Cullen

The Consultation Letters of Dr William Cullen (1710-1790) at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

 

[ID:1587] From: Dr / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Mr J. C. (Circumstances very closely match with those of the future physician and biographer James Currie.) (Patient) / 16 November 1778 / (Incoming)

Case of J. C., an unnamed male patient, a student aged 22 who has completed the Botany Class [presumably at Edinburgh]. Unsigned. It is reported that he suffers a wide variety of distressing symptoms from nausea to low spirits and a pain in his side which he fears is hypcohondriasis owing to intense study of metaphysics and mathematics. He has been reading Dr George Cheyne on diet.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 1587
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/676
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date16 November 1778
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Case of J. C., an unnamed male patient, a student aged 22 who has completed the Botany Class [presumably at Edinburgh]. Unsigned. It is reported that he suffers a wide variety of distressing symptoms from nausea to low spirits and a pain in his side which he fears is hypcohondriasis owing to intense study of metaphysics and mathematics. He has been reading Dr George Cheyne on diet.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:1076]
Case of 'J. C.', a 22 year old male student who suffers a range of distressing symptoms which he fears are signs of hypochodria brought on by intense study. Circumstances closely match those of James Currie.
1


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:3165]AuthorDr
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:3164]PatientMr J. C. (Circumstances very closely match with those of the future physician and biographer James Currie.)
[PERS ID:1815]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr George Cheyne
[PERS ID:3165]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:1389]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Alexander Monro (primus; Munro)

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]

J C Aged 22 Student.

November 16th. 78


For several years past, especially in the summer-season
has been affected with frequent Nausea in the mornings,
and want of appetite; heartburn thro the day, & [spouting?]
up ↑of↑ a liquor generally acid, but sometimes Saltish, or insipid.
These complaints were never so grievous as to require a change
of his diet, which was pretty full, or make medicines ne¬
cessary till the end of last March, when they occasion'd
an aversion to, especially animal, food, as well as an almost
total loss of appetite, watchfulness in the night with
a tendency to deliquium animi upon rising in the morning
& depression of spirits thro the day; a sense of uneasiness
& lassitude, especially in the small of his back when sit¬
ing unsopported; an obtuse pain in his left side, almost
constant, but changing its seat between the os Ilium &
third false rib: besides he had a præternatural flow of
saliva
; cold extremities; frequent startings in different parts
of his body, but, more especially in the left side, ab¬
domen
, & superior extremities between the shoulders, el¬
bow
-joints; partial & frequent night sweats; Tinnitus of the
left ear, excited sometimes by walking, but more fre¬
quently remov'd by it, when excited by attention, & siting
up these gave him apprehensions of being seiz'd with
Hypochondriasis, which he feard more than Hysteria
Atonic gout, or Dyspepsy. Upon inspecting his urine, he
found it free of sandy matter
which he pass'd without pain
very frequently, & on very small quantity, he found it
free of sandy matter pale color'd & without sediment sio but
having gold color'd particles swiming on the surface & fixed to
the glass. In such circumstances by the advice of Dr. Monro he
began to use limewater & milk skinn'd after standing, with water
added, instead of Tea; weak bitters of 2 parts Chamomile & 1 of Peruv.
bark
; & cold bathing in the Sea water occasionally. He
found bread & milk prepard as above, the most easily digesti¬
ble food, & flesh meat, even lean, & in small quantity, very uneasy.
On this regimen very much he since liv'd using no recent ve¬
getable but Potatoes & geting better gradually tho slowly till
August; he then Botany being finish'd, bath'd more frequently
using Elixir of Vitriol, Bark & Chalybeates, which [seem'd?]
to accelerate his recovering for about seven weeks; when he
observ'd the spermatic cord of the left side becoming varicose
to a slight degree, which he endeavourd to obviate by Saccha¬



[Page 2]

rum Saturni
-solutions, partial cold bathing, & a suspen¬
sory
, which he has persever'd in without removing the
complaint, but prevent'd its encrease. About a fortnight
since his nose, in the left side, in the night, became so
itchy as to induce sneezing, which brought on a slight
hæmorrhagy returning for eight days every second mor¬
ning. His digestion, tho much improv'd, wont admit
so indulgent a regimen as Dr. Cheyne calls w trimming 1
without uneasiness; his appetite pretty good; Pulse
under 60
; Belly regular. He ascribes his complaints
to intense thinking on Metaphysical & Mathe¬
matical subjects, & the very sedentary life such
employment requir'd.


