To Your Good Health
Take Longer to Heal
DEAR DR. DONOHUE:
I am 82. I fell off a ladder while painting my
shutters. I broke my right leg, the tibia bone.
This happened six weeks ago. The doctor just
examined me, and I had an X-ray. He said it looks
like the bone isnt healing, and he wants me
to return in another month. Arent most
bones healed in six weeks? What happens if mine
doesnt heal? -- L.N.
ANSWER: The tibia
is the larger of the two lower-leg bones. You can
feel it if your run your hand down the inside
part of the leg between the knee and ankle.
Its the shin bone.
Healing time for a
broken bone depends on a lot of considerations:
the severity of the break; its location in the
bone; whether broken bone has pierced the skin;
the quality of a persons circulation; and
on and on.
In the best of
circumstances, it takes most bones about six
weeks to heal. In older people, partly because of
inadequate circulation and partly because of
diminished bone quality, it takes longer for
bones to heal. It can take months and months.
doesnt take place, orthopedic surgeons have
a number of tricks up their sleeves. They can
take a piece of good bone from another bone and
use it as a bridge between the two nonhealing
ends of the broken bone. Or they can joint the
two bone ends with metallic hardware.
far off schedule for healing. Its not time
to lose hope of nature taking its course.
to his SON.
by George Horace
First published October,
Being the Letters
written by John Graham, Head of the House of
Graham & Company, Pork-Packers in Chicago,
familiarly known on Change as "Old
Gorgon Graham," to his Son, Pierrepont,
facetiously known to his intimates as
FROM John Graham,
at the Boston House of Graham & Co., to his
son, Pierrepont, at the Union Stock Yards in
Chicago. Mr. Pierrepont has told the old man
"whats what" and received a
November 11, 189-
Pierrepont: If thats what, its all
right. And you cant get married too quick
to suit the old man. I believe in short
engagements and long marriages. I dont see
any sense in a fellows sitting around on
the mourners bench with the sinners, after
hes really got religion. The time to size
up the other sides strength is before the
fellows propose to a girl before they know
whether her front and her back hair match, and
then holler that theyre stuck when they
find that shes got a cork leg and a glass
eye as well. I havent any sympathy with
them. They start out on the principle that
married people have only one meal a day, and that
of fried oysters and tutti-frutti ice-cream after
the theatre. Naturally, a girls got her
better nature and her best complexion along under
those circumstances; but the really valuable
thing to know is how she approaches ham and eggs
at seven A.M., and whether she brings her
complexion with her to the breakfast table. And
these fellows make a girl believe that
theyre going to spend all the time between
eight and eleven P.M., for the rest of their
lives, holding a hundred and forty pounds, live
weight, in their lap, and saying that it feels
like a feather. The thing to find out is whether,
when one of them gets up to holding a ten pound
baby in his arms, for five minutes, hes
going to carry on as if it weighed a ton.
girl can usually catch a whisper to the effect
that shes the showiest goods on the shelf,
but the vital thing for a fellow to know is
whether her ears are sharp enough to hear him
when he shouts that shes spending too much
money and that she must reduce expenses. Of
course, when youre patting and petting and
feeding a woman shes going to purr, but
theres nothing like stirring her up a
little now and then to see if she spits fire and
heaves things when shes mad.
want to say right here that theres only one
thing more aggravating in this world than a woman
who gets noisy when shes mad, and
thats one who gets quiet. The first breaks
her spell of temper with the crockery, but the
second simmers along like a freight engine on the
track beside your berth--keeps you scared and
ready to jump for fear shes going to blow
off any minute; but she never does and gets it
over with--just drizzles it out.
can punch your brother when he plays the martyr,
but youve got to love your wife. A violent
woman drives a fellow to drink, but a nagging one
drives him crazy. She takes his faults and ties
them to him like a tin can to a yellow dogs
tail, and the harder he runs to get away from
them the more he hears of them.
simply mention these things in a general way, and
in the spirit of the preacher at the funeral of
the man who wasnt "a
professor"--because its customary to
make a few appropriate remarks on these
occasions. From what I saw of Helen Heath, I
reckon shes not getting any the best of it.
Shes what I call a mighty eligible young
woman--pretty, bright, sensible, and without any
fortune to make her foolish and you a fool. In
fact, youd have to sit up nights to make
yourself good enough for her, even if you brought
her a million, instead of fifty a week.
a great believer in women in the home, but I
dont take much stock in them in the office,
though I reckon Im prejudiced and
theyve come to stay. I never do business
with a woman that I dont think of a little
incident which happened when I was first married
to your Ma. We set up housekeeping in one of
those cottages that you read about in the story
books, but that you want to shy away from, when
its put up to you to live in one of them.
