Classic Pepys

Sunday 26 March 1665 (Pepys’ Diary)

At noon home to dinner, my wife and I (Mercer staying to the Sacrament) alone. This is the day seven years which, by the blessing of God, I have survived of my being cut of the stone, and am now in very perfect good health and have long been; and though the last winter hath been as hard a winter as any have been these many years, yet I never was better in my life, nor have not, these ten years, gone colder in the summer than I have done all this winter, wearing only a doublet, and a waistcoate cut open on the back; abroad, a cloake and within doors a coate I slipped on. Now I am at a losse to know whether it be my hare’s foot which is my preservative against wind, for I never had a fit of the collique since I wore it, and nothing but wind brings me pain, and the carrying away of wind takes away my pain, or my keeping my back cool; for when I do lie longer than ordinary upon my back in bed, my water the next morning is very hot, or whether it be my taking of a pill of turpentine every morning, which keeps me always loose, or all together, but this I know, with thanks to God Almighty, that I am now as well as ever I can wish or desire to be, having now and then little grudgings of wind, that brings me a little pain, but it is over presently, only I do find that my backe grows very weak, that I cannot stoop to write or tell money without sitting but I have pain for a good while after it. Yet a week or two ago I had one day’s great pain; but it was upon my getting a bruise on one of my testicles, and then I did void two small stones, without pain though, and, upon my going to bed and bearing up of my testicles, I was well the next. But I did observe that my sitting with my back to the fire at the office did then, as it do at all times, make my back ake, and my water hot, and brings me some pain. I sent yesterday an invitation to Mrs. Turner and her family to come to keep this day with me, which she granted, but afterward sent me word that it being Sunday and Easter day she desired to choose another and put off this.

As far as I recall, being cut for the stone involved an incision in, of all places, the perineum and then a lengthy procedure to take out the blockage from the relevant organ (bladder in this case, I believe) through that slot. Without anaesthetic or antiseptics. Eek.

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