Case of a Student
November ---- 78




[Page 3]


Case of a Student
November -- 78

Notes:

1: Scottish physician and popular medical author George Cheyne (1672?-1743), who, after struggling with his own obesity, promoted largely vegetarian diets in such works as his much-reprinted Essay of Health and Long Life (Bath and London: 1724). 'Trimming' was Cheyne's usual term for "slimming".

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]

J C Aged 22 Student.

Novr. 16th. 78


For several years past, especially in the summer-season
has been affected with frequent Nausea in ye mornings,
and want of appetite; heartburn thro the day, & [spouting?]
up ↑of↑ a liquor generally acid, but sometimes Saltish, or insipid.
These comps. were never so grievous as to require a change
of his diet, which was pretty full, or make medicines ne¬
cessary till the end of last March, when they occasion'd
an aversion to, especially animal, food, as well as an almost
total loss of appetite, watchfulness in the night with
a tendency to deliquium animi upon rising in the morning
& depression of spirits thro the day; a sense of uneasiness
& lassitude, especially in the small of his back when sit¬
ing unsopported; an obtuse pain in his left side, almost
constant, but changing its seat between the os Ilium &
third false rib: besides he had a præternatural flow of
saliva
; cold extremities; frequent startings in difft. parts
of his body, but, more especially in the left side, ab¬
domen
, & superior extremities between the shoulders, el¬
bow
-joints; partial & freqt. night sweats; Tinnitus of ye
left ear, excited sometimes by walking, but more fre¬
quently remov'd by it, when excited by attention, & siting
up these gave him apprehensions of being seiz'd with
Hypoconds., which he feard more than Hysteria
Atonic gout, or Dyspepsy. Upon inspecting his urine, he
found it free of sandy matter
which he pass'd without pain
very frequently, & on very small quantity, he found it
free of sandy matter pale color'd & without sediment sio but
having gold color'd particles swiming on the surface & fixed to
the glass. In such circumstances by the advice of Dr. Monro he
began to use limewater & milk skinn'd after standing, with water
added, instead of Tea; weak bitters of 2 parts Chamomile & 1 of Peruv.
bark
; & cold bathing in the Sea water occasionally. He
found bread & milk prepard as above, the most easily digesti¬
ble food, & flesh meat, even lean, & in small quantity, very uneasy.
On this regimen very much he since liv'd using no recent ve¬
getable but Potatoes & geting better gradually tho slowly till
August; he then Botany being finish'd, bath'd more frequently
using Elixir of Vitriol, Bark & Chalybeates, which [seem'd?]
to accelerate his recovering for about seven weeks; when he
observ'd the spermatic cord of the left side becoming varicose
to a slight degree, which he endeavourd to obviate by Saccha¬



[Page 2]

rum Saturni
-solutions, partial cold bathing, & a suspen¬
sory
, which he has persever'd in without removing the
compt., but prevent'd its encrease. About a fortnight
since his nose, in the left side, in the night, became so
itchy as to induce sneezing, which brought on a slight
hæmorrhagy returning for eight days every second mor¬
ning. His digestion, tho much improv'd, wont admit
so indulgent a regimen as Dr. Cheyne calls w trimming 1
without uneasiness; his appetite pretty good; Pulse
under 60
; Belly regular. He ascribes his complaints
to intense thinking on Metaphysical & Mathe¬
matical subjects, & the very sedentary life such
employment requir'd.


Case of a Student
Novr. ---- 78




[Page 3]


Case of a Student
Novr. -- 78

Notes:

1: Scottish physician and popular medical author George Cheyne (1672?-1743), who, after struggling with his own obesity, promoted largely vegetarian diets in such works as his much-reprinted Essay of Health and Long Life (Bath and London: 1724). 'Trimming' was Cheyne's usual term for "slimming".

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