10 May, 2011

10 May, 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 578 % Postmaster, N.Y.
10 May, 1944       0930

My dearest Sweetheart,

I got 3 very sweet letters from you last night – dated April 28, May 1 and 2nd. You seem to have had a heat wave in Boston, dear, and I’m glad to read that you’re getting out into the sun and getting some vitamins in nature’s form. Our weather here seems to be more even – just pleasantly warm days, with not much variation.

I’m sorry to read about your mother’s ‘nerves’ – but no matter how much you think you’re being irritated, darling, you still have to excuse it. Even the most even-tempered woman in the world becomes a mental wreck during the menopause – not all of them, of course. But when they are affected, it hits them bad. I hope her doctor can do something for her – but at any rate – bear with her, dear.

Talking about doctors – reminds me of your question about neo-hombreal. That product – it seems to me – was just hitting the market when I was leaving practice, so I have had no practical experience with it. But more and more we were beginning to use various extracts and in some cases the hormones did help. This product sounds very expensive. You write, dear, that you have to take 2 a day. The directions must include more than that, by that I mean – 2 a day for how long? Probably for several days before the next expected period, I should say for a guess. I suppose it’s worth trying – although that’s a rather expensive sounding tablet.

By the way, sweetheart, it seems to me I’ve gotten my dates all mixed up about Mother’s day. I was certain it was last Sunday, the 7th – but I’ve been informed otherwise. I wrote your mother and mine a V mail on that day – but I don’t suppose it makes much difference. The sentiment is the same, one week or the other.

And before I forget it, darling, I wish you’d tell the folks to forget about a gift for me. The only gift I wanted, dear, from them, was you – and I have you and I’m thankful for that. There’s nothing else I want or need. Will you tell them that for me, dear?

I was interested in your reaction to your change in feeling about things you used to think your own and which now seem mutual. That’s the way I feel, too, of course, and I often think of how natural it is now to consider that something is not mine – but ours. I’ve been fairly independent for the past few years. What I earned, I earned alone; what I banked was solely mine and what I spent was entirely on my own. And do you know, darling, it will be a hell of a lot more fun and satisfaction doing everything like that for someone else other than myself, someone who will derive the same enjoyments, concerns and who will be able to share my problems. It will be wonderful to have a partner – for that’s what it will be like. Sweetheart – loving you and marrying you – will make me the happiest guy in the world, and don’t think I don’t know it. It will be wonderful and we’ll do our darndest to make the most of it! Got to close now – darling. Love to the folks and to you.

My deepest love for always

P.S. Enclosed snaps I’ve been waiting to have enlarged. I got tired of waiting and decided to send them anyway. I’ll send the others along and you can give either set to my mother.


Major General Lawton Collins - VII Corps
Speaking to 438th at Sherborne Castle
England - May, 1944
Baker Battery in review before Major General Collins
In front to Sherborne Castle
England - May, 1944


about The Menopause and The Nerves, 1944

This extract is from a reprint from Vol. 2, No. 3; July, 1944 of the Permanente Foundation Medical Bulletin, edited by Dr. Morris Collen from 1943 to 1953, entitled "Management of the Menopause," by Dr. David James. The full reprint can be read by clicking here.
Some of the more distressing and serious manifestations of the menopause are expressed through the nervous system. These vary from increased nervousness and irritability to a definite psychosis or involutional melancholia. Such changes may result in transforming a placid, well controlled and well adjusted woman into one who is excitable, irritable, and emotionally unstable. As a result, she may be easily angered, argumentative, suspicious, apprehensive, tending to worry over trivial things, and frequently confused and frightened by the changes taking place. These symptoms may be so mild that the patient is able to conceal them entirely. On the other hand, the symptoms may be so marked that unless their significance is understood by her family and friends, there may be disruption of domestic and social ties. Headaches, pressure sensations, and occipitocervical pain are frequently the symptoms responsible for the patient seeking medical attention.

Personality changes may occur and these may be either minor or approach a true psychosis. That involutional melancholia is part of the syndrome and is produced by the same endocrine dysfunction which is the apparent causative factor responsible for the rest of the menopausal state is not completely accepted..However, the divergent views held in regards to this point seems to rest largely on definition or diagnosis. The consensus seems to be that estrogenic therapy in involutional melancholia of the milder type is of value and is indicated certainly in those cases presenting many of the other symptoms of the syndrome.

Just a few years ago, before the availability of potent estrogenic preparations made the treatment of menopausal symptoms more certain, some clinicians doubted the real existence of the menopausal syndrome. At the present time nearly everyone agrees that such a syndrome does exist and that estrogens provide dependable therapy. There is disagreement as to the exact percentage of women that experience menopausal symptoms severe enough to require treatment. Unquestionably there are many patients suffering from manifestations of the menopause who deserve the relief which accompanies properly administered estrogen therapy.

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