There were nice climbing roses on the front
porch, but no running water in the kitchen; there
were a-plenty of old fashioned posies in the
front yard, and a-plenty of rats in the cellar;
there was half an acre of ground out back, but so
little room inside that I had to sit with my feet
out a window. It was just the place to go for a
picnic, but its been my experience that a
fellow does most of his picnicking before
Ma did the cooking, and I hustled for things to
cook, though I would take a shy at it myself once
in a while and get up my muscle tossing
flapjacks. It was pretty rough sailing, you bet,
but one way and another we managed to get a good
deal of satisfaction out of it, because we had
made up our minds to take our fun as we went
along. With most people happiness is something
that is always just a day off. But I have made it
a rule never to put off being happy till
to-morrow. Dont accept notes for happiness,
because youll find that when theyre
due theyre never paid, but just renewed for
another thirty days.
was clerking in a general store at that time, but
I had a little weakness for livestock, even then;
and while I couldnt afford to plunge in it
exactly, I managed to buy a likely little shoat
that I reckoned on carrying through the Summer on
credit and presenting with a bill for board in
the Fall. He was just a plain pig when he came to
us, and we kept him in a little sty, but we
werent long in finding out that he
wasnt any ordinary root-and-grunt pig. The
first I knew your Ma was calling him Toby, and
had turned him loose. Answered to his name like a
dog. Never saw such a sociable pig. Wanted to sit
on the porch with us. Tried to come into the
house evenings. Used to run down the road
squealing for joy when he saw me coming home from
it got on towards November and Toby had been
making the most of his opportunities. I never saw
a pig that turned corn into fat so fast, and the
stouter he got the better his disposition grew. I
reckon I was attached to him myself, in a sort of
a sneaking way, but I was mighty fond of hog
meat, too, and we needed Toby in the kitchen. So
I sent around and had him butchered.
I got home to dinner next day, I noticed that
your Ma looked mighty solemn as she set the roast
of pork down in front of me, but I strayed off,
thinking of something else, as I carved, and my
wits were off wool gathering sure enough when I
you have a piece of Toby, my dear?"
sir, she just looked at me for a moment, and then
she burst out crying and ran away from the table.
But when I went after her and asked her what was
the matter, she stopped crying and was mad in a
minute all the way through. Called me a
heartless, cruel cannibal. That seemed to relieve
her so that she got over her mad and began to cry
again. Begged me to take Toby out of pickle and
to bury him in the garden. I reasoned with her,
and in the end I made her see that any obsequies
for Toby, with pork at eight cents a pound, would
be a pretty expensive funeral for us. But first
and last she had managed to take my appetite away
so that I didnt want any roast pork for
dinner or cold pork for supper. That night I took
what was left of Toby to a store keeper at the
Crossing, who I knew would be able to gaze on his
hams without bursting into tears, and got a
pretty fair price for him.
simply mention Toby in passing, as an example of
why I believe women werent cut out for
business--at least for the pork-packing business.
Ive had dealings with a good many of them,
first and last, and its been my experience
that when theyve got a weak case they add
their sex to it and win, and that when
theyve got a strong case they subtract
their sex from it and deal with you harder than a
man. Theyre simply bound to win either way,
and I dont like to play a game where I
havent any show. When a clerk makes a fool
break, I dont want to beg his pardon for
calling his attention to it, and I dont
want him to blush and tremble and leak a little
brine into a fancy pocket handkerchief.
little change is a mighty soothing thing, and I
like a womans ways too much at home to care
very much for them at the office. Instead of
hiring women, I try to hire their husbands, and
then I usually have them both working for me.
Theres nothing like a woman at home to spur
on a man at the office.
married man is worth more salary than a single
one, because his wife makes him worth more.
Hes apt to go to bed a little sooner and to
get up a little earlier; to go a little steadier
and to work a little harder than the fellow
whos got to amuse a different girl every
night, and cant stay at home to do it.
Thats why Im going to raise your
salary to seventy-five dollars a week the day you
marry Helen, and thats why Im going
to quit writing these letters--Im simply
going to turn you over to her and let her keep
you in order. I bet shell do a better job
than I have.
Tuesdays Mornin Mail will
begin a new series, "More Letters from a
Self-Made Merchant to His Son,"
originally published 1903.