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Rheumatism image
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Now we are told that not only are cáncer and consumption contagioua, as well as several other diseases long regarded as individual, but that rheuinatism may be transmitted from one person to another by contact as well as by heredity. This is the more alarmiog because rhenmatism, for which there are more sure cures than a phannacist can compound in a week, is virtually incurable by drugs and is the disease of all diseases that is not understood by the medical profession. Nobody knows exactly or approximately what rheumatism is. It is described with a high degree of positiveness in medical books, but the fact that afflictions wholly unlike are classed under the general head of rheumatism is proof that there is no certain knowledge of its character. It is found to be associated with disorders of the throat and stomach and with distinctly nervous afiections. Thevarieties run from muscular rheumatism to neuralgia, yet as to what tissues are most involved in the worst form of the disease and in what manner they are involved there are as many opinions as there are varieties of rheumatism. The rheumatio patiënt, who sometimes suffers all the pangs of gout, has a hard enough time of it at best without being regarded as a center of physical as well as moral pestilence. He is irritable, pugnacious, impatient, ungrateful and profane. His immediate relations bear with these mortal infinnities because of the obvious reality of his sufferings. They generously put themselves within the range and reach of his shoes or whatever missiles he has at hand, in order that he may vary the monotony of pain with the pleasure of personal assault. To announce the contagiousness of rheumatism is to drive away from his bedside all sympathetic and enduring frieuds. When they witness the moral decay of a good man in the clutches of this disease, they are naturally disposed to save themselves by flight from a like condition. What the victims of rheumatism have a right to maiutain is that the doctors kuow too little about the disease. They are too helpless in its violent stage to have any warrant for further dogmatic affirmations about it. If rhenmatism is to be classed among the contagious diseases, it will be necessary to regúlate the Turkish bath establishments as we do smallpox hospitals, or they will become centers from which rheumatism will radiate like cholera from oriental wells. Man is kept; busy enough dodging the microbes of other diseasea without being compelled to ward off


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News