W. P. WESSELHOEFT, M.D.
I offer the following case, not on account of any difficulty or intricacy in the selection of the indicated homoeopathic remedies, but more especially to demonstrate the importance of allowing the vital force inherent in the living organism to unfold its efforts in a curative direction under the influence and guidance of highly potentized and truly homoeopathic substances, undisturbed by repetitions of the same substance, or by interference with other remedies (to meet, perhaps, acute and even painful symptoms), provided the general condition of the patient is improving.
More mischief is done by frequent repetitions of a highly potentized and truly homoeopathic remedy in the treatment of chronic diseases, than by the exhibition of improperly selected remedies.
The great and fatal error is still frequently made of thinking and imagining that the substance given is doing, per se, all this wonderful work; the old idea that it is a kind of mechanical action of the remedy is too prevalent still among us homoeopaths, and many of us cannot rid ourselves of the thought that if a good result has been obtained in a fortnight or a month, we can get a still better one by another kick in the same direction, while the vital force is doing as well as it can all the while, and by this second kick may become so disturbed that it will fall prostrate or revolt against this unnecessary haste.
We forget that the remedy is only an agent selected according to a law of nature to direct the vital forces in a curative line of motion, and when that direction is once given the whole organism responds to it, and does its best in its own best way.
This best way may sometimes bring out old latent symptoms, or for a time entirely new ones. It is here where the true art of procedure and management comes in; whether to repeat, or to change, or to wait?.
It is idle to form a theory regarding the duration of the action of a highly potentized substance. No graver mistakes can be made against the philosophy of Homoeopathy than to fall into the habit of thinking that Chamomilla acts only a few hours, therefore it should be repeated, with out the least thought of what it may have already accomplished by directing the orgasm to take on a direction towards health; or that a dose of Silica may act six weeks or any other given time.
No it is always the vital force which acts, under the direction of the remedy, and the action of this vital force has no cut and dried “duration of action,” which can be measured by hours, days or weeks.
Miss C.M., aged 20. Light brunette, extreme pallor of face and lips. Skin of face has a peculiar dirty appearance.
Has been sick and unable to work for two years. The weakness commenced in her stomach and she gradually lost all color of skin and lips.
Has taken quinine, iron and whisky for two years, but is growing weaker steadily. When brought to the office, her exhaustion was so great that she was obliged to lie down, accompanied by palpitation and dyspnoea.
Examination of conjunctiva, mucous surfaces of lips, mouth and fauces show extreme pallor.
The following history and symptoms were elicited: Has been obliged to climb eight flights of stairs to her work in a cotton mill for several years, which was accomplished without much fatigue till climb, she became so exhausted and had such violent attacks of palpitation, that she was unable to take up her duties.
Her greatest discomfort besides the weakness and palpitation, is a sense of goneness and faintness in pit stomach, especially severe during the noon hours. The feeling has been relieved for a short time by whisky, which she had taken daily. Food sometimes relieved this feeling at other times of the day.
Appetite is poor; craves acids. takes “Garfield tea” daily to move the bowels.
Thirsty; desires acid water.
Her menses have always been late, sometimes omitting five months.
First menstruation occurred in her fourteenth year.
Has always had pain when the time for menses appeared, with a flow of irritating leucorrhoea, lasting two or three days.
When true menses appear has a severe, dull aching through the entire pelvis, lumbar and sacral regions, accompanied by a sensation as if the abdominal viscera would fall out, when standing.
Nausea and occasional vomiting continuing for three days. .
A week before and a week after menses, the pain in back and pelvis with falling out sensation, are present. The remaining two weeks of the month has no abdominal pain. During the continuance of the menses, throbbing pain in vertex.
Two days before ankles swell.
Menstrual blood is watery and stains very little.
Usually sleeps well, but often awakens by cramps in the calves.
Sleeps with hands over head.
Awake tired and exhausted in the morning. During the forenoon week and listless. Generally feels better in the evening.
Craves fresh air.
Had milk crust severely on scalp and face when a body, disappeared under the constant use of either sulphur or lime ointments. During her fourth and fifth year had a great number of boils.
After comparing several remedies I decided to begin the treatment with Sulphur, feeling tolerably sure that a case so deeply psoric would require a succession, perhaps a long succession, of careful selected remedies. In this assumption I was happily mistaken.
On the 7th of September she received a dose of Sulphur cm. to be dissolved in four tablespoonfuls of water and table spoonful to be taken morning and evening till used up.
Sept. 21. Feels generally much better.
No menses, but had all the premonitory symptoms a week after she was here, accompanied by slight leucorrhoea, which was not irritating.
Awakes much fresher in the morning; no cramps in calves. .
Thirst has disappeared.
Is much troubled about a coarse acne appearing on the face, and itching pimples all over her back. Gave Sac. lac.
October 19th. Continues to improve. No leucorrhoea. No catamenia, but has felt as if it might come on occasionally. More eruption on face, back, shoulders. Great patches of deep canker sores in mouth and tongue, pain her dreadfully. Can climb eight fights easily and has taken up her work again. Gave Sac. lac.
November 16. Improvement continues steadily. Can work as well as ever. Much more color in face and lips. Eruption disappearing on back and face, and with it the dirty color of skin. No cankers.
Catamenia appeared on the 26th of October, flow of good color; the first time in her life unaccompanied by pain or nausea. Gave Sac lac.
December 3.- Catamenia appeared on the 23d day, rather scantily, color good, no pain or nausea. Looks quite well, has good color, and acne nearly, disappeared, except a few pimples on forehead.
January 15th- Had the prevalent epidemic “grippe,” at Christmas. The symptoms were: chilliness, with severe backache and headache, was in bed several days. took no medicine, as she is afraid of the doctors! Catamenia appeared in thirty-five days’ interval; scanty, good color, no pains. Eruption on face has disappeared. Still feels weak from the effects of the epidemic, and much better when out of doors. Gave one dose of Pulsatilla cm.
June 5th- Has been feeling very well. Cheeks are rosy and looks the picture of health. Catamenia appeared regularly without pain in february, March, April and May. says she has never felt as well in her life, as now.
In reviewing this case the following facts are demonstrated;.
Sulphur in a single dose in the cm. potency directed the vital force of this patient towards health during one hundred and twenty days. The vital force in its action towards health was disturbed by receiving a dose of contagion.
This vital force was again directed in the line of health by a single dose of Pulsatilla which finished the cure.
The distressing pain and suffering caused by the aphthous ulceration in the mouth was not interfered with, because, like the vital action on the skin, it meant relief to deep internal disorders.