Author Topic: The History of Comfort  (Read 6389 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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The History of Comfort
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 02:11:48 pm »
I wish more historians would focus on what life was like for an ordinary family in their era as opposed to the larger and ostensibly more "important" activities of royalty and armies and whatnot.
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What would you say about us breaking off this discussion at this quote by Katherine on the history of comfort into a new discussion in the writer's area? It's so interesting and I'd like us to develop the topic on its own. I totally forget what the connection is to the New Yorker!!
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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The History of Comfort
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2017, 03:28:50 pm »
What would you say about us breaking off this discussion at this quote by Katherine on the history of comfort into a new discussion in the writer's area? It's so interesting and I'd like us to develop the topic on its own. I totally forget what the connection is to the New Yorker!!

I would say go ahead if you want to. For myself I think I've kinda exhausted the topic.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: The History of Comfort
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2017, 12:32:17 pm »
I would say go ahead if you want to. For myself I think I've kinda exhausted the topic.

Well, if your interest in the topic is exhausted after two pages of comments, it may not work as a book.

But fever can be a sign of more serious conditions, and the effect of fever depends on a mixture of things, including the patient's age, the patient's overall health, and the height of the fever itself.

Well, for example, Helen Keller lost her sight and hearing to an illness that may have been scarlet fever. It seems like a lot of diseases were called "fever" back in them days, but perhaps that's simply because they were accompanied by high fevers, which at that level of medicine might have been about all they could use to diagnose it, or at least were its most observable symptom. (And maybe because it just sounds better than "scarlet vomiting and diarrhea.")

According to Wikipedia, doctors described her illness as "an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain." Who knows what that means (or how they diagnosed it), but I would think that "brain congestion" could mess up vision and hearing. The fever was probably trying to kill whatever caused the congestion, but didn't in itself cause the blindness and deafness. That explanation makes sense to me, anyway.

Alternatively, I suppose it's possible her body "knew" that a really high fever in itself could cause sight and hearing damage, but figured those risks/sacrifices were worth it to save her life.




Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: The History of Comfort
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2017, 01:57:11 pm »
Well, for example, Helen Keller lost her sight and hearing to an illness that may have been scarlet fever. It seems like a lot of diseases were called "fever" back in them days, but perhaps that's simply because they were accompanied by high fevers, which at that level of medicine might have been about all they could use to diagnose it, or at least were its most observable symptom. (And maybe because it just sounds better than "scarlet vomiting and diarrhea.")

According to Wikipedia, doctors described her illness as "an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain." Who knows what that means (or how they diagnosed it), but I would think that "brain congestion" could mess up vision and hearing. The fever was probably trying to kill whatever caused the congestion, but didn't in itself cause the blindness and deafness. That explanation makes sense to me, anyway.

Alternatively, I suppose it's possible her body "knew" that a really high fever in itself could cause sight and hearing damage, but figured those risks/sacrifices were worth it to save her life.

Measles could do it, too, cause loss of sight, I mean. I'd have to look up whether it could cause hearing loss as well.

I've always wondered about "brain fever." In period novels women seem to have been particularly susceptible to that, whatever it was.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The History of Comfort
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2017, 04:36:33 pm »
I thought of you last night as I was watching "I'll Have What Phil's Having", a show about a guy who goes around the world eating and discovering a city's culture. He was in Hong Kong and went to a traditional Chinese physician, who correctly diagnosed a kidney disfunction he hadn't told her about. A regimen of nuts, berries, bark, twigs, herbs and insects was prescribed. It was a funny show. I think it was originally aired on PBS.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: The History of Comfort
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2017, 09:25:17 pm »
I thought of you last night as I was watching "I'll Have What Phil's Having", a show about a guy who goes around the world eating and discovering a city's culture. He was in Hong Kong and went to a traditional Chinese physician, who correctly diagnosed a kidney disfunction he hadn't told her about. A regimen of nuts, berries, bark, twigs, herbs and insects was prescribed. It was a funny show. I think it was originally aired on PBS.

Twigs?

"Ever eat a pine tree?"

Anyone remember that?
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: The History of Comfort
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2017, 01:21:08 pm »
Measles could do it, too, cause loss of sight, I mean. I'd have to look up whether it could cause hearing loss as well.

Perhaps. There's a current measles outbreak in Minneapolis among immigrants who don't trust vaccines.

Quote
I've always wondered about "brain fever." In period novels women seem to have been particularly susceptible to that, whatever it was.

Yes, that's what Catherine Earnshaw died of. I think Emily Brontė had to make that clear because, prior to that, Catherine Earnshaw had been pretty hardy -- it seems to have been brought on by spending time on the cold and stormy moors and being upset over her rift with Heathcliff. But her nephew was sickly from the start and died early, and it's never clear of what. And what did Beth in Little Women die of?

I think it was so common for members of families to have some longterm weakening or debilitating condition they seemed to hardly think the cause worth mentioning, if they even knew it at all. Wouldn't pretty much anything from asthma to diabetes to TB to congenital heart disease and beyond render people "naturally" sickly?


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: The History of Comfort
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2017, 03:02:42 pm »
Perhaps. There's a current measles outbreak in Minneapolis among immigrants who don't trust vaccines.

That's why measles is making a comeback, because of people who don't trust vaccines.

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And what did Beth in Little Women die of?

She lingered for a while, didn't she? Maybe it was consumption?
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.