Monday, March 26, 2012

Kidney Stones


From Pepys Diary:

Monday 26 March 1660

This day it is two years since it pleased God that I was cut of the stone at Mrs. Turner’s in Salisbury Court. And did resolve while I live to keep it a festival, as I did the last year at my house, and for ever to have Mrs. Turner and her company with me. But now it pleases God that I am where I am and so prevented to do it openly; only within my soul I can and do rejoice, and bless God, being at this time blessed be his holy name, in as good health as ever I was in my life. This morning I rose early, and went about making of an establishment of the whole Fleet, and a list of all the ships, with the number of men and guns: About an hour after that, we had a meeting of the principal commanders and seamen, to proportion out the number of these things. After that to dinner, there being very many commanders on board. All the afternoon very many orders were made, till I was very weary. At night Mr. Sheply and W. Howe came and brought some bottles of wine and some things to eat in my cabin, where we were very merry, remembering the day of being cut for the stone. Captain Cuttance came afterwards and sat drinking a bottle of wine till eleven, a kindness he do not usually do the greatest officer in the ship. After that to bed.

Samuel Pepys had much to celebrate, with his kidney stones removed.  Connection to Sir Walter Scott?  No less an authority than the Journal of the American Medical Association has published speculation in this regard.  In “Kidney Stones: Medical and Surgical Management”, doctor George Dunea states that: ‘Kidney Stones is an elegant book of over 1100 pages about an ancient disease, which was already known to Hippocrates. Montaigne thought stone disease was "a noble and dignified malady [that] attacked the great for preference." Samuel Pepys suffered from recurrent urinary calculi, and so may have Sir Walter Scott when he gloomily predicted that his making blood might soon lead to making earth….’

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