It seems “CURE” truly is a forbidden word in modern medicine.
As a young child growing up in a wealthy
school, my interests were drawn towards the liberal arts, particularly literature and music.boarding
Oh, sure, I followed the Apollo missions and moon walks, held my breath and prayed during the Apollo 13 disaster, watch d Jacques Cousteau explore the treasures of the deep and giggled at the naked African women in National Geographic.
As an adult, I do have regret that I did not have more of an interest in science and technology back then. Of course, we did not have the tools like the world wide web (Internet), cell phones, tablets, laptops which now have apps like Grey’s Anatomy Digital Human anatomy browser, or Shakespeare by Readdle which make learning fun and creates an excitement to want to learn as today’s apps combine learning and play. It astonishes me that more school systems do not throw out their pencils and standardized tests replacing them with tablets, Chromebooks, google glasses and Wi-fi.
I am the only member of my family that did not go into medicine. I chose another path, journalism. My mother was a nurse with the state; my brother started out as a firefighter and retired as a paramedic where he was decorated as a hero for pulling babies out of burning slum dwellings. He has a worsening case of smoke inhalation to show for his efforts. My sister-in-law was in charge of an ER before forced out due to salary dispute. Seems hospitals can hire twenty-something’s to work for the same amount they pay someone with 30-years’ experience. I have always believed that you get what you pay for. My cousins were nurses or paramedics. My brother’s stepson is studying to become an Army medic. Even my niece was a surgical nurse before becoming an anesthesiologist. Over the holidays, I feel like I am listening to a foreign language when I listen to all of them talk shop.
Just so you know, dear reader, I have endeavored to tell an entertaining story and paint a picture of what I envision our immediate future will be in the tradition of Robert Heinlein’s The Door Into Summer where he got all the future details wrong except maybe for the word “kink.” If you are expecting this to be a medical thriller on the level of Robin Cook, who is perhaps the best writer in the medical genre surpassing even Michael Crichton, you may perhaps be disappointed. You should know that Robin Cook and Michael Crichton were both practicing doctors, Crichton went to Harvard Medical College, I did not.
In any case, here is the story as I envisioned it. It is not a thousand page thriller like Kun Lun or Nothing Personal-Just Business Darling, it is short, also in the tradition of The Door Into Summer which Heinlein wrote in a mere thirteen days. No rewrite was needed, only some light editing that Heinlein did himself. The novel was triggered by a remark that Heinlein’s wife Virginia made when their cat refused to leave the house: “he’s looking for a door into summer. I set myself a challenge to also write CURE in the same number of days.
I have endeavored to get my medical facts and research correct so please do not send me an overwhelming number of emails pointing out this or that mistake. I would rather receive emails telling me what you thought of the story and how you like it. For Michael Crichton fans, you may notice the names of my characters and get the ‘in joke’ immediately. It is my way of honoring Michael. For Chicagoans, you might enjoy the vision of what living in Chicago in 2025 might be like and no, Jay Cutler is still not quarterback of the Chicago Bears. Thank God!
I wish to thank two fellow authors who I think have the keenest insight into what our future may be like, Alan Moore and Jaron Lanier and I hope you will have as much fun reading CURE as I did in writing it.