NOTES FROM DOCTORS CASE BOOK
BY A HOMOEOPATHIC DOCTOR IN THE PROVINCES.
THE man who knows nothing of homoeopathy most likely will exclaim, “What on earth has homoeopathy to do with surgery?” Such a query is a perfectly reasonable one until it is realized what Homoeopathy can accomplish. It is here that one great distinction between the old school medicine and the new is so marked. Homoeopathic remedies can be of great use to the surgeon, both before and after operations. In fact, many instances are on record where the indicated homoeopathic remedy was sufficient to cure without any surgical interference. The records of cases which follow these introductory remarks are given with the object of showing what homoeopathy can do in case where there seems to be nothing for the patient but the surgeons knife.
Mrs. B., aged 56 years, complained of a swelling “towards the front”, which caused some discomfort on sitting. On examination a cystic swelling was found in the perineum. There was no suggestion of anything inflammatory about it. An operation had been advised by some medical adviser, but the patient declined. Calcarea carb. 200, three doses, spread over two months, cleared up the swelling.
A year or so after this, the married daughter of the above patient, aged 35 years, complained of a similar swelling. This also cleared up under Calcarea carb.
Mrs. D., aged 36 years. Four months after the birth of her baby the left breast became painful and inflamed. There were a number of irregular nodules in the breast and definite areas of fluctuation indicated the presence of pus. This was a case where the surgeon certainly seemed indicated. The patient declined any surgical interference, as she felt that homoeopathy could cure it. A series of remedies were given, including Silica, Sulphur and Graphites, and the breast was finally cleared up with Calcarea carb. 200, followed later by one dose of Calcarea carb. cm. (100,000).
There will probably be some among your readers who will condemn the treating of an abscess, and especially a breast abscess, at that, without using the knife. That criticism is perfectly correct if a man knows nothing about homoeopathic remedies and can only travel on the old orthodox lines. Listen to what Professor Kent says on that subject. “But in thinking from the old standpoint the physician who knows nothing about homoeopathy, and the wonders of our homoeopathic remedies, would hold up his hands in horror.
Why, if you produce a resorption of that pus into the system you will have blood poisoning and death. But under Calcarea this resorption does take place in some manner, and the patient improves”.
Improvement certainly did take place in the case we are quoting. Eight years after the breast remained to all intents and purposes normal, as the patient had had, during that time, two more babies which she suckled without any further trouble in the breast.
Mrs. T., aged 80 years. A hard lump in the right breast which had been present for some years; the knowledge of which she had concealed from every one. Phytolacca 30, given at intervals over some months, restored the breast to its normal state.
THE cases that now follow are taken from the records of the Southport Homoeopathic Cottage Hospital during the Great War. The first batch of wounded that arrived at that hospital were Belgian soldiers, whose wounds had not been attended to or dressed for three days; foul and evil-smelling were most of the injuries. Calendula used as a lotion worked marvels cleaning up and sweetening the foul wounds.
In cases where the dressing of the wounds caused much pain a few drops of Hypericum tincture added to the Calendula lotion enabled them to be dealt with with very bad case where there was a large area of muscle exposed in the upper and front part of the thigh, and below one portion very thinly covered was the Femoral artery pulsating. This wound had hitherto been dressed under an anaesthetic, but with Calendula and Hypericum there was no longer any need for anaesthesia.
J.B.V., Corporal, Belgian Army, aged 21 years. Admitted to hospital with gunshot wound of the right hand. The bullet had passed through the hand shattering the third metacarpal bone. On the front and back of the hand was a nasty foul-smelling wound streaming with pus. Four hourly fomentations of Calendula were applied to the hand and Merc. sol. 6 was given twice daily.
This was on October 15th, 1914 and by the 26th of that month, the hand was so much better that dry dressings were applied. On October 28th, Hepar sulph. 6 was given two hourly to clear up some slight discharge that remained. This man regained the use of his hand and although not fit to be sent back to the firing line was eventually sent for duty to a wireless station in the Belgian Congo.
