LETTERS TO AN ORTHODOX DOCTOR.
ENLARGED GLANDS. APEX-CATARRH.
Master C, aet. 112, came under my care on August 18th, 1881, Complaining of a cough, worse at 7.30 p.m.; he also coughed by day and through the night, but it did not wake him. He perspired fearfully, worst on the head, and worse during the night. Over upper half of left lung one heard moist crackling rales. The cervical lymphatic glands at the top of the apex of left lung were indurated, and distinctly “feelable”. He weighed 5 stone 4 lbs. The vaccination scars were on the left arm, and the glands over the apex of the right lung were not indurated.
Induration of the lymphatics on the left side of the neck (the vaccination being performed on that side) is the rule after vaccination, as anyone may observe for himself if he will take the trouble to examine a healthy child just before vaccination and any time thereafter. I say, any time thereafter, for the thing generally persists for a very long time, unless cured by medical art.
R. Thuja 30, m.ii. Sac. lac. q.s.. One, three times a day.
August 27th. Is well of cough, but the sweats continue. To take no medicine.
September 6th. The most careful examination of chest reveals no rale; there is no cough; the sweats have quite ceased; the said cervical lymphatics can not be found. The boy now weighs 5 stone 8 lbs., so that he has gained 4 lbs. in weight since he got the Thuja.
The boy had been at school, and was sent home to his parents by the school physician on account of his obstinate cough, and because his general symptoms excited alarm. To me it appeared to be the first stage of phthisis. That the boy should increase in weight at home just after returning from school is, of course, not necessarily due to the medicine; home life, too, would improve his nutrition generally, and would perhaps also account for the disappearance of the apex-catarrh, cough, and perspirations. But what is to account for the disappearance of the induration of the cervical glands?.
Of course you will perceive that what I understand by vaccinosis has no necessary connection with homoeopathy, the Thuja being homoeopathic to the cases.
As my thirtieth reason for being a homoeopath you will allow me to cite another Thuja case, viz. one of.
ACNE OF FACE AND NOSE, AND NASAL DERMATITIS.
A young lady, about twenty years of age, was brought by her mother to me on October 28th, 1882. Patient had a very red, pimply nose, not like the red nose of the elderly bibber, or like that due to dyspepsia or to tight lacing, but a pimply, scaly, nasal dermatitis, which extended from the cutaneous covering of the nose to that of the cheeks, but appearing here more as facial acne. The nasal dermatitis was, roughly, in the form of a saddle. Of course, this state of things in an otherwise pretty girl of twenty was painfully and humiliatingly unpleasant to her and to her friends; in fact, it was likely to mar her future prospects very materially, more specially as it had already existed for six years, and was making no signs of departing. She also complained of obstinate constipation. The pimples of the nose and face used to get little white mattery heads.
R. Thuja occidentalis 30.
November 30th. Pimples of face decidedly better. Nose less red. Constipation no better.
R Thuja occidentalis 100.
January 3rd, 1883. The face is free ! Her mother gratefully exclaims, “She is wonderfully better”. I ask the young lady which powders did her most good; she says, “The last.” The skin of the nose is normal, but the constipation is no better, and for this she remains under treatment.
That Thuja cured this case is incontrovertible.
NEURALGIA OF RIGHT EYE.
Mr., a gentlemen of position and mean, about fifty years of age, came to consult me on June 28th, 1882 for a neuralgia of the right eye.
He complained of almost constant pain in right eye ever since Christmas 1881, i.e. just about six months. Had had neuralgia in head and shoulders in 1866, and so much morphia had been injected in his shoulders by a doctor in Scotland that it almost killed him: for seven or eight hours it was doubtful if he would recover.
Has a brown, eczematous, itchy (at night) eruption on both shins and between the toes. The neuralgia of right eye, and for which he comes to me, is had both day and night, but rather worse at night. Mr. (now Sir William) Bowman had examined the eye and declared it to be neuralgia, the eye being normal. Mr. White Cooper had done the same.
On my enquiry when he was last vaccinated, he seemed completely frightened, and stammered out rapidly, “I should not like to be vaccinated again”.
“I was very seedy the last time I was vaccinated; in fact,I felt awfully ill for about a month,” and he again hurriedly protected that he would not like to be vaccinated again. The vaccination that had made him so ill was either in 1852 or 1853.
