18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, September 2, 1913: Papa was very sick today. He fainted this morning. I was scart quite a bit for I thought he was worse than what he really was.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Whew, what happened? I’d be “scart”, too.
What did the family do? Did they pull out a book that included information on home health care –perhaps the Compendium of Every Day Wants—to figure out how to treat him?
This is what the Compendium had to say:
This is caused by an interruption of the supply of blood to the brain. Lay the person down at once so that the head is lower than the body. Sprinkle the face with cold water and hold ammonia or smelling salts to the nose. If the person has any tight clothing, loosen such garments. Open the window to admit plenty of fresh air; apply hot bricks to the feet and avoid all noise and excitement. The person will revive without any attention in many cases, but in severe cases, a mustard paste may be placed over the heart; and if breathing stops, artificial respiration should be begun.
Compendium of Every Day Wants (1907)