J.C., aged 22, Private in Belgian Army. This man was wounded at Louvain, the bullet entering two inches above left elbow, perforating the arm and then entering chest wall below seventh and eighth ribs and emerging at left side of the vertebrae, having travelled along the ribs. Calendula fomentations cleared up the wounds, and then came the question of a remedy for the the pain which was considerable. The patient said it was like a rheumatic pain; it was worse on beginning to move, then better for a little while, and later worse again. Rhus tox. 30 potency was given and relieved the pain.
J.H., aged 21, Private in Belgian Army. This was an exceptionally interesting case. This patient had a gunshot wound of the right shoulder. The bullet had penetrated the head of the Humerus (shown by X-rays) and had opened up the joint. This in itself was a serious injury and was rendered more so from the fact that the anterior and posterior wounds were very foul.
The wounds were dressed with Calendula fomentations applied two hourly and also syringed with weak Calendula and Hydrogen peroxide. The temperature on admission was 98; six days later it rose to 103. As a collection of pus was obviously tracking down the arm, the wounds are opened up and incisions made in from and behind the arm below the shoulder.
Various remedies had been given up to the time of the operation without much improvement. In spite of the operative measures the temperature continued to rise. Bacteriological reports gave among other microbes the Staphylococcus albus, Staphylococcin 500, two doses were then given. The temperature fell only to rise later. To shorten the history of a long case, the writer will omit the ups and downs of the case and come to the stage when in spite of treatment the patient steadily got worse and was obviously going downhill. In fact he said he thought he was going to die.
A vaccine was then prepared but was not given as the writer felt certain that a remedy could be found for so desperate a case. After careful consideration Pyrogen 30 was given on November 17th, and the temperature fell from 102 to 98.2. Pyrogen was continued three hourly but the temperature rose again to 101 on the 19th. On the 20th, it fell to normal but rose to 99 on the following day. Pyrogen was now given twice daily and the temperature from now onward remained normal. The patient steadily improved and was eventually discharged from hospital with wounds healed and a fair movement in the shoulder joint.
Pyrogen was given on the following indications:.
(1) The generally septic condition of the patient, who had become very emaciated.
(2) Face pale, sunken, covered with cold sweat particularly on the forehead.
(3) Tongue white in front and brown behind.
Whatever the opinion of other may be the writer is certain that Pyrogen saved this mans life. The case looked, and was, hopeless until Pyrogen was administered, when it took on a new lease of life.
Private B., aged 23 years. Gunshot wound axilla and right thigh. This man admitted to hospital in July 1917 with the thigh wound healed, but with a persistent sinus in the axilla, which refused to heal. On July 24th, Silica 200, two doses were given. Within a day or so the wound began discharging pus and on August 6th, a fragment of clothing came away. The sinus healed up after this.
Silica is reputed to have the effect of bringing to the surface foreign bodies, such as bullets, splinters, etc., lying in the tissues. But it should not given without carefully study of the case, for instance the writer has a patient with a bullet lying above the diaphragm, as shown by the X-rays. Surgeons who have seen the case advise that it be left alone, and it would certainly be unwise to say the least, if Silicea were given in this instance.
Private P. Admitted to hospital on July 13th, 1917, with a persistent sinus in the right side of the neck following a gunshot wound. The sinus had an unhealthy appearance, and a probe passed 12 inches upwards to a pocket below the skin and 1 inch below. The surrounding area was very tender to the touch. Calendula foments every four hours were applied. On july 14th, Silicea 30, three doses were given. Two days later the neck became more painful and remained so until July 19th, Silicea 30, three doses were given.
Two days later the neck became more painful and remained so until July 19th, when one dose of Silicea 200 was given. This apparently hastened matters for on the following day the neck became more swollen and a quantity of pus came away from the sinus. By August 3rd the neck wound was firmly healed. Enquiries made some months later reported that there had been no more trouble with the neck.