Posts Tagged ‘health’

The Sanatorium was a rest home for tubercular African American’s in Burkeville, Virginia from 1917 to 1965. The Sanatorium was later to become the site of  Piedmont Geriatric Hospital. You’re probably spotted my Newstead Sanatorium and may well be familiar with the USA Waverly Hills (another fascinating place) and aware of the killer TB, at it’s height it was accounting for around one in every ten deaths and the self-contained hospitals were pretty much known as “waiting rooms for death”.

In some cases the stories are grossly over exaggerated or at seem so but the fear of this killer was immense and now worryingly in the more recent news it seems the cases of this killer are once again on the rise. I was (I admit) a little surprised to think of a rest home specifically for black people, everyone to me deserves health  are on some level regardless of who they are. At the time of it’s opening the only treatment facilities for the care of black people were the Central State Hospital for Mental Diseases and the State Penitentiary.

For the black people in the 1910’s the urbanisation meant that Virginia Health Officials worked on evidence that pointed to the worsening situation, the “Negro  Health Problem”. It pointed to the high levels of disease, the maternal and infant mortality rates and the terrible conditions of sanitation mixed with poor diets and very hard physical labour. After lobbying for the new care home it was originally considered a good spot for the place would be Ivor but the local white population protested this fiercely and is recorded as such in August 1916. Lynchburg was considered to be the next site but they had an even worse response, it seems so sad that in a time of health crisis these people thought so little of the needs of others, yet again however I shall try to keep my thoughts to myself, this isn’t a political blog!

By the time they reached Burkeville the State Board of Health had lost its patients and despite protests they ignored the opposition and began construction. It was an organised routine for activities, meals and relaxation. Some patients learnt skills that would hep them when they left. Patients were also required to attend weekly lectures on tuberculosis to learn how to deal with sputum and other aspects of the illness. It was hoped that learning about it there would mean they took the lessons into their community.

It was the end of the era for the segregation of black and white patients around 1965. Piedmont Sanatorium closed and black patients were admitted into Blue Ridge Sanatorium, by 1967 the Burkeville establishment was converted to Piedmont Geriatric Hospital.

Pictures can be found at this website


Not the kind where you run up and down the stairs until you feel light headed. The genuine practise of banishment of spirits/demons possessions. I won’t go on about the obvious film(s) covering this genre but I will mention that this is something controversial to many people.

Medical studies suggest that the following can be contributing to the delusion/belief that someone is possessed.

  • Automatism, someone acting in a mechanical or involuntary manner.
  • Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome, where victims cannot control their language outbreaks or movements.
  • OCD – a need to continue doing what can be seen as irrelevant acts over and over again.
  • Some form of mental disorder (eg schizophrenia)
  • Xonolalia,. where a person begins to speak a language fluently that was previously unknown
  • deep-rooted psychological problems that have not been addressed correctly

“O sacardos Christi, tu scis me esse diabolum. Cur me derogas?” Latin ‘O Priest of Christ, you know that I am the Devil. Why do you keep bothering me?’

As an example one Father states that of 500,000 referred exorcism’s he believed that 84 of them were genuine cases of possession. According to an independent report hey should refer to a doctor and then only aim for a priest as a last resort.

The practise is not something that is exclusively Christian/Catholic and I believe it’s worth noting this. Most of the horrors we see on our screens involving the subject are based on the Catholic rites but there are rites of this nature in Hinduism, Judaism and Islamic texts.

Which brings me nicely on to a small passion I have outside of the blog, anime and cosplay.  With all the serious posting above I’d like to share a trailer for an anime I am currently enjoying.

Is better known as Cotard Delusion, a rare mental disorder where the sufferer believes they are dead (figuratively or literally). They are convinced they no longer exist, may be rotting, have lost all their blood and in rarer still cases, may be convinced they are immortal.

A French neurologist, Jules Cotard, was the first to describe the strange condition. This goes back to an earlier post describing Capgras, in that similar traits occur. The sufferer can even feel no sense of association with their own face, this can then lead to further confirmation that they do not exist.

It is a disorder encountered mostly through a sufferer of an already present disorder such as schizoprenia, but may also be associated with depression, or to adverse reactions to drugs.

An iconic part of the vampire, two of them, good at biting into necks and often seen brandished in horror movies. Some look rather sexy and discreet, others are so large the vampire has to have an adapted physiology or learn to blend in with badly bred white trash/Chav’s…

The image below (google search) shows someone suffering a medical condition called hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. This is a genetic disease but one of the signs is that a majority of the teeth may be shorter and blunter than others. In some this is possibly the distinctive canine look.

All well and good but what if you were bitten by one? Surely that’s not the only reason the bite marks look so strange?

Well allow me to try with another part of it, those bitten by vampires have not always become vampires but perhaps a person who is ill walking about with fang marks might be reason for concern? They may also be suffering a skin condition, such as the one below known as pemphigus vulgaris. To a peasant in the 18th Century such marks were not a skin condition but the signs that a blood-sucker was on their way around the area!