Imágenes de página

Legislature in mid-winter; was confined a great deal in small heated rooms; going out often, day and night, into the cold, piercing, damp air; took a had cold, which left a settled cough; spitting of blood and general decay followed."

B. S. started to a party in a carriage, in winter, having on a warm pair of woollen stockings, put on in her mother's presence and by her requirements, but changed them for a silken pair at the door of the ball-room; feet became very cold before leaving the room; waked up next morning with a sore throat; a slight cough followed in a few days; parents became alarmed. She was sent abroad; no improvement j and as the vessel entered the bay of New York she died—in sight of home. And thus perished one of the loveliest women the writer ever knew, in her nineteenth year.

C. M. A young man of great promise and worldly expectations, became possessed of the idea, that by accustoming himself to hardships, he would establish his constitution; therefore, whenever ho rode, he would ride in a gallop—if it were in heat, or rain, or snow, all the better. Often, while bathed in perspiration, and weakened by long rides and fasting, he would, on coming to a creek or bayou, swollen by recent rains, plunge in —horse, clothing, and all—and then ride five, ten, or twenty miles, home. He died of confirmed, unmistaken consumption, in my presence, having just looked over his merchant's account rendered, of the sales of a large crop of cotton.

All the above cases were fatal from undisputed consumptive diseases. They were selected purposely to show that such causes, trivial as they may appear, do lead to a malady which baffles all human skill; and they are wisest, who take most pains to avoid them, and to impress upon the minds of their children, as a part of their education, the importance of taking care of their health; and not only this, but how to do it; for the heritage of millions of money does not weigh a feather in the scale, against a young body full of health and manly vigor.

Very many persons trace their Consumption to a slight cough, which followed an attack of Fever, or Pleurisy, long continued Chills and Fever, Measles disappearing too soon; and very few ever recover who have Consumption from this last named cause.


In other words, how do the circumstances which have been named as the causes of this malady, operate so as to develope it?

Pain, sickness, and disease, arise from a faulty circulation of the blood, fast or slow. A needle cannot be pressed on any spot in the body, without drawing blood, showing that blood vessels are everywhere, that these vessels are too small to be seen by the naked eye, and that the blood must be confined to them, and not flowing about in the system. As the sap of a tree flows from the trunk through every spreading branch to the farthest extremity of the smallest twig, so the blood gushes out from the heart, running through all the branching arteries, growing continually smaller, and spreading wider, until they are too minute to be seen by the naked eye; but when this blood has reached the ends of the arteries, it does not stop, but passes on a space, and enters the veins, which gradually become larger and fewer, until they form one trunk, which empties all its blood into the heart again, as the great Mississippi is formed by innumerable smaller streams, growing larger, fewer, concentering, finally making one great flood, opening into the boundless sea. But each minute artery does not empty itself directly into some viewless vein: a smaller tube than either, connects the two; these tubes are called Capillaries, from their fineness, being hair-like, as the Latin word Capilla means a hair; and as the finest hair of the Caucassian race, is a hollow tube, so are these connecting capillaries hollow, and in the transit of the blood through them are all the issues of life and death to men. When these hair-like tubes are in natural, healthful working order, they are strong enough to pass the blood from the arteries to the veins in natural quantity and proportion, but if they are weakened, or too much blood is presented for transmission, that instant disease begins, for not being passed off soon enough, that is, not as fast as it comes in, an accumulation is inevitable, the capillary becomes clogged up, distended with blood, and is soon large enough to be seen, just as when the eye is injured, red streaks appear on the white of the eye, which were not observed in health; becoming distended, these capillaries take up more room than is natural, and must inevitably crowd upon some other part; and as nerves are everywhere, it crowds, presses on them, and gives pain, more or less, according to the amount of pressure, that is, of room taken up by the swoln capillary ; every one knows that the slightest pressure of a needle on the skin gives pain, because it touches a nerve, and where there is no nerve, there is no pain. Now these little capillaries, when thus clogged up, must get rid of the extra blood, or they will burst. Nature first endeavors to remove the accumulation, and the thin substance of which these capillaries are made, is distended, and the thinnest part of the blood oozes through the sides, and stands on the outside, in the shape of a distinct globule, small as the tiniest dew drop upon the leaf of spring; any one may observe the like process in a leathern hose pipe at a fire; it soon becomes wet on the outside from the great pressure from within, and however muddy may be the water in the hose, that on the outside is clear ; but if the pressure were to be continually increased, the impurer portions of the water would begin to exude, until actually muddy water would be seen, or the pipe burst: now for the application of this to the explanation of the phenomena of Throat-Ail, Bronchitis, and Consumption. In Throat-Ail, the voice making organs are first af fected, and then the voice itself: these organs are four little muscles, or tendons, or strings at the upper end of the windpipe, at Adam's Apple, two on each side, one above the other, some quarter of an inch apart, running front and rear; the blood vessels of the system spread out over every part of the body, as a vine spreads itself over the side of a wall, and just so are they spread over the voice strings, and when, by any means, they become weakened, the blood accumulates, distends them, and the clogging up still going on, the thinner portions escape, or ooze through the sides, and become a little thickened, that instant the voice strings do not vibrate freely, do not give a natural sound, any more than a violin string would give a clear sound, if any gluey substance were put on it; hence, hoarseness and huskiness, the great, the distinguishing, universal symptom of Throat-Ail. But as soon as the thinner portion of the hlood becomes separated from the blood itself, and gets on the outside of the capillary, instead of the inside, it becomes a foreign body; nature gets weary, and seeks to cast it out; hence the instinctive hawking, hemming, or endeavoring to swallow it away, just as many persons endeavor to swallow n pill away, for some minutes after it is taken; and no one ever has Throat-Ail who is not troubled, more or less, with this incessant hawking, hemming, or fruitless swallowing. At this stage of disease, a perfect cure is easily performed in a few days, simply by using rational means to aid nature in getting rid of the accumulation of blood in the capillaries of the part; on the other hand, it" neglected, it goes on uniformly to a fatal Consumption, as follows:

After the thinner portions of the blood have escaped,' the clogging still going on, a thicker substance exudes, and the patient expectorates a great deal; it does not necessarily produce a cough, it is not far enough down to require that: a hawk or hem, or violent clearing of the throat is all that is requisite to get it away, but the cause remaining, it begins at once to gather again; if no relief is now afforded, the blood vessels, by the continued strain, lose all their power, the blood bursts out, a sore is formed, this becomes an ulcer, the chords are eaten away, and the voice is gone forever! Ulceration now progresses rapidly, the windpipe is eaten through, or it runs down to the lungs, and all is over.



When more blood is in an artery than there ought to be, it is called "inflammation;" if more in a vein, it is called "congestion;" there is no special name for there being more blood than is natural in a capillary; but the word congestion answers well for all three. The little

« AnteriorContinuar »