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12 Now shivering usually precedes those fevers which have a fixed cycle and a complete remission; hence they are the most safe, and specially admit of treatment. For when periodicity is uncertain,[p. 277] neither clyster nor bath, nor wine nor other medicament, is administered at the right moment: for it is uncertain when the fever will supervene, so that if it comes on suddenly, it may happen that there is the greatest harm in what is intended to serve as an aid. And there is nothing else that can be one, except for the patient to abstain strictly for the first days, then, upon the decline of that paroxysm which is the severest, to take food. When, however, there is an assured cycle, all those remedies are more easily tried, because we are more able to inform ourselves of the alternations between paroxysms and remissions. In those fevers, however, which have become inveterate, starving is not of service; it is only in the first days that the fever is to be thus countered; later the treatment is to be divided, first to disperse the shivering, then the fever. Therefore, as soon as the patient shivers, and after the shivering grows hot, he should be given to drink tepid water with a little salt in it, and so made to vomit: for generally such shivering arises from a bilious sediment in the stomach. Likewise if shivering recurs at the next cycle, the same should be done; for often the fever is thus shaken off, and now we may learn to what class it belongs. And so in view of the possibility of the next paroxysm, the third which may be threatening, the patient should be conducted to the bath, and it should be do arranged that he is already in the solium at the moment for the shivering. If there also he feels chilled, yet none the less he should do the same again in view of a fourth paroxysm, for often in that way the shivering is shaken off. If there is no benefit even from the bath, before the paroxysm let him eat garlic, or drink hot water containing pepper;[p. 279] to see if these when taken excite heat which prevents the shivering. Further in the same way as prescribed for a chill before shivering can come on, the patient should be covered up, and the whole body surrounded with foments — but the stronger ones are to be used at once — and thoroughly encompassed by wraps which enclose hot tiles and cinders. If, notwithstanding, shivering breaks out, let the patient be anointed freely under the wraps with hot oil, to which add one of the heating elements: let rubbing be applied, so far as he can bear it, especially of the arms and legs, while he holds his breath. Nor should it be stopped even if he shivers; for often the pertinacity of the rubber overcomes the body's malady. If he vomits somewhat, tepid water is to be given him, and he is to be forced to vomit again; the same measures must be used until shivering comes to an end. But if the shivering is too slow in subsiding, in addition to the above, a clyster should be given; for that also is of good effect by unloading the body. The last remedies after these are rocking and rubbing. Now in such illness the food to be given is such chiefly as will secure a soft motion, meat glutinous, wine, when any is given, dry.
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