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OCTOBER, 1904]

Another Collection Agency Experience-A Correction





ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS several other notes given by prominent doc

tors, had been sold at a discount to the bank a Sbort articles of practical help to the profession are solicited for day or so after they were given. I protested this department.

the payment of the note when due. Had two Articles accepted must be contributed to this journal only. The editors are not responsible for views expressed by contributors.

lawsuits in the lower courts, with judgment in Copy must be received on or before the twelfth of the month, for

my favor. But the case was carried to the publication in the issue for the next month. We decline

Supreme Court where the decision was reversed, responsibility for the safety of unused manuscript. It can usually be returned if request and postage for return are and only a few months ago I had to pay note received with manuscript ; but we cannot agree to always do so.

and costs, amounting to $120, besides my Certainly it is excellent discipline for an author to feel that he must say all he has to say in the ferest possible words, or his reader is

attorney's fees for the fight against the banksure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words, or his reader will certainly misunderstand them. Generally, also, a

rupt and three court trials. You will notice downright fact may be told in a plain way; and we want that Mr. Sprague Collecting Agency was rather downright facts at present more than anything else. -RUSKIN.

an expensiv acquaintance. The other doctors RECORD

paid their notes, and I am informed they never Another Collection Agency Experience, and received a cent collected, never a second call a Bad One!

for accounts, and have been unable to even get Editor MEDICAL WORLD :-Having read a a report. I wish to say further that I stated number of articles in your journal setting forth the case in all its aggravating aspects to the unsatisfactory dealings with collecting agen- parent office in Chicago, without relief or even cies, I offer my experience, which may be an expression of regret. timely in keeping some easy doctor out of a Denver, Col.

JAS. M. WALKER. similar deal. Something like three years ago, [Well, this is about the worst yet. Docone of the most suave and ingratiating men it tor, why didn't you incorporate the “underhas ever been my misfortune to meet, entered standing" in the note? These slick travelmy office and informed me he represented the ing agents will give any kind of a verbal Sprague Collecting Agency of Chicago. After “understanding,'' if they can only get your stating his methods one of the requirements signature to a note; but the “understanding' being a membership fee of $50), I told him don't go, if it isn't stipulated in writing in the plainly my experience with collecting agencies note, and this the agent is careful not to do, had been very unsatisfactory in every respect, and you were careless not to require it before and I would, under no circumstances, pay out you signed the note. This magazine will money except as a commission on money benefit the medical profession hundreds of actually collected. Now, this talk suited the thousands of dollars every year if it can imever ready agent. If I would place in their press on the minds of doctors the importance hands accounts to the amount of $500, I would of not signing papers that will lead to their not have to pay a cent, as the membership fee being victimized. Always read a contract or would be deducted from collections. So I note very carefully before signing, and if it gave him my note, upon that distinct under- doesn't suit you in every respect, don't sign. standing, due 90 days hence, for the sum of Remember you are bound by the written terms, $50, and a batch of accounts amounting to over regardless of any verbal "understanding." $500, among which was a judgment for $250, Have it " written in the bond." And as I recently obtained in the justice court against have frequently urged, don't

enter any a prosperous merchant of this city, which the arrangement or agreement that contemplates agent assured me was easy to handle and sure the possibility of taking money out of your collection. Now, I do not think I ever had pocket. The pay for collecting should always even a report upon said accounts. I presume

come out of the funds collected for you.—Ed.] they were presented, however, as I read in the daily papers that the merchant (prosperous)

A Correction. against whom I had the judgment had made DEAR DOCTOR TAYLOR:-Your comment on application in bankruptcy. I notified the said my article is slightly in error when you say Sprague Collecting Agency of Chicago of the (page 377, September WORLD, bottom of secfact, and that they must have their attorneyond column) "a compromise of $34 instead advance the application and prevent it. Í of $36 was secured by the Company.” It have no knowledge of their making a single ought to be corrected, for the agreement-or move in that direction; and when too late I rather the note, for such in reality it is—was had to employ an attorney at my own expense,

secured on payment of $17. Thirty-four and the man was adjudged a bankrupt. About dolla was the cost of my two experiences, and this time received a notice from one of our not that amount for my experience with the local banks that they held my note for $50, Comstock Company alone. given the “Sprague Collecting Agency. Greenwich, N. J.

