June 5, 1852
A 35 year old woman becomes enormously fat in just 8 years and becomes stuck in her bed with sores on her elbows, and then adopts the all meat diet and returns to perfect health. "The last two years she has enjoyed excellent health."
Obesity, or, Excessive corpulence : the various causes and the rational means of cure
On the recommendation of this patient, Madame de M., in the month of June, 1852, requested me to call upon her. She was between thirty and thirty-five years of age, and during the last eight years she had become enormously fat. She was ailing, and had been under treatment for almost every variety of disease. Most of the medical men whom she had consulted, owing to the pain she complained of, ascribed her trouble either to organic pulmonary lesion, to bronchial affection, or to disease of the heart. She had tried every means of cure. Had been under the care of many of the principal physicians to the hospitals of Paris, and also of professors of the faculty. Deriving no advantage from these, she had consulted homœopathic practitioners, and had been treated by them unavailingly. In her despair, she had sought the advice of a female clairvoyant; and in order that she might obtain every possible benefit from the treatment, had taken her into her own house—but her sad condition was in no wise ameliorated.
Possessed of a naturally active and energetic temperament, she was nevertheless compelled to remain seated in an arm-chair, yet could not lean back in it, owing to a sense of suffocation which such a position was sure to induce. When weary of this erect position, the only relief she could obtain was by leaning upon her left elbow, resting on the knee of the same side. If she attempted to recline upon the right side, she was subject to fits of coughing and suffocation. Her days were passed in this position: at night she was obliged to sit upright, without any support to her back; and when overcome with weariness, would fall forward upon the left elbow, the only support she could endure. Finally, however, in consequence of the great and continued pressure of the weight of the body, the elbow became inflamed, an extensive sore formed upon it, and a pad for the elbow became necessary. She had scarcely any appetite, and had long since given up the use of meat. She could walk a little about her apartment, and although her sister had lived for the last six years in the house on the opposite side of the street, she had not been able to visit her. Madame de M. although by no means tall, weighed between one hundred and eighty and one hundred and ninety pounds. Under percussion the chest proved resonant throughout, and air entered freely the whole extent of the lungs. By the aid of the stethoscope a râle was heard in both lungs. Beneath both clavicles there existed scars, the result of blisters and cauteries. And the whole surface of the chest and the pit of the stomach were covered with the marks of leech bites. There were no febrile symptoms. Complexion blonde, with a remarkably fair skin and large blue eyes, which seemed never to have known pain. Under such circumstances no organic lesion either of the lungs, the bronchi, or of the heart could be suspected: and I was satisfied that the great disturbance of health in the case of this lady arose from excessive obesity. Having placed herself under my treatment, she experienced relief the first week, and, at the end of a fortnight, Madame de M. had perceptibly grown thinner. One morning, when calling to see her, I was told that she had gone for a ride to the Bois de Boulogne, and that she had been out also the day before, and was able to get in and out of the carriage without assistance. She continued to lose her embonpoint and her health became thoroughly re-established. She was able to lie down in bed, and upon either side. At the end of the month she visited friends whom she had not called upon for the last six or eight years, and six weeks or two months after commencing my treatment, she danced repeatedly at a ball given by her sister upon the occasion of her recovery. Until then she had not worn corsets for the last six years.
It was not until the month of October following, that I again had occasion to see Madame de M. Not feeling well, she sent for me. She had caught cold the day before, when returning late in the evening from the country, and was slightly feverish. She was, however, quite well again in a day or two. The last two years she has enjoyed excellent health, although, like most other ladies, she is occasionally subject to trifling nervous attacks. In the enjoyment of health and riches, she leads the fashionable life of a gay young lady. How forcibly does her present condition contrast with the previous eight long years, passed in weariness and suffering!