I had to do quite a bit of research for my hero in A Bride in Store who wanted to become a doctor. By the end of the 1800s, the country was trying to regulate who could call themselves a doctor. In some places, you could still literally just call yourself a doctor and start practicing…..not that it was an attractive, lucrative job. Most people consulted a medical book and tried to cure themselves, often holding off on calling a doctor until death was imminent. Being called upon only when things were extremely terrible made it seem as if doctors were useless. For by the time they got there, there was often nothing much that could be done. And then, who wants to pay a doctor for “doing nothing”?
Not that many of them were able to do much, even if the man was a certified doctor with lots of practice and experience and a natural healing talent. As I researched, I felt sorry for the doctors of yesteryear trying to cure ailments that seem so simple nowadays. They just didn’t know the science we know now. Sometimes it was just luck or the body healing itself that afforded most doctors any success. I felt sorry for my hero who wanted to be such a good doctor knowing that the science to help him was so far off in the future.
One of the many misunderstandings back then is what got people sick. Getting rid of ill-humors brought about by “bad air” was a very common practice. Movies make famous the blood-letting treatment used on anything and everything, but that’s probably because the more likely treatment was purging, and well, filming a doctor giving a patient something to quickly empty their innards one way or the other would be an unpleasant viewing experience!
One of the many things I just shook my head over while reading was the misunderstanding about female complaints. Lots of mental disorders were blamed on the uterus. And some possible treatments? Spraying high pressure streams of cold and hot water all over the body, drinking mineral water, flogging with a wet towel……
And of course, purging.
And, I’m assuming readers of Petticoats & Pistols are big romance readers—but did you know that’s dangerous to your 1870s health? Back then, according to Orson S. Fowler, women should give up all romance novel reading and intellectual pursuits to get rid of her monthly discomfort.
So are you brave enough to risk your womanly health and leave a comment to enter the giveaway for my newly released romance novel?
Tell me, if it weren’t for modern medicine, how many of you probably wouldn’t be here to comment today? I think I’d still be alive, but there’s a possibility none of my children would. Thank God for modern medicine!
- How has modern medicine helped you? Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for A Bride in Store!
A Bride in Store
Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn’t even in town when she finally arrives.
Axel’s business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend’s mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store–where she quickly proves she’s much more adept at business than he ever will be.
The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. However, their troubles are far from over when Axel finally returns, and soon both Will and Eliza must decide what they’re willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams–or if God has a new dream in store for them both.