Friday, 31 March 2017

Medical nostalgia.


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Old fashioned illnesses had much more interesting names than they do nowadays.

I've always liked the sound of 'Dropsy'; and 'The Vapours' has a distinctly romantic allure.

Who would not have been proud to have 'Quinsy', or 'Eel thing', or 'The screws', or even 'Stranger's fever'.

The only one you might not have admitted to was 'Bad blood', which I believe was a 'polite' way of saying Syphilis.



30 comments:

  1. Please translate, Cro! I don't know what these are!

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    1. I really don't know, but I've always thought they sounded rather nice.

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  2. I miss the chill. It was a kind of catch-all and comforting.

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    1. Wasn't 'the vapours' much the same; in my mind it covered all ailments, especially women's.

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    2. A chill was for everyone, and often the Queen Mother. If we sat on damp grass or didn't have a cardigan on we would be told we'd get a chill. The vapours sounds a bit female.

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  3. I think a touch of the vapours was when you fainted and, as Rachel said, specifically a female ailment !!! The trouble with the illnesses you describe Cro is that many of them were often fatal !!!!! ... and I think that many doctors bedside manners left a lot to be desired too !! I think that I'm glad that I live in modern times. XXXX

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    1. I'm always horrified when I read of ancient medical processes. As you say; thank goodness we live in 'modern times'.

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  4. My daughter had quinsy a few years ago. An abscess on her tonsil, very nasty. Quickly remedied these days thanks to antibiotics.

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    1. I'd imagined it was some type of Flu'. Lady M is the amateur medic in this house.

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  5. Montezuma's revenge comes to mind. Sometimes I wish I could suffer from the vapours and disappear for a while.

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  6. Scrofula. Which I always thought was the sort of thing that some dirty little oik like Baldrick would be sure to have ie some sort of mange type skin disease, but it turns out to be a type of tuberculosis.

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    1. It does sound quite nasty. Scrofula; yes definitely nasty.

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  7. The language was just more...poetic. On my g-g-g-g-grandmother's death certificate the reason for death was 'decay of nature'.

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    1. Was that a medical way of saying 'old age'? Natural decay?

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  8. Ague hasn't been around much recently.

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  9. Replies
    1. I've always liked the sound of 'The Vapours'; it sounds very Victorian/Edwardian.

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  10. I'm not so sure if its a good thing to be too wise with medical matters. In the past we just had a bad back or a growth and were ignorant of anything more, maybe we are too well informed now, it causes a lot more worry.
    Briony
    x

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    1. You're right. Nowadays people tend to die of Cancer, whereas previously people simply died.

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  11. Modern medicine and modern dentistry. Two reasons why I would never be a time traveller! -Jenn

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    1. Too right. My cousin (a doctor) bought an ancient dentist chair, etc, that was foot-pedal operated. He donated it to a museum in Canada. I hope it stays there!

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  12. I had a quinsy in RSA, it's a throat abscess and pretty nasty. Luckily industrial doses of antibiotics dealt with it .

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    1. Sounds more interesting than it is in reality. Much of life is like that!

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  13. Quinsy bas been covered, but the only other one I know for sure is dropsy. That is tbe old term for oedema (or edema if you are American). If you have never heard of that, oedema is just peripheral swelling - fluid in the tissues. Lots of pregnant ladies know all about oedematous ankles.

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    1. It sounds more like fainting or swooning. Swelling ankles should be known as Swankles.

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  14. Oh dear Cro Now you have made me feel so old. In my young days I had Quinsy several times. (It is a throat condition and is horrible).

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