Running through the febrile complaints, in the spinal meningitis, in congestion of the brain, in intermittents or remittents that change to a continued fever, and even in a cold when the patient is sneezing and has hot face and red eyes, there is one grand feature, viz., a feeling of great weight and tiredness in the entire body and limbs.
The head cannot be lifted from the pillow, so tired and so heavy is it, and there is such a great weight in the limbs. The Bryonia patient lies quietly because if lie moves the pains are worse. He has an aversion to motion, because he is conscious that it would cause an increase of suffering.
The heart is feeble and the pulse is feeble, soft and irregular. There is palpitation during the febrile state. Palpitation, with weakness and irregularity of the pulse. There is a sense of weakness and goneness in the region of the heart, and this weakness and goneness often extend into the stomach, involving the whole lower part of the left side of the chest and across the stomach, creating a sensation of hunger, like Ignatia and Sepia. There is a hysterical element running through Gelsemium and it has the nervous hunger, or gnawing.
There are cardiac nervous affections like Digitalis, Cactus and Sepia. Sepia is not known to be as great a heart remedy as Cactus, but it has cured many cases of heart troubles. Sepia has cured endocarditis, and a remedy that will take hold in endocarditis and root it out must be a deep acting remedy. He feels that if he ceases to move the heart will cease to beat.
The headaches are of the congestive type. The most violent pain is in the occiput, and it is felt sometimes as a hammering. Every pulsation is felt like the blow of a hammer in the base of the skull. These headaches are so violent that the patient can not stand up, but will lie perfectly exhausted, as if paralyzed from the pain. There is an occipital headache that compels walking or rolling the head.
There is commonly relief from lying in bed, bolstered up by pillows, with the head perfectly quiet The face is flushed and dusky and the patient is dazed. After the headache progresses a while, the whole head seems to enter into a state of congestion, there is one great pain, too dreadful to describe, and the patient loses his ability to tell symptoms and appears dazed; lies bolstered up in bed, eyes glassy, pupils dilated, face mottled, and extremities cold.
Gelsemium has also headaches of a neuralgic character in the temples and over the eyes, with nausea and aggravation from vomiting. The headache is relieved by passing a copious quantity of urine; that is, the urine which has probably been scanty becomes free and then the headache subsides.
There is much nervous excitement. Complaints from fear, from embarrassment, from shock that is attended with fear, from sudden surprises that are attended with fright. A soldier going into battle has an involuntary stool; involuntary discharges from fright and surprises accompanying fright. On becoming suddenly overwhelmed by some surprise he becomes faint, weak and exhausted, he becomes tired in all the limbs and unable to resist opposing circumstances. His heart palpitates. This is similar to Argentum nit. Argentum nit. has the peculiar condition that when dressing for an opera a sudden attack of diarrhea comes on, causing more or less sudden exhaustion, and she must go several times before she can finish dressing.
They who are to appear before an audience are detained because of a sudden attack of diarrhoea. A lady has an attack of diarrhoea when about to meet friends over whom she expects to become excited at the meeting. The anticipation brings on the diarrhoea. Such a state is Argentum nit. These medicines are so closely related to each other that there are times when they will appear to do the work of each other.
Then we have paralytic affections of the sphincters, and so with the febrile conditions there is involuntary loss of stool and urine. There is also paralytic weakness of the extremities and of the hands. With paralytic states there is aching along the spine and in the muscles of the back; drawing, cramping in the muscles of the back and aching under the left shoulder blade.
There are many disturbances of vision; double vision, dimness of vision, appearance of a gauze before the eyes; confusion of vision and blindness. These symptoms come on before going into attacks, in connection with chill, at the coming on of sick headaches and congestive headaches. All sorts of objects are seen; the field of vision appears full of black spots, or full of smoke or little waves of various colors. It is useful in inflammation of all the tissues of the eye and of the eyelids. The eyeballs oscillate laterally when using them.
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