The Strangling, also called "Heaves" in some parts of
Santharia, is an illness well known in most of
Caelereth, it affects both rich and poor
alike and has, up to now, no known cure. It is not contagious and the cause of
it is still unknown. The Strangling causes those that carry
it to have difficulties with breathing, accompanied by a strangling sensation,
hence also the name of the illness.
Symptoms. The symptoms can go from light wheezing while breathing, slight difficulty to draw breath and a general feeling of tiredness to the more severe symptoms such as strangling sensation, inability to breath and eventually suffocation. These symptoms usually appear in connection with smoke, dust and some special kinds of grass. The trigger varies from person to person. Some patients react badly to the fur of certain animals or certain kind of fabrics.
The mentioned symptoms have led many healers to believe that there is a direct connection between the triggers and the attacks of the Strangling, telling those who suffer from it to stay away from whatever causes them to lose breath.
It is not a contagious disease, even though it seems to follow the bloodline. If a father has the Strangling it is quite probable that his child will suffer from it as well.
The clerics, however, believe that the Strangling is a punishment imposed on those wicked of spirit to keep them from saying lies, that the more they try to lie the more they will wheeze and fight for breath. The clerics seem to believe that the immediate confession of any lies that have been told during the day will relieve the strangling attacks and the only way to cure the disease itself is for the patient to simply stop lying.
In some cases it even seems that the symptoms appear without any apparent cause while the patient is working. At times it seem that the symptoms also appear when the patient is emotionally distressed which leads most healers to believe its an illness that lies within the patient itself and that it may not be cured by the conventional methods.
Effects. The Strangling can be classified in three groups:
The patient may feel breathless when walking or working but feels perfectly well when sitting still. He/she can usually breathe well enough to talk in complete sentences. Some wheezing may be heard, mostly when the patient breathes out. There is commonly one up to two attacks each week and they usually don't interfere with the regular life of the patient.
This kind of Strangling is actually quite frequent in children, especially those living in the proximity of a mill or great fields of wild flowers.
The patient feels breathless when he/she talks or walks around, but feels better when sitting quietly. The patient may be unable to finish whole sentences without taking a breath. Some times patients awaken at night breathless. Loud wheezing can be heard, especially when the person breathes out.
The patient with this type of Strangling may have more than 2 attacks a week, sometimes they may even occur during the night, depriving the patient of sleep.
Serious Strangling, also
known as Chokes
Breathing will be very difficult. The patient will feel breathless even when he/she is sitting still andmay only use a few words at a time because the lack of breath. The person will usually feel scared and anxious and the illness will continue to get worse until the patient can no longer draw breath and usually dies by suffocation. The attacks may be as frequent as once a day and last for long periods of time.
The patient will breath with a loud whistling in his/her chest and will also experience a very dry cough. The nightly rest will be greatly disturbed as the patient will feel extreme difficulty to breathe while lying down.
Cure/Prevention. The healers that have sucessfully treated patients suffering from the Strangling all agree on the following points:
It has been proven that
vapours of warm water ease the breathing of the patient, especially when a few
drops of rosemint is added to the boiling
The way to prevent these attacks from happening is trying to find whatever factor causes the Strangling to appear and keep the patient away from these sources. This is done by close observation of the patient in his or hers usual chores of the day, observing their homes and the place they live.
Some Strangling patients have found it extremely benefitial to move to a different place than where they were living, which gives strength to the theory of some plants endemic to a specific zone can be the main cause of the Strangling.
When it comes to the relief of the symptoms of the illness the easiest one to treat is the less severe form of Strangling. The relief of the coughs and wheezing in the chest is almost inmediate once the patient is removed from anything that could have caused the attack or ceases the physical activity. Some children may suffer from this illness during part of their childhood and then strangely get cured when they reach puberty.
The moderate Strangling can take days to show any relief after the treatment has been applied. The coughs and weezing may continue from one day up to several days before any signs of easing can be seen.
The severe Strangling or Chokes is the most difficult to treat and the patient, unfortunatly, usually dies when affected with this illness.
A patient suffering from the Chokes will not find any relief in a change of ambient or in the inhalation of warm vapors. So far no patient suffering from the Chokes has been able to survive more than 3 or 4 attacks of the illness.
Vector/Cause. There is great disagreement between healers and clerics of what can be the cause of the illness itself.
The healers claim that ambiental factors like smoke, dust, flower seeds, strong smells and animal fur can be the key to solving the mystery of this illness.
The Clerics, however, believe firmly that this is a illness of the soul that affects the body, since it is not caused by a bite or an animal or the touch of a poisonous plant.
Endemic. The Strangling can be found in almost all of Caelereth, but it is an illness that only affects humans. The elves and dwarves seem to have a natural imunity to it since no cases have ever been seen among these races.
The Strangling is not restricted to a specific zone, but it is rare in the cold and frozen north of the Sarvonian continent.
Information provided by Lucirina Telor Vevan