You Can Prevent Illness (1962)
Title: “You Can Prevent Illness”
Author: EDWARD R. PINCKNEY, M. D.
Publisher: COLLIER BOOKS NEW YORK, N.Y.
Year of Publication: 1962
LOC Catalog Entry: http://lccn.loc.gov/60007434
Copyright Status: Public Domain in the United States and countries following the rule of the shorter term
“THERE’S NO secret formula that will keep you from getting sick,” said Dr. Lee, “but just about everyone can ward off a great many diseases in only two steps: first, learning what can be done, and secondly, actually doing it.”
Martha Larkum was consulting her doctor because of what had happened the previous night. Just before she and her husband had left for the country-club party, their baby-sitter had commented, “Gee, I’m sure glad you’re not as fussy as Dr. Lee. He made me have all kinds of tests and an okay from my own doctor before he let me sit with his children. In fact he makes anyone who works for him go through the same rigmarole.”
All through the evening Mr. and Mrs. Larkum thought about their baby-sitter’s remarks. Over cocktails and dinner they discussed the subject with their friends. One ventured the opinion. “Maybe it’s fussiness like Dr. Lee’s that keeps his family so healthy. I don’t think his children have ever missed a day of school.”
Another party-goer said, “It seems ridiculous to go to such extremes. You just can’t x-ray everyone you come in contact with.”
“But a doctor has an advantage over us; he knows what to prevent,” someone interrupted.
Another guest remarked, “Well, isn’t it just like getting shots? … Anyone can do it if he wants to.”
Driving home after the party the Larkums agreed on one thing. They certainly felt better knowing their babysitter of that evening was in reasonably good health.
“It makes sense,” John Larkum said. “We teach the children to wash their hands before eating, to stay out of congested places and to turn their faces away from people who are coughing or sneezing, yet up to now we’ve never thought of looking into the health of the people we sometimes hire to cook their meals, bathe them, and put them to bed.”
Martha Larkum smiled and replied, ”I guess it’s just putting into practice that old maxim—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Before turning out the light that night she mused, “You know, John, I’m going to talk to Dr. Lee tomorrow, and see if he’ll let me in on some of his secret ounces of prevention.”
So it was that the next afternoon Mrs. Larkum sat in her doctor’s office, and heard him say, “There are many ways to prevent disease. You are familiar already with immunizations, regular physical and dental check-ups, vitamin supplements, and personal cleanliness, to mention a few. There are many other things you should be careful about, such as exposure to German measles during pregnancy, drinking doubtful water when traveling, avoiding exhaustion or excessive exposure at any time …”
“Just a minute,” interrupted Mrs. Larkum. “You may know all about these things, but where can I find all the many ways to avoid illness for my family?”
“You know,” Dr. Lee agreed, “you may be right. There has been a lot of writing about what to do when you’re suffering from various and sundry diseases, but I’m not aware of any simply written book about preventive medicine for the lay person.” He sat back and smiled. “Some day,” he said, “I’m going to write a book on the subject.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. What Is Preventive Medicine? 13
2. Be It Ever So Humble … Preventive Medicine Begins at Home 23
3. A Shot in Time … 35
4. Stress, Sweat, and Tears: Preventing Illness at Work 50
5. Travel Safely 60
6. Eat, Drink, and Be Wary . . . and Tomorrow You’ll Live Better 74
7. Common Sense, Cholesterol, and Coronary Disease 89
8. Radiation: Prevention of Fears and Future Damage 99
9. The Greeks Had a Word for It… Ecology 110
10. Get Me to the Doctor on Time… 117
11. Insuring the Cost of Your Health—Caveat Emptor 131
12. Preventive Dentistry 140
13. Compulsion and Conformity Versus Convenience and Contentment (The Prevention of Mental Distress) 146
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