ON May 20th, 1940, I was visited by a Miss M.B., an unmarried woman of 42 years, who lived with her parents doing heavy housework. She came to me in a desperate condition. She had been afflicted with tuberculosis in a very active form for many years, and she had spent considerable spells in sanatoriums during the three years 1916, 1920 and 1923. When she went first to a sanatorium she was 18 years old. She had always been in poor health and had had tubercular peritonitis.
Miss M.B. had had pneumonia twice as a child and measles badly. She was very constipated, was in a disastrous condition and had been in a bad condition all her life. She had seen a doctor shortly before she came to consult me and he had told her that the only thing she could do was to go for a fourth time to a sanatorium she would be dead in six months. She has seen one or two of my books and articles in which I had described cures of bad cases of tuberculosis and she resolved to put herself under my care.
The poor woman was terribly jaundiced with a brownish tinge, her eyes had no sparkle and her hair had no lustre, her lips and mucous membranes were very anaemic and she looked the picture of misery and depression. I tried to cheer her up as well as I could and she left me with some hope.
In sending her my directions I told her:.
“You are 42 years old, have extremely heavy housework to do in your parents home, carrying heavy buckets of a coal up many stairs. Your father, a tailor, is 66, and troubled with angina, and your mother is 65 and and well. Your parents have four girls.
You are the eldest, and in your family the first-born very frequently has tuberculosis. You have tuberculosis and were in sanatorium in 1916, 1920 and 1923, and the doctor wanted to send you again recently but you refused. You had pneumonia twice as a child and had tubercular peritonitis.
“You are pleasant to look upon, far too thin and your chest has extremely poor expansion, and you must practise deep breathing night and morning. You lost all your teeth many years ago; they were black and unsightly. You have the scar of an abscess on the right side, which kept discharging pus for a year and a half, you have weak ankles.
You have much cough at three in the morning with nausea or vomiting. You have had whooping-cough badly, are apt to get heavy night sweats, are irritable, tidy, restless, love sweets, but have practically no appetite.
“You live on next to nothing and take for breakfast merely four or five cups of tea and nothing to eat. I want you to take solid meals and take the liquid afterwards. It is impossible to keep your health on the present diet. You have distinct prolapse of the abdomen which can be corrected either by wearing a Curtis belt, made by Curtis & Co., of 7 Mandeville Place, London, W., to whom you can write for an illustrated catalogue, or you can try lying in bed with the seat well raised on a hard mattress or pillow.
As a result of under-nutrition you are very anaemic, ankles turn. Your tonsils and adenoids were taken out when you were ten. As neat eggs upset you you must take them only embodied in food. You must abstain from taking boiling liquids which are dangerous. You have a very red tongue and feel worse in damp weather”.
The most important thing was to improve Miss M.B.s digestion. I gave her a combination of Nux vomica and Carbo. veg. 3x, to be taken before meals in alternation with Hydrastis, mother tincture tablets. They act particularly on the liver, which was in a very poor condition. Because of her tuberculosis she was to take Arsenicum iodatum 3x first and last thing, and a combination of Ferrum 2x and Arsenicum 3x as a tonic after meals. She had a bad cough which was accompanied by nausea for which I gave her Drosera 3x to be taken as needed.
The unhealing abscess in the right side called for Pyrogen in the 200th potency, a dose to be taken last thing Monday night. I also gave her Lueticum 200, marked “poor sleep”, a dose to be taken last thing Thursday night, and Morbillinum 200 as an antidote to measles, to be taken last thing Saturday night. She was to report to me once a week.
Her first report sent on May 28th was not satisfactory. She has been losing a great deal of weight before she came to me and during the first week under my care she had lost 14 lbs., but she reported, “My appetite is improving and I have had no heartburn or night sweats!” The most interesting fact was her reaction to the once a week medicines. She wrote:.
