Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/351

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343
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.

tasting liquids, there are others who agree with Sir Frederick, and admit that they would often be glad to give no medicine if their patients would be satisfied without it. But the great mass of people are unwilling to take a physician's advice as to proper clothing, suitable diet, and regular habits of living. They do not seek his advice upon those points; what they want is a drug that will benumb uneasy sensations while they live as they please.

Not long ago a business man of intelligence was heard to complain because he had tried several physicians and all had failed to cure his sciatica. He said they all told him he must live differently; several said he must quit smoking and lay aside wine and beer or he could not be cured. With scorn he said, "What are physicians good for if they don't know a drug that will cure as simple a thing as rheumatism?" He could not and would not believe that rheumatism might be the result of his wrong habits.

Akin to him in thought is a woman, much above the average in intelligence, who a few months ago had an operation performed upon her stomach. The stomach was enlarged so that the food did not pass through the pylorus, the opening into the intestines. The operation consisted in making a new opening and connecting it with an intestine. This bright woman now complains that the operation was not a success, because she still has times of great distress with indigestion. Upon being asked what she eats, she laughed and said, "Everything, peanuts, mince-pie, sauer-kraut, frank-forts; whatever is going. I have a vigorous appetite,