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A WEEK AT DR. BRINKLEY'S HOSPITAL

The writer, approaching the age of 54, and finding himself in first-class physical and mental condition, except for a high blood pressure, which was certainly the prelude to a later arterio-sclerosis, decided that he would be doing himself a service, and put himself in a better position to write with some authority upon the effects of the goat-glands, if he took the operation.

On Saturday, April 16. 1921, Dr. Brinkley operated on him at the hospital, Milford, Kansas, transplanting the glands of a three-weeks old male goat. He remained in bed Saturday and Sunday, got up and went for an auto drive on Monday, and passed an uneventful week at the hospital, returning to Chicago on Saturday. He experienced a marked increase in mental energy, which might have shown itself also as increased physical energy if it had been put to the test. This feeling of added pep, snap, energy, or what you please to call it, could be psychological in its origin if it were not for the fact that it is continuous, with no set-backs. Every student of psychology is aware that auto-suggestion has the power to bring out latent energy, raise the drooping spirits, and generate a feeling of well-being. But the student, if he is a reasonably close observer, is also aware that these improved states of feeling have an annoying habit of being offset by corresponding periods of depression, and though he may persist in his effort to lift himself out of the black moods with such success that he finally arrives at a higher tone-level mentally, with a corresponding physical improvement, there is indubitably a strong sense of effort needed for this good result. When, therefore, the writer finds himself working long hours day after day with no sense of mental fatigue, but a certain unusual gaiety of heart accompanying the successive days, as if life were on the whole rather a lark, he, being accurately introspective, and not easily deceived into optimistic conclusions, is forced to give the whole credit for this change of spirit to the functioning of the new glands, and he is confirmed in this conclusion by the fact that the high blood pressure, which was noticeable enough before the operation, cannot now, ten days after the operation, be detected by him at all. Ten days is all too short a time in which to write of details in a matter of this importance. He expects to be able to confirm improvement in eyesight by the middle of May, and will be in a position to speak at greater length on the matter after the summer has passed. The intent of this chapter is to give a brief account of something he saw at Dr. Brinkley's hospital during the week of his treatment.

Two weeks before his arrival a man suffering from locomotor ataxia had been carried in, unable to help himself at all. When the writer saw this man and talked with him he was up and dressed and walking about, without a cane, and he left for home after a total stay of something less than three weeks. In parting from him the doctor said, "You are on the high-road to complete recovery. I expect to hear that you are getting stronger every day. Practice in walking will bring back to you the old confidence and banish the helpless feeling that you are sure to fall. You see that you can control the motions of your feet and legs now as you could not before. Sensation has returned to the soles of your feet, and you can now turn yourself over in bed, which you could not do before without assistance. This means that the brain, spinal cord, muscles and will are co-ordinating again. This means that the goat-glands are actively working, dissolving scar-tissue, and bringing you back to health. But it is asking a good deal of a pair of goat-glands to do as much as they must do in your case to bring about complete recovery. I would rather give them some extra assistance. If you will come back to me, therefore, next Fall, to this hospital, I will put two new goat-glands into you; and I believe that with this extra help you will go right through to a complete cure without any trouble. The operation will not cost you a cent. I am anxious only to complete the good work. I may be wrong at that, and it is possible that the glands you have now will be enough to do the work, but if they do not, come back here for two more next Fall. Don't forget."

This man had been everywhere for relief, and had taken every treatment known for his disease, with no results whatever, as he told the writer. "This is the first time for twelve years," he said, "that I have had any feeling in my feet. I am surely going to get well at last."

In another case of the same disease the patient, when he came to the hospital, was taking morphine daily to relieve the lightning-pains. He could not stand upright with his eyes shut without falling, and if spoken to suddenly was likely to lose his balance and fall. He had not walked without a cane for several years. Twenty-four hours after the goat-gland operation he said that the pains had left him, and voluntarily stopped the morphine. In two weeks he was walking five miles before breakfast, without a cane to help him. He left the hospital a cured man. There has never been a case of true locomotor ataxia cured by any means whatever, in the history of man, until this Kansas surgeon, Dr. Brinkley, found the cure for it in this transplantation of goat-glands. Ataxia is an after-math of syphilis, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, and it is a question, which no layman can solve, whether the cause of the ataxia is in the disease, or in the mercurial treatment used to combat the disease. Another age, following this, may decide that the disease, syphilis, is less destructive of human tissue than the cure, Mercury. However that may be, the fact remains that goat-glands will cure Locomotor Ataxia, and they are apparently the only means of cure hitherto discovered.

The writer talked with some of the townspeople of Milford regarding Dr. Brinkley's work. Their attitude was detached, but on the whole affirmative. They could not, as they put it, doubt their own eyesight, implying that they would do so if they could. They had seen case after case carried into the hospital, and they had seen those same people walk out and go their way to their homes. It was queer, they said, and wagged a critical head. So true is it in all parts of the earth that a prophet hath honor save in his own country! Here and there, however, the writer found a townsman who had nothing but words of praise and admiration for Dr. Brinkley's work. These always proved to be people who had had some relative under Dr. Brinkley's care at the hospital, and they were intelligent men who could give their reasons for their conclusions. They were proud of the lustre which Dr. Brinkley's Goat-Gland work was shedding upon the name of their village. Most of the townspeople, however, seemed to think that Dr. Brinkley should be proud of the town. Their engaging surliness of demeanor with regard to the miracles being performed in their village was a fascinating study to a city man, who saw here at its best the typical small-town attitude towards the big local thing. It is not peculiar to Milford. It is universal. It is as true in England and France and Belgium and Germany as in any little town in the United States. What do you suppose the country villagers thought of Fabre, the great French naturalist, probably to be hailed by the next generation as the greatest figure since Darwin? Without doubt they thought him mad, and if kindly, pitied him, or if savage, despised him. Meanwhile it is quite certain that the work of Dr. Brinkley has put the town of Milford, Kansas, on the map, and, if you do not find it on the railroad map you may some day consult, it will help a little to say here that you go from Kansas City, Missouri, by the Union Pacific Railroad to Junction City, Kansas, and from that point change to a little branch line which carries you to Milford. The depot at Milford is about a mile from the village itself. You will find an auto at the depot which will carry you to the hospital, where you will be met by Dr. or Mrs. Brinkley, or Miss Lewis, the Head Nurse, and where you will be very comfortable if you decide to make a stay of a week or so for personal reasons. The food is good, and the Kansas air fresh and bracing and plentiful. Winds are indeed common, but the village is safely out of the track of the Kansas cyclones, and the storm cellar is unknown. The hospital is spotlessly clean and a marvel of completeness in equipment. The preparations for the gland transplantation are simple but thorough; a test of spermatic fluid, a blood test, a test for blood pressure, a blood count, and a purgative the night before the operation, with no breakfast on the morning of the operation. You will eat a good lunch in bed, however, on that day, and miss no meals afterwards. Briefly, the writer can say honestly that the pain of the operation is no more than the twinge of a toothache.