In June, 1906, I was called to seen a negro, who was complaining of pains about the heart and after several attempts at diagnosis and to obtain a cure I, as well as the family, realized that I was up a tree.
Needless to say, I lost the case and another physician was called in and, as I after learned, he was succeeded by several in turn.
The case became the talk of the colored population and the medical fraternity was coming in for no small share of “enthusiastic” commendation (?).
However, the patient was surviving the administrations of the medicos and was the recipient of no small amount of sympathy.
Fortunately, in my effort to relieve the patient, I had tried to cheer him by telling him there was not much wrong with him, and this, being overheard by some, was interpreted as my views of the Case.
In March, of the following year my washer-woman remarked to me that “John—— is still laying ober dere libin on his, surance.”
This remark started me to thinking and upon further inquiry I elicited the fact that it was generally conceded that John had built his home upon the fruits of his wifes illness of a few years previous.
Being owed a bill for my previous services, I decided to call, ostensibly to collect my bill, but really to get the case again and achieve a reputation.
When I called I made inquiry about Johns case and remarked that if I had some medicine that was being imported into this country form Paris I could certainly cure John: after some parleying it was decided that I should get the medicine and assume charge of the case.
The medicine having arrived from the nearest drug store and labels being destroyed, so the patient could not see that it was simply Calcium Sulphide 2 grain, I waited a few days (to allow the medicine to arrive from New York) and began giving the medicine in increasing doses.
When the atmosphere of the entire house became filled with the odor from Johns sulphur saturated body, he thought it time to rebel and refused to take any more of the medicine and I was hastily summoned.
I do not believe that I ever before or since maintained such a professional bearing as I did when I examined John on that visit, but after a thorough examination I solemnly announced that the medicine was having an unusual effect and the only hope of ever revivifying the patients decaying organs was for him to get in the open air and exercise.
RESULTS– On the next day, after about ten months of very severe (?) illness, the patient was seen walking up and down the front porch and after about a week or ten days of exercising he was back at work and has remained there ever since.
Johns is one of the few colored families I practice upon now, as increasing practice elsewhere has caused me to give up the colored families, but the fame I derived from the cure of Johns case would have maintained me in colored practice the remaining days of my life had I cared to attend to it.
I mention this to show that I attained the results sought in this case, namely, the cure of the patient and the making of a reputation.
My only regret is that I did not tip the insurance companies and petition them for a pension, as I later learned that the old washer-womans diagnosis was right and that John was pulling down enough money to make me wish, in those embryo days of my practice, that I could “lay ober dere libin on my surance.”
OEDEMA.- Eliminate salt from the diet.
ANGINA PECTORIS.-Avoid cold baths.
HYPERIDROSIS AND BROMIDROSIS.-A five per cent. solution of chromic acid will harden the feet and stop the worst case.
AMENORRHOEA.-Potassium permanganate, 2 grains in a pill form t. i. d. is a very efficient remedy.
URTICARIA.-Fifteen drops of chloroform in water ways allays irritation.
DIABETES.-Try B. & T. Tincture of Vaccinum myrtillis.
TINNITUS AURIUM.-First decimal of Thiosinamine does excellent work.
A BREAD FOR CONSTIPATION.-ONE quart of bran;one pint of flour; one cup of sour milk, one cup of molasses and a pinch of salt.
PRURITUS ANI.-Paint with a two percent. solution of silver nitrate.
ACETONE TEST.-A few drops of a freshly prepared solution of nitroprusside of sodium are added to three c.c. of urine. On this is run a strong solution of ammonia. If acetone is present a magenta color appears at the junction.