ELSEWHERE in this book the subjects of baths, diet, medical gymnastics, the management of the sick room, etc., are discussed at length. It is, therefore, unnecessary to mention them here except incidentally, but their importance can hardly be too greatly emphasized. Health is a very precious possession, and one that should never be treated lightly. Once lost it is often never regained, or only regained after much suffering or expenditure of time and money. The observation of the common laws of right living will prevent a host of ailments. No dissipation of any of the body's powers or functions should be indulged in. Pure thoughts, pure actions, plenty of work, but no overwork, sufficient recreation and outdoor exercise, fresh air in the house, the daily sponge bath with friction, a reasonable amount of sleep in a well ventilated room, keeping the feet dry, drinking several glasses of water each day between meals, wearing loose and suitable clothing, the avoidance of stimulants and overeating, the cultivation of amiability are all aids to health that nothing else equals. No medicines will take their place.
Again, when one is ill good nursing is highly desirable, and in acute diseases especially will often be the means of turning the scales of life and death in the patient's favor. A trained nurse should be secured if possible; sick persons often make much better progress in the hands of a stranger. If some member of the family must act as nurse she should implicitly obey the doctor's directions, and not let her interest in the patient cause her to do anything contrary to the doctor's orders.
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