Case III. Mrs. A.B.W., aged 71, widow, mother of three grown-up children; of dark complexion; extremely neurotic; tall; well- built; weight 144 pounds; good habits as to sleep, diet, exercise, etc.
F.H. Good, except that her father was extremely neurotic and an excessive user of tobacco-both cigars and pipe were used. He had had what the doctors called “angina pectoris.” He was found dead in his bed one morning at the age of sixty-four.
P.H. Had St. Vitus Dance at times from fourteen to nineteen. Also several attacks of “Tic” between the ages of forty-two and fifty. These had been controlled by the use of Agaricus 30th, given by Dr. A.M. Linn.
“I want something to stop cramps in the calves of my legs. The cramps are worse when my legs get cold; when I first get into a cold bed at night or lie down during the daytime without covering my legs up warmly. I am better after my legs get warm, but for the past week I have gotten relief only by getting out of bed and either standing on my feet or walking around the bed-room for a few minutes. Oh! yes, the muscles really cramp. Sometimes they ball up as large as my fists, and the more the muscles knot up, the more excruciating, unbearable is the pain.”
Two reasons for using Cuprum ars. First, from personal experience. At a meeting of the A.I.H., after working hard and losing sleep, my diabetic condition became worse, i.e., the per cent of blood sugar larger, the mouth much drier, the tongue more coated, and the old cicatrices on my neck (the result of a crop of carbuncles) very painful. When I related the above to Dr. Byron Clark, he said: “I have found Cuprum ars. 30th very helpful in those cases.”
I tried it in the 30th without much benefit. I then took the 3rd, five grains night and morning. This not only relieved the symptoms mentioned above but also permanently relieved the same symptoms in my legs as Case III reported, which symptoms I had not given Dr. Clark. Therefore, I at once decided on Cuprum ars. for Mrs. A.B.W. However, as I ran over the entire group of her symptoms I felt sure that the 30th would be better for her than the lower.
Now as to what our books say. T.F. Allen does not mention Cuprum ars. in his Handbook; J.H. Clarke gives but little about it in his Dictionary, Vol. I, page 636; Jouset names it on pages 133 and 441; Bartlett gives it prominent mention, Vol. III, page 542, and refers to Farrington and Goodno, neither of whom mention it for cramps in the legs. However, William Boericke, on page 287 of his Materia Medica, has the following: “Cramps in calves of the legs” (in italics), followed by worse after midnight, only relieved by getting out of bed and standing.”
Many failures have resulted from the use of Cuprum ars. chiefly because it, the child, has been mistaken for its father, Arsenicum, or its mother, Cuprum, while, as a matter of fact, it has a identity of its own. It is also true that that identity has not been sufficiently studied to be well established, and further, it is equally true that the reporting of cases in full, whether resulting in failure or success, would very materially increase our knowledge of the personality of the child-Cuprum ars.
In closing my remarks about Cuprum ars. let me say a word about the toxicology effects of some of our compounds. Barlett warns us about too large doses and too frequent doses of Cuprum ars., and yet Goodno used it in the 2nd and repeated the dose often. I have done the same. Wm. Boericke suggests the second and third triturations, but says nothing about the repetition of the dose.
The above cases have been given for the purpose of showing my method when the patient is willing to co-operate and is intelligent enough to assist. There are patients who are not willing to co-operate, who will not talk; and there are others who talk so much, either for the purpose of misleading you or because of ignorance, that they hinder rather than assist in taking their case.
To illustrate, let me refer to a case which I related at the Montreal meeting.
In May, 1928, I was asked to see a young woman, aged about 22, single, well educated, a college graduate who had taught school.
She had been brought to one of our Des Moines asylums about six weeks before I saw her. The reason for being brought to Des Moines, as stated by her family physician, was that the she was insane, presenting the following:
Could not sleep, depressed, tearful, tore her clothes, put her hands on a hot stove in order to burn the sin out of herself, i.e., to purify herself; also refusing to take nourishment and a strong desire to be alone.
The family history was bad-neurotics and members of insane hospitals.
She was out walking with the attending nurses when we reached t he hospital. My first sight of her as she was brought into the office of the hospital was that of a slight, dark-complexioned, emaciated woman, walking languidly into the room and seated by the order and help of her nurse. The hospital physician informed me that there had been little or no change in her condition; that she had been given the usual hypnotics for sleeplessness, baths, massage, etc.
As she refused to talk in the office, her family physician had the patient taken to her room and I followed. After we were seated I could see expressed on that girl’s face, as clearly as I can see my hand, these words: “Now make me talk if you can.”
So I began to talk to her physician and let her listen. After a while she joined in the conversation. Later she cautiously answered some of my questions. It took an hour or so before we had reached the point where I turned toward her and suddenly and forcibly asked, “Did you ever have a lover affair?” Her answer case as if torn from her heart and mind. It was “Yes.” Then, with one of the hardest struggles to keep back her tears, she gave me the whole story.
Now, I cannot tell you what I said during that hour. I would not it I tried modulate my voice as I did then. I did not leave my chair to feel of her pulse, per her or touch her in any way. But, I secured her symptoms, and at once I saw the entire group in the provings of Ignatia.