I love Frankenhooker, but its been so long.
Those lines have been mystifying me for 30-some years now!
Ok, if you liked that one, here’s another. Very early in Sir James Fraser’s The Golder Bough (thankfully, as it is boringly difficult to read) is a spell for jaundice which you should recognize:
“Up to the sun shall go thy heartache and thy jaundice: in the colour of the red bull do we envelope thee! In red tints, unto long life. May this person go unscathed and be free of yellow colour!” It goes on a bit more but this is the salient part in re Wire. As a wise man once said: “Jaundice it is!!” [cue organ music]
eta: both bits of Wire lore I’ve simply accidentally stumbled upon while doing something else.
A comedic guide to DIY trepanation: http://www.fineorsuperfine.com/crank/crank2/crank2_trepan2.html
The explanation I’d seen for trepanation that seemed to make the most sense was that it was a medical treatment for skull fractures, like the kinds you’d get from being hit by a club or axe. Cut away the rough edges, try to patch the skin back over the top.
Time to listen to ‘The Ideal Copy’ again.
I remember migraine attacks - from the days before sumatriptan was available - where I hoped that someone would just walk in and shoot me.
I have no difficulty in believing that someone would try to scrape or drill a hole in their skull as a cure for migraines.
A close friend of mine lives through frequent cluster headaches, she would absolutely try this if it worked.
Katherine Foxhall argues that the commonly-held belief that the procedure was once used to cure migraines is just a myth.
If I may belatedly visit the original topic: Foxhall argues that trepanation does not, objectively, cure migraines (nor indeed does it cure epilepsy). Therefore, she argues, it could never have been used to treat migraines, and the suggestion that it might have been intended that way (“commonly-held”) is a myth.
Can I just point out how stupid this is? It is like claiming that blood-letting could never have been used to treat fevers.
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