Diary of Natalie Crouter

Aug. 26, 1944

I woke with diarrhea and then had bad chills, one after another. My hands and upper lip were numb, ears filled and cracking. I crawled into the dugout with my blanket and pillow, unable to eat the poorly cooked rice, feeling as though part of me had stopped working, wanting only to close my eyes and rest forever. The family hovered anxiously, asking questions I was too weak to answer. I lay exhausted in measureless weakness, calm and peaceful as though suspended, not caring about anything, whether they had food to give me or not. Poor Jerry looked sunk with worry, but I was too weak to care. I did not go to roll call. The doctor came, shook his head, admitted that many were like this and that nearly everyone had symptoms of one sort or another. He finally left saying if I did not improve I could go to the hospital, and he would try some thiamine in addition to nicotinic, also special diet if I wished. He says, regretfully, that the iron pills from the Red Cross have given out.