To continue under the above heading, among other disabilities I doubtless may have inherited, was the fact that from birth I had been a bundle of nerves, and this trouble did not improve as I grew older, which proved to be more than a small handicap, it did not fit in with my mothers business abilities or her earnest endeavours to make the world a better place to live in. Further, although I was more or less earning my living with my pen I could not hold a pen in my hand without feeling and seeing it tremble.
About that time also I was refused by three different Insurance Companies. The “Doctors informing me that I had strained the main artery of my heart”, and as I new nothing of having done anything to cause such a condition, I was informed that doubtless it was done at birth. About the same time, about fifty years ago, I was told by a friend that I was suffering from indigestion, which I strongly disputed.
Having given me reasons for his belief, among others being that I was suffering from indigestion brought about through the tea I drank, he finished up by saying, there is not reason to believe what I say, but try it by giving up tea for a fortnight and your handshaking trouble will have disappeared.
I followed his advice for fourteen days only, but the improvement my friend indicated would result, was fully attained. I still had no wish to give up tea drinking permanently and accordingly played with it for a few days which resulted in my not being able to deceive myself any longer that tea was other than a poison for me. I gave up its use entirely and shortly after I gave up coffee in like manner and for the same reason.
They were prohibited things placed with alcohol, the most stimulating of liquids, and beef and mutton with other flesh foods, the most stimulating of solids, with the result that I soon ceased to know that I had a heart,m not even when I ran upstairs, and I was accepted as a first-class life by three different Insurance Companies, knowing that I had previously been refused by each. I have since lived to draw the insurance money from one and all.
This convinced me, if there was any necessity, that if one works with Nature and obeys her laws, we inherit little good or bad, beyond tendencies, from our forebears and such tendencies are under our control, to say the least, should be.
In placing these arguments before many people who might greatly benefit by putting them into practice, to provide excuses they trot out all kids of arguments, in fact, we all like to find some excuse for the unwise things we do, If it is a cold they have and a short fast is recommended, they tell us that we “should feed a cold and starve a fever”. when it is pointed out that this is not the correct rendering of the instruction, the right reading being, “If you feed a cold, you will have to starve a fever”. before very long.
When suffering from catarrh of the stomach and they are told to substitute for the many foods they have been eating, Nuto Cream Soup and Granarg Biscuits only, eaten dry with the soup, not in it, until their trouble ceases, they express doubts and, when told “that these have never known to fail”, reply, “Yes, but what is one mans meat is another mans poison,” The answer being, “Yes, but what has been taken for one mans meat has often, sooner or later, proved to be the same mans poison.
Another thing the writer has learnt is that one can make great mistakes in eating and drinking, by working against Nature, quite apart from any selfish reason or the “I like it” consideration. Although the writer has lived on two meals a day for many years, and done all his drinking between meals, he has unwisely for many years done a lot of sampling between meals, in the perfecting of the hundreds of new foods introduced as substitutes for, and to take the place of, fish, fowl and dairy produce in every presentable form.
Although doubtless the extent of such sampling in any one day would not exceed in weight more than one ounce, and often not half than he overlooked that fact that all such many samples of food had to be dealt with by ones digestive organs exactly the same as a meal had to be dealt with. It would appear, however, to be such a small matter that it was not worth consideration. It was, however, keeping ones digestive organs always at work, never resting, and so contrary to Natures requirements, with the result after twenty-five years the reckoning day came, when a pain immediately followed every sample taken.
This also had a tendency to act and re-act on the nervous system, while a meal could be eaten without experiencing any such discomfort. The cause of the trouble having been made quite clear, the remedy was equally clear, do no sampling until immediately prior to meal times. The lesson learnt, however, was that the punishment for an unwise habit persisted in for twenty- five, cannot be paid for in a day.
This I think also clearly demonstrates the falsity of the argument that a certain course of action “suits me all right, I have done it for many year”. I have heard this argument advanced also as an excuse for smoking, but a very different complexion was put on the matter later, when the said smoker tried to insure his life and was informed by the Insurance Company that his application had to be refused, and to learn indirectly that this was owing to the fact that he had developed what was known as a “smokers throat”.
Perhaps I cannot do better in closing my remarks under the above heading, for this issue, than to relate something of my experience in the hands of the doctors, which has been on two occasions, owing to rather bad accidents, one cycle and one motor.
Almost every holiday up to some five and twenty years ago, I spent on the wheel over some district in England, Wales or Ireland, and I still think such holidays provide the most enjoyable and health producing results any holiday can, to say noting of the little money it costs and the knowledge of the country thus obtained. No wonder that this form of recreation has of recent years come into its own again, with the splendid roads there now are, compared with what they were.
The cycle accident came about, like most accidents, through insufficient care. I had passed so many milestone, and so many notices such as “CAUTION, this hill is dangerous”. that I had ceased to heed them, with the result that I found I was going down Red Hill, close to Bristol, at a pace I began to fear. I therefore applied the had-brake as usual, but without producing the desired result, which gave me a fright and resulted in my too hastily applying the foot-brake and is all I remembered.
The next was my wife, who had followed me down the hill, trying to bring me back to consciousness. I learnt later from her that she has had a fright by first seeing a mans bicycle lying in the middle of the road, and some yards farther on a man, who proved to be her husband, had been thrown that distance in front of his machine.
With the aid of kid farmer I was taken to a doctor some miles away, who provided the somewhat consoling news that on an average he had one or two similar accidents per week to deal with, that has taken place on Red Hill. The doctor seemed to know his job very well, in the application of bandages and stitches.
He advised that I should get home as quickly as possible and rest in bed, and get a doctor as early as possible the next day. As it was considered that he could not have given better advice, same was duly carried out.
The most sensible doctor I knew was sent for; he also did his work very well, although the advice he gave was not accepted, which was to “take some Sedlitz Powders otherwise I should be constipated”. I informed him that I had sent for him to show me the best and quickest way possible to get the damages repaired and restored to normal again, not to look after my stomach, nut if I was not progressing satisfactorily when he called the next day, I would take his advice.
When he called the next day, the first question he asked was, : well, have you next day, the first question he asked was, “Well, have you had your bowels opened?” The reply was, “Yes, three times, is that enough?” The next question was, “What have you been eating?” and when told fresh fruit, and that was all I intended eating as long as I had to stay in bed, with the added question. “How long do you consider that will be? ” I was informed not less than a month, but he thought I was quite capable of looking after my own stomach.
Needless to say, it was nearer a week than a month that I spent in bed. Things appeared to be very strange, however, for when I got up, it seemed like having to learn to walk again, and when I first got on the bike, I felt I was going over the handle-bars. I had the consolation, however, of feeling that the rest proved beneficial.
The motor accident, some ten years later, proved to be a more serious matter still. I was run into by a motor from behind, carried some yards on the bonnet of the car, dropped off and run over. I did not lose consciousness, but felt that I was going to wake up in the next world. That night and several more I spent in the hospital, feeling all the time that I should die if I stayed there for many days.