Calcarea carbonica. [Calc]
These children are typically soft, over-fat, fair, chilly, and lethargic. They often surprisingly fit but, nevertheless, do not possess much energy either mental of physical. In early life they are often very over-weight, and although they appear very healthy when examined one finds soft fat rather than muscle.
There is a tendency to rickets, with enlarged epiphyses, big head, slow closer of fontanelles, and tendency to sweat. The children are chilly, yet they get very hot on the slightest exertion. They sweat at night and very often will stick the feet outside the bed covers. This characteristic incidentally is not found only in relation to SULPHUR.
There are slightly older children of much the same type. They appear fairly healthy look well-nourished but are sluggish both mentally and physically. They are slow at school slow at games, liable to sprain their ankles, have weak muscles, sweat on exertion, and constantly take fresh “colds”.
They are liable to have enlarged tonsils, enlarged cervical glands, and rather big bellies. They lack stamina, are easily scared, and lack initiative. They are perfectly content to sit about and do little or nothing. Very often they are peculiarly sensitive and can’t bear to be laughed at.
They are clumsy in their movements and bad at games; this tends to push them back into themselves, so that instead of sticking at it and becoming efficient they throw in their hands and give up the game altogether as they hate being scoffed at or laughed
They are just the same about work, very often having difficulty with one or other subject at school. They will not strive at this subject but just give in, and if they are not sure of themselves nothing will ever induce them to answer questions in class in case they are wrong and will be laughed at.
In early childhood these CALCAREA CARBONICA children nearly always tend to have a relative diarrhoea, and usually the stools are pale, apparently lacking bile pigment.
There are two or three outstanding odd characteristics which clinch the CALCAREA CARB diagnosis. The one that is easiest to tack on to the sluggish mentality and sluggish physical make-up is that these children are much more comfortable when they are constipated and their bowels are inert.
If given an aperient it upsets them; if they have an attack of diarrhoea they are ill, but when their bowels are relatively sluggish they are comfortable.
The next thing that can be added to the sluggish make-up is an aggravation from any physical or mental exertion, or from any kind of rapid movement; these children suffer from car-sickness and train-sickness.
Another characteristic is a very definite dislike of too hot food. They are quite fond of ice-cream; have an aversion from meat and, occasionally there is a definite craving for eggs – in any form.
There is one other indication for CALCAREA CARB. When the children are below par they become nervous and scared. They are perfectly happy so long as there is somebody about, and they sit peacefully or play; but when it gets dark they are scared to go to bed without a light in the room.
They develop acute nightmares and wake up in the night screaming. A very common type of the CALCAREA CARB. child’s nightmare is seeing horrible faces in the dark.
Calcarea Phosphorica. [Calc-p]
If instead of presenting this typical picture the child is beginning to lose some fat, does not flush up so easily, shows hypertrophy of adenoid tissue rather than enlargement of tonsils and cervical glands, has a more adenoid facies; in addition if the child is becoming a little reserved, a little brighter at school, but with a tendency to headache if overworked and a dislike of being interfered with, then the probability is that the child has passed from CALCAREA CARB. to CALCAREA PHOSPHORICA.
Further if the child is tending to become rather spotty, becoming thinner and beginning to suffer from growing pains, these are additional indications pointing to CALCAREA PHOS.
An important point in this connection is that in the CALCAREA PHOS, child the growing pains are definitely muscular. In a similar type of child, also with growing pains but not so touchy as the CALCAREA PHOS. child and locating the pains in bones especially in the shin bones, the indication is for MANGANESIUM METALLICUM.
Thus it is apparent that minor differences may suggest fresh possibilities quite outside the CALCAREA group of drugs.
The child is thinning down tending to be definitely slight even a little delicate; is much brighter mentally, more nervy more excitable. In addition to being afraid in the dark is now sensitive to atmospheric disturbances, afraid of thunder; is anxious, k sensitive developing a definite dislike of being alone less shy and more capable of expressing himself.
He may flush up on any excitement or after taking hot food, is losing his desire for eggs and is increasingly fond of meat and food with a definite taste, preferably a salty taste; he is still liable to night terrors. This presents the picture of PHOSPHORUS.
He still gets colds, but these do not affect the throat, they go further down with a likelihood of bronchitis supervening. He is very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. This is an example of the way drugs grade into one another.
Then there is another type of child who has fined down slightly; he is still chilly very much thinner, has not grown nearly as much as the PHOSPHORUS child, is very much paler, and has a fine-textured skin. He has not the coarse curly hair normally associated with the CALCAREA type but rather finer hair, without the reddish glint of the PHOSPHORUS; it is becoming rather sandy.
This child is becoming much more touchy, more difficult, he resents interference and is more inclined to retire into his shell. He is fairly bright mentally, very easily tired out physically; liable to sweat, particularly about the extremities or about the head and neck. Often he has developed a dislike of, or intolerance to milk and the cervical glands may be enlarged. This is the picture of the typical SILICEA child.
