LETTERS TO AN ORTHODOX DOCTOR.
Having begun in my last communication to give you a case of deafness as my forty-first reason, I fell back on a case of neuralgia that had been suggested by it, and so that leaves the deaf lady to do duty now. Well, she came in December, 1886, because I had cured said neuralgia.
“You cured my daughters neuralgia, so perhaps you can cure my deafness.”.
It was a case of long standing that had been under the best aurists, and they had syringed it and done their poor little best, giving temporary ease, but not touching the essence of the complaint, which was due to chronic inflammation and swelling of the walls of the external meatus on both sides.
In five months the lady was quite cured, and the remedies were Thuja, Psorinum, Sabina, and Ceanothus, and one other.
This lady has also become a homoeopath, and now employs for her family the homoeopathic practitioner living near her house, and her cure must stand as my forty-second reason for being a homoeopath.
I gave you the cure of a dermatitic state as my last reason for being a homoeopath; nosologically we called it deafness. Let me advance a little on the merely inflammatory state, and gives as my forty-third reason for being a homoeopath the cure of a small growth. I will call it.
ENCHONDROMA INDICIS CURED BY Calcarea fluorica ALONE.
A maiden lady sixty came to consult me on October 13th, 1882, telling me she had a shiny swelling on her left index finger, which had been there for about eighteen months. The lump was hard and painful, and of about the size of a small split walnut, but rather flatter. Patient was very nervous and depressed.
Rx. Trit. 3x Calcarea fluorica. Six grains four times a day, dry on the tongue.
October 27th. Very great improvement.
November 3rd. The cartilaginous nature is now clearly to be felt.
10th. The swelling continues to get softer.
Rx Rep. (dry on the tongue).
17th. Still progressing; softer and smaller; on its middle- finger side it has taken on inflammatory action, as if it were going to gather, being hot, red, and more swelled.
24th. The tumour is softer and smaller, and patient is beginning to bend her finger, which had previously become quite impossible.
December Ist. Still improving.
15th. Finger is much more normal in colour, and still progressing. Patient went on with the same remedy until a short way into the new year. I saw her the last time on December 29th, when she was nearly well.
If I remember rightly Grauvogl was the first to use and to recommend the fluoride of lime for enchondroma.
The interest of this case lies not so much in the importance of the tumour (it was only the size of half a walnut, or thereabouts), but rather in the fact that only one remedy was used, and no other, and no change was made either in diet or place of abode. The lady had a hard lump on her finger for eighteen months; she took a course of Calc. fl., to the choice of which homoeopathy led me, and the lump went away. Q. E. D.
I have before pointed out to you that I love the grand independence conferred upon me by homoeopathy; when I have a difficult case I do not want to side softly away from responsibility by the support of a consultative old foggy, whose brains have long since gone to sleep and whose raison detre is only medico-social. I want to cure my patient, and were it only for the mental satisfaction. Now, guided by homoeopathy, and a we bit of reasoning power, I can generally case of.
TRAUMATIC SWELLING OF RIGHT BREAST CURED BY Bellis ALONE.
I adduce the following case of a swelling in a young ladys breast, rather to exemplify in a neat way the curative range of the DAISY in the treatment of tumours.
No experienced practitioner will deny the genesis part played by bruised, blows, and falls, in the genesis of tumours and cancer; and hence our anti-traumatics ought to figure much more largely in our therapeutics of growths from blows. Before giving my case I will quote a very instructive note on this very question that appeared as leader in the first volume of the Homoeopathic Recorder (Philadelphia), No. 4, July, 1886.
It turns thus:.
In the preceding number of The Recorder there appeared three items concerning malignant growths, which deserve more than passing notice. One is the history of the development of a malignant formation as the result of the frequent mechanical irritation of a simple mole on the face, another recounted the cure of an extensive sarcomatous growth by an intercurrent attack of erysipelas, and the third contained the analysis of a series of cases of carcinoma in all of which there was antecedent injury by mechanical or chemical means; in the latter selection the writer asks in all seriousness: Is cancer, whatever its form, ever primary i. e., does it ever originate without previous injury?.
A negative reply to this inquiry is of the highest importance to those who believe in the curative effects of drugs. It deprives the disease-action of part of mysterious, fateful quality so constantly associated in our minds with these affections, and which terrorizes to some degree the powers of the medical attendant.
