3Freezing You from the Inside Out
We hate to break it to you, but there is no evidence that cryogenics (the science of freezing a person after death so that they can be resurrected later) works at all, or that it will ever work. Unfreeze a caveman, and all you have is a well-preserved dead guy who thousands of years ago got caught in an avalanche and froze to death.
But, if one day all of the Big Macs catch up to you and you wind up having a heart attack, you might find yourself in an ambulance, hearing the crew shout about how there isn't enough time, and you're not going to make it if they don't "chill" you. That's when one guy will lean over and say, "Have you ever seen The Empire Strikes Back? We're about to do a Han Solo thing here."
"To warm her back up I'll need a Tauntaun and a light saber."
OK, they're not actually going to freeze you carbonite-solid. But the process is almost weirder than that. They're going to basically chill you from the inside out, to slow everything down. Ambulances have begun using this body-chilling therapy on cardiac arrest patients by administering a chilled saline solution intravenously.
The solution is kept at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, a little warmer than the cola in your refrigerator. That probably doesn't seem all that cold, until you have it coursing into your veins that are used to being 49 degrees warmer.
Unless you take vodka intravenously, like 66 percent of our readers.
The lowered body temperature decreases the brain's need for oxygen, which provides further time for the patient to reach the hospital, where the cardiac arrest can be dealt with accordingly. One cardiac arrest victim, Jill Finley, is certain that without the treatment she'd be much worse off. As she so elegantly puts it: "If they wouldn't have used the 'the big chill' on me, honestly, I'd be laying in a nursing home with diapers."
"Now I just travel around with my husband cracking terrible puns and trying to defeat Batman."
2Amputating Half of Your Body
If you thought removing half of the brain was the craziest thing a human could survive, hang on to your ass. Because if things get really bad, there may come a point where, desperate, you'll say, "Doc, is there anything else that can be done?" And the good doctor will reply, "Well, have you ever considered being cut in half?"
"OK, as long as the other me goes to work and I get to lay around the house."
We don't mean lengthwise, obviously. That would be crazy. We mean everything from the waist down. Gone. Everything.
A hemicorporectomy is what they call it when "the bony pelvis, pelvic contents, lower extremities, and external genitalia are removed following disarticulation of the lumbar spine and transaction of the spinal cord" -- also known as removing the entire lower half of your body, something that most people use on a very regular basis.
We hear some people move around a whole bunch using just their legs, which is weird.
It's a very complex procedure (presumably they don't just make you lie down under a guillotine) with a vast array of physical, mental and emotional implications for the patient (use your imagination). Therefore it takes a serious set of circumstances to even consider this. We're talking a malignant tumor below the waist that can't be stopped any other way, or other conditions such as pressure ulcers or catastrophic infections of bones or bone marrow.
It also takes a bunch of doctors to pull it off, because there is no one doctor who is a specialist in slicing dudes in half in a way that actually improves their quality of life.
"Quality of what, now?"