“It was determined that an attempt should be made to cure this case, and she was removed to the Home Hospital in Fitzroy Square. She was so ill, and shrieked and groaned so much, on the first night of her admission, that next day I was told that no one in the house had been able to sleep, and I was informed that it would be impossible for her to remain. Between 3 P.M. and 11.30 P.M. she had had nine violent convulsive paroxysms of an epileptiform character, lasting, on an average, five minutes. At 11.30 she became absolutely unconscious, and remained so until 2.30 A.M., her attendant thinking she was dying. Next day she was quieter, and from that time her progress was steady and uniform. On the fourth day she passed urine spontaneously, and the catheter was never again used. In six weeks she was out driving and walking; and within two months she went on a sea-voyage to the Cape, looking and feeling perfectly well. When there, her nurse, who accompanied her, had a severe illness, through which her ex-patient nursed her most assiduously. She has since remained, and is at this moment, in robust health, joining with pleasure in society, walking many miles daily, and without a trace of the illnesses which rendered her existence a burden to herself and her friends.
“In conclusion, I may remark that it seems to me that the chief value of this systematic treatment, which is capable of producing such remarkable results, is that it appeals, not to one, but many influences of a curative character. Every one knew, in a vague sort of way, that if an hysterical patient be removed from her morbid surroundings a great step towards cure is made. Few, however, took the trouble to carry this knowledge into practical action; and when they did so they relied on this alone, combined with moral suasion. Now, I am thoroughly convinced that very few cases of hysteria can be preached into health. Judicious moral management can do much; but I believe that very few hysterical women are conscious impostors; and the great efficacy of the Weir Mitchell method seems to me to depend on the combination of agencies which, by restoring to a healthy state a weakened and diseased nervous system, cures the patient in spite of herself.”
DIETETICS AND THERAPEUTICS—(CONTINUED).
As additional illustrations I shall now state a few cases of my own, without entering into minute details of treatment.