CHRONIC RHEUMATISM by Dr. FORTIER-BERNOVILLE.
When you asked me the other day to prepare this subject of therapeutics, I accepted it without taking into account the difficulties to be overcome and I did not think that an introduction on this subject will be such a delicate problem. I thought that I was competent to answer the question of homoeopathic treatment of chronic rheumatism. Every week I treat a number of rheumatic patients. I treat them with or without success according to the cases; however, i generally get good results, but also like any other doctor, I get some failures, which humiliate me and humiliation is a good quality of a doctor, which checks the momentary exaggerated self-esteem.
Nevertheless, I thought that it was easy to classify and grade the remedies. When I wanted to put down on paper, I was at first surprised to see the difficulty to solve the problem and I asked myself if I would have to write a complete book in order to solve the problem, because if we wanted to study fully the medicines of chronic rheumatism, we would not be able to finish it within this short space. It is a very wide field. On the one hand the remedies proposed by different doctors are numerous and on the other hand the opinions are very different and controversial as to their values. It is difficult to put them in order. Some homoeopathic medicines are very active, the others have questionable value. But the question of doses for many remedies has not yet been solved and above all aetiology and pathology of different forms of chronic rheumatism are hardly yet described, not only in allopathy but also in homoeopathy.
It is true that in homoeopathy we can cure some rheumatic patients whose conditions discouraged the other systems; it is also certain, and we must admit our failures, that sometimes we do not get any result.
It is therefore necessary to try to understand what is chronic rheumatism and how we can treat it. Homoeopathy is a philosophy. Its principal quality is to give to the practitioner “a turn of mind” which is very different from that of the doctors of the other school. We have, as disciples of Hahnemann, some ideas that are as much “supported” as those of biologists, but these ideas are the keys by their general character of fecundity and of clearness, and schematic simplicity. We will have to give to the intuitive genius of Hahnemann some experimental basis as regards psora, sycosis etc.
Those who will follow us will perhaps teach the students who have come to homoeopathy a scheme probably very different from that which we are giving here and which is valuable only for the present.