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Sources: Papers On Health

This is usually brought on by some excessive strain upon the

brain nerves, and may show itself either in the violent or in the

fainting form; it may even pass from the one to the other, fainting

alternating with violent movements and cries. It may often be checked

by plunging the patient's hands into cold water.

In the silent stage, where sometimes unconsciousness continues for

hours, a dry blanket should
be laid on a bed, and another blanket must

be rolled up and prepared with hot water as directed in Fomentation.

Fold this until it is the size and shape of the patient's back, and lay

her down on it, so that the whole back is well fomented. Take care not

to burn the patient: soothing heat, not irritation, is required.

Consciousness will usually return almost immediately. All except

attendants should be excluded from the room. Allow the patient to rest

in this comfortable warmth until signs of discomfort appear, then

gently rub the back with hot olive oil, dry, and leave to rest or sleep

if possible. Do all with great steadiness of temper and kindness;

such a condition in the nurse is especially essential in these cases.

Where the fit is violent, apply every mental soothing influence

available, and remove from the room all excited persons. Then apply

cold cloths to the spine to soothe the irritated nerves and brain. Two

may gently and kindly hold the patient, while a third presses on the

cooling cloths. In about half-an-hour the fit should be overcome. A

difficulty in treating such cases is the terrifying effect of the

violent movements, or unconsciousness; but these should not create

fear. As a rule, a little patience and treatment as above remove all

distress. Where there is a hysterical tendency, give abundance of good

food, and let the patient live as much in the open-air as possible.

The patient should be kept employed. God made us all to be workers, and

this sad affliction is frequently the punishment of idleness. No one

has any excuse for this, for the world is full of those who are

overworked and whose burden could be lightened. The girl whose only

task is to exchange her armful of novels at the library will never know

what true happiness is, nor deserve to. See Imaginary Troubles.