But why is this consoltation so nonsensical?
Some sort of far-fetched theoretical notion that the toxins of disease might be eliminated through the intestines. Am I thereby trying to make fun of Dr. M.'s remarkable store of far fetched explanations, his habit of conceiving curious pathological relations?
Dysentery suggests something else. A few months ago I had in my care a young man who was suffering from remarkable intestinal troubles; a case which had been treated by other colleagues as one of 'anaemia with malnutrition'.
i realized that this was a case of hysteria; I was unwilling to use my psychotherapy on him, and sent him off on a sea-voyage. Now a few days previously I had recieved a despairing letter from him; he wrote form Egypt, saying that he had a fresh attack; which the doctor had declared to be dysentery.
I suspect that the diagnosis is merely an error on the part of an ignorant colleague, who is allowing himself to be fooled by hysteria; yet I cannot help rep[roaching myself for putting the invalid in a position where he might contract some organic affection of the bowels in addition to his hysteria.
Furthermore, dysentery sounds not unlike diphtheria, a word which does not occur in the dream.
Yes. it must be the case that with the consoling prognosis, 'Dysentery will develop, etc.', I am making fun of Dr M., for I recollect that years ago he once jestingly told a very similar story of a colleeague.
He had been called in to consuilt with hi, in the case of a woman who was very seriously ill, and he felt obliged to confront his colleague, who seemed very hopeful, with the fact that he found albumen in the patient's urine.
His colleague, however, did not allow this to worry him, but answered calmly;
"That does not metter, my dear sir, the albumen will soon be excreted1' Thus I can no longer doubt that this part of the dream expreses derision for those of my colleagues who are ignorant of hysteria. And, as though in confirmation, the thought enters my mind:
Does Dr M know that the appearances in Irma's friend, his patient, which gave his reason to fear tuberculosis, are likewise due to hysteria? Has he recognized this hysteria, or has he allowed himself to be fooled.
But what can be my motive for treatong this friend so badly? That is simple enough: Dr M. agrees with my solution as little as Irma herself. Thus, in this dream I have already revenged myself on two persons: on Irma in the words, 'If you still have pains, it is your own fault,'and on Dr M. in the wording of the nonsensical consolation which has been put into his mouth.
We know precisely how the infection originated. This precise knowledge in the dream is remarkable. Only a moment before this we did not yet know of the infection, since it was first demonstrated by leopold.
My friend Otto gave her an injection not long ago, when she was feeling unweel. otto had actually related during his short visit to Irma's family that he had been called into a neighbouring hotel in order to give an injection to someone who had been suddenly taken ill.
Injections remind me once more of the unfortunatefriend who poisoned himself with cocaine. I had recommended the remedy for internal use only during the withdrawal of morphia; but he immediately gave himself injections of cocaine.
With a preparation of propyl...propyls...propionis acid. How on earth did this occur to me? On the evening of the day after I had written the clinical history and dreamed about the case, my wife opened a bottle of liquer labelled 'Ananas', which was a present from a friend. Otto, he had, as a matter of fact, a habit of making presents on every possible occasion;
I hope he will some day be cured of this by a wife. This liquer smelt so strongly of fused oil that I refused to drink it. My wife suggested: 'We will give the bottle to the servats,' and I, more prudent, objected,with a philantropic remark: 'They shan't be poisoned either.'
The smell of fused oil (amyl...) has now apparently awakened my memory of the whol;e series : propyl, methyl, etc., which furnished the preparation of propyl mentioned in the dream. Here, indeed, I have effected a substitution: I dreamt of propyl after smelling amyl; but substitutions of this kind are perhaps permissible especially in organic chemistry.
Reference: The Interpretation of Dreams: Sigmund Freud.
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