van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 24 letters relate to health - gastrointestinal...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(15-16 July 1882)
... home much more bright and cheerful. I am getting on well, though I still feel very weak, but I shall get over it in time. It is not surprising when you realize that for two months now I have had indigestion, poor appetite, fever, etc., which still troubles me a little. I have also started drawing again, and though it gives me a headache and soon tires me, it will pass by and by, especially as I shall be able to begin at home with the woman and the child posing for me. It disappoints me to feel so weak still, but it is always that way after an illness such as mine. The two drawings I did recently are both watercolours because I wanted to try it. However, it seems to me that even now I must work harder on actual drawing, which is the foundation of all the rest. But as you saw from the last one, I am beginning to wash in by degrees. As soon as I am quite well again,
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(29 and 30 July 1883)
... I am not entirely myself yet; perhaps my stomach has become too weak, judging from the
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 21 August 1883)
... strength. It is very troublesome that my stomach is upset by even the most ordinary food, and if I followed my inclination, I should only care to eat - sour apples. I don't indulge myself in this, but my stomach is weaker than it ought to be. I expect another letter from Rappard about Drenthe. At all events I will write you again soon, also about another plan of staying quietly here, when I have had information from my landlord about the house at Voorburg, which he says I can perhaps get cheaply. Adieu, again many thanks. Yours sincerely, Vincent ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(7 or 8 September 1883)
... some time ago, but it has disappeared again. Perhaps eggs are the best thing to restore the stomach, at least if weakness is the cause. ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 3 February 1886)
... in this way: I may have become weak, but I have been as careful as I could not to take unwholesome food. Neither is the overexertion too great - because, notwithstanding everything, I keep up my spirits, so it is only that I am overstrained because I am weak. I think it will redress itself. But you understand, if it got worse and took a vicious turn, it might develop into malignant typhus or at least typhoid fever. And the only reason why I do not suppose this will happen is, in the first place, that I have had a great deal of fresh air; in the second place, I repeat, though I obviously haven't had enough nourishment, I have been careful to take very simple food instead of the rotten things in the cheap restaurants; and thirdly, that I have a certain calmness and serenity, notwithstanding everything, so we must wait and see how things turn out. You must not worry about it, for I don't either. I repeat, suppose I got a fever; I have lived and nourished...

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