MANY years ago I saw a pathetic letter in a well known medical magazine, in which an elderly doctor appealed to his colleagues for suggestions how to cure his colitis which had been troubling him for years and was now incapacitating him entirely. Physician, heal thyself, I thought. What a confession of ignorance. I carefully scanned the journal in question for weeks after to see whether the poor old doctor got any help. But the answers were few and far between, and most of them very discouraging.
They were mainly from fellow sufferers, who all complained that they had tried all and sundry things with but little success: I was still too young and diffident and to this day I reproach myself for not having stretched out a helping hand, for homoeopathy has many remedies for colitis and one need never despair. It has been my luck to have had some colitis cases lately, and for the help of other victims Ill pass on the glad tidings.
I had watched a poor young woman for a year or two, seeing her steadily getting thinner and paler; she was under hospital treatment and I could do nothing. It was a pitiful story, husband out of work for years, seven children, the man had run out of benefit, the whole family on relief, the mother always gong short in order to make the food go further for the little ones, result of this chronic underfeeding was colitis. Hers was a tale of a song of six pence, or a lack of them.
One day she was full to overflowing about her own burden, if she was only well enough to work, to earn a few more shillings to augment her tiny income, but she could not drag herself about at all. She was dragged out of bed every day of her life at 5 oclock by the urgent call of nature; she had to fly in order to get there in time; and then she passed pints of white jelly. This went on all the morning.
So, it was not safe for her to go out until the afternoon, and the pain was terrific, and then there was blood as well, basins full, no wonder she was miserable. And the medicine the hospital give her made her so much worse, she moaned, she suffered agonies after it. They lady-almoner had tried to console her by telling her of a friend of hers who also had colitis for years, and the only relief she ever had was from some patent medicine she got from some quack. Fancy an almoner of a hospital so far forgetting herself as to recommend some quacks rubbish for a patient and to give her doctors away by saying that nothing could cure colitis.
A fine state of affairs, and yet not to be wondered at, for there is nothing in orthodox medicine for colitis. Or there is such a plethora of re commendations. Each man has a different idea of how to set about to cure it that one knows it has beaten the doctor. One man advises one variety of injections, another man something totally different, and the third sings the praises of something quite different yet, and the honest doctor shrugs his shoulders and wont advise anything.
Well, to go on with my tale, I turned to the woman and bluntly asked her “Why go on with the hospital medicine if it did not do you any good and made you so much worse” She was stumped, she could not answer me, so I very rashly offered to cure her, if she would put herself under my care for sometime.
She hesitated, so I bribed her with the offer of invalid dinners and more for the sake of the free gifts of the dinners she gave in and promised to swallow my stuff, with very little faith, for, like most poor people, she had hospitalities very badly. These people take the word of any young whipper snapper of a house- surgeon be fore the advice of an experienced doctor in general practice as a rule.