WE tend to associate Psorinum with the patient who is inordinately hungry, but there is another picture which fits in with Psorinum in purely digestive disturbances : the patient who is making a very slow convalescence from an acute illness, who had no appetite at all and in whom all digestion seem to have ceased. Everything seems to turn sour in the stomach and there is a great deal of sour, or very offensive, eructation.
It is the kind of patient who is very difficult to fit with a medicine because individualising symptoms on which to prescribe are so lacking-the patient is just dead tired, there seems to be no reaction at all, and he drags along without picking up. Often there is an extreme empty feeling in the abdomen, but with a complete loathing of food.
These patients are nearly always constipated, and their constipation is rather suggestive. It consists of a complete inability to evacuate the rectum although the stool is perfectly soft. What stool is passed is always foully offensive, and is often accompanied by very offensive flatus. They get a good deal of flatulence, and complain that the flatus, as well as being offensive, is very hot and burning when it is pressed.
They also complain of nausea, starting about 10 a.m. accompanied by a very sweetish, unpleasant regurgitation of fluid. These convalescents develop an acute intolerance of tobacco; any attempt at smoking is liable to bring on the most violent hiccough.
They are just dead beat : their main desire is to be left alone, to be allowed to lie down and exert themselves in any way. Any exertion is liable to cause violent perspiration which tends to be very offensive; and they not infrequently suffer from offensive night sweats.
They suffer from extreme giddiness on exertion in the open air, are very chilly-especially about the head and neck-and mostly have a very unhealthy mouth and, often, extensive pyorrhoea.
Psorinum patients are always very depressed, they feel quite hopeless, they are never going to get better; and not infrequently complain that, owing to their illness, their business is going downhill and they are going to be ruined.
They are very sensitive to any change of temperature and to thunderstorms. They simply cannot bear any draught of air. They often tell you that they simply cannot breathe in cold air.
Frequently these patients complain of intensely irritant eruptions on the skin. But, apart from eruptions, they get intense itching which is very troublesome at night in bed when they get warm, and is very much aggravated by any woollen clothing or by bathing.
When they are perspiring, they often have a very greasy- looking appearance of the face; though the skin of the legs, arms and hands may be very dry, harsh and rough, liable to crack and always giving a very dirty appearance.
Occasionally, there are indications for Psorinum in acute infantile diarrhoea. The child is very unhealthy-looking, with a rough, dirty-looking, coarse skin which is liable to crack and become sore in cold weather. Frequently, the child has blepharitis, red, unhealthy looking eyes and a chronic nasal discharge. There is a history of steady loss of weight, although the appetite is good, something even inordinate. And, he has gone down with a very violent attack of diarrhoea.
The youngsters seem to be quite incapable of sleeping, they are fretful and irritable all the time and cannot rest. There is constant irritation in the abdomen, with rumbling and gurgling; and the most violent, stinking, brown, watery diarrhoea. The children are usually incontinent.
If you get a history that the diarrhoea started as the result of a chill, not infrequently responds to Psorinum.
There is one thing, apart from the general dirty appearance, that always makes me think of Psorinum for these children : they often have a peculiar fuzzy growth of fine hair on the face.
It is very difficult to repertorise a drug for the ill- defined malaise and poor reaction of the unsatisfactory convalescent; and a knowledge of the symptom picture of Psorinum will often prove immensely useful in such cases.