For we hold that the great majority of physicians, on discovering the existence of a suspicious growth, are strongly impelled to advise the use of the knife as the only sure treatment, notwithstanding that in cases of undoubted malignancy the value of surgical interference is greatly lessened by the relatively poor results as measured by the added years given to the patient.
Moreover, if the occurrence of an infectious inflammation of the skin had destroyed malignant disease process in that tissue, there is a fairly good basis for the view, reasoning by analogy, that drug disease i.e. a disease produced by the action of a medicine can, if affecting a part involved in the malignant process, cause similarly efficacious results.
In an admirable Report. “[Phila, Med. Times,” xvi., 484] on the Progress of Pathology, by J. H. Muser, M.D., Mr. Sutton, F. R. C. S., is given as authority for the following view: “Irritation, local or otherwise, affecting the tissue, may cause abnormal epithelial growths, which, rising above the general level, may produce a wart.
On the other hand, the epithelial growths may dip into the sub-epithelial tissues, and, on account of lack of formative development, either from decline of vigour or general constitutional debility, the new tissue never develops functionally, round riot, and originates tissues of low vitality carcinomata debility, etc. are absent in the young; hence in the young we have warts; in the old, cancers.”.
What, then, is the bearing of these facts upon the treatment of probably malignant tumours ? Passing by the cures of warts by internal medicine alone, which almost every homoeopathic practitioner has observed over and over again, we need only call attention to the cures, by the same method, of tumours of the female breast, an organ notoriously disposed to malignant neoplasms; her the action of Conium cannot be denied, and what is true of this remedy may be true of many others.
A through study of the symptoms of each individual case, with the view of finding the exact simillimum, the exhibition of the latter in different attenuations, if necessary, changing the remedy only when a change of symptoms demands it, and extreme watchfulness for involvement of the neighbouring glandular structures, make up, it appears to us, the duty of the physician.
Whether he would be justified in holding out any hope of cure by internal medication after evidences of systemic infection exist, must be decided by his own experience; but, as there are always cases in which operation is inadmissible, or in which it will not be allowed, operation will not be wanting to continue treatment with the properly chosen remedy.
If statistics of our treatment can be collated and analysed, the results will, we feel sure, give encouragement to physicians and sufferers as well, and demonstrate anew, and in a strikingly brilliant manner, the value of our law of cure.
We earnestly hope, then, that of us who hold hospital or dispensary appointments will endeavour to employ the method of internal medication in cases of malignant growths whenever it is fairly admissible to do so, and that records of cases containing diagnoses checked off as to their accuracy by every method known to medical science, together with the symptoms in full and the treatment used, may soon appear in our journals. Thus will be laid the foundation for a new and lasting monument to homoeopathy.
Without going so far as the author of this article, I must certainly say I attribute some of my success in the treatment of cancers and other tumours by medicines to a due recognition of the traumatic fact, not in diagnostics merely, but also in therapeutics.
Miss L.C., aged thirteen years, came under my observation at the end of July, 1879. About eight weeks previously a miserable lad in the right breast with considerable violence; from that time on, this breast became swollen and very painful, until at length she was quite unable to lie on her brother, and my experience teaches me that the members of poitrinaire families are particularly liable to suffer from blows.
At first no notices was taken of the young ladys complaints, but week after week went by, and she persisted in referring to the pain in her breast. Whether any domestic means had been employed I do not now remember, but eventually I was sent for, as vague notions of tumour and cancer rendered the parents uneasy. On comparing the breasts, the right one was found to be by much the larger, being swollen and very tender.
I thought this a very proper case for testing the anti-traumatic virtue of the old English bruisewort, and hence prescribed thus:
Rx Tc. Bellisper perennis 3x. 3ij.
S. Three drops to be taken in water four times a day. The result was a very rapid disappearance of pain and swelling, and in a fortnight patient could lie again on the right side. And a few days later an examination showed that the swelling had entirely disappeared.
Nothing whatever was applied to the part, no change was made in diet, mode of life, or place of abode, and as the thing had already existed for eight weeks, the positively curative effect of the Bellis can hardly be denied, which is the one point this case is meant to exemplify and to teach, and that because it is so very difficult to demonstrate positively the effect of any one remedy when the tumefaction has become a genuine neoplasia, or hyperplasia.[ In this case there was, of course, no hyperplasia.
Too many of my cases prove this.].