Posted by P. Bingham on August 30, 1998 at 15:42:13:
In response to Fevers: Shaved Heads, etc., written by SuzanneR on August 30, 1998 at 14:14:21
"An odour of camphor and burnt vinegar warned me when I came near the fever room..." They must've thought that illness could be spread by odors.
Yes, this was a treatment that was there somewhere in my head but would not make any appearance. The camphor was very common and for more than its smelling properties, as it helped the patient to breath better. The typhus fever inhibited breathing as well as sporting a high fever, and so would have been common in a typhoid fever room. Vinegar too, was often used and also rubbed against the skin just as water. The smell had something to do with rousing the patient from delirium, though I'm sure it also had something to do with keeping the illness from spreading.
] The head shaving sounds familiar to me too, but I can't place it. I keep thinking it's a children's story in which the little girl had to have her head shaved, and then her hair grows back in delightful curls. I wish I could remember.
It sounds rather romantic to me too. I was thinking along the very same thought, which was why I immediately thought of Elizabeth Taylor in Jane Eyre and her dark curls.
] Anyway, might they have shaved the feverish person's head to provide a cooling effect?
That would seem likely to me. As it has long been traditionally thought that heat escapes from the feet and head. I just don't know how long that has been an assumption. So I am a little inclined to believe that it has something to do with those "humors" that the captain had gone over so well some time ago. They are tucked away in the archives.
]I'm reading book 10 of O'Brian's Jack Aubrey series and have just come across s feverish patient. She is the victim of a botched abortion and Maturin is faced with saving her life. Patricia: what is this series? Sounds interesting.]
A wonderful series of books by Patrick O'Brian, I think there are some 17 or 18 books in the series. I've managed to get to book 10. The books are about the relationship between a Captain in the British Navy (Jack Aubrey) and a physician who is actually a spy for the British (Steven Maturin). The period is our own beloved Napoleonic Wars. If you are not overly familiar with period Naval terms, it can be very difficult reading at times. But once you get the hang of it, you'll not put the book down until the last page and you'll be heading for the bookstore (ah...bookserve) to buy the next book. Both of these characters have endearing querks that keep you entertained, not to mention the brilliant battle scenes that were inspired by real battles and real people. I can go on and on and so can a number of other Pemberley neighbors... They are dying to say something right now which is why I feel so guilty for beating them to it!
- Shaved heads and the Humors: I found a quote SuzanneR 01:19:34 9/02/98 (1)
- very good detective work! (nfm) P. Bingham 03:28:39 9/02/98 (0)
- One more question (and thanks for the info about Aubrey series) SuzanneR 18:23:30 8/31/98 (11)
- Vinegar Caroline 16:59:05 9/01/98 (10)
- Vinegar & Jack & Jill Patricia Bingham 23:58:21 9/04/98 (2)
- Proof Ken 15:11:42 9/02/98 (0)
- Thank you, Caroline. Those archived posts were fun to read NFM SuzanneR 01:28:43 9/02/98 (0)
- burning vinegar P. Bingham 18:34:16 9/01/98 (4)
- one for sure and a guess Constanza 17:01:26 8/31/98 (1)
- Egad--that's it!! SuzanneR 18:32:30 8/31/98 (0)
- Heads Up Ken 07:47:38 8/31/98 (3)
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