This and that again

Tomorrow, I will have surgery on a toe on my left foot, the toe where a cancer grew, removed earlier this year. The Podiatrist says I have a ganglion cyst and a bone spur under skin.  Beneath it all lies osteoarthritis, which affects every bone in my body. My toe hurts!

Although many seniors have aches and pains, and joints wearing out, only thirty percent truly have osteoarthritis. And it is miserable. My Aunt Audrey had 23 surgeries on her right hand. She was completely crippled and in a wheel chair when she died.

Amazingly, the center where I will have this surgery is putting me through the same procedures I experienced when I had knee replacement surgery. Thus the worse part is no cream in my tea tomorrow AM.

Last week I ran into my “pool” friend KK at Trader Joe’s. “Where have you been?” she asked. Having one surgery after another, I replied.  If I am healed with no surgeries planned, and can get back into a pool next January, I will.  KK then relayed her recent medical experiences including the insertion of a pace maker.  We hugged and she said, “Getting old sucks,” doesn’t it?

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Meanwhile, I have been reading a new book, “Spitting Blood, the history of Tuberculosis, ” by historian Helen Byrum. I will write more on this book later, but the section I’ve read indicates TB has been with humans a very long time.  Apparently modern DNA studies show that the First People to enter the Americas via the Bering Straight brought it with them.

I am interested in this disease because it affected so many Americans in the nineteenth century, when it was called Consumption, including members of my family.

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As readers know, in working on my family tree, I have concentrated on some sections more than others.  The section given the greatest attention is the generation that lived through the 1860s and the Civil War.  My second great-grandfather Jonas Nichols and his brothers, brothers-in-law and brothers-in-law by marriage, as well as the fathers alive at the time, responded to the call from President Lincoln (later a draft) and served first with the Second New Hampshire Regiment, then with the Union Army (Grand Army of the Potomac).

In piecing together the records, I came across the history below (excerpt) and thought you might find it interesting.

Miss Harriet Patience Dame – Excerpt from the History of Second NH Regiment 1861-1865

Any sketch of the Second Regiment would be incomplete
without mention of Miss Harriet Patience Dame, the faithful army
nurse. Miss Dame was born in North Barnstead, N. H., January
5, 1815. In 1856 she became a resident of Concord, and at the
time the Second Regiment was being organized, had already
commenced her good work of caring for the sick. When the
regiment left for the front, the physicians in Concord could
not spare her to accompany it; but a few days later she joined
the command at Washington, and served with it, except when on
duty at some field hospital, until it was mustered out in 1865,
tenderly ministering to the sick and wounded, full of courage
and hope amidst the dead and dying, and always unwearied in
caring for “her boys,” regardless of her own health or
comfort. The sincere respect and affection, not only of the
men of the Second but of all New Hampshire regiments, is surely
hers.
In 1867 Miss Dame was appointed to a clerkship in the
Treasury Department, in Washington, which appointment she still
holds.
The Second New Hampshire Volunteers was attached to and
joined the Department of Washington, June 23, 1861; Hooker’s
brigade, Army of the Potomac, August 12, 1861……;

28 thoughts on “This and that again

  1. Hope surgery went well and you’re doing fine.

    TB continued well into the 20th century seriously affecting a loved one in the forties and taking the life of his best friend. Never knew how they contracted it. Put them in sanitariums then. PBS had a special on TB about those times I saw on TV this year. We’re hearing of new stronger forms of TB less responsive to previously effective meds here in Calif.

    Recall a popular young teacher in the late forties who didn’t return to school after summer vacation. We young students were shocked to learn she had contracted a virulent form of polio and died. Another disease thot to be under control in U.S.

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    • BBC report today…we are about to enter the post antibiotic era. Some of the darned bacteria have developed a bit of DNA that makes them resistant to contemporary antibiotics. And the DNA is spreading fast. Out of control, it has the potential to take humans back to the old days when infections killed more people than chronic diseases.

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  2. I always think about consumption or TB when we’re in Colorado … The high altitude was supposed in those days to be good for patients and there were many sanitariums. One town near our kids where one was located is called Hygiene …
    My maternal grandfather who died when my mom was a baby was said to have died from it. Mom said she was told he smoked heavily, so she always thought he might have had lung cancer.

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  3. Simply wonderful writing. So sorry about all the toe stuff. Glad you have a good doc.
    Me, these days I am a slave to the weather. I do feel vastly better after my hour in the pool. How is david healing? Are you surviving him ok? Hugs.

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    • Spent two hours filling out medical forms from the surgery center. Spent another hour dealing with county utility services. Prepared a large envelope for them and mailed it. Looks like we will get a mega credit.

      Have explained where I am having surgery to David five times and he keeps getting confused. He says he not confused but he is and it’s making me crazy. I think it’s brain damage. He got to a meeting Sunday.

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  4. I hope everything goes smoothly with your surgery tomorrow and you are able to recuperate and recover quickly. I went to the surgeons office myself this morning to schedule a hernia repair which will be Dec. 14. While getting old certainly is not for sissies, I am thankful that we have access to modern medicine.

    Tuberculosis/consumption is still with us. It is a very serious disease because it has become resistant to many of the standard drugs. It is now treated with a lengthy regimen of a combination of drugs.

    Genealogy is so interesting. My family on both sides lived in the south. So our ancestors probably tried their very best to kill each other.

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