Author Topic: Alexandra and her Health Part 1  (Read 211106 times)

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Jennifer Benjamin

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Alexandra and her Health Part 1
« on: February 17, 2004, 06:12:47 AM »
Hi everyone,

We all know that Alix was frequently ill.  The question is, however, how much was caused by physical ailments and how much was caused by anxiety.  What do you all think?

And if her symptoms were truly physical (such as her "enlarged heart," headaches, fatigue, and facial pain), what do you think caused them?  I can't help but wonder what her diagnosis would have been had she lived today.

I have my own opinions on this, but I'd like to hear everyone's opinions.

Take care,

Jennifer
« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 11:45:18 AM by Alixz »

NAAOTMA

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2004, 05:53:26 PM »
The Empress's "heart palpitations" and breathlessness with weaknes could be symptoms of what is now termed an "anxiety attack". Also, hyperthyroidism can have the symptoms of heart palpitations, mental agitation, tremors, muscle weakness and weight loss.

I have always wondered if the fact she had large babies with high birthweights might also be a clue to underlying metabolic health problems.    Melissa K.


Offline anna

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2004, 07:29:19 PM »
It also crossed my mind, about Alexandra's pregnancies.
They were not easy at all. She always had a weak health and a rather nervous state of mind.

I somewhere read, as a child she crashed through glass and wounded her legs very bad. It left her with sore legs for the rest of her life, that's why she couldn't stand long and walk far. She also suffered from sciatica. Regular had migraines. At times she could be very melancholic. Later she was  constantly nervous and anxious of not producing an heir. I think (as a mother of two)  being pregnant of large babies and with such a bad health, she must have  felt worn-out.

Considering her physical and mental state- constant worries about Nicholas and the children- not to mention her feelings of guilt towards Alexis illness- opposition of relatives and court-members, eventualy the whole nation! Would it not make her an nervous wreck? I sometimes wonder if she was manic-depressive.

Yet, I think she was also a remarkable strong woman (character). I admire her very much and feel so sorry for her.
Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2004, 10:03:52 AM »
As for the facial pain she mentions in her letters (she received electric shock therapy for it) - it turns out when her remains were found it was discovered she had a bad filling which touched a major face nerve.  That seems to have been the cause of it.

Bob

Offline Lorenzo_Cavalli

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2004, 03:26:31 AM »
A question in spite of Alexandra's delicate health:

Why did she not give birth to a sixth child and possibly a second son? There seems to be a 50%-chance for male descendants NOT to inherit haemophilia. Moreover Alexei's birth was said to be an easy one (compared to his sisters').

A healthy son and successor to the throne would have changed history.

Do you think it was because of her illness(es)?


David Newell

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2004, 08:06:31 AM »
I have been reading about AF since I was small. In the last few years I have been concentrating more and more on her health. I have come to the conclusion that AF may have had one of the mnay variations of Porphyria, a New Zealand doctor was going to do a DNA test on some DNA she had been sent for test that were carried out before the burial in 1998. I have not read or seen anything since. In the book The Purple Secret on Queen Victoria and porphyria in her family, say AF may have had a form of the illness. We know that AF took large amounts of Veronal which would have made the even mild prophyria worse. Her bouts of ill health and the crisis years of 1909-1912, Alexei's heamophillia and the precarious state of the russian throne must have all palyed havoc with her physical state and who knows what it did to her mental state. Its a thought, I have no real proof, but I have always believed it was a combination of problems that left her so worn out and in bad health.

David Newell.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2004, 10:42:34 AM »
Nicholas and Alexandra practiced birth control so one can assume they didn't have any more children after Aleksey on purpose.

Bob

Offline ptitchka

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2004, 07:50:46 PM »
Mr. Atchison - is it also true that Alexandra was advised not to have any more children after having given birth to Alexei?

Offline HRHLaurie1894

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2004, 06:13:32 PM »
Bob, That is very interesting about N & A practicing birth control.  Is it mentioned anywhere what type? And why - in your opinion - would they not have tried again for a healthy boy?

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2004, 07:07:22 PM »
There were birth control devices in Nicholas's bathroom.  They were quite common at the time.  There's no record in the receipts we found for their purchase.

Bob

Offline Joanna

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2004, 08:24:38 PM »
What is veronal? Does anyone know why Alexandra was taking large amounts?

Joanna

Offline JM

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2004, 08:49:29 PM »
I think it's a white powder that used to be used to induce sleep.

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2004, 05:51:37 AM »
Quote
I think it's a white powder that used to be used to induce sleep.


It's a powerful barbituate ( I did some research on the various drugs N and A were known to take-opium, cocaine, veronal, etc.)  The effect of taking it increases over time, resulting in certain pronounced symptoms including tiredness, lack of concentration, and mood swings.  From what A told Lili Dehn and from her letters to N during the War, it seems likely that Alix was taking some substantial amount, which would only have increased her sense of lethargy, which is ironic in that it's precisely the opposite from what she probably wanted, but may account for some of her various complaints and general lack of energy.

Greg King

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2004, 07:59:57 AM »
They were condoms.  These were widely available in Petersburg at the time.

Bob


Offline HRHLaurie1894

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Re: Alexandra and her Health
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2004, 12:10:52 PM »
Thanks Helen for asking Bob the question that I was too afraid to ask.   That is what I thought too - but my imagination was beginning to get carried away with the prehistoric birth control idea.