“On Sunday, after taking Morbillinum 200 on Saturday night, I came out in a dreadful measles rash, all over my body, the face not so bad, but was covered elsewhere, still have a little rash under the skin. After taking Pyrogen 200, the place in my right side is throbbing like a gathering; I think I told you that just below the scar of the abscess last year there came a lump, as though another one was forming. This is the place which is now throbbing. This lump went away.
“I forgot to say last week, I have had three courses of treatment with Kochs Tuberculin, the first I had six injections into my sides alternately in 1910. Then about 1917, I had ten injections in my arms and about 1924 I had for six months an injection every week in my arms.”.
Obviously her troubles were largely due to the measles infection which she had had many years ago because Morbillinum caused an outbreak looking exactly like measles. Pyrogen 200 was also obviously indicated because in the right side where she had the old abscess there came “A throbbing like a gathering”, I sent her a similar selection of medicines as those which she had during the previous week. My patient reported very punctually and I was eagerly awaiting her second report. On June 4th she wrote:.
“I had another attack of measles rash on Sunday, not so bad as the previous week, although when I sat out in the sun it became very red, but soon went off again.
“There is a marked improvement in my breathing and I can take a longer breath and while inhaling can count six, while at first it took me all my time to arrive at five. In addition I am feeling more energetic”.
I was delighted to hear that there was marked improvement in my patients breathing. She needed a tonic and I sent her China arsenicum 3x. On June 11th she wrote to me:.
“During this week, I have made steady progress, I am feeling stronger and my appetite is improving, and when weighed to-day have gained 1 lb. The pain in my shoulder is much better. After casting some clothes off yesterday, I got a chill and had sharp pleurisy pain in my left side, but I took Bryonia and Aconite alternately and to-day I am much better”.
I sent her once more, Hydrastis for her digestion and liver, to be taken before meals, Lycopodium 12x for her pain in the right side, to be taken first and last thing, and Ferrum Phosphoricum 2x as a tonic, to be taken after meals. In her next report, dated June 18th, she write:
“This week brought a disappointment. I was gong steadily ahead till Friday, when I started a severe cold. I seemed to get a chill inside somehow and was troubled with heartburn and vomiting, and then started a cold on my chest, a bronchial cold, which until to-day made me rather poorly, but there is improvement to-day, although the cough is very troublesome. I have had three night sweat this week, but after them I have not felt to be without energy as I used to. My right side, too, has been much better, only coming on severe when I get overtired. So that despite having a cold, I think I am doing very well”.
The poor woman was in delicate health and easily caught colds and chills which upset her badly. A case like hers needs careful nursing and watching. I sent her Aconite 3x, marked “chills, fever, emergencies.”, Belladonna 3x, marked “inflammation”, and Eupatorium 3x, marked “influenza”, to be taken in alternation every half-hour or so if she caught a chill with influenza-like symptoms. I sent her Pyrogen 200, marked “septicity”, a dose to be taken last thing Monday night, Lueticum 200, marked “poor sleep”, to be taken last thing Thursday, and Bacillinum 200, marked “constitutional”, to be taken last thing Saturday. The Bacillinum was, of course, for her tuberculosis. Her next letter dated June 25th, filled me with joy. She wrote:.
“On Thursday I took Lueticum 200, and all day Friday I did not know where to put my back for ease. I scarcely dared to move with it. The region of the gall bladder was very tender and between my shoulders ached, my chest was tight and breathing difficult until about 10 a.m., and I had fit of coughing, which seemed as though it would burst something, and sputum like thick matter came, which greatly relieved the tightness of the chest. Saturday morning early had another attack, but much smaller quantity of nasty sputum and have felt better for it.
“On Saturday I took Bacillinum 200, this was not so difficult to trace; I had a heavy night sweat and was feverish on Sunday, with a flushed face near tea time. Was very depressed, one of the things I am not troubled with usually. I had a pain across my shoulders and abdomen, rather like the pain I got as a child when troubled with tubercular peritonitis and felt as though I wanted to go to stool, but could not get any action on the bowel. I felt much better and brighter by Monday.
“Monday night I took Pyrogen 200 and to-day am feeling the old abscess throbbing and hot. I awakened in the night and my chest was wet through with perspiration”.
