BRITONS are lovers of freedom. Occasionally, we meet a villager who can boast that when outside his cottage he is never so far away that he cannot see the smoke of his chimney. Considering all the advantages of travel to-day we pity the boaster rather than regard him a hero. Indeed, freedom is our birthright and when autocrats deny it we are ready to make great sacrifices in order to retain it.
Moreover, our freedom is ever extending. Some seventy years ago we used to say to those trying what seemed to us an impossible task ” You might as well attempt to fly.” We do not use the expression to-day. The aeroplanist though not possessing unusual genius may rise higher in the world than those who have won distinction in other spheres of activity.
It is also possible now to hear by wireless the voice of a friend or enemy speaking on the continent or in the backwoods of America. Besides, there are innumerable inventions that have increased various forms of freedom which would amaze our ancestors.
Freedom, however, may be costly. The exploration of the Antarctic which the Americans have already undertaken will be more costly than that made by Peary or Nansen. Even slaves of bygone times who desired freedom were compelled to pay for it.
Unfortunately many an invalid had paid too much. Practitioners can tell of remarkable cures of chronic ailments ultimately frustrated by thoughtlessness. We recall the case of a patient who had been truly snatched from death who insisted on sitting out in his garden on a bitter cold day. He said he disliked being cooped up in the house and he was going to chance the weather. He took more cold and died.
A year or two ago a minister in the North who was called the ” golden tongue” died because he would not listen to his medical advisers. He suffered from a serious throat affection and was told to give it rest. He persisted preaching despite all warnings. He took three services on the Sabbath, and lectured during the week and undertook other engagements.
A master lace-maker who suffered from sleeplessness was an intimate friend of a local doctor. This owner of a lace-mill was highly strung and business demanded much of his nervous energy. His doctor gave him Bromides and other poisons to soothe his nerves and secure sleep, but allowed him to continue his exhausting work. Finally, his mind gave away. He was sent to a lunatic asylum and soon died.
A lady patient of mine failed to assimilate her food. She had a gastro-hepatic trouble. She consulted, ten years previous to her visit, an allopathic doctor who declared her to be suffering from Arthritis. Since she for two years lost weight she dismissed the doctor and saw a herbalist, yet strange to say although there was no improvement she continued taking herbs for eight years. Now, although a mere skeleton she is applying to biochemistry and although there are no striking results there is betterment and she laments that help in this direction had not been sought long ago.
A day-school teacher had gall stones. The pains became so violent that her doctor suggested an operation. Accordingly, this was undertaken and the gall-bladder removed. She was sent home from the hospital “Cured”. Nothing was told to patient concerning future diet, although her food was probably the cause of her trouble. She was intelligent enough to choose better ailment, but she returned to her unwise provisions.
In my daily walks I sometimes met an old man with whom I had a chat. As he knew most of the people in the town that I had known for years his yarns were exceedingly interesting. One day I found him resting on a seat at the road side. There had been much rain and I noticed that his boots were not too good. Indeed, he confessed that his feet were damp. I suggested that he should hasten home at once and remove his boots. “Oh,” he said, ” I can stand damp feet”. Never more did I see my old friend.
A tradesman complained of chronic acidity. As he had tried innumerable remedies advertised in the newspapers and found them insufficient he gave up treatment in despair. He told a local chemist of his perplexity and the druggist advised him to try bio-chemistry. When he became my patient I knew the case was obstinate yet not incurable. He was given Calc. phos. alternated with Nat. phos., and the result was so good that in a short time he became an enthusiast. I am sure that had he heeded natures warning sooner he would have avoided much suffering.
One of my fellow-students had a chronic cough that almost shook him to pieces. He was urged to seek advice but he was heedless. He said he did not believe in any kind of medical treatment. He despised Homoeopathy and Bio-chemistry and breathed out “slaughter and threatening” against allopathic doctors. During a severe fit of coughing he ruptured a blood vessel and drifted into consumption that proved fatal.
A. butcher well known in town and village had heart weakness. He ignored all warnings given him against too much exertion. All to no purpose. He insisted on having freedom to ” do as he liked”. One day hurrying to the barbers shop he fell in the doorway. It was his last visit.
The old saying that ” everyone is a fool or a physician at forty” has a basis of fact. Business and money are not so important as health in most cases are dependent on it. While, therefore, there is no necessity to become fads and subject to imaginary troubles, when Nature gives unmistakable warnings of coming trouble it is in the best interest of everyone to sacredly heed them.