Back in the benighted days, so far back I cannot tell the ear, before science had any truck with the lowly mold and the jaw-breaking sulfas, I was called to treat a man with an infection on the dorsum of one of his feet. He and his family were full of doubts a to the power of sugar and had it not been for his wife, a niece of a physician who was a member of this Association many years ago, I would not have lasted long.
If my memory serves me right our good friend Lachesis in about the 200th potency brought him through, much to the surprise and impression of the family. Wallowing around in the cess-pool of ignorance I had no other fear but not getting the right remedy would be may Waterloo. As a result he recovered without skin eruptions, anemia and plugged kidneys.
That the impression held was proved last winter when I was asked to see the brother-in-law of the brother-in-law of this man.
When I first saw him he was a sorry sight. His fact looked like a cut wheat field on an August day. He was not able to shave and his beard was sandy and stood like stubble above a yellow crust cracked as the ground becomes in dry weather. The rest of his body looked like all the insects in the world had bitten him. The itching was intense and he scratched haphazardly, not having time to make up his mind where to scratch first. On his leg was a varicose ulcer which looked black and dirty and oozed a bloodstained serum.
A few days before I appeared on the scene he had been seen by a doctor who took his wife aside and in a grave and solemn manner informed her the leg must come off pronto. He would make a reservation at the hospital at once. He called the hospital but it was so full of people suffering from psychoneurosis New Delirium that it would be a day or two before they could get him in. Under the press of circumstances he could live a few more days anyway without benefit of amputation. The hospital would call as soon as one of the New Deal pets would admit he was well enough to get out and go to work. Tearfully the wife called her brother and he called me.
It was learned that the ulcer and followed a striking of the shin on a wheelbarrow. He had had varicose veins long before. They had used various local treatments without benefit and someone suggested a sulfa ointment which had set off the fireworks and the train of incidents above related.
Still benighted, I gave the man Sulphur, advised the use of mutton tallow and an elastic stocking. I saw him two months ago with the ulcer completely healed, skin clear and a history of having worked for two months.
From other sources I learned that the man who advised amputation had only there methods in his armamentarium: Sulfa and penicillin and, when these failed, surgery. He is permitted hospital privileges and is on the loose to practice his triple treatment and yet a benighted person who gave nature a chance cannot get into a hospital with a shoehorn. O Tempora, O Mores!
DR. MARION B. ROOD [Lapeer, Michigan]: Mr. Chairman, may I bring in a very outside argument? We all have little hobbies. Mine is history. Toynbee says, “No civilization was ever killed from the outside.” It always committed suicide first and he can prove it. It seems to me that American Hospital Association, if this is a sample, is committing suicide today with such methods. Their worst enemy, as they see it, may be their saviour yet- homoeopathy.
DR. ALLAN D. SUTHERLAND [Brattleboro, Vermont]: From my observation of my orthodox colleagues, it has seemed that they cannot see that there is any other method that might be effective in the care of the ill except the methods that they themselves have learned. This is an example. What a pity it would have been to amputate that mans leg, and yet no one except our enlightened homoeopath could admit that there was any chance for that man to get will except by amputation.