Norman Bedortha collection
1847-1848 (bulk 1847)
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The Norman Bedortha collection contains 11 letters written by Bedortha about the health of Reverend A. Beach of Oppenheim, New York. Bedortha, who worked at a water cure in New Lebanon Springs, New York, offered his opinions on Beach's prolonged treatment for "paroxysms," based primarily on cold baths and the application of wet bandages to different areas of the body; Bedortha also advocated occasional emetics. Though he remained cautiously optimistic, Bedortha cautioned the patient's wife that "I am inclined to think if he can be kept from another paroxysm for 2 or 3 weeks he will get along but I must say he is liable at any time to die suddenly. But hope for the best & let his courage & spirits be kept up as much as possible" (February 18, ). Though the outlook at first appeared grim, the reverend showed steady improvement and was able to move to New Lebanon Springs by June 1847; though he suffered a relapse, Beach had mostly recovered by the end of a year, when the doctor advised a diet partially comprised of "animal food" to further his recovery (March 30, 1848).