history

Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Cleft Palate

It's been a while since we had a good old fashioned WTKM. This time, we're exploring cleft palate. Cleft palate/lip occures when the tissue on the roof of the mouth doesn't fully form/develop, leaving a gap. We don't know why this happens, whether it's genetics, some kind of mutation, or if it's caused by environmental… Continue reading Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Cleft Palate

history

Historical Profile: Mary Mahoney

Born to freed slaves in 1845, Mary Mahoney knew from a young age she wanted to be a nurse. She saw first hand how badly they were needed in the community prior to the Civil War, but when war broke out black women were barred from volunteering and training in the medical field. Still, she… Continue reading Historical Profile: Mary Mahoney

history

Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Nystagmus

We're doing something a little different this time around on WTKM. I'd be willing to bet that most of you have never heard the word nystagmus before, so let me break things down a little. Nystagmus is an involuntary, rapid eye movement. It can be caused by several things, including drug overdoses and head injuries,… Continue reading Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Nystagmus

history

Would This Kill Me in the 1800s: Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is one of those "old timey" diseases I've been aware of since I was a kid--not just because I read a lot of historical fiction as a kid, but also because I grew up in mosquito country. But knowing it exists isn't the same as knowing what it does. So what is yellow… Continue reading Would This Kill Me in the 1800s: Yellow Fever

books, history

Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Strep Throat

I don't know about the rest of you, but strep throat was the bane of my existence in middle school. I think I caught it 4 times in sixth grade, and there was talk of having my tonsils removed. But what is strep? What causes it and how dangerous is it if untreated? The Disease… Continue reading Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Strep Throat

history

Would this Kill me in the 1800s: Asthma

Asthma is a common enough problem in the US. It affects roughly 7-8% of people worldwide, though in the developed world at least, it doesn't trigger much concern. Many children are diagnosed with it and then outgrow their symptoms. But statistics show that asthma cases have been steadily rising since the 1960s, likely due to… Continue reading Would this Kill me in the 1800s: Asthma

history

Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Anemia

Feeling tired? Run down? Memory problems? Muscle aches and weakness? You might have anemia and not know it. There a many different forms of anemia, so I won't be able to delve into all of them here, but basically anemia is a shortage of red blood cells. This can have many causes from outside factors… Continue reading Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Anemia

books, history

Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Rh Factor

You may remember an embarrassingly long time ago, I took a poll on Twitter to see what you guys wanted to be the subject of my next WtKM1800s post to be. The winner was Rh factor. I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to get to this point, but here we are at last.… Continue reading Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Rh Factor

history

Alexandra of Denmark, What Might Have Been

If you missed my last entry on Alexandra of Denmark, take this chance to brush up on the background info from that post. I'll wait. The Victorian era wasn't a great time to be disabled. Frequently people with disabilities were hidden from sight, sent to sanitariums or locked in attic rooms (more on that here).… Continue reading Alexandra of Denmark, What Might Have Been

history

Would This Kill Me in the 1800s: Appendicitis

You voted, and I'm here to answer the question: Would appendicitis kill me in the 1800s? Why do we even have an appendix?  Honestly? Your guess is as good as mine. Doctors and anatomical experts are divided on the subject. The appendix is a little flesh tube that dangles from the point between your large… Continue reading Would This Kill Me in the 1800s: Appendicitis