By Eli G. Jones, M.D., 1401 Main st., Buffalo, N.Y.
In reading the pulse of a patient the average physician will usually read the pulse of the right arm. Now it often happens that the pulse of one arm may be entirely different from the other. In this way a doctor is liable to make a great mistake in his diagnosis of the true condition of his patient. It is a good rule to follow in reading a patient’s pulse, if the case does not appear perfectly clear to you, then by all means read the pulse of both wrists. In reading the pulse of an old lady I started with the right wrist. It gave me the impression of about the usual strength to the pulsations for a person that age. I could get a pretty fair estimate of the amount of vitality’s in her system. In other words, it told of her constitutional condition.
In reading the pulse of the left wrist (as the dutchman said), I found “something else again.” The artery gave me the impression of fullness, irritability and tension, as if the nerves and muscles had been over-strained and lacerated. This lady had fallen down stairs and dislocated her shoulder, the ligament of her arm had been torn and over-strained, so she had lost all the use of her hand. The fingers were cold and lifeless as a dead person. The pulse in her left arm showed very plainly the like a finger post, pointed directly to a focus of congestion and irritation in that arm. We must always keep in our mind the fact when we are reading the pulse that Dame Nature is sending a message over the wire to us, and it is our business to interpret that message correctly. Life we don’t so much the worse for us and for the patient.
It looks so silly to me to see a doctor take out his watch and begin to count the pulse; why not count how many times the patient breathes or sneezes? It would be just as sensible.
In reading the pulse of a old physician 87 years old, there would be 5 or 6 pretty strong pulsations then 5 or 6 very rapid pulsations. The impression I got from his pulse was a feeling of a weak nerve power. The heart was getting tired out, but trying to do the best it could to keep going. I advised Tr. Cratagus, 10 drops, once in 3 hours to steady the hearts action, and Kali phos. 3dx three tablets once in two hours to raise the nerve power.
In two or three days I read the pulse again and found it quite different. Instead of the rapid pulsation now and then as before when I read it, I found and intermission every fifth pulsation. Several day as after I read the pulse again and I found the intermission further apart, at every twelfth bead, showing me that the heart was stronger and feeling the good effects of the cratagus. The eyes had a brighter, clearer expression to them. This tells us as plain as words could tell that the patient has more vitality and is better.
When a patient comes into my office I don’t ask them “If they feel better,” but a glance at the person’s eyes tells me at once that they are better by the clear, bright expression, and also by the pleased, restful expression of the face. A good physician should develop the three senses, seeing, touching and smelling. The good Father above gave us our eyes, our fingers and ears as instruments to diagnose disease, but some men seem to think they know more then the almighty, so they have to use different instruments made by the hand of man to help them to find out what ails a sick person.
A prominent regular physician writes me that he “wants to know how to ‘do things” for his patients.” He also wants advice about the “best work on homoeopathic and eclectic Materia Medica.”
During the past twenty-five years I have had a great many letters like the above from physicians of the regular school who want “more light!” I have kept in close touch with them by correspondence, and led them along step by step, until they knew the definite action of remedies and could heal the sick.
There are a large number of doctors in our country and across the broad Atlantic that owe there success in practice to my teaching and writings. For this I thank God. “No man liveth to himself.” We are in the world to help each other. When we can help a brother physician to be a better physician we are doing God’s work, and we may expect his blessing on it.
I have in my lifetime seen some of the best surgeons in this country perform operations, among them Gross, Pan coast, Agnew, A.B. Cross by, Maury, and Thomas G. Morton. I saw the latter perform an amputation at the hip of a woman while she was under the influence of nitro us oxide gas. It was the quickest operation that I ever saw.
While in Galesburg, Ills., I was invited by Dr. J.F. Percy, head surgeon of St. Mary’s Hospital, to see him perform an operation on two patients. The doctor is a gentleman in every sense of the word a fine operator. My idea of a surgeon is a man who knows exactly what he wants to do, and does it quickly and skillfully.
In August I was called to Canandaigua, N.Y., in consultation on some cases. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. James Hawley of that city, now 87 years old, but mentally he is as bright and keen as ever, and does a good office practice. He is one of the old time eclectics who made a splendid reputation for curing his patients. As a result of his success in practice he had more business than any doctor in that part of New York State.
The present generation do not, and can not, realize the persecution and abuse that the early fathers of the new school were subjected to by the old school. In those days a nes school physician learned to know his remedies and to depend upon them. For in those days his bread and butter and his liberty depended upon his saving the life of his patients. They simply had to cure their patients to keep out of Jail, and now and then their persecutors had them locked up to keep them from curing any more patients. ALL HONOR to the men who fought our battles for us and made it possible for us to have such a thing as a new school of medicine, to teach us the definite action of remedies and how to heal the sick. Their work is done, but the record still lives! “After life’s fitful fever they sleep well.”