Heart disease :: Heart disease – breathlessness – Digitalis

One day I saw an old but very strong man staggering across the road toward my office. I thought he was drunk, but on closer observation I noticed that his face looked purple, his lips bluish, and I stepped out and helped him in.

He sat down and could not for a few minutes speak a word, but sat and struggled for breath.

His pulse was very irregular and intermittent.

When he could speak, he told me that for a number of weeks past he had been having these spells, had fallen several times and been obliged to go into the stores and sit, before he could go along the streets.

Auscultation revealed hard, blowing sound with first beat of the heart.

He had had inflammatory rheumatism in his younger days.

He had been obliged to give up all manual labor and dared not go away from home on his business, that of bridge builder.

Said he expected to die with this heart disease.

I gave him Digitalis 2, a few drops in water.

In a few days I saw him shoveling snow from the walk in front of his dwelling.

“Hello,” he said, “I have no heart disease;” and I saw him often after that and he told me that medicine cured him of “those spells.”

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