SIR JOHN BLAND SUTTON, discoursing on the methods and processes of surgery, took occasion to emphasize the point that surgery in and by itself was not a curative measure. It was the vital reaction of the organism to the surgical stimulus that cured the case. It is these vital powers of restoration, natural to the organism, for the free course of which surgery acts by clearing the way; then the bodily powers have chance of self-rectification without further let or hindrance.
“But for such powers of response to the surgical stimulus,” continued Sir John, “the surgical interference would simply make confusion worse confounded.” Tendencies to rectification are the background on which the surgeon relies for curative response. But often the responsive powers of recovery are not easily aroused, and it is then that vitality requires a further activation by extra-surgical measures specific to the case.
Sir John Weir, lecturing at the London Homoeopathic Hospital, and dealing with the subject of method and cure by Homoeopathic remedies, pointed out that these were such because of their power to evoke the vital reaction in the patient, after administration, when they were germane to the character of the symptoms of the illness. But it was the organism thus activated which supplied the response and not the remedy in and by itself.
Also, that the range of response was limited to any remedy possessing similar powers to those manifested by the case in question, and that the essence of Homoeopathy was not the power of conveying new energy of a curative character into the body, but the activation of bodily forces already in existence similar in type of those of the ailment. And as regards the ultimate provision of curative energy, it is derived from the fine adjustment of remedy to malady.
It is not a matter of for surprise that surgery and Homoeopathy can be considered as coming under the yoke of co- operation, when the ultimate powers of cure of both can be referred to the response of the organism to the activation that each produces. This occurrence was what was known in old-time as vis medicatrix naturae.
And now let us go into the sick room and see how this co- operation works out, the object being to heal safely, quickly and pleasantly.
In most surgical operations, however slight and non-stressful, the administration of an anaesthetic is desirable and necessary. But one of the great disadvantage of being anaesthetized is the occurrence of vomiting on the resumption of consciousness: and this liability to vomiting sometimes lasts for hours or even days after the surgical impact is over. It is most distressing that this unpleasant symptom should be so difficult to eliminate.
Various remedies of various kinds, including hot water, carbonate of soda, and similar present helps in time of trouble, are often administered without avail.
Now is the opportunity for Homoeopathy to take the situation in hand. If a dilution, homoeopathically prepared, of the anaesthetic that has been administered be now given, say in 1,000th of the potency of the original anaesthetic used, in infrequent dosage, in most cases the sickness subsides more or less immediately and does not return.
I have seen this denoucement in too many cases to allow of any doubt whatever as to what it is that has so completely restored equanimity to the patient.
FEVER DURING CONVALESCENCE.
Later in the history of the case the temperature may undergo abnormal vagaries; causing anxiety to patient, nurse and physician. Thus, after confinement, or a curettage, about the third or fourth day, or after, the danger-signal of a rise of temperature up to 103-105 may present itself, often with no other marked symptom. In such a crisis a remedy introduced originally by Sir John Burdon Sanderson, and in Homoeopathic nomenclature termed “Pyrogen” is often of immediate as well as permanent value.
It may be given in the 30th or 200th potency, every three of four hours, and ceased directly the temperature falls. Many semi-miraculous cessations of fever are attributed to this remedy in high potency.
SUPPURATION AFTER OPERATION.
Another and graver type of illness in which Homoeopathy showed itself a very present help in time of trouble is set forth in the following case history.
A lady came to town suffering with what appeared to be a quite ordinary type of appendicitis. She was taken into hospital and the customary operation well and truly performed; but the convalescence was marked by a feverish outbreak. Week succeeded week, and still the patient survived, but she did not recover. At length a fair-sized swelling-a “sub-phrenic abscess” – was discovered in the upper abdomen, and accordingly removed by another operation.
An immediate betterment in the general condition ensued; but as time went on this improvement lapsed, and another sub-phrenic abscess showed itself, near the site of its predecessor. This second unwelcome guest was also removed by a supplementary operation, and now patient and surgeon trusted the normal powers of recovery would take possession of the scene.
Alas! in two or three weeks there was evidence of the unwelcome appearance of a third “sub-phrenic” swelling of the abscess kind and as large as an infants head. Matters were now becoming critical: three abdominal operations, and the patient heading for a fourth, and remaining midway between this world and the next. The leading Harley Street surgeon was now called in consultation, followed by the leading Harley Street physician.
Both gentlemen professed themselves satisfied with what had been done, and the manner of its performance, and both pronounced in favour of a fourth surgical intervention, both declaring that there was nothing for it but to try again. But the counsels of Homoeopathy prevailed: a series of Homoeopathic remedies, foremost among which was the Pyrogen formerly mentioned, finally and completely cured the case, and the patient reported herself some months afterwards in the enjoyment of her aforetime health and wellbeing. Vivat Homoeopathia!.
HOMOEOPATHY IN WAR-TIME.
Dr. E. Petrie Hoyle, a valued correspondent of this magazine, had some striking cases of cure as well as alleviation with Calendula in the British Homoeopathic Hospital at Neuilly during the Great War. So marvellous in some instances was the betterment that he received the special thanks of the Visiting French Authorities for his services to the wounded French soldiery.
In this work he repeated the earlier experience of the great Homoeopathic physician, Jahr, who in 1849 treated a number of cases in Paris suffering from comminuted fracture of bones, with Calendula and thus saved numerous limbs.