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“ Let every
long continued, but repeated for a few minutes at intervals, until evident amendment takes place.
Draughts, &c. - After being heated, avoid lying in a draught. When tatties are used during the hot season, do not sit too near them; colds are thus often caught. Do not remain in wet clothes longer than can be avoided. While in exercise no danger results; but from lying down in damp clothes, rheumatism, fever, dysentery, or disease of the liver ensue. If dry clothes cannot be obtained, occasional friction over the body or moving about, will tend to prevent the ill effects.
A writer in the Calcutta Review says, man residing in a tropical climate, beware, above all things, of the cold. The relaxation, consequent upon the increased temperature, renders the frame so peculiarly susceptible to the impressions of cold, that the utmost care should be taken to escape the influence of these distressing atmospherical vicissitudes. There are few of the ordinary diseases of India, which may not, in the majority of cases, be traced to the action of cold on the surface of the body, relaxed by the antecedent heat.”
Bathing:- The cold bath, judiciously used, is tonic and bracing. It is a great safeguard against the effects of sudden changes of temperature. The water is rendered much colder by keeping the jars outside the house all night exposed to the wind, and bringing them in at sunrise. The morning before breakfast is the best time for bathing. It is not necessary to be cool before bathing. The reverse is the case ; it is apt to be injurious when a person waits till he gets cold and chilly. The cold bath is not safe, however, after great exhaustion. The tepid or warm bath is then preferable. When too long continued, the cold bath is apt to cause chilliness, fainting, and cramps in the legs. It is dangerous under every form of visceral disease. The natives sometimes bring on relapses of fever by profuse bathing when convalescent.
After exposure to the sun, a cold bath will tend greatly to make the system recover its tone.
Europeans who dine in the evening bathe with advantage before dressing. Those who dine early will find one or two pots of water very refreshing when going to bed.
In every case friction with a coarse towel should follow bathing. The flesh-brush may often be used with advantage.
The best test that the cold bath agrees well is speedy re-action, marked by a glow on the skin and a feeling of strength and enjoyment. Where this is not the case, the tepid bath should be used. The warm bath serves to calm the system and relax the pores of the skin, as in fever and bowel complaints.
Do not bathe after a meal, as digestion would be interfered with.
Sleep. - It is much more difficult to secure sound sleep in the tropics than in a temperate climate, while at the same time its want is more keenly felt. Avoid in the evening, as far as possible, work of an exciting character or requiring deep thought. Go to bed by 10 o'clock at the latest, and rise early to enjoy the cool morning. This is of great importance.
The bed-room should be well ventilated, but in general sleeping in a draught is to be avoided. In some parts of India, Europeans may sleep in the hot season in the open verandah or on the house-top, not only with safety but with advantage. Local experience must be consulted. Some winds, as the sea breeze, are balmy and innocuous; others bring on fever and rheumatism.
: The danger of draughts at night is perfectly well known to natives, for Dr. Julius Jeffreys state that, in watching a garden at night, the native places a mat to windward of his bed to cut off the intermediate current fror his body. He says, this is a matter of really prime importance ; for it will ofteu
just make the difference whether a man escapes or not an attack of rheumatism or intermittent fever,"*
Lay off all clothing worn during the day; rub the whole surface of the body well; and put on nightclothes, loose, light, and well aired. Lie on a hard bed. Sleep with the head as low as is at all comfortable. Use as much bed-covering as can be borne without causing perspiration. Have an extra cover at hand to add in case of waking up cold.
In some parts musquito curtains are requisite. The texture should not be so close as to prevent greatly the circulation of air. By examining the inside weil and putting down the curtains before sunset, perfect protection may be secured. Some suppose that musquito curtains help to ward off miasma, though perhaps the only benefit is to aid in keeping off currents of air.
Avoid in the evening particular kinds of food apt to disagree with you. The neglect occasions night-mare or something worse. In close hot seasons the punka may be used with advantage at night, though generally it may be dispensed with in the case of new
One evil must be guarded against. Not unfrequently the punka-puller falls asleep. The person lying below is then covered with perspiration. When the punka is again pulled, the perspiration is suddenly checked. Dangerous illnesses have been brought on
Dr. McCosh observes, “ Few things conduce more readily to sleep than general friction all over the body; and in bad health I have seen this succeed in inducing sleep when opiates had failed. If this can be done by the person himself, so much the better ; but if an invalid, it must, of course, be done by the attendant." The addition of a cold bath is in some cases advisable.
“ The Siesta," says Dr. Caldwell, "is now almost unknown. The handful of Englishmen that are in India,
Report of Sanitary Cmmissioners, p. 105.
in this way
and on whom all hope for the improvement of India depends, have too much to do to sleep in the daytime.”
Amusements. The Missionary, as well as other men, needs his seasons of recreation. India affords a wide field of study, combining relaxation and valuable knowledge. Carey spent an hour or two daily among his plants, of which he had a very valuable collection. Even in his last illness, when he could no longer be moved into his garden, some favourite plant would be brought into his apartment, on which he would look for a time with pleasure. Lacroix had a great love for natural history. Care should be taken that the attractions of science do not divert attention from one's appropriate work.
Shooting is condemned even at home. “Surely," says Bridges," it does not exhibit the minister in his proper Levitical habits. Would not the transition be deemed somewhat too violent to visit the sick and dying in the way home from shooting? Would not a shooting dress rather repel than invite a tempted conscience, seeking for spiritual counsel at our mouth; or an awakened soul, anxious for an answer to the infinitely momentous question, What must I do to be saved ?!? In India especially, it outrages the feelings of the people for a religious teacher to appear as a sportsman.
DISEASES OF INDIA. Tables given by Dr. Ewart in his “ Vital Statistics of the Indian Army,” show that the percentage of mortality among European Soldiers in India is, in round numbers, as follows: dysentery, 30 per cent.; fevers, 20 per cent. ; cholera, 18 per cent. ; hepatic diseases 8 per cent; all other diseases, 24 per cent. The same diseases, with the addition of small-pox, are about equally fatal among the natives.
Where a Missionary, who has not passed through a
medical course, can obtain competent medical advice, it is very unwise for him to attempt to doctor either himself, his family, or his servants. Nor should he open a dispensary for the natives. Cases may occur, however, in which he is compelled to act as physician. He may be out itinerating, and either he himself or some of his servants, may fall sick. Diseases often run their course rapidly in India ; remedies, to be of much value, must be applied at once. Under such circumstances, a judicious man, who has given some attention to medicine, may do much good. A few hints may be given.
Diarrhea and Dysentery.-Shooting pains in the bowels, blood and mucus in the discharges with straining, distinguish dysentery. Pressure on the abdomen gives pain.
Causes.-Sudden changes of temperature causing checked perspiration, the use of crude ill-prepared, indigestible or otherwise unwholesome food, the use of impure water, fatigue and privation, epidemic and malarious influences, and previous diseases.
Treatment.--Simple diarrhoea is often caused by irritating matter in the bowels, and is frequently relieved by a dose of castor oil, followed by Dover's powder and quinine. Three grains of the former (as much as will go on a two anna piece) and five grains of the latter (as much as will go on a four anna piece) should be given twice or thrice a day. The diet should consist of sago, arrowroot, white bread, &c. All salt meat and indigestible articles should be avoided. Where no irritating matter is present, the diarrhoea should be checked by 20 or 30 drops of laudanum in a little water. Collis Browne's chlorodyne is very valuable for the same purpose. Never allow the bowels to be purged more than two or three times in one day without taking medicine. It may be the incipient stage of cholera.