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Sickness Galore!

Discussion in 'Interesting Shares' started by Cheeniya, Mar 29, 2024.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it.

    I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee.

    ...

    I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck.

    I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said:

    “Well, what’s the matter with you?”

    I said:

    “I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.”

    And I told him how I came to discover it all.

    Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out.

    I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back.

    He said he didn’t keep it.

    I said:

    “You are a chemist?”

    He said:

    “I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.”

    I read the prescription. It ran:

    “1 lb. beefsteak, with
    1 pt. bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.”

    I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
    By Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat
     
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  2. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Once I told an uncle of mine that I had pain in the stomach. A very robust person that he was, he asked me with a serious face if the pain was inside or outside my belly! That was a moment of awakening for me. I realised that a lighthearted approach to problems is the way to overcoming it.
     
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  3. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    Dear @Cheeniya sir, What a beautiful light hearted excerpt you have chosen from Three men and a boat. While I have never read that book, my dad would regale me with how he had to read the very same book long long time ago during his schooldays.

    After reading this, I am encouraged to pick up a copy of the aforementioned book and read it myself. Seems to be very interesting.
     
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  4. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @gamma50g
    Dear g50g
    Buy it at once and read it. That would be your wisest decision! You will like the way how Jerome threatens his wife when she irritates him. He says 'The back of my hand is on it's way to your mouth! '
     
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  5. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    Sure @Cheeniya sir.

    On a lighter note, I wonder what would be the fate of the poor husband if he spouts such a dialog today :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:
     
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