But never think of SILICEA without considering the possibility of SANICULA, for the indications of these two remedies are almost identical. The SANICULA child is perhaps more irritable, and definitely more unstable mentally. Attacks of laughter and tears follow each other much more readily in the SANICULA child and he has much less staying power than the SILICEA type.
The SANICULA child never sticks long at anything; he is more obstinate and more difficult to control. There is likely to be a row if you interfere with the typical SANICULA child. But it is very difficult to distinguish between the SILICEA child and the SANICULA child, the physical symptoms are almost identical, and in most cases of this type, I have given SILICEA in the first instance and only on failing to get a full response have I gone on to SANICULA.
One considers AETHUSA here because of the notorious susceptibility to milk of the AETHUSA type. Wherever there is a severe aggravation from milk in acute attacks, always consider the possibility that AETHUSA will control these attacks. It is the first drug to think of.
Also, whenever there is a milk aggravation consider the possibility of one of the milk remedies being indicated to control an acute condition, either LAC DEFLORATUM or LAC CANINUM.
Reverting to the PHOSPHORUS type of child – that is the CALCAREA type that has thinned down into a PHOSPHORUS type. This in turn, leads to the LYCOPODIUM type.
The child has grown a little, lost weight become thin but instead of having the fine skin and the unstable circulation of the PHOSPHORUS child, it has become rather sallow. The tendency to sweat easily is disappearing and the skin is getting rather thicker.
These children appear to be independent but it is not quite the shyness of SILICEA. They seem to lack assurance but give the- impression that basically they have a fairly good opinion of themselves.
They are liable to digestive upsets, and although they have good appetites and often eat more than the average, they are not putting on weight. The abdomen may be rather enlarged but there are no enlarged palpable mesenteric glands. Instead of the PHOSPHORUS desire for meaty and tasty things, these children are developing a definite desire for sweet things.
Instead of the CALCAREA desire for ice-cream, they prefer hot food. Very like the CALCAREA types they get headaches from overwork at school and it is a dull type of headache. They are still chilly but much more sensitive to stuffiness than any of the types we have yet considered. This is the picture of the LYCOPODIUM type developing.
Another drug which is not nearly sufficiently used in the treatment of children and which is a counterpart of LYCOPODIUM, is CAUSTICUM. These children are not unlike the LYCOPODIUM types but are a little more sallow.
The CAUSTICUM type of child is definitely more sensitive than LYCOPODIUM types. They are not sensitive to pain but are particularly sensitive to any emotional disturbance. Often these children will cry because they think you are hurting another child. It is idea of pain which affects them rather than the actual pain to themselves, and they often stand pain quite well, but cannot bear to see another child crying.
They have much the same sort of clumsiness as the CALCAREA children; are rather unhandy, and are liable to strain muscles, whereas the CALCAREA children sprain ankles. They are inclined to suffer from rheumatism and liable to get acute muscular rheumatism, particularly from exposure. These CAUSTICUM children often suffer from acute torticollis or an acute facial palsy after exposure to an icy wind.
Associated with this tendency to torticollis and facial palsy, the CAUSTICUM children get very definite growing pains which are usually accompanied by stiffness in or about the joints – a feeling as if their joints were tight. And linking up with the rheumatic tendency, the CAUSTICUM child when overworked or nervously distressed, is very likely to develop choreic symptoms, and the outstanding feature of the CAUSTICUM chorea is that jerking persists during sleep.
The main distinguishing feature between the CAUSTICUM children and the LYCOPODIUM type is that CAUSTICUM children have a definite aversion for sweets whereas the LYCOPODIUM children desire them.
Two other points would confirm the CAUSTICUM diagnosis. The first is that the rheumatic troubles of the CAUSTICUM child are very much better in damp weather; and the second is that a CAUSTICUM child with any digestive upset tends to develop acute thirst after meals.
Two additional points which are sometimes useful-CAUSTICUM children often develop endless warts; they also have a very marked tendency to nocturnal enuresis.
Family History of Tuberculosis.
Wherever there is definite family history of tuberculosis no matter which drug is indicated, the child will at some time be helped by a dose of TUBERCULINUM and my practice is to give one dose about once in twelve months. An article in an American journal recommended giving two doses of 1 m, two of 10 m, two of 50 m, and two of Cm, on four successive days. It was maintained that this gave better results and can produce a practical immunity to tuberculosis in a child of tuberculous parents.
There is another point in which the treatment of children appears to differ from that of ordinary practice and it applies particularly to the treatment of the CALCAREA CARBONICA type of child. Time can be lost by following the rule of never repeating the medicine so long as improvement is maintained.
Originally I would give one dose of CALC CARB. 10 m and, providing the child went ahead slowly but steadily with no lessening in its improvement, I could find no reason to repeat the medicine for six months or more.
But the average young child, free from acute illness, will tend to improve even if it has no medicine at all, and the constitutional drug ought to increase the rate of that improvement. I therefore started repeating CALC CARB. at much more frequent intervals whenever the child was not jumping ahead, and in many of these CALC CARB. cases improvement can be speeded up by more frequent repetition of the medicine.
It is a quite different matter in the case of an adult.