For fourteen years I have lived in and near Mill Valley,...

For fourteen years I have lived in and near Mill Valley, and during all this time, with the exception of the last year, when I took up the study of Christian Science, I was a sufferer from colds and throat trouble. Never a winter before has passed when I have not been laid up four and five times, and some years as often as once in ten days, with severe colds. For three years I did not dare go out at night for this reason. My throat was in a bad condition most of the time, and the swelling extended into the ear, causing deafness.

I consulted and was treated by seven of the best specialists in San Francisco. The first told me that the disease had progressed so far that he could do nothing for me: the next, that the only way I could retain what hearing I had left was to lay aside so much money each month as long as I lived to be used for forcing air into the ear passages to keep them open. The third told me I must go to a warmer climate if I ever expected to be better. Another said the whold trouble was due to a growth, and he refused to treat me unless I would submit to an operation. This was performed, and for the entire winter following my throat was burned with an electric wire, first one side and then the other as soon as it was healed over. The torture of these treatments resulted in nervous collapse and facial paralysis, and it took three moths to get over this. All this time my throat was as bad as ever and my hearing growing worse. Next, my eyes gave out and I was forced to wear glasses, then the strain from using them produced such violent headaches that every week or so I had to give up my work and go to bed—the pain seeming almost unbearable.

July 27, 1912

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