W-MCP6-1.418 TO MARY BAKER MCQUESTEN from [Dr.] H. Arnott
Aug 28 1910
To: Mary Baker McQuesten [Gravenhurst, Ontario]
From: 18 Ontario Ave., Hamilton, Ontario
Dear Mrs. McQuesten,
I am sorry to find a tone of discouragement in your letter. You must not let that creep in. I don't care how much about cavities in the lung or even long continued fever for I have seen so many cases recover after such symptoms.1 One case is alone and well that 35 years ago had an immense cavity in the right and a lesser one in the left & had fever till she was a mere skeleton. But I do consider the poor digestion a serious symptom but even that may get well.
I regard it more as a question of digestion than quality of air. You said the pulse was good which did not tell me how much. The great Austin Flub disputed more on the pulse than any one symptom to make his prognosis. I am not saying these things to blind you to what certainly is a serious situation but because during a long life I have [?] many cases apparently hopeless recover.
You ask me if I would run the risk of taking her to Phoenix. I could not possibly answer that without seeing her, but I will say this that the desert proposition seems to me to offer the best chance for her. We must not forget the long journey shut in a sleeping car. From what you say in your letter I am convinced that she should have a milder climate than Canada for the coming winter. If I felt sure that she was equal to the long journey I would advise the desert and a tent.
About the brick-dust sediment all you need is a to cut your food in two until it passes which will only be a very few days. Probably it would be better if you would take no breakfast but be sure not to increase your other two meals. That acts quickly in almost every case.
With sincere respect and sympathy and many many kind thoughts for Miss Ruby, I am yours truly,
[Dr.] H. Arnott.
1 For more information on Ruby's illness, Consumption (tuberculosis), see W6135, and for Ruby's biographical sketch, click on "Family" on the Home Page, and then on her picture.
See W-MCP6-1.417 in which Mary expresses despair at Ruby's condition.