S. M. SNYDER. Upon investigation I found that my note, with [We are pleased to make the correction. We

were misled by your expression, “ Here is a rarely over 102°, with very little increase of $34 experience; " "experience'' being used the evening over the morning temperature. in the singular number, as tho it were one ex- The fever burns on and on, week after week, perience—the Comstock experience.-Ed.] four, six or eight weeks or even more. The

longest case I ever saw was taken down about Editor MEDICAL WORLD :-Like many other M. D.'s, no doubt, I have noted with some interest the discus

the first of September and the first time he was sion from time to time relativ to collecting agencies, able to sit at the table and eat was Christmas day. and especially of their “ways that are dark and their

There is no quasi self-limiting to fourteen or tricks that are vain.” But while their ways may, or may not, be dark, we must confess that their tricks twenty-one days like typhoid proper. There are not entirely vain, as attested by the long line of are none of the accidents or complications complaints that roll in regularly upon ye Editor, who,

which attend the typical typhoid-apparently doubtless, like the rest of us, has "troubles of his own." But we have been told, and experience has nothing to guard against except asthenia. shown it to be true, that it is not best to meet troubles I know nothing of the nature and pathology more than half way; and it seems to me that that is just about what a good many of the brethren have

of simple continued fever except that it is done, and have thereby shown remarkable success in neither contagious nor infectious. I have collecting, not for the M.D., as has been said, but from

never seen two cases in the same household. It is him. After an exhibition of this kind, how can the guileless M. D. doubt their power to collect? Would claimed that the typhoid bacilli in minimo have that all our delinquents would respond as promptly been discovered in these cases, with none of the as many of our brother M. D.'s seem to have done,

lesions of regular typhoid. In the misty past almost falling over each other in order to pay a forfeit that I do not believe can be collected in, or before, any days of the humoral pathologists and the solidcourt in the land. What expense has been incurred

ists a rational pathology, doubtless was found; until the accounts have been sent in? Can they get something for nothing? Do they not have to show

the former claiming that some baneful ichor value received, if called upon to do so? Let us hear was tainting the blood, lymph, and other from the brethren on this point. Prospect, Pa. J. B. THOMPSON, M. D.

juices of the body, and that the fever was

nature's laboratory to volatilize the offending Is it Simple Continued Fever ?

material; and the latter, that some peccant Editor MEDICAL WORLD:-I have no dispo- material pervaded the organs and other solid sition to propose a new disease as my caption tissues, and that the fever was nature's crucible would seem to indicate; for our modern, to incinerate and convert into an innocuous strenuous nosologists have discovered so many ash the poisonous entity. new diseases, and conjured up so many new I know of no remedy that will cut the disnames for old disorders, that it is up to the ease short except mercury. In a certain prostudent to keep in mind the nomenclature portion of cases, a majority I think, the alone, much less the diagnosis and treatment. mercurial impression, slowly and carefully My remarks shall be interrogatory, rather than establisht, will supplant and cut short the insistent or dogmatic.

disease; but in some

which most The question is: Have we, or have we not, resemble genuin typhoid in behavior, whilst a separate and distinct type of continued fever, they are thus cut short for a time, will rally as but which is now classed as typhoid or para- it were and run on the usual course to the end. typhoid ? Since I have been practising in In parallel columns I will attempt to present Indiana, now more than a quarter of a century, the differential of the cardinal features of these I feel sure that I have not seen more than half two diseases: a dozen cases of this type ; but whilst practising in the southern part of our country I frequently Infectious,if not contagious. Neither. met a fever which ran, in brief, about the follow

Chills or rigors in early Rigors very seldom.

stage. ing course: There is a long prodromal stage, Epistaxis, hemoptysis, he. No hemorrhage whatever. three, four or even five weeks. During this matemesis, otorrhagia, prodromal stage the patient is ill at ease from

Rose colored spots. No eruption or rash. general malaise; whilst he is not very sick, yet Tendency to diarrhea. Constipation thruout. he is not quite well; he complains of some Tympanites.

None ; abdomen flat.

Tenderness and gurgling in None. weakness and is disinclined to much exercise ;

right iliac region. his appetite is capricious, he feels a need of Stupor and coma.

Somnolency only; awakes food without an inclination to take it, and


Inflammation and ulcera- Peyer's glands unaifinds fault with everything. Until the fever tion of glands of Peyer. fected. develops he keeps out of bed, and if he be very Hemorrhage from bowels. Never. ambitious keeps on his feet thruout the whole

Perforation and peritonitis. Never.

