When four to six years old she hated her sisters and her mother.
When fourteen, she began menstruating and fainted with the violent cramping uterine pains at each period. When thirty, she had gouty finger joints.
When she was a child we could not call the mental state gout, nor at puberty could we think of gout, but was she not then afflicted with the beginning of what was later a gouty condition? When she was a child Fluoric acid would most likely have cured her. When she suffered at puberty she needed Lapus albus. When she became gouty she was cured of her lifelong sufferings with Silica fluorica calc. In many similar cases I have noticed that gouty conditions begin and continue along the course above described. Must we stretch our imagination, then, to say that the same remedy would have cured her if she had had it in infancy?
Why not let such cases lead us to things first, instead of things last: – the diagnostic symptoms or ultimates? Is it not possible to perceive that we have not fully taken the symptoms of any adult case, if we have neglected the symptoms from childhood to the present? Drugs may have obscured the recent symptoms, but if the mother can describe the mental state of the child we have a good beginning, and can sometimes see what remedy was needed before the drug doctor or the near-homoeopath obscured the case.
To cure the results of disease-the ultimates-we must be guided by the symptoms that represent causes and first periods of developing sick constitutions. The man who waits for pathology to guide him to a remedy for a constitutional sickness is most unwise. We sometimes see the remedy shining through the pathology, but generally only the smallest hints are visible. These hints may strengthen the indications, but it is better to strengthen the indications with the early symptoms. If we are to arrest gouty formations we must look for early mental symptoms, as the gouty concretions give small clue to the remedy.