Izzy Bird, courtesy
many things make a post

Izzy Bird, the good drugs


Isabella was asked to visit a woman who could hardly breathe and found her “very ill of bronchitis, accompanied by much fever. I took her dry, hot hand — such a small hand, tattooed all over the back — and it gave me a strange thrill.”

She laments that a medically trained nurse isn’t there. One could save lives and ease suffering. Instead, they have her and the drugs that she happened to have on hand. She gave the woman some chlorodyne.* Around midnight, they came because she was worse, cold and weak. Isabella is pretty sure she won’t last the night. She tells the family this and they urge her to do something — and as “a last hope I gave her some brandy, with 25 drops of chlorodyne, and a few spoonfuls of very strong beef tea.”


An hour later, they return to Isabella to “tell her that [the woman] felt very drunk;** but, going back to her house, I found her sleeping quietly, and breathing more easily.” So I guess the lesson to take from this is that beef tea and booze is perfect for a cough.

Isabella has a bit of a lie-in after her “nocturnal expeditions and anxiety” and wakes up to a house full of on-edge Ainu. Their fear is that a) she’ll ask the Japanese government to send medicine to them and b) that the Japanese government will think that they’ve told her too much. Mr Von Siebold has told her that the Japanese like to come in and “knock them about.” She isn’t quite sure that’s the case, that the Kaitakushi Department*** means well by them, and, besides removing the oppressive restrictions by which, as a conquered race, they were fettered, treats them fair more humanely and equitably than the U.S. Government, for instance, treats the North American Indians.”****


* not “hydroxychloroquine,” btw. This is a compound pharmacists would mix up that is largely morphine with some hemp, capsicum, and peppermint. But mostly morphine.

** I mean. Fair.

*** Hokkaido’s regional government

**** Again. Fair.


The comments to this entry are closed.