Page:Thirty-five years in the East.djvu/83

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
43
THIRTY-FIVE YEARS IN THE EAST.

to recollect that I had always avoided bleeding in my own case, so as, a last resource, in spite of my previous loss of blood, I resolved upon trying the experiment, it being considered by many that the first operation of that kind, in dangerous cases, is usually beneficial.

I summoned all my resolution, and was determined to use the lancet ; and having no one to perform the operation, I ventured to do it myself. I ordered warm water, put my hands and afterwards ray feet into it, and tried to bleed myself, but neither I nor my servant, Antun, could suc -ceed, as no blood came. Nevertheless, my courage did not abandon me, for I thought that if I spared my body to-day, it might be put to-morrow into the grave. In a fit of desperation, I cut through the median vein of the left arm, upon which the blood began to trickle, but to the amount only of about two ounces. After my wounds had been dressed, I lay down exhausted, and recommending my soul to God, 1 soon fell asleep. I passed a tranquil night, and on awaking in the morning, I found my feet warm, my pulse beating, although but faintly, and the internal pain somewhat abated; but the external pain was more acute, as the erysipelatous inflammation had extended from the back to the navel, and from the arm to the hip, and owing to my excessive debility, I was afraid of mortification. Nevertheless, I had more hopes of my recovery, relying on the efficacy of the bleeding and blistering. To free myself from the troublesome dryness of my tongue, 1 sent for some quince kernels, which, enveloped in a small piece of linen, I put into some water, and with this little pad I frequently moistened my tongue, which produced a very good effect. In the course of the day I began also to chew some monaka ( large raisins ), which refreshed me. To arrest the farther extension of local inflammation, I sent my servant to the bazaar, to endeavour to procure some leeches, and in case he could not obtain them, he was to bring a barber or some other person to cup me. He came back, accompanied by a woman provided with a quantity of leeches, by which I ascertained that the Persian physician, who told me that no leeches were to be obtained,