(From the Homoeopathic World, 19..)
1. Mrs. A. was carried into my office one afternoon in June, 1903, too weak to walk alone, but she was not of the mild and easy type often associated with Sepia. She knew her own mind, so did her husband and children, and were careful accordingly. I could not get much of a history, except that for a long time she had been feeling badly and gradually growing worse, until she was too weak to do her house work, and this in a land of no servants is a calamity. Had weak spells when she would nearly faint away during which neighbours and friends would gather around to be in at the finish, but so far had been disappointed.
The exertion of riding in from the farm brought on one of her “faint spells, her face looked ghastly, as her husband and son carried her in, and she lay back in my big office chair gasping. I was young at the business and a stranger in those parts. I took one long look at her face and sat in my only other chair, gasping too, in fact,I didnt feel a bit well just then. I had figured on being a doctor, not an undertaker, so I hadnt the proper brand of feelings on tap. However, I got a little whisky down her throat and by and by she sat up.
Her face was black and white and yellow ; black around eyes and cheek-bones, white lower face and lips, forehead yellow, as though painted with Iodine with brownish patches. Here and there are yellow extended down ridge of nose and spread sideways over centre. Tongue and mucous membrane of mouth pale, breath offensive, taste “very bad”. Headaches like a weight on top of her head, “nearly drives her crazy”. No appetite, “couldnt look at food, it made her feel sick”. “Nauseated and often tries to vomit in the mornings”.
Catamenia not very regular, blood too dark. Urine reddish yellow, smelling very rank. Leucorrhoea excessive, thin, yellow.
“Lots of pain with it, I feel as though Id lose my insides sometimes. I have to sit close to keep them in, or with my feet high up”.
“Sits with her feet up on the bed-end, doctor, most all day,” commented her husband.
“I havent done a stroke of work for over two months; did do my ridding up till then, but havent been able to wash or iron for two years, the heat makes me so weak, and the ironing nearly broke my back, in fact, thats one of my worst troubles, I have so much pain in my back. I have to hold on to it with both hands, sometimes when Im well enough I get up and walk about. If Jims home –(husband)–he helps me; that makes it feel a bit better. Sometimes riding in the rig seems to ease me”.
“How about sleep?”.
“Cant sleep at night; I get scared. Sleep a bit sometimes in the forenoon. Then I get my heart going and I tremble all over,mostly in the afternoons, and Jim has to carry me to the bed. I think this has been working on me for several years. I used to have to lay up at my sick times, but its only the last two months that I couldnt do anything at all. Ive been doctoring for it on and off for a long time, and taken a whole drug-store full of medicine.
I always have to take something for my bowels, but they got sos nothing seems to move them now, and I dont know what Im going to do, and I am bothered so with gas on my stomach, seem to be full up all the time; it keeps working around and rumbles so bad, it makes me feel ashamed of myself when friends come in”.
I gave Dunham D.Sepia c.c. three powers, half an hour apart, and Sac, lac. for a week. I was afraid to ask them to report in a day or two, because she didnt look like a healthy advertisement for a doctor; but next week they drove into town again. Her husband helped her into the office.
“Im some better”, she announced, as she was lowered into my armchair. “Those little powers you gave me made me awful sick the first evening, but the medicine in the bottle done me good”.
Sac, lac. A month passed and still improvement. Another month and then improvement seemed to stop. B. and T. Sepia M on tongue, and Sac. lac. Next morning bright and early, “Jim” was at my office. “Wife not near so well, doctor; we was up near all night with her.”
Then I sat down and fought out the battle in my soul on the question, should I change the remedy or should I stick to my Sepia. Was this an aggravation or a real relapse. I ended by going out to see her, and sat by her beside, and frazzled a years growth out of my soul over the question, finally I put some Sac. lac. in water and ordered one teaspoonful every hour for six doses, and then go on with the other medicine.
Improvement followed. I had to leave for Chicago, a few weeks after, and left her in charge of another doctor. I did not get back for five months. On my return my confrere met me at the station. “Mrs. R. is very ill; we dont expect her to live; wish you would come and see her”.
I drove out with him the next morning. My friend insisted on stopped before we drove into the house, while he reconnoitered through the hedge to see if the shades were down. He didnt seem to feel well. I wasnt shouting any myself just then. We met the husband as we entered the gate. I scanned his face for moral support-no tears, no red eyes, anyhow. “Jim”, said my friend; “Is she dead yet.” “No doctor” came the reply, “but mighty near it,” I said to my friend, “Look here, Ill stay outside and mind the horse, while you go in.
