Turenay, Donanei hanre, eighth week of Mizran
One very difficult case today, and I spoke to Bashi, the Síthi midwife.
I will first note down the difficult case.
- Today was my day with doctor Jeran, but although I had told everyone in all the public houses about the practice being closed, I was called away the moment I opened the door of doctor Jeran's practice! A young girl asked specifically for me, and begged me to come with her to her mistress who was, she said, in a very bad way.
Doctor Jeran did suffer me to go, saying that this is what keeps doctors in their own practice, which I had not felt to be so acutely true before, so this was a lesson, too. The girl, Lysna, took me to a large corner house in a side-street, not far from Lord Moryn's shop.
The house was big and very opulent, but there is only one servant, this girl, and her mistress. She took me upstairs to her mistress' bedroom, which looked a bit like Erne's front room, and a bit like the brothel where Athal and Raisse had set up palace in Albetire, after the death of my husband.
The woman was about fifty years old and still quite beautiful, with a pleasant face and little wrinkles around her eyes and mouth that prove that she must laugh a lot, and her breasts are still quite firm and round.
But she had also a high fever and complained of not being able to breathe. I did look at her lungs, and they were full with moisture and with a noisome burning fever I did not recognize. It was not the damage the stonecutters have, nor the wasting sickness of the stonecutter's widow.
Having gathered that my patient was a very skilled and highly prized improper woman, a patar or maybe even a besya, as the Síthi say, I asked her for permission to call my master.
This permission she gave, but only after I told her that doctor Jeran's discretion is a given: after all, he cares for the boys up north, too. I then proceeded to remove the slime from her lungs by forcing it upwards with my hands and my spirit, being very careful not to let her swallow it or choke, but spit it out in a basin Lysna brought me. When I was doing this she told me she had three noble friends, one for autumn, one for winter and one for spring, and the summer was for her own sweet pleasure. But her friends had gone to the war, all three of them, and she was alone. Poor woman! I suffer because I miss my husband, but she misses three husbands!
She must be very accomplished to retain the affections of so many men, depite being very old already! Maybe I should invite her for an evening when she is well again, and speak of these things. I am sure there is much that I still can learn from a master.
Then doctor Jeran came, and he knew the illness, it is very contagious. So I was sent out to look at the maid, who is ill, too, only not so very far. Venla, she knew she was ill two weeks ago! She could have asked for Erne or my help at any time -- instead of on the one day the practice is closed (and I intend that Erne will also keep it closed one day a week when she comes back) and now it will be very hard to make her well!
The maid was ill, but her boyfriend fortunately not. The friend, Ferin, is very nice. He is tall and a bit gangly, but of a very sweet disposition and learns how to make tuns. This is called a "cooper" in Ilaini, if I'm not mistaken. He is true to her, and she to him, and when they asked me to look whether they were infected with any other illnes, I could tell them they were clean!
(That reminds me, the lady of the house next door came to let me inspect Arni, who is a new girl, whose mother had worked in the same house for a few years, to see whether she was healthy. She was -- but I should urge all the other brothel owners to bring their new people to me. Maybe I should inspect all the girls anyway.)
Oh, damn! Even now, with Halla and Cynla next to me -- and snoring! -- I cannot keep from chattering, if only in the notes in my notebook. Maybe I should write down all that I remember from my time in Iss-Peran, too... Later! First to finish the case of lady Venla.
Doctor Jeran and I ascertained that Venla would most likely have contracted the illness during an encounter with an old friend (I bet they did more than kissing!), a certain Arin Hayan, who also complained of his lungs.
This illness is very contagious, and the rest of the morning I spent going to the temple to ask whether they had buried this Arin Hayan, which they had, and to warn them about the illness. I also inspected myself, but I think I am still clean. And I did ask the town council to put out warnings about this illness to the town, and to paste notices on the tree at the market where I have seen announcements before.
And we got Venla and her maid safely to hospital, they are doing well. I did visit before going to bed.
The other thing that happened today, apart from healing a multitude of silly craftspeople who should know better, but are lazy about being careful in their because they know the doctor will visit, was our visit at the end of the day to Bashi, the Síthi midwife.
I told her I was very proud and pleased that she did call us in when the birthing of Hatti was so troublesome, and that there was much we could learn from each other, for which purpose the Guild of Doctors and Midwives was instituted. (I also think that it helps with keeping unskilled people from practicing, but I did not tell her that. Her skill is, of course, not in dispute!) So we invited her to come to our next meeting, which is soon, before the festival of Naigha, and become a member, and also her mother, who is the other Síthi midwife in Turenay. Other than Kancho, they have no doctors.
She did very graciously promise to come, but was also worried about the guilds. Would her husband need to join the Tailors' Guild? I think he should, at least as soon as he starts to sell to anyone who is not Síthi, but I do not know the Valdyan law. It is a law that says that craftsmen and women must be member of a guild. There is a guild, I think, for every trade but whore, stone-fetcher or sweet-water fisherman.
In any case, Bashi's house is like the Temple of Dayati (oh! I had wanted to go there and pray, but forgot, since I felt I already had been to the temple!). She has many children of her own, as well as orphans, staying with her, and the children bring their friends. I felt so happy in her house...