The persistence of the pleurisy (in London) caused some anxiety, but I knew that the cure lay not in taking medicine internally but in dietetic changes assisted by external remedies.
I called in Dr. Allinson of vegetarian fame, who treated diseases by dietetic
modifications and whom I had met in 1890. He thoroughly overhauled me. I
explained to him how I had pledged myself not to take milk. He cheered
me up and said: 'You need not take milk. In fact I want you to do
without any fat for some days.' He then advised me to live on plain
brown bread, raw vegetables such as beet, radish, onion, and other
tubers and greens, and also fresh fruit, mainly oranges. The vegetables
were not to be cooked but merely grated fine, if I could not masticate them.
I adopted this for about three days, but raw vegetables did not quite suit me. My body was
not in a condition to enable me to do full justice to the experiment. I
was nervous about taking raw vegetables.
Dr. Allinson also advised me to keep all the windows of my room open for the whole
twenty-four hours, bathe in tepid water, have an oil massage on the
affected parts and a walk in the open for fifteen to thirty minutes. I
liked all these suggestions.
My room had French windows which, if kept wide open, would let in the rain. The fanlight
could not be opened. I therefore got the glass broken, so as to let in
fresh air, and I partially opened the windows in a manner not to let in rain.
All these measures somewhat improved my health, but did not completely cure me.
Dr. Allinson, when he next called, relaxed his restrictions and permitted me to have groundnut
butter or olive oil for the sake of fat, and to take the vegetables
cooked, if I chose, with rice. These changes were quite welcome, but
they were far from giving me a complete cure. Very careful nursing was
still necessary, and I was obliged to keep mostly in bed.
Whilst things were going on in this way, Mr. Roberts one day came to see me and urged me
very strongly to go home. 'You cannot possibly go to Netley in this
condition. There is still severe cold ahead of us. I would strongly
advise you to get back to India, for it is only there that you can be
I accepted his advice and began to make preparations for returning to India.
Dr. Jivraj Mehta had bandaged my ribs with 'Mede's Plaster' and had asked me not to remove it
till we reached the Red Sea. For two days I put up with the discomfort,
but finally it became too much for me. It was with considerable
difficulty that I managed to undo the plaster and regain the liberty of
having a proper wash and bath.
My diet consisted mostly of nuts and fruits. I found that I was improving every day and
felt very much better by the time we entered the Suez Canal. I was weak,
but felt entirely out of danger, and I gradually went on increasing my
exercise. The improvement I attributed largely to the pure air of the temperate zone.