Mrs. W., age seventy-three, writes: “The first breaking out of the ulcer she felt a smarting and stinging pain in her left ankle; there was a little elevation the size of a pea; the next day it broke and discharged a thin, bloody pus; around it was a purplish red colour. The sore kept extending, also the discoloured surface; then came a thick, yellow discharge of pus. The ulcer is now somewhat larger than a silver dollar. The surface of the ulcer looks like a sponge and very red, covered with yellow, lumpy matter; the outside is almost on a level with the sore, I should say flat. The cloth that comes off (with mutton tallow) is slightly offensive; the ulcer I can scarcely smell; it burns, stings, and smarts; sometimes has a jerking sensation through the heel. She pulls her skirts up to cool the limb, which is better in the cool air. The warmer it is, the worse it smarts and burns. Sometimes she describes the pain as something like splinters. From the knee down the leg sweats so that the hose is constantly wet. The well one is not so. As she gets up in the morning the foot swells until it is full and pains her very much; about three or four P. M. she gets easier and can lie down with some comfort. When she elevates the foot it feels much better, and does not swell so, and she is quite free from pain.” She has also some rheumatic symptoms that I suppose you want to know. There is great soreness from the shoulder to the elbow, and also in the cords of the neck. If she fans herself or uses her arms she has great pains in these parts. The upper arm aches with a grumbling, burning pain, she cannot put her arms back; both sides are alike. She can hold her hands over her head, but cannot reach out for anything. The fingers are swelled and stiff in the morning; the left hand is worse than the right. She often holds on to one arm, then the other; when she turns in bed she has to fold the arms and then work herself over. She is thirsty and feverish in the afternoon.
Pulsatilla cm one dose, was immediately mailed to the patient, who lives nearly three hundred miles from this city.
Several watery stools followed, and all her symptoms were made worse, but she has many times taken a homoeopathic remedy, and she remarked to her daughter that she was now going to recover again.
This leg ulcer is an old relic of barbarism with her, as she had had it cured several times allopathically. Some years ago I healed it with Sulph. very high, but it had to come again. The ulcer and the concomitants all departed in due time, and she is a picture of health now. The ulcer has been healed a year now, and she has not taken a dose of medicine since the Pulsatilla mentioned. I am informed that at the end of six weeks the ulcer was healed.
When compelled to prescribe on a letter written by a lay woman, many things are wanting, but in the above we have the picture as given-no more and no less. The remedy was sent and the patient, after all her family had settled down to this as her last sickness, made a good recovery. This is not the exception, but the rule after such prescription. If experience is appealed to or theory or cures, the inductive method must give us safest practice.