X-Ray Story

I was asked to imagine myself in Germany between 1895 and 1910 and write a story. The below is the formulation. Trying to check how good I am in Time Travel.

When I came across the X-Rays, I felt that being able to look inside the human body could give answers to many diseases that people suffer from. I realised that the Doctors treat the patients based on the account of the illness provided by the patients. In my opinion, these accounts provided by the patients were mainly what the patient felt and could not be considered as the fact about what was happening in the patient’s body. There was further loss of accuracy as the Doctor would tend to interpret the patient’s account based on his/her dimensions of understanding and knowledge; as also based on his/her present mental state. Being able to capture objective knowledge of what was the real state of the patient’s body could lead to more correct diagnosis.

One a fine Sunday morning, me and my wife went to the market for buying our vegetables and fruits and other food items. We used to buy the ration once in a week so that we could stay focused on our work for the rest of the week. After we had made our purchases, we took a horse cart to return home. This was our usual practice. Halfway to our home, suddenly the horse bolted and threw us off the carriage. My wife fell on her left hand and was in deep pain. I realised that she must have broken her arm. I gathered whatever I could from the purchases we had made and put my wife on the carriage and requested the carriage man to take to the nearest hospital. He obliged. On reaching the hospital, the Doctor examined my wife and declared that the bone on the left hand was broken. I asked him about how bad was the damage. The Doctor reply did not sound comprehensive to me. I requested the Doctor if it would help him if he could actually see the damage inside my wife’s arm. The Doctor looked at the me sceptically and stated that it certainly would. So, I requested the Doctor to come with to the Roentgen Lab. The Doctor bandaged the broken arm and gave a painkiller to my wife and we 3 started for the Roentgen Lab. My wife was feeling quite okay at the moment.

Once inside the lab, I took them to the X-Ray machine we were developing. After a reasonable effort to set it up, we passed the X-Ray on my wife’s arm. On the display, the Doctor could see the broken bones on the arm. He was amazed. He had carried his minimum equipment with him. After examining the images, he got down to work on the arm and after a while he had firmly plastered it after doing the needful. Once done, the Doctor asked me to meet him in his chamber the next day.

Next day, I arrived at the Doctor’s chamber as per the appointment. After a cup of coffee, the Doctor asked me what it would take to set up a X-Ray machine in his hospital. I told him that if we would need gathering the material and then building the machine and then tuning the machine; and a estimate was that this could be done in 6 months. I also told him an estimated cost of the same. The Doctor thought for a while. Then he said that he would pay me 20 DM per month for 8 months and the needed money for building the machine; and asked if this was acceptable for me. He told me that he putting all his savings for this project. I did not think and immediately agreed. However, I told him that I did not know all the implications of using X-Rays. The Doctor said that after I made the equipment, he would gather the information on its usage and would suggest modifications to the machine. This was a God sent messenger as far as I was concerned.

For the next 6 months, I worked on building the machine. After having tested it reasonably; mainly taking pictures of the Dogs and Cats. On 12Sep1901 I told the Doctor that he could try the machine. The Doctor was delighted. For the first human test, we agreed that we would use the machine to photograph the left arm of my wife. When we photographed it, we found that the broken arm was now fully healed. My wife also confirmed that she felt no discomfort what so ever. I could not have thanked the Doctor enough for his miraculous treatment.

For the next 3 years, the Doctor kept examining many patients with broken bones prior to working on the treatment. Most patients were reluctant; however after a few were healed to perfection, they advocated the Doctors’ treatment to other patients. The Doctor had many patients in about 8 months from various part of Germany. On 12Jan1902, the Doctor appointed his niece, who was in the final year of her Master Degree program in Statistics, to follow up on all the patients he had treated and find out their health condition; especially about the part of the body exposed to X-Ray. The niece completed her Master Degree and continued to work with us for the next 2 years.

By this time, I had learnt of various innovations for making the working of the machine more cost effective. I was implementing them gradually. On 12Jul1905, we 4 set up a factory for building X-Ray machines. We had order in hand from more than 20 hospitals.

R.N., Hazel Jamison, adjusts the X-Ray machine...

R.N., Hazel Jamison, adjusts the X-Ray machine in company dispensary for X-Ray photograph of patient’s arm. Koppers… – NARA – 540951 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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