Im comparatively a stranger how, and I wouldnt disturb a dying woman; it would only hasten the end.” He preferred to take chances, so we went in. She did look sick, just a skeleton with its skin on; whites of the eyes showing between half-closed lids; face yellow and brown on forehead and nose; under eyes and cheek leaden black; lips yellow. My friend walked in ahead of me. He took one look at the patient, whispered in my ear, “Ill step outside, while you look over the case, ” and was gone-the brute.
She was too weak to speak, I felt her pulse and joined the majority outside.
“What is she on doctor ? I asked.
“For the low, typhoid condition, and shes as sore as a boil all over, said two days a go that she felt like one big bruised and over her body”.
I went inside again and examined the mattress. Good old straw; hard as a brick. Went outside again. “You made a mistake, doctor; you should have given Arnica to the mattress.”
The backache was “simply awful”, and the urine incredibly foul- smelling.
I went in again and dropped B.and T. Sepia M on her tongue; left Sac. lac. in water every two hours.
Next morning Jim met me at the gate. “She seems to be some better, doctor”.
A whispered “Good morning, doctor,” met me as I bent over her bed. Gave Sac. lac.
Three weeks after gave B. and T. Boericke and Tafel. B. and T/ Sepia M again. Repeated it in two weeks, without result this time, so raised it to +Skinner. SK Sepia C.M.
This was followed by an uneventful recovery. That was eight years ago. She has done her own housework ever since. Urine normal. Bowels, appetite, etc., regular, and her husband says, “Her tempers fine, doctor, never rags me now”.
2. Mr. M., aged 36, 5 feet 10 inches; stout and rosy cheeked, called one afternoon complaining of “Backache.” He was a farmer and so was exposed to all sorts of weather. Had had an attack of rheumatism the previous year; the backache had developed slowly as the rheumatism disappeared. He gave the following symptoms :-.
Pain in back < towards evening. Pain not constant, sometimes disappears for days at a time. Hot application, wet weather, might, seemed to make no difference. During backache and for awhile after, urine often turbid and rather strong-smelling. When asked as to effect of exercise, he exclaimed, “Thats the funny part of it, doctor; if I get out and walk my back seems to get better, but then it gets weak and I can hardly crawl home again. I generally get into the buggy and go riding, and the worse it jolts the better my back feels”.
I could elicit no other symptoms, and he finally exclaimed, “I have nothing else wrong with me. I eat hearty, sleep well and feel fine, except for my back; when that gets going theres something doing at our house, I can tell you. I just get mean and hostile, and my spirits go way down to G. Everything goes to my back when I get sick; it feels as if it would break in two.
I believe if I had a corn on my toe Id feel the pain in my back”.
D./ Sepia c.c. followed by B.and T./ Sepia M in one month cured the back, and doctor, but hes mean and spiteful as he can be. Cant do a thing with him. Some days hell cry all day about nothing; other days he gets ugly at everything. He has no appetite to speak of and his little stummic is swollen all the time. We have lots of trouble with his bowels; have to give him medicine every day or they wouldnt move at all, and he has piles. His bowel seems to come down, and we have to push it back up again”.
I looked at the little earthy-faced, malarial-soaked child, and wondered what to give him.
Finally I asked, “Does his face always have that pasty look ?”.
“No, doctor; he gets as yellow as a pumpkin sometimes across his forehead and just under his hair. Then he has a big brown patch on his left temple, see”, and the good lady twisted the small head sideways to expose “the brown spot”.
“What can you do to ease him when he has these attacks?”.
“Nothing much. Sometimes his papa takes him out buggy-riding”.
“Does that help ?”.
“Yes, if he drives fast enough; he likes being jolted up and down, and if his pa dont keep the horse jumping you bet he hears of it”.
I couldnt help but think of Sepia, yet that is a womans remedy. Plague take the doctor who talks about remedies as being “suitable to men” or “women”. I ought to have given Sepia; I gave Cina.
His mother came in again the following week. “Harry aint no better, doctor; Ive had to lick the daylight out of him this forenoon to make him take some castor oil.
“Well, cut out the licking and the cathartics, and give him this”.
I sent “Sepia 30”.
Reported next week as better. in a month dismissed, cured.