habits, as both are dull as dog poop. In fact, the most exciting situation I face is when I travel with a bag of Benefiber that I’m certain hotel housekeeping staff members assume is cocaine. I wonder if anyone has ever snorted it?
Last week when I learned I was going to be admitted to the hospital, I asked where my room would be located. The answer: the Surgical Robotics floor. Wait, what? My granddaughter Mylee participates in an after school club called Lego Robotics. I was hoping against hope that Surgical Robotics didn’t have anything to do with Legos. I’ve seen the things that Mylee builds with Legos. They always involve weapons.
Actually, I found that it isn’t a whole lot different once it was explained to me, though there is no sign of weapons. Apparently, an increasing number of surgeries can be done robotically. The surgeries — for things like hysterectomies or gall bladder removal and even coronary bypass — involve making a few little incisions into which the surgeon inserts very small instruments and a tiny camera. The surgeon then moves to another part of the operating room and operates the instruments robotically using the camera to assist him or her. Clearly, this completely unknowledgeable description of robotic surgery demonstrates that I am neither a robot nor a medical professional. All I know is if my colon resection surgery had been done using robotic surgery, I wouldn’t be having bowel obstructions today. Keep in mind, I didn’t go out last night and get my M.D. I don’t know if colon resection can even be done robotically. But a girl can dream, can’t she?…..
The other day, I excitedly explained to Mylee about being on the Surgical Robotics floor of the hospital and what that meant. She listened patiently as I spoke. When I finished my story, she said something like that’s nice Nana and then began explaining how Mikey the Ninja Turtle uses his nunchucks effectively to fight crime…..
Mylee crushed my hopes that she might become a robotic surgeon some day. Of course, by the time she grows up, people will be saying things like Can you believe human beings actually used to do robotic surgery instead of actual robots?