Gransnet forums


Life changing discoveries

(97 Posts)
Justwidowed Tue 27-Jul-21 21:03:04

Today it is 100 years since Banting and Best isolated insulin for human use. Without it I and many thousands of diabetic worldwide would not be alive. What discoveries have improved your life .

Cs783 Wed 28-Jul-21 12:56:13

Plastic surgery - after an accident at age 16 I would have been facially scarred for life without NHS surgery. Oh and of course many other medical advances - glad to have been born not a day before I was!

Ijustwantpeace2020 Wed 28-Jul-21 13:22:05

Research into various rare blood cancers means I am able to take daily chemo and not die at a relatively young age.

Kate51 Wed 28-Jul-21 13:34:09

After 4 miscarriages including one after a cervical stitch I was given a ‘transabdominal
cerclage’ . This allowed me to give birth to my DD 25 years ago. Best decision we made to go ahead and try. It was fairly new at that time and we felt so lucky to be offered it.

EEJit Wed 28-Jul-21 13:46:39

Peritoneal dialysis machine. Hemo dialysis machine for others with kidney failure.

Esspee Wed 28-Jul-21 13:49:43


*Oestrogen replacement.* Without my twice yearly implant I would have hit the menopause 32 years ago. Judging by the difference between my life/health/appearance and that of my peers it has improved my life immensely and I will be on it until I die.

I’ve been asked for more information so for a brief summary here goes.

Menopause is the result of your oestrogen supplies being used up. It was fine when we lived to about age 50 or less but nowadays many of us live to almost twice that age.
It is a state of hormone deficiency.

If you are diabetic you are deficient in the hormone insulin. Replacing the insulin gives you back your normal life.
If you have an under active thyroid you are deficient in the hormone Thyroxine. Replacing the Thyroxine gives you back a normal life.
When you no longer have working ovaries it is referred to as the menopause. On average that hits you about the age of 50. If you replace that oestrogen you avoid menopause. It gives you back your normal life. Pure and simple.

If your ovaries have been removed you only need oestrogen. If you still have a womb you may need to take oestrogen and progesterone.

There are several ways to replace the oestrogen, the most common nowadays being patches (you place a small corn plaster like patch on your buttock twice a week), gel (you rub some gel on your inner thigh every day), and implants (you have a small pellet inserted under your skin twice a year). I use the last method as it means that for 363 days a year I can forget all about it.

Some doctors still prescribe tablets. Avoid these as you need to take a huge dose compared to the other methods mentioned above as anything taken orally has to first pass through the liver which removes much of the active ingredient.

Having been on oestrogen for 32 years I have avoided the talked about menopause symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats, sleep problems and mood swings. Of much greater seriousness are the long term side effects which nobody tells you are the result of oestrogen deficiency. Osteoporosis, osteo arthritis, heart disease, urinary tract infection, vaginal atrophy, loss of libido, even Alzheimer’s seems related to oestrogen deficiency.

These are just a sample of the miseries which now, thanks to advances in medicine, we can avoid. If it is too late for you be sure to tell your daughters. They no longer have to suffer the miseries of the menopause.

To read the current NHS guidelines for medics in the U.K. just Google “NICE guidelines Menopause”. These are “best practice” instructions but be aware many doctors are not up to date on the subject. You need to inform yourself before visiting your doctor. You can ask to be referred to a menopause clinic where they know their stuff.

If this has helped you feel free to PM me with any further questions or simply to share your experiences.

Happysexagenarian Wed 28-Jul-21 13:55:30

Radiotherapy. DH recently finished a course of RT for prostate cancer and the outlook is promising.

nipsmum Wed 28-Jul-21 14:02:35

Use of Radioactive Iodine to treat overactive Thyroid.

