Hartwig, Theodore E. F. / Letters, 1846 and 1851 [Transcriptions]
Call Number, SC 167 ([unpublished])
Cedarburg (Wis) September 25, 1846, pp. -23 PDF (8.9 MB)
12 what headway we gained by day was lost again at night, to prevent our going aground on the coast. On the second day after the beginning of this weather, I received my first patient. In the center of the forward deck stands the big life boat which is probably nine to ten feet high, on the top of which the ship's carpenter was engaged in fastening the henhouses, because the ship lay on its side So that the lee side was often only a foot above the water. The cover of the boat had become smooth and slippery from the rain, and the carpenter fell to the deck and had to be carried below. In the corse of my examination, i found that he had dislocated his femer joint. The head of teh femur had gone upward and was fast above the socket. I was ill and ease over the matter, because I had never attended a setting of teh upper thigh joint. However, I went quickly to work and after ten minutes of effort assisted by several sailors, I had the joy of hearing the peculiar snap which at that moment sounded better to me than the best Strauss waltz. I then laid a bandage around his pelvis and his knees and had cold compresses applied and after several days he walked slowly about on the forward deck. Since then I have always had something to do, but especially many tooth extractions. There was a veritable tooth ache epidemic on the ship and I extracted thirty-five to forty teeth. Besides, I had a suppuration of the proximal part of the left middle finger, a very easy forceps delivery, a Jew had pneumonia a few days before our arrival, and a big fat farmer girl had an advanced case of scury.
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