mellicious: pink manicure (Frank the Reaper)
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[livejournal.com profile] theferrett  is in the hospital recovering from a burst appendix, and having time on his hands, is contemplating, well, death. He posed this question:

And now I am curious: when did medieval-you die? What injury/ailment/preexisting condition would have robbed your life without penicillin or blood transfusions or the like? And how many years have you, yes, been cheating the reaper?


Entry and many, many comments which I have not read here. (I did read as far as the first couple of comments - the very first one is one "meihua" which confused me tremendously, since it's a name that [livejournal.com profile] columbina  has been known to use for game characters and other things.) (Also, I have that same lotus icon, and have even been known to use it from time to time.)

Anyway, Medieval Mel might or might not still be alive. I've never broken limbs or had an infection I can think of severe enough that it would definitely have killed me. That's all sort of Infection Bingo, in any case. However, I also have a heart murmur which is slight enough that it would certainly have been undiagnosed, but not slight enough to have absolutely no effect under stress - and the upshot of that is that I might well have died in childbirth. (Not an unusual way for medieval women to die, in any case.)

Date: 2009-06-25 06:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ursulahitler.livejournal.com
Appendix, age 11. God let me slip from his hungry jaws then, and has been trying to finish me off, Final Destination-style, ever since.

Date: 2009-06-25 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrissa.livejournal.com
Well, my mom nearly bled out when I was born, and I don't know what I would have gotten as a tiny child if she hadn't been my primary caregiver, because it's impossible to say what the other circumstances would have been. I got pneumonia when I was 7. And now? Now I have been doing this vertigo thing without open flames in my house, without the need to go out and try to bring in the harvest anyway, without a million of the risks that were commonplace for survival--and without having to weaken my body by staying completely in bed to avoid them.

Date: 2009-06-25 12:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xeney.livejournal.com
When I was ten I had strep throat, scarlet fever, pneumonia, and a badly infected foot injury in the space of about six months. I doubt I would have survived all of that in a less clean environment without antibiotics.

I would not have had the foot injury, though (I dropped a bathroom drawer on my foot).

Date: 2009-06-25 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ljhformigny.livejournal.com
I broke my arm badly when I was 15. The skin wasn't much damaged but I'm sure lethal germs don't wait for broken skin. Pneumonia when I was 13, but very mild and might not have taken me off. All the other childhood diseases would have been endemic. Dysentery or cholera if I could have swum as much as I like to, and because I dislike beer and hard cider and would have drunk the water instead. If none of those, childbed. Damn those honey suppositories, never as effective a contraception as the crone's advertisements promise.

Date: 2009-06-25 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] profrobert.livejournal.com
I was born with a congenital hernia on one side, so I suppose that could have strangulated at some point. I've had antibiotics a number of times, which may have simply been prophylactic (back when they gave them out like candy before the superbugs arrived) or might have stopped something that might have killed me.

My real medieval problem would be eyesight. I'm naturally 20/400 left, 20/200 right and before I did the Lasik, would not have tried crossing a busy street without my glasses. I might have been unemployable or gotten hit by something I didn't see.

Date: 2009-06-25 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] needlewomyn.livejournal.com
The eyesight would have been my killer, too. I'd have been hit my something massive long since....

Date: 2009-06-25 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] corvikate.livejournal.com
I had scarlet fever as an infant - that would have polished me off, I think. Since then, I've been healthy as a horse.

Like profrobert, I'm myopic to the point of hazard, so perhaps I would have been run down by a cart or the like.

Date: 2009-06-26 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anjea.livejournal.com
Hmmm...probably the most serious illnesses I've had were a bladder infection, UTIs, and strep throat. The bladder/UT infections possibly could eventually have killed me from sepsis, I suppose...

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