|Dr. Thomas is a practicing physician in Melbourne, Australia. He is a specialist in Internal Medicine and holds a scientific degree/PhD in History of Medicine. Some of his many publications are listed below.|
From May’s final work we learn details of his childhood vision impairment and his rickets, both a result of being malnourished in his childhood years. His strange state of mind that followed in later years he described in much detail, yet despite his attempts to understand it, it confused him and presented an enigma to all his biographers. This puzzle is analyzed and solved here. What Karl May described and attributed as his reaction to stress is today labeled Dissociative Identity Disorder, which was not recognized nor understood in his own time. This book was written by Dr. William E. Thomas and the short video was Narrated by Victor Epp.
Karl May (1842-1912) published his autobiography in 1910, barely two years before his death. His final book was an exercise in self-examination as well as an outpouring of his soul. He laid his life before the reader as starkly and as fairly as he could, discussing his own persona and the reason why he did what he did and also why he existed. Naturally he presented his final tale in his first person signature style, recalling scenes from his memory to flesh out his autobiography. Medicine calls this literary technique anamnesis – the complete case history of a patient. From May’s final work we learn details of his childhood vision impairment and his rickets, both a result of being malnourished in his childhood years. His strange state of mind that followed in later years he described in much detail, yet despite his attempts to understand it, it confused him and presented an enigma to all his biographers. This puzzle is analyzed and solved here. What Karl May described and attributed as his reaction to stress is today labeled Dissociative Identity Disorder [DID], which was not recognized nor understood in his own time. Thus Karl May was derided and called a liar, yet he was telling the truth, revealing what he had experienced – exactly as patients do today. All the typical symptoms of DID are laid bare by the pen of an exceptionally gifted professional writer. Even Karl May’s untimely death as the result of his life long habit of smoking tobacco is being described here. Many friends of Karl May all over the globe welcome this intimate medical appraisal of one of the most prolific and widely read author of adventure stories. This book will also help fulfil a wish Karl May had, namely to have his life experience seen through the eyes of a physician and not a Judge.
Agnes’ fate is far from unique in human history. What makes it meaningful to record is the time – the twentieth century; the place – central Europe; and the until then held opinion, considering Europe to be part of the civilized world.
Changes which Agnes saw in her life do not repeat often during one generation. Her early life was still spent in the Old Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, she experienced World War One, saw a new state of Czechoslovakia coming into existence, its consequent destruction by the Nazis, lived through World War Two, followed by capture of power by communists with resulting Stalin’s tyranny.
Whilst life stories of prominent and important people, dictators and common criminals, are being published in the thousands, we rarely read what happens to ordinary men and women in the course of their lives. Agnes was one of them. Her life was derailed from normality by political events around her, and by abandonment by her husband.
Agnes often compared herself to Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, who waited faithfully for her long-lost husband. When Odysseus returned home, he stayed with his long suffering wife. When Agnes’ husband returned home after more years than Odysseus had been away, he discarded Agnes. Yet Agnes never gave up her moral principles, her belief there is goodness in people, never did any harm to others, helped them whenever it was in her power. Such people are rare, and mostly remain unknown to the rest of us.
Human feelings have not changed since the times of ancient Greeks. Despite of all the painful experience, Penelope, at the dawn of recorded history, and Agnes, living in our times, had the same feeling towards another human being. Perhaps there is hope for us still left.
The image of the Miramar Castle Agnes visited in her youth, stayed with her for the rest of her life. It represented in her mind the nicer side of life, life she has not been privileged to experience.
Homeopathy treats diseases with remedies, which in a healthy person cause symptoms similar to the symptoms of the given illness. This is the first principle of homeopathy – Similia similibus curentur – Like shall be cured by like. The second rule concerns application of remedies in small doses. The founder of this way of healing and the man, who gave the doctrine its name, was a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). Homeopathy survived as the only one from three other 18th century curative methods: Brownism, Broussaism, and Mesmerism. Practitioners of homeopathy could be found even nowadays in various countries. Lay people with no or minimal medical knowledge also use homeopathy for treatment of illnesses. As we move on in time further and further from Hahnemann’s days, it is not only of interest, but enlightening as well, to go back to the roots of homeopathy, to the principles which often are forgotten or ignored. This book describes the historical origins of homeopathy. Based on the writings of the founder of homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the theory and practice of his ideas, as well as the philosophy and medical knowledge of his times are described. Homeopathy in such way becomes easily understandable and uncomplicated by later additions and changes. What is being presented to the public one and a half-century after the demise of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann has little or nothing in common with his original views. Further progress in medicine and sciences did not confirm any existence of the presumed Vis vitalis or some special healing power in the homeopathic preparations.
Hunczovsky’s life story is as interesting and touching the soul of contemporary people, as the account of Mozart’s fate. They both met face to face in time and space. Hunczovsky and Mozart died prematurely from diseases which are treatable at present. They both have a message to tell us. They should never be forgotten. Here for your enjoyment is a short movie preview of the book, narrated by Victor Epp.
To appreciate what the practice of surgery has to offer to patients in our times, we should reach back into the second part of the 18th century. Into the time before asepsis, anaesthesia and antibiotics were discovered. Into times when hospitals used to be terrifying places where patients had to pay their burial fee on admission, refundable if they got out alive. When patients with syphilis were first given a sound thrashing and then let in. Surgeons relied on speed performing the most painful operations. They had to be insensitive to patients’ agonising cries, blood and all the bad air in poorly ventilated crowded wards. Barber surgeons were looked down upon by physicians. Surgery could not progress before overcoming problems with infection, pain, and poor hygiene. And yet there were physicians and surgeons who pushed medicine in the direction of our times. Johann Hunczovsky was one of them. Born into a family of lowly provincial barber surgeon, he became personal surgeon of the Emperor of Austria and the director of prestigious teaching institute for surgeons Josephinum in Vienna. He attracted attention of Brambilla, who with Emperor Joseph II united surgery with medicine. In Paris his patron was Antoine Louis, the inventor of the Guillotine. In England he studied with John Hunter, Pott, discussed medicine and science with Lind and Priestley. In Vienna Hunczovsky attended Beethoven and Mozart during their illnesses. Hunczovsky’s life story is as interesting and touching the soul of contemporary people, as the account of Mozart’s fate. They both met face to face in time and space. Hunczovsky and Mozart died prematurely from diseases which are treatable at present. They both have a message to tell us. They should never be forgotten.
From what Disease did the Pharaoh Akhenaten Suffer?
(Current Problems in History of Medicine, Basel-New York 1966);
“Les Quintuples aux Pays Tcheques” (A.Gen.Me.Ge. Vol.XII-N.4 1963);