Catalepsy, etc.- Nux. and Ipecac. in alternation; later Aranea diadema.
A woman, 29, of healthy parents still living (the father 89, mother 75), has suffered from her youth according to her statement, on the slightest bodily exertion or mental emotion from palpitation of the heart. The only cause she could think of was that in her youth she was ascribed to hearing children’s tales. Physical examination revealed neither valvular nor other defects except rapid action ever during complete bodily rest; the pulse was 80.
Of children’s diseases she had whooping-cough and nothing else. The colour of her skin is brilliant white, the skin clear, having never presented any eruptions, hair dark brown, eyes blue, figure slender, form metrical. She had already given birth to three children without difficulty, but has suffered with an incessant headache since her last confinement, which was quite normal, and after
* The cases are given in v. Grauvogl’s own words which she nursed her child for two months, when she weaned it for lack of milk. All this happened six years before she came to see me. The headache occupied no definite place but extended from the forehead over to the occiput, only sometimes it was most severe on the vertex. This headache did not permit her to visit or receive visits from her most intimate friends even, because it was so greatly (<) by talking or hearing others talk that vomiting ensued; and to make the pain at all endurable she had to take to her bed, where she remained three or four days motionless and lying on her back.
Not unfrequently pain in the stomach set in which ceased of itself after the discharge of sour water rising in the throat with nausea, and also the eructations of tasteless gas, which was more frequently induced by the ingestion of vegetable acids or vegetables. Her appetite was good but not ravenous; she refused to eat meat, even the smell of it was repugnant to her. The menses, as indeed was indicated by the pain in the vertex, were irregular, scanty and pale, and were generally six to eight days too early. In the interval there was more or less leucorrhoea which was debilitating, and the accession of the menses was debiliting, and the accession of the menses was announced by a violent colic.
The respiration was unrestrained, but in the apex of the right lung there was dull respiratory murmur, in a small portion without any change of sound on percussion. She never had any cough and the digestion was regular.
To the above symptoms were added, since her last confinement also, cataleptic attacks, almost every morning, after waking from an uninterrupted, good, but not refreshing sleep. Thus, if her husband did not notice in the morning that she closed her eyes again shortly after waking, and at the same time sighed once deeply, and at this very moment did not at once shake her shoulders with both hands and call to her aloud, then nothing would arouse her from the motionless insensible condition lasting from one to two hours, in which one could raise her arms and legs in any direction without them returning to their former position. These attacks had come and still came and went without any known cause, but they left behind them no further ailment.
As regards the concomitant circumstances of these pains, I learned that they were much more violent in damp weather than in dry and, in fact, her general condition was(<) at such times, so that this woman, who was previously lively and joyful became more more melancholic. The many physicians who had been consulted, the many cures which had been tried for her, and especially, even aside from considering the influence of the weather, was most violent in the afternoon and evening; that consequently it increased in severity irregularly though periodically, which also pointed to an affection of the nervous system; that she constantly suffered from chilliness, hence the whole winter through was obliged to keep her room very warm, and even in summer she had cold hands and feet, not withstanding all her clothing and other means for keeping warm.
Whoever has read the foregoing will have no doubt that here we have before us a disease in a hydrogenoid constitution, which latter must be extirpated first of all, without regard to the organs affected or the other parts of the organism; for as long as the general conditions of a disease are not removed no thought can ever be logically entertained of the cure or improvement of its special form.
I often read in the Homoeopathic journals clinical cases of physicians whose treatment, contravening this logical principle, was followed by little good results, or less than that which really was obtainable; while, by virtue of the Law of Similarity other physicians again were led to the right indication, though this principle was unknown to them. This is, then, an involuntary logic of the Homoeopaths, as a counterpart to the involuntary Homoeopathy of the physiological school.