This seemed to me to be a case of vaccinal neuralgia, and therefore I ordered Thuja 30, in infrequent dose. This was on the 28th of June, 1882.
July 8th. But very little pain after the first powder. To have the same medicine again.
The cure proved permanent, and is interesting as proof of the rapidity with which the most like remedy can cure a neuralgia.
Being a case of
On December 22nd, 1882, a young lady of twenty-six came under my care for an ugly state of the nails of her fingers. Naturally, a lady of her age would not be indifferent to the state of her nails. These nails are indented rather deeply, and in addition to these indentations there are black patches on the under surface of the nails, reaching into the quick.
Very slight leucorrhoea occasionally. She had chicken-pox as a child of eleven. On her shoulders there is an eruption of roundish patches, forming mattery heads. The black patches have existed these eighteen months.
I ordered Thuja 30 (one in six).
March 19th, 1833. He continued the Thuja 30 for just about three months, with the result that within a fortnight from commencing with it the black patches under the nails began to disappear, and there is now no trace of them.
I will not trouble you with any more reasons based on the therapeutic action of Thuja.
You want to know whether I really claim that homoeopathy can cure cataract with medicines. You know very well that that has been my contention for a number of years; but I will revert to that again.
As my thirty-third reason for being a homoeopath I propose to give you a case of cataract cured by medicines. You said in one of your letters to me that you would like to see the man who could dissolve a case of genuine senile cataract with medicines. Well, I will recount to you how I was converted myself.
The limits of the curable and of the incurable are not represented by any fixed lines; what is incurable to-day may be curable to-morrow, and what we all of this generation deem incurable may be considered very amenable to treatment in the next generation.
When walking the hospitals years ago I was taught, in respect of cataract, that there was nothing for it but an operation; a few months since, I spend a little time at an excellent metropolitan hospital for the eye, and found that that is still the one thing taught, viz. if you have a cataract, there is no hope for you beyond that of getting blind, and then trying to get your sight again by having the cataractous lens removed.
On May 28th 1875, I was sent for to see a lady suffering from acute ophthalmia. She informed me that her friend Dr. Mahony, of Liverpool, had recommended her to try homoeopathy when she should again require medical aid, and had also mentioned my name to her.
She seemed rather ashamed of calling in the aid of a disciple of Hahnemann, and was very careful to lay all the blame upon Dr. Mahony: for, said she, I know nothing about it. My patient was in a darkened room, and hence I could not well see what manner of woman she was; but I soon learned she was the widow of an Indian officer, had spent many years in India, where she had had ophthalmia a great many times, and that she was in the habit of getting ophthalmia once or twice a year, or even oftener, ever since.
It generally lasted several weeks, and then got better; no kind of treatment seemed to be of any avail. Did I think homoeopathy would do her any good ? I replied that we would try it.
I made an attempt at examining the eye, by lifting up one of the laths of the Venetian blind to let in the light, and then everting the lid; but the photophobia and consequent blepharospasm were so great that I barely succeeded in recognizing that the right eye was a red, swelled mass, while the left one was only comparatively slightly affected; in fact, a case of ophthalmitis. A more minute examination was impossible, as the pain was so great that the patient screamed whenever any light was let into the eye.
I took a mental note of the chief symptoms, notably of the fact that the inflammation was chiefly confined to the right eye, and went home and worked out the homoeopathic equation; I was specially anxious to make a hit, and so I spent about half an hour at the differential drug-diagnosis. The drug I decided upon was phosphorus. Thus. Rx Tc. Phos. 1m.xij. Sac. lac.q.s. Div.in p. aeq. xij. S. One in a little water every hour.
That would be about the one-hundredth part of a grain of Phosphorus at a dose, or rather less.
I called the next day, about eighteen hours thereafter, and my patient opened the door herself, slightly screening her eyes with her hand, and quite able to bear a moderate amount of light. The inflammation was nearly gone; the next day it was quite gone.
Patients amazement was great indeed; in all the twenty years of these ophthalmic attacks she had suffered much, and had had a number of doctors, including London oculists, to treat her, but to no purpose. And yet she had been treated actively, and there had been no lack of physic and leeches, and also no lack of medical skill; but there was lacking in their therapeutics the one thing needful.. . . THE LAW OF SIMILARS.
How was it that I, with no very special knowledge of the eye or of its diseases, and with only usual practical experience, could thus beat skilled specialists and men of thrice my experience ?.