Short prodromal stage. Long prodromal stage. attack, constituting the socalled "walking Death from coma, hemor. Death from asthenia typhoid."

rhage, peritonitis and as- alone.

thenia. After this antedromal stage of three weeks or Unaffected by mercury.

Often cut short by mer. a month he is found to have fever of a con

cury. tinued type. The fever is not very high, The above is a somewhat crude but faithful





reflex of my experience of nearly five decades, The doctor who is always searching for in these types of fever. I would be glad to something new ought never be regarded as a have the Editor's opinion on the subject, as safe doctor. The last paragraph on page 369 well as some other brethren of The WORLD. on this subject is the best in the same amount

JOHN E. LOCKRIDGE, A.M., M.D. of space I ever read. Most assuredly it is true Indianapolis, Ind.


the man who becomes habituated to [Your communication gives evidence of a trying all the new things of which he hears, scientific and scholarly investigation ; yet we becomes valueless as a practician of medicin.” believe you have reacht an erroneous conclu- Persistent hiccup certainly does weary the sion. The differentiation of the various fevers attending physician. Often the

Often the source of has been so thoroly carried out by extended reflex irritation cannot be discovered or laboratory and clinical work by men of limit- located ; and if discovered cannot at once be less advantages in the way of clinical material remedied. The young doctor who has never and equipment for detail investigation, that we had a case would do well to mark and file do not believe any fever affecting any consider- away for future reference the articles on this able portion of any civilized country has subject on pages 371 and 399. If not before, escaped accurate listing. It is unquestionable when he has a case which has resisted all treatthat we have a “para-typhoid fever," quite as ment for several days he will be glad to read distinctly as a typhoid fever ; both these ferers all such articles. Even when the cause of hicwith other modifying circumstances and cup cannot be discovered or cannot be at once environment, might contribute to the presen- remedied, suggestion will sometimes do much tation of such symptoms as you describe. Even to relieve the patient. Strong pepper tea has if you had noted a distinct type of fever not stopt hiccup when all the usual remedies had yet cataloged, you could not appropriate the failed. Do not forget strychnin when all else name " Simple continued fever," since this is has failed. Give it until it shows that it has already in use to designate an entirely differ- made an impression on the patient. Tell him ent type of disease from the one you describe. the hiccup will stop when the medicin has See editorial in this issue. Simple continued taken effect, and it will rarely fail to do so. fever has a prodrome of only two weeks.-ED.] The more I read about insomnia the more

fully I realize that I know very little about it. Comments on September WORLD. There are so many and so different causes that DEAR EDITOR:-THE WORLD deserves much each case is a study. Remedies which will credit for its efforts to expose some of the relieve some cases will have an opposit effect ways and means used by commercial medical on others. Drugs do very little good in my publications (page 368). It may lose in ad- hands. Of course drugs will induce sleep, but vertising, but it ought to gain in subscribers. they will not cure the habit. I think habit Every subscriber should constitute himself a does have something to do in such cases. A committee of one to add at least one sub- habit of wakefulness is easily formed in some scriber.

people. Nothwithstanding the warnings that are

In addition to the remarks I made on page constantly being given by medical writers and 382 about “marks and brands” on tablets, teachers, and by the family physician, still one etc., I would add that when it is necessary to of the greatest evils goes on even in many use proprietary medicins, or when it is more localities where the people are intelligent and convenient, if the medicin is in fluid form éducated. Everyone should read carefully empty it into another bottle and put the label the article on "The beginning of the school on yourself. Those who keep their own drugs age,” on page 368, and show it to his teachers can easily manage this; and those who do not and call attention of the patrons of the school, handle their own drugs can easily arrange with to the evils therein suggested. Much can be the druggist to do this. It is always a good done by the family physician among the idea to have your patient undergo an examinapatrins of the school in a quiet way without tion after taking one bottle before prescribing appearing to be “my brother's keeper." True, another. Never give over two bottles unless we often (I think I may say generally) see our you give something between times, if only a admonitions go unheeded when we try to teach placebo. These additional remarks on this the people what is best to do for the health of subject are the result of reading the article on individuals and communities. Sometimes we page 378 and the Editor's comment thereon. are regarded as meddlesome or officious. But But we should keep before us always that it is we should do our duty whether it is appreciated best not to use such remedies if we can get on or not.

