Foreign Substances

it should on no account be pokedAs I was flipping through The Art of Home Making, written by Margaret E. Sangster, I came across this most useful advice. It reminded me of an incident when I was a young girl in Auburn, N.Y. My family was on the way up the sidewalk to the public library when my older brother Chris suggested I pick a seed off one of the bushes and put it up my nose. And of course I did ~ as older brother, he was the boss of me. The seed? Stuck. But I digress.

This substance-removal advice was written just over 100 years ago, long before HMOs could dare deny coverage for pea extraction. If I were you, I’d call your insurance company before trying these tips out, just to see if perhaps they’ll pay for a trip to the doctor instead.

1898: Foreign Substances

Foreign Substances in the Ear. ~ If an insect gets into the ear, hold the head on one side, and fill the hole with oil. This will kill the intruder and cause it to float, when it may be removed. If a bead or a pea gets into the ear, hold the head down on the other side, so that the occupied ear is under, and give the other ear two or three sharp blows. If this fails the ear should be syringed, but it should on no account be poked, as that is almost sure to do more harm than good.

Foreign Substances in the Nose. ~ Give a pinch of snuff, and endeavor to make the patient sneeze. If this fails, put one finger above the substance, and gently press it to make it come down. At the same time put a small pair of tweezers into the nostril, and gently open it across. It may then be possible to draw the substance out. But ordinarily, when either eyes or nose have unfortunately any foreign body in them, send as soon as you can for a doctor.

Source: Sangster, Margaret E. The Art of Home Making. New York: Christian Herald Bible House, 1898.
~ p. 436 ~