Again she reacted powerfully to the very high potencies, a very excellent sign. As she complained about bearing down and as her liver acted poorly and as she had much catarrh I sent her Kali bichromicum 3x, marked “catarrh and nose”, two first and last thing, Sepia 12x for bearing down, a dose to be taken twice a day between meals and Hydrastis for her digestion and liver, a dose to be taken before meals.
In her next report, dated July 2nd, Miss M.B. wrote:.
“I am feeling rather excited as when I weighed to-day, found I had gained 2 lbs. So much I have never gained before in one week. I am sleeping much better, and have only had one night sweat and that was last night. My cold and catarrh are much improved, but I still have the tiresome cough left by the cold. The right side kept throbbing until Sunday, but is alright now. I have felt very tired all the week and have gone to bed after tea most days, otherwise I have felt a general improvement and am certainly stronger. My friends tell me I am looking much better, and that my eyes are brighter and my lips a richer colour.”.
Notwithstanding the setbacks she had experienced, she was going vigorously ahead. The medicines and diet had taken a firm hold on her. I had given her the usual diet with quantities of bran, milk, eggs, cheese, wholemeal bread, butter, raw fruit, etc., while flesh, fish and fowl were excluded. I continued medication on similar lines as before and on July 9th she reported, full of happiness:.
“I was feeling so much better, until Thursday or Friday, that I wanted to do things and I overtired myself. I enjoyed so much the desire to do things, as it is such a long time since I felt that I wanted to do anything at all, but for a few days I have not been so well. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, I had rather a heavy night sweat and up to then there were several nights between each one.
On Sunday morning after coughing, I had sputum stained with blood; it was not serious, but as I am subject to haemorrhages, I have been very careful and quiet. To- day I feel very much better and more ready to eat. There is a slight decrease in weight this week, a loss of 4 ounces. I must have been gaining until the week-end or the loss would have been greater.
I sent her China, mother tincture tablets, as a tonic, and blood-making medicine. On July 16th she wrote:.
“I am steadily gaining in strength and am feeling much better. I have had two slight night sweats, but have not slept very well and there is a decided improvement in my cough. My appetite is somewhat erratic”.
On July 23rd my patient wrote:.
“I am undoubtedly improving, not so noticeably day by day, but when I look back at two months ago, I see a great difference. This week I have got the Curtis belt which you recommended; it has taken a lot of getting used to, but it has wonderfully eased the backache, and I feel better for the support. I still find lying down of the greatest benefit, or should I say, I still feel the need to lie down.
“I am glad to say I have gained 12 lbs. this week, although I am not eating half of the amount you set me. The catarrh is now quite well and I am not having anything like such heavy night sweats. My cough just disturbs my sleep, but it has not been severe enough to make me vomit all the week.”.
I gave her once more Sepia, China and Hydrastis, and gave her Bacillinum 1,000 a dose once a week, and Lueticum 1,000 a dose to be taken once a week. On July 30th I received a very interesting letter which showed that she had responded magnificently to Bacillinum 1,000. She wrote:.
“On Friday and Saturday after taking Lueticum 1,000, my back felt at breaking point, I had had no backache from getting my belt until then and it has not as yet quite gone away. I also got a lot of pain in my groins and in the gall bladder region, so much so that it was difficult to keep my clothing on my waist. I got a fit of depression on Sunday, I presume it was the medicine, as I took Bacillinum 1,000 on Saturday, and an intermittent pain across the abdomen, which continued coming and going until this morning, and to-day I have had a normal action of the bowels, the first for some months. This constipated state was left by the tubercular peritonitis. This really is wonderful news and is worth everything”.
On August 6th I got a chatty letter from her in which she stated: “Very many people remark to me that I look brighter and a much more healthy colour. My whole outlook is a happier one. I think I caught a chill, for I have been rather bilious since Sunday and have not wanted to eat, which has resulted in a loss of weight of 13/4 lbs., but I am feeling better and it will soon regain it. I take cold so easily and it always causes a set-back.”.