Every physician has seen the evils of at all without them. confining children to the schoolroom, when Dr. Puderbaugh asks on page 381 if too young to bear the great change.

malaria caused premature labor in his patient.

In the absence of any further knowledge of the they need another physician in the cases indicase than is given, I would answer unhesitat- cated by the doctor in his questions. He ingly in the affirmativ. To the second ques- thinks it better to operate at once than wait tion I would say that there is no doubt but perhaps several hours for assistance. Of course what a child may have malarial poison trans- there are some doctors who will never undermitted to it while in utero. Pregnant women take anything unusual without help, but there in this locality sometimes have to be treated to are very few such among my acquaintances in prevent premature labor when they are suffer- country practise except young doctors. ing with malarial troubles.

On page 408 is a summary of state require“ Iowa" tells us that in his prohibition ments for the practise of medicin, and in the town he sells large quantities of peruna. This list of states empowered to issue temporary nostrum is one of the greatest curses in small license, Mississippi is omitted. Mississippi has prohibition towns that I have ever heard of. power to issue license which will be good until Hundreds of little country stores are being the next meeting of the board. In no case can kept all over the state of Mississippi, and the license be good longer than six months. I have no doubt the same state of affairs exists Kendrick, Miss. C. KENDRICK, M.D. in other prohibition states, for no other purpose in my opinion than to sell this and other Drugs the Last Resort in losomnia. intoxicating drinks, under the guise of med- BROTHERS :-On page 398 of September icins. Yet preachers, senators and others in WORLD our honored Editor has written an exhigh places give flattering recommendations cellent reply to query: Drugless Treatment of (doubtl ss for a consideration) to the manu- Insomnia. One exception, however: “The facturers of these socalled remedies. Our drugless treatment of insomnia is more of a legislature, tho composed largely of prohibi- fantasy than a fact." Don't pin your faith to tionists, voted down by a large majority, a bill that. In the first place, that sentence ought prohibiting the sale of these intoxicating not to have been written. Why? It will drinks except when prescribed by a physician. probably induce scores of M.D.'s to give drugs

The umbrella in the sick room by Dr. A.C. more freely to this class of cases. Gore, page 393, is a good and somewhat I doubt if there is a much greater evil prevoriginal suggestion. Dr. Gore never writes alent among members of our profession than the anything that I do not enjoy well enuf to read almost indiscriminate use of narcotics, hypnotmore than one time. No doubt many a ics, etc., to paralyze these insomniacs into an patient has been made more comfortable by unnatural condition called sleep. “Find cause his suggestion of the use of the umbrella in and remove." Good ! And meantime use baths, cleansing the room of foul air, reducing the electricity, massage, exercise, quiet, etc., as temperature, etc.

facts. The fantasy lies in regarding drugs as I cannot answer for other localities than this natural sleep producers at all. True, you will the questions asked by Dr. H. B. Griswold on at times have to counterfeit sleep by the use of page 405. In country practise here it is a drug. Make it your last resort. almost impossible to use what an up-to-date Henvelton, N. Y. 0. C. HAMMOND. lying-in hospital would call "antiseptic precautions. But in all our cases of labor we try

A Protest against the Use of Alcohol. to be clean and to have our patient and all the Editor MedicAL WORLD:-Your editorial surroundings as clean as possible. But we on “ The Treatment of Insomnia" in the often fail to do what we would do if we could. September WORLD contains a recommendation We should always make the best of our sur- against which I wish to protest. In the outset roundings and the means that are at hand. of your article you very properly condemn Fortunately there are seldom any bad results drug addiction and the “becoming a slave to in country practise on account of neglect of some drug.” And you point out how when antiseptic precautions. The rubber pad is not such patients consult a careless practician he is much used. When we use forceps or do other probably “doped” with some deadening narminor operations in the lying-in chamber, we cotic, and is indeed lucky if his last state is not seldom have time to call in another doctor to worse than the first. After this good advice administer the anesthetic. Of course the doc- and warning, you go on in your recommendator administers the anesthetic until he is ready tions as to treatment. Among other things to operate. Not only in obstetric practise but you say “the taking of a small hot toddy on in all other cases where it is necessary to retiring gives an admirable vaso-motor dilating operate, the country doctor has to depend on effect. To this last paragraph I most rethe nurse or those who happen to be present, spectfully request permission to positivly to aid in giving chloroform as well as in many object. In my opinion a hot toddy at bed other ways. Very few country doctors think time is more likely to result in an uncontroll

