Saturday, 8 August 2020

Medical woes, but then again maybe not

Things medical have been uppermost in everyone's mind for most of 2020, and it will doubtless continue this way for many months to come. It has been a grim period, but I've got off lightly and whenever I get to moping about how I haven't been able to go to the pub or a gig (shame about the Las Kellies show at the Shacklewell Arms on 26 March being cancelled, but there we are) I force myself to read again the following document, which I happened across at TNA shortly before lockdown.

SP 78/100/102 f. 331

Viscount Scudamore to Sir John Coke, Paris, 18/28 April 1636

Sir Francis Crane was cutt this morning. Within an hour after, the stone was brought to mee. It is almost as big as an ordinarie hen-egg; & of that shape; & rough well neere all over. Hee went to it cheerfully, & so endured it. They were not in the operation longer than you may judge I have been writing thus farre. Some 7 hours after I sent to congratulate wth him. And then he spake heartie, & said hee had lived now so many houres, meaning that his freedom from his former payne made him think his present being different as life & that wch is not life or worse. But when the urine passeth through the wound his payne is great. In a word, Mr Davison thinks him as well as could bee expected hee should bee now.

Enough to make you shudder; the modern world may be a cesspool and getting worse, but at least we - or at least some of us - have medicine (for the time being).

(Poor Sir Francis's ordeal was all in vain - he died from gangrene on 26 June.)   

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