These Are Our Lives: Health

"I don't have de doctor much; dey's old home remedies I tries fust, and if dey fails den de doctor has to try his hand. Dat bottle o' castor oil up dere on de mantel is de old stand-by here. When de flu was goin' round so bad I mixed castor oil and turpentine and sprinkled a few drops on de chil'en's hair, and not a one o' dem had de flu. Fluck is good too; it's a weed I use for a purkitive. When de chil'en was teethin' I use to tie fluck round dey necks. It costs too much to send for de doctor." -- Gracie Turner, Negro sharecroppers

"No'm. Ain't ever been sick to speak of. Ain't never had nothing but measles and 'pendicitis and had them both in Camp and got my bills paid. If I'd been at home, I wouldn't had no operation, couldn't have paid for it. I skipped all other sorts of being sick." -- Milliard Ketchum, CCC boy

"I tried to talk to them about oral hygiene and dental prophylaxis. It didn't mean anything to them. They were not interested in saving good teeth; all they wanted was gold shells, even for their clean, sound teeth. It is only in the last few years that the more enlightened people of my race have begun to show some apprehension of the connection between oral hygiene and general health." -- Negro dentist

"You want to know my idea of a good life," he says. "My tenants think that if they were in my shoes they'd be content. I suppose that ordinarily I'd say so too, and work for more money -- and power. Now when I come in at night I never know when I'm going to have to stay up until morning. Henry has convulsions without any warnings. He goes crazy and I'm the only one who can hold him. I'd swap every stick and stone I own -- I'd be more than willing to start all over with nothing if I could wake up in the morning and find Henry a normal boy."

"I would," Miss Nancy said sadly. "Don't talk to me about money: the most important thing in the world is health." -- Marsh and Nancy Taylor, landlords


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