OCTOBER, 1904]

Ginseng for Persistent Hiccups-- Is It - Itis or Etis?


able appetite, a drug addiction and absolute menced telling of her brother who was at one slavery to its most deadly effects, thani mor- time very sick and was taken with what was phin, opium, or any other known narcotic. called “ death hiccups," but was cured with Please pardon my criticism, but I confidently ginseng root. I listened, said nothing, but appeal to the jury of your many thousands of made a note of it and resolved to try it the most intelligent and impartial readers for an first opportunity. The root grew plentifully endorsement of my position.

in the woods, and I soon supplied myself and A nervous, sleepless patient, will like nothing commenced to chew it regularly. As a result better than to be advised by his trusted med- I noted particularly, I did not hiccup once in ical attendant to take a small hot toddy at bed three years. I left off the constant use of the time. We all know too well how faithfully root, but the malady did not return. When I that advice would be carried out, except the commenced the practise of medicin I prepared "small"; and how the habit, the drug addic- some tincture by drying the root very dry tion, the slavery, would be likely to grow until then grinding it and putting it in alcohol. I the last state of the patient would be many have used it in practise and it has never failed times worse than the first.

me. I have given it to a child of a few days The morphin habit is bad enuf, God knows; old and to the aged and those very sick, with but it does not, like alcohol, make a brute out uniform success. of a man, pauperize his family, and blight and My last use of the drug was on the night curse all it touches.

previous to the receipt of the September For a physician to advise his patient to take WORLD. I had just returned from a journey alcoholic drinks continuously as a medicin is, of about seven hundred miles, during which in my opinion, one of the most dangerous and time I had been living very irregularly, hardly damaging things he can do.

eating at the same table twice, and about midLincoln, Ill. Dr. W. W. HOUSER. night I awoke with the hiccups. They were

in the old form of sixty years ago. I waited Ginseng for Persistent Hiccups. some time, but they persisted. I secured some Editor MEDICAL WORLD:-In an editorial of the tincture, prepared it in water and bearticle (page 371, September WORLD) you tween hiccups I drank it. No, not between, speak quite fully of the above named annoy- for I hiccuped and drank it and waited to ance, mentioning a large number of remedies, hiccup again-and am waiting still ! but you do not seem to consider any of them Canonsburg, Mich. C. R. CROSBY, M.D. a specific. This, together with my own experience, recent and remote, with the diffi

Is it -Itis or -Etis? culty, impels me to send you the following Editor MEDICAL WORLD:Will you kindly note of my own experience.

state in the October World whether the proFrom my earliest recollections, and before, fession has or has not settled upon any definit for that matter, hiccups were the bane of my rules for the pronunciation of medical words existence. I very soon learned to expect an of Latin or Italian origin? Twenty years ago attack as often as every two or three weeks, and nearly all American schools and colleges used to consider myself very fortunate if the attack the socalled English pronunciation in the study was postponed four weeks. Such an interval of Latin, all vowel sounds being pronounced was the exception, not the rule. I would the same as in English. A few years later awake in the morning with a peculiar feeling nearly all, if not all, American schools and in my stomach that told me I was in for a colleges adopted the Continental or Italian day's pull, and so it would prove. I would begin method of pronunciation, in which the vowel before breakfast and continue all day, and by sounds are very different, "a" having the night I would be sick. The idea of consulting broad sound as in “far, "e" as in “ fete," a physician would have been hooted at, and “i” as the letter "e." I would have exposed myself to unlimited ridi- The dictionaries of today give the pronuncule. I tried the popular schemes for relief, ciation of medical words of Latin origin the such as drinking nine swallows of water with- same as they would be pronounced in English. out breathing, putting my thumbnails together For example, in all words ending “itis "' the and seeing how long I could hold them and "i" is long, as in “ bron-chi-tis." Are the hiccup, and other schemes bordering on super- dictionaries right? or are we to pronounce stition, but with no result. I have been thus such words as they would be pronounced acspecific in detail

to show that my case was no cording to the Continental or Italian rules of ordinary one. This condition of things con- pronunciation? If the Italian rules of protinued till I was about fourteen years of age, nunciation have been adopted by the profeswhen one day I was helping a neighbor in sion as they were by the universities years ago, haying; as we went in to dinner, the lady com- then - bron-chi-tis” should be pronounced

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