A young Revolutionary War soldier developed a raging fever that sent him into delirium. Thinking he was before his home, he left his tent and walked into a pool of water. While lying submerged there for a number of hours he lay his head on a tree root. When found and carried back to his tent, his fever had broken and he recovered, without contracting pneumonia.
His experience reminds this writer of a fever he had as a boy in Lincoln, Illinois. I had lots of fevers and illnesses in my first 5 to 6 years. The most dangerous being scarlet fever (at 6 weeks or 6 months) that, as they said, “went in” and created a very high temperature. They thought I would either die or be mentally retarded. They may have been half-right.
A later fever hit during a cold winter with snow on the ground. While my family sat in the living room—we had only four rooms total—I lay delirious from fever—on a couch. Not aware of circumstances I rose and, without drawing attention, walked to the back door into the backyard. Then turned to the snow-covered grass yard until I came to the edge of the property. There in a snowbank I lay down, out of my head.
Without knowing how long I lay there, I suddenly heard my mother calling from the front door, “Virgil, come in here. You’ll catch pneumonia.”
Reading the story of the Revolutionary War soldier gave me an insight: as the cool water “cooked” his fever, as a doctor said, could the snow have broken a fever that had driven me into delirium?
Unorthodox in both cases, yes. But not impossible. He recovered after his dunking; I recovered from my snow bed. My advice, however, “Don’t try either remedy at home.” Fini
P.S. I’d like to hear from anyone with a similar experience.
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