Was it, perhaps, greater skill, deeper insight into the disease, more careful investigation of the case? By no means . . . It was just the law of similars, patiently carried out n practice.
My dear allopathic confrere, WHY are you so very simple that you leave us homoeopaths with this enormous advantage over the best of you? Any little homoeopathic David can overcome the greatest allopathic giant if he will only keep to his Materia Medica, and the directions of Hahnemann.
And the good thing lies so near, and is so constantly thrown at you. If we homoeopaths were only to make a secret of our art, you would petition the Government to purchase it of us !.
But revenons a nos moutons. My patient was naturally very grateful, and said, “If that is homoeopathy, I wonder if it could cure my cataract?” On examining the eyes now with some care one could readily perceive that there were opacities behind the pupils, that of the right being the much more extensive. She then informed me that she had had cataract for some years, and was waiting for it to get ripe so as to undergo an operation. She had been to two London oculists about it, and they agreed both as to diagnosis and prognosis, and eventual operative treatment.
She had waited a year and gone again to one of these eye surgeons, and been told that all was satisfactorily progressing, although butt slowly; it was thought it might take another two years before an operation could be performed. Her vision was also getting gradually worse, and she could not see the parting in her hair at the looking-glass, or the names over the shops, or on the omnibuses in the street; could see better in the dusk than in broad daylight.
In answer to her question as to the curability of cataract with medicines, I said I had no personal experience whatever on the subject beyond one case, and I thought that from the nature of the complaint, one could hardly expect medicines to cure it, or even affect it at all. Still, some few homoeopaths had published such cases, and others had asserted that they sometimes did really succeed in curing cataract with homoeopathic treatment.
I added that, inconceivable as it was to me, yet I had no right to question the veracity of these gentlemen, simply because they claimed to do what seemed impossible.
In fine, I agreed, at patients special request, to try to cure her cataract with medicines given on homoeopathic lines !.
I must confess that I smiled a little at my own temerity. But I consoled myself thus: What harm could it do to treat her while she was waiting to get blind. At the worst I should not prevent it !.
So it was agreed she should report herself every month or so, and I would each time prescribe for her a course of treatment.
All this was there and then agreed to.
She took from may 29th to June 219th 1875, Calcarea carbonica 30, and Chelidonium I, one pilule in alternation three times a day. Thus she had two doses of the Calcarea one day, and one the next, and conversely of the Chelidonium.
There was indications for both remedies, though I cannot defend the alternation: I hope I alternate less frequently now.
Then followed Asafoetida 6, and Digitalis Purp.3.
Then Phosphorus 1, and subsequently Sulphur 30, and then Calcarea and Chelidonium.
Thus I continued ringing the changes of Phosphorus, Sulphur, Chelidonium, Calcarea carbonica, Asafoetida, and Digitalis, till the beginning of 1876.
On February 17th, 1876, I prescribed Gelsemium 30 in pilules, one three times a day. This was continued for a month.
Then I gave the following course of drug treatment: Silicea 30 for fourteen days; Belladonna 3 for fourteen days; Sulphur 30 three times a day for a week; and then Phosphorus 1 for a fortnight.
A month or so after this date March 20th, 1876 I one morning heard some very loud talking in the hall, and my patient came rushing in and crying in quite an excited manner that she could almost see as well as ever.
She explained that latterly she seemed able to discern objects and persons in the street much better than formerly but she thought it must be fancy, but that morning she suddenly discovered that she could see the parting in her hair and she at once started to inform me of the fact and, en route, she further tested her vision by reading the names over the shops which she previously could not see at all.
I ordered the same course of treatment again, and in another two months the lenticular (or capsular) opacities completely disappeared, and her vision became and remained excellent.
She had never any recurrence of the ophthalmia, and she remained about a year and a half in my neighbourhood in good health. She then went abroad again, and in her letters to her friends since, she makes no mention of her eyes or sight, and hence I fairly conclude that she continues well.
The patients age is now about fifty r fifty-one.
I have detailed this case somewhat circumstantially, so that my conversion to a belief in the medicinal curability of cataract may appear to others as it does to me.
This case made a considerable stir in a small circle, and a certain number of cases of cataract have since come under my care in consequence, and the curative results I have obtained in their treatment are extremely encouraging.
And I may add that I published this in the year 1880, and since then I have partially or completely cured a number of cases of cataract with remedies, and this power I possess because I am privileged to be a homoeopath.