HARLYN HITCHCOCK, M. D.
Mrs. E. K., aet 24; light complexion; slight build, july 15, 1886. Difficulty of speaking, breathing and swallowing. Throat seems to be filled with mucus all the time. Pressure on top of the head and weight across the eyes with dragging down into throat and nose.
After waking there is pressure in the chest. During menses has severe pain n ovarian region extending down legs; bearing down; drawing also of left side; pressing, bearing down. From lifting and exerting herself she has had excessive pain. Menses regular. Half a day after coming, it stops, and pain begins – this is relieved by hot water and mustard baths -with pain in the back, chilliness, aching, the discharge continues.
Cannot lie on the right side in consequence of choking. Scalp covered with scaly eruption; itching.
Frequent scanty urination during day. Aversion to coitus, except just after menses.
Takes cold easily, and then there is some soreness of the throat.
Examination of the throat and nares revealed an enormous polypus filling the entire pharynx to such a degree that it was impossible for her to swallow solid food; only a narrow passage existed on the right side, and it was through this limited space that she was able to breathe.
The polypus was of saddle-bag shape, being attached to the ethmoid bone (as nearly as I could determine), one portion extending into and occluding the left nasal passage, and to a certain degree the right; the other and larger portion extended down into the throat, and caused all the mechanical difficulties of which she complained -the weight, difficulty of breathing, swallowing, etc.
This discovery led to further questioning, and with her difficulty of speech it was no easy task, and general result was about as follows: -As a child she had been compelled to work out of all proportion to her strength and did not have the best of care. At the age of puberty she had some sickness, but could not tell what it was. About six months later she began to have catarrhal trouble from a severe cold, or something of that sort, and from that time her breathing had been more or less affected by the fullness of the usual passages.
As she was an orphan, not much attention was paid to her, and a chill and sort of a sick spell, and a lump of something was discharged from her nose; She has never had any treatment, and did know what the trouble was, though she has been to several doctors lately and they tell her that nothing can be done for her except to operate. Her general condition is such that they have no faith in her recovery, and I learned afterwards that she could not live six months.
The foregoing history was not obtained in one installment, but in several, and it was not until I had obtained a though history of the case that I was above to prescribe. Without going into details of the various symptoms and changes which occurred during the course of treatment, I will simply give the dates of prescription, and the remedy.
July 26, I gave the first prescription, Sepia cm. (F. C.).
August 6, Sepia cm. (F. C.).
September 22, Sepia cm. (F. C.).
November 8, same.
December 10, same.
In September, she was able to breathe through the left nostril for nearly two weeks, something which had not occurred for some years. There was a free discharge from the throat and nostrils, and the taste had become exceedingly offensive, putrid, of which she complained greatly. The ability to swallow was greater, and the dragging sensation in head and nose was nearly gone. The polypus was decreasing.
During November the taste and order from the mouth were exceedingly offensive, but more noticeable to herself than to others. On the 12th inst. she came to the office complaining of the tickling and irritation at the root of the tongue.
On examination the polypus in the throat was seen to be shriveled to about one-third its former size and hanging by a thin pedicle about the size of a match. I told her to leave it alone, and the second day after it disappeared. With this all the local difficulties at once subsided, except the partial occlusion of the nares. Her general health kept on improving and she received medicine as follows:.
January 16: Sepia cm. (F. C.).
February 20: Sepia cmm (Swan.).
March 20