My patient took a little setback like that described quite philosophically, because she was firmly convinced that she was doing well. Her confidence was quite justified. On August 13th she reported:.
“Now that the chill of last week has departed I am feeling very much better and I almost wonder if I am the same person. I have also made the very substantial gain of 23/4 lbs. I had to be weighed twice to realize it was true. A few days ago, after having a bath and was massaging olive oil into my body I found the lump, which had been just below the scar of the old abscess, ever since it had healed, had almost disappeared and much of the soreness, too; this delighted me very much.
It used to worry me so much, as I was always afraid another abscess would form there, and although I had seen the doctor with it so often all he said was rest, and that never did it any good. I still try very hard with deep breathing exercises, but still find it difficult to inhale very deep, but hope the improvement in this side will make it easier. It is very interesting to watch myself week by week, and see another step nearer to health, after years of being ill.”.
I gave her Calcarea phosphorica 3x, first and last thing, China mother tincture tablets between meals, Hydrastis mother tincture before meals, and Arsenicum iodatum 3x for her tuberculosis after meals. On August 23rd Miss M.B. sent me a marvellous letter:.
“I am delighted with the good progress I am making towards recovery. I do not know myself, I feel so much better. Since getting over the reaction to the last once a week medicines I have made wonderful progress, and each day am seeing further improvement. It is a long time since I enjoyed my life so much, and to think only a short time ago a tuberculosis specialist said if I did not go into a sanatorium I would be lucky to be alive in six months.
Now I want to laugh at him. My appetite is much improved, I do not as yet eat all it says on my diet sheet, but I am ready for each meal, very rarely vomit and my cough is very much better, in fact it is nothing compared with three months ago. I have only had one night sweat this week, and it was soon over.
“My weight this week is at a standstill, I may have walked about more but it may be caused by worry as I have felt a bit anxious as to what to do. I think I have gained 42 lbs. in the three months of treatment, which is very good, as from November to May I lost about 12 lbs., and even while holiday in Devon I lost 4 lbs. in a month and never had a gain in weight during that six months. How very glad I am that I came to see you, and I feel most grateful for the help you have given me. I really am stronger than I remember feeling before.
The lump in my side continues to decrease. What a relief to be rid of it. I can scarcely find it and it is no longer tender. My friends all remark how much better I look, my lips are becoming red and my cheeks have lost their pallor. My parents are really surprised and very delighted with me, especially as at first they did not approve of Homoeopathy”.
The woman who had been morose and depressed when she came to me became positively joyful. I continued medication as before. On August 27th she complained about terrible acidity of the stomach for which I sent her Argentum nitricum 3; for her pleurisy I sent her Phosphorus 3, a dose first and last thing. On September 16th my patient wrote full of satisfaction:.
“I am keeping very nicely indeed and have made a gain of 12 lbs. this week; I can see for myself that my arms and legs are putting flesh on and I feel so pleased about it. I am eating very well indeed, and am finding my work does not get me down so easily. There is a wonderful joy in living to be able to do things, as life has been a burden for so long.”
On September 24th she reported:.
“I am feeling better than I ever thought possible. After years of illness and so many treatments, it seems too wonderful to be true to be leaving it behind. I shall not mind you using my case in your journal if it will help anyone else. Shyness made me want to recoil from it at first, then I remember how reading of another cure of tuberculosis encouraged me to try it. I must be looking much improved, for a few days ago we had a visit from a gentleman, an old friend of the family, who had not seen me for a while, for I was In Devonshire when last he called.
He exclaimed on seeing me, Why, Mary, what have you been doing to yourself? He mentioned that the last time he saw me he wondered if he would see me alive again. He was so delighted to see me so much better. He has a very high opinion of Homoeopathy if it can effect such a change.”.
Of course, the case is not finished yet. A woman in the condition of Miss M.B. needs continued treatment for about two years. One had to rebuild the constitution of such a patient who had never had a proper chance, who was sick not merely from birth but from before birth.