MEETING a clerical friend a few weeks ago I enquired of his health. He said he though he was fairly well. But his face showed anxiety. He was told that he appeared to need medical advice. Though at this he smiled incredulously he ultimately consulted his doctor who at once recommended operation. To this the patient who at once recommended operation. To this the patient submitted and died.
Yet an anxious countenance may deceive us. It may be shown by patients suffering from some form of relaxation, especially in those afflicted with piles or venous troubles. Only iris diagnosis can positively show that phlebitis (inflammation of the veins) or varicose veins are prevalent. And the latter furnish innumerable cases of bad legs.
Women are frequently affected often those who have been recently confined. Indeed, we might conclude that it is a disease of middle life, although sometimes found in persons least expected.
Of course, the biochemist holds that bad legs is a deficiency disease the disposing cause being a lack of tissue-salt. It is readily admitted that wet, cold, wounds, etc., may be exciting causes, as well as long standing in course of business. The ailment, however, should not be regarded lightly. Such leg ailments have been known to induce prostration and even delirium. Varicose veins have burst, with direful results.
Not long ago a villager visited the writer in order to secure, if possible, some relief from irritating piles. After a remedy was suggested for this troublesome affection her iris was examined and she was told that she was suffering from phlebitis. This she denied. But when the marks on her right leg were pointed out the lady said, “Oh, I have often seen them, but thought they were of little importance.” Phlebitis is often the beginning of a more serious ailment.
A similar case was that of a young lady who was a native. Phlebitis had persisted with an associated ailment from girlhood. It affected not only her legs but also her buttocks. She had consulted local doctors and given them an opportunity of showing their skill and they had all failed. Under Graphites alternated with Sulphur there was distinct improvement, although the map- like lines dimly remained as a memory of past experience.
Shortly after the patient mentioned another lady sought our help. Here were varicose veins. For some time she had had treatment from a London clinic which had reduced the swollen veins considerably, but something more was needed before a radical cure could be positively recorded.
This patient was an excellent gardener and also enjoyed country walks. Unfortunately, after her recreations she found the veins of her legs much enlarged. In this case an elastic stocking proved a welcome accessory, although a clerical patient of mine, while taking biochemics for another ailment was delighted to discover that an elastic stocking may become unnecessary. Calc. fluor. is almost specific for varicose veins, and when prescribed is of much benefit to the sufferer.
Perhaps the worse case of bed legs I have had to deal with was that of an old gentlemen. In his younger days he had been very active and successful in business, but now was retired. On both legs were several indolent ulcers, and since he was a septogenarian with low vitality, the case seemed hopeless. In fact he had himself given up all idea of betterment. Biochemists, however, are optimistic. The ulcers were tackled with Ferrum phos. and Calc. sulph. After a few weeks his “understandings” began to improve and as the hospital report often states he became “very comfortable”.
Dr. A. P. Davies relates even a worse case. He was called to treat a girl who had sores on both legs constantly running a thin ichorous secretion, red, angry and painful. These had bothered her for four years, breaking out, then scabbing over, partially healing, then taking on inflammation which naturally disturbed her sleep. Locomotion produced severe pain.
He bound up the limbs with flannel roller bandage and prescribed Calc. phos. and Silicea three doses to be taken each day. In four weeks all the sores were healed and the girl was well and cheerful.
“Surely,” you exclaim, “there must be some useful help in such cases in addition to medication”.
Well, as you might expect, allopaths use the knife for the relief of their victims. This cannot be commended. Mr. Barker, in his interesting book, New Lives for Old, says, “I have seen numerous cases where the destruction of varicose veins of legs and anus has been extremely harmful.” Of course, the argument of allopaths is that the discovery of anaesthetics has made the operation easy and painless. But such tactics in the near future will be regarded reprehensible.
Herbalists, however, recommend bathing bad legs with a decoction of comfrey leaves or root. It is certainly soothing when there is much irritation and this accessory is not to be despised. Moreover, with careful medication, the comfrey decoction may hasten restoration.