One day a patient at the Boston dispensary clinics who came to consult me for attacks of angina pectoris began a recital of symptoms that were the exact counterpart of Pulsatilla.
The thought struck me this was an excellent opportunity of demonstrating to the students the unfailing law of similarity between disease and drug effects and I requested them to be alert for further symptoms of Pulsatilla Imagine my surprise and the suppressed amusement of the students when in reply to my questions whether movement increased or relieved her pains, she asserted that unless she kept perfectly still the pain in her heart and the difficulty in her breathing were something intolerable.
I now began to fear that I had been injudicious and had selected the wrong specimen to prove the facts I had insisted upon in my remarks, but a moment’s consideration led me to suspect that possibly the patient’s explanation of her conditions might not be correct.
If it had been of course, I should have had to begin the examination of her condition of the case anew, and trace out another remedy from the symptoms given.
I now asked her to show me exactly what she did when a paroxysm of pain came on. She slowly rose from her chair and stooping began to walk at a snail’s pace around th room, pressing her hands over the heart.
She remarked: “You know I have to keep very quiet, I move about just so slowly for the window to get fresh air”.
I found out also that the attacks generally came on of an evening especially if the room was closed. And her mood was a weeping one. Puls 200 was the only medicine I gave this woman.
Occasionally after studying a case we give a different remedy to the one we had first thought of. This change in our decision often comes through the discovery, perhaps at the last moment, of some new symptom which may have been extracted by cross questioning or volunteered by the patient when he sees how anxious you are to find out all about him.