As Their Cure Demands Patience, And, Above All,
Repose, The Lower Classes Seldom Apply The Proper Remedies In Time; And
When They Have Increased To Such A State As To Render Their Application
Indispensably Necessary, No Good Surgeons Are To Be Found; Fever Ensues,
And Many Of The Patients Die.
I believe that one-fourth of the
population of Djidda is constantly afflicted with ulcers on their legs;
the bad nature of these sores is further aggravated by the use of
seawater for ablutions.
During my stay at Mekka, I seldom enjoyed perfect good health. I was
twice attacked by fever; and, after the departure of the Syrian Hadj, by
a violent diarrhoea, from which I had scarcely recovered when I set out
for Medina. In those days, even when I was free from disease, I felt
great lassitude, a depression of spirits, and a total want of appetite.
During the five days of the Hadj, I was luckily in good
[p.243] health, though I was under great apprehensions from the
consequences of taking the ihram. My strength was greatly diminished,
and it required much effort, whenever I left my room, to walk about.
I attributed my illness chiefly to bad water, previous experience having
taught me that my constitution is very susceptible of the want of good
light water, that prime article of life in eastern countries. Brackish
water in the Desert is perhaps salutary to travellers: heated as they
are by the journey, and often labouring under obstructions from the
quality of their food on the road, it acts as a gentle aperient, and
thus supplies the place of medicinal draughts; but the contrary is the
case when the same water is used during a continued sedentary residence,
when long habit only can accustom the stomach to receive it.
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