A CASE OF MISTAKEN DIAGNOSIS
By W.S. Moat, M.D.
Mrs. B. Brought her unmarried daughter, aged about twenty-six, to my office of examination on June 6th, 1896, and made the following statement: She has been sick about nine years, has consulted, been examined and treated by no less than twenty-two doctors, including the staff of two hospitals one in the State of New York and one in the City of Philadelphia. They all say she has a very large fibroid abdominal tumor and there is no cure for her, even by the most skillful surgical operation, as there would be scarcely a chance for recovery. Nevertheless she has offered to take the risk ans submit to the operation rather than continue to suffer both physical and mental anguish indefinitely. The surgeons positively refused to operate and sent her home with no hope of never being any better. I do not suppose you can do her any good and it has only been by the most earnest solicitation of friends that I have brought her to you for examination and candid opinion.
Chief Symptoms.- Bearing down sensation in pelvis, frequent and painful micturition, obstinate constipation, pain in back, very sensitive along the spine, palpitation of heart, short breath, severe headache, fear of becoming insane, weak, tired, can never get rested, can get but little sleep, will not see strangers, seldom leaves her room, weeps, moans, melancholy and nervous in the extreme.
From the symptoms given was satisfied there was some internal derangement. Placed her on operating chair, introduced index finger into vagina, at once came in contact with a smooth, almost globe-like body, about four by five inches in diameter. Could pass finger nearly three-fourths around its lower third. The other fourth lay so close to the right half of pubic bone and was so near immovable as to prevent the ginger from passing between them. The uterine so was found on the posterior surface of the so-called fibroid tumor in the hollow of the sacrum. Every other indication of a womb was entirely obliterated. By internal and external manipulation was able to move the supposed tumor about an inch higher up and a little further to the left of the median line. By that time I was fully convinced that she had no fibroid tumor in the proper acceptation of the term. But, instead, had a uterus that was prolapsed, anteverted, and enlarged to at least five times its normal size, and so informed my patient.
Prognosis.- Come to see me twice a week for a year and you will, in my opinion, be in a physical condition to fulfill your long standing marriage contract if you should so wish.
Treatment- Replacement at each visit by internal and external manipulation, a tampon or some other mechanical support to suit various conditions from time to time, and some, but not much medicine.
Result- She improved slowly for the first two or three months, after that more rapidly, and was married to a very prominent gentleman just one year and two days after she came to my office the first time. I continued to treat her at regular intervals during the next year.
Entire recovery followed, and has remained so to this day March 1st, 1905, or at least I am so informed by those who are in a position to know.