Gelisajams Wed 28-Jul-21 14:12:10

Amazing how many of these comments are health related.

travelsafar Wed 28-Jul-21 14:13:08

NHS without this wonderful serivce i may not have been here after having Covid. The treatment i received in hospital was fantastic, antibiotics, steriods, blood thinning injections to prevent blood clots in the lungs and of course oxygen. Also the dedicated care from the staff on the ward that i was admitted to. I also include the paramedics who came out to me first of all, the after care from the cardio unit and the x ray dept. in fact everyone who works so hard in our hospitals. Then of course the vaccine, which was discovered so very quickly and has saved millions of people's lives. Vaccinations for all the childhood illnesses saved many lives to so i have to include the scientists who developed these and the people who discovered them in the first place. We have a lot to be thankful for, especially here in the Uk with our free medical care. smile

jude2006 Wed 28-Jul-21 14:16:13

Adrenaline Epipen or equivalent . I have two with me at all times. When I was much younger I was stung by a wasp and suffered anaphylaxis, very scary!
I dread the summer months still, but am very aware now and well prepared.

grandmaz Wed 28-Jul-21 14:16:13

Calendargirl I too was a Rhesus baby…I was delivered a month early and received a blood transfusion after a Caesarian delivery in 1952. Sadly my two elder brothers, born in 1940 and 1943 respectively, lived only a few hours each.
In the last few years have I been able to trace their graves, one in Grimsby and one in Nottingham, both unmarked but at least I now know where they are. ??

Yammy Wed 28-Jul-21 14:25:45

Antibiotics saved my daughter's life.
Reliable C sections and blood transfusions saved myself and my first baby after undiagnosed placenta previa.
C sections by epidural meant my daughter was conscious at the birth of her baby unlike me who had a general anaesthetic.

MaggsMcG Wed 28-Jul-21 14:45:50

The latest drugs for cystic fibrosis have made my granddaughter's life so much better and allowed me and her mum to think she might well have a longer future now.

Purplepoppies Wed 28-Jul-21 14:49:00

Im thankful to the brave souls who agreed to be living guinea pigs in medicine trials. Like my dad. He agreed to a new chemo drug 50 years ago. It gave him another 25 years.

tictacnana Wed 28-Jul-21 15:03:47

Hip replacement surgery which meant that I could carry on working for another 15 years.

Callistemon Wed 28-Jul-21 15:28:30

X ray and later on Scanners
The world wide web

annodomini Wed 28-Jul-21 16:22:08

Antibiotics. I might not have survived my teens without them.
Vaccinations for various diseases enabled me to spend my best years in the tropics.

maryrose54 Wed 28-Jul-21 16:41:05

A colonoscopy. It found my cancerous polyp and led to a successful operation to cure it.

Nanna58 Wed 28-Jul-21 16:45:25

IVF, without which I wouldn’t have DD and therefore DGS .

Paperbackwriter Wed 28-Jul-21 17:15:39

The contraceptive coil.

Nonnadiana Wed 28-Jul-21 18:12:42

I have recently had lens implants due to cataracts which have very much improved the quality of my life.I enjoy reading books again and can see so much better when I’m out and about

Notagranyet1234 Wed 28-Jul-21 19:18:07

Being tested for a specific learning disability aged 48 and discovering that actually rather than being stupid and lazy I was actually quite clever. I've spoken about this before but I always felt a bit stupid and had no self confidence because of the way I was treated by my teachers at school because of my poor working memory and total lack of mathematical ability (despite trying really hard). Aged 47 I accepted an offer to study for a foundation course at university. Where my lecturers picked up on something in my work which resulted in me being diagnosised with a specific learning disability. With specific tutoring I gained very respectable passes in both my BSc hons and MSc.
I now know that it wasn't that I couldn't learn as I was constantly told by teachers, rather that they couldn't teach me. It changed my life.

grannybuy Wed 28-Jul-21 19:26:46

Ventilators. Without these in the neo natal unit, my daughters wouldn’t have survived. As like another poster, antibiotics and blood transfusion after post partum haemorrhaging saved my life.

Alegrias1 Wed 28-Jul-21 19:29:07

That's a fabulous story Notagranyet1234! Congratulations!

Sallywally1 Wed 28-Jul-21 19:32:52

Heart bypass machine which enabled my then 18 year old son to have a five hour open heart valve replacement surgery which saved his life. Original natural valve destroyed by sepsis, so another life changing discovery for him (and everyone else) is antibiotics. And medical science. And modern medicine. And Advances in our understanding of diseases. I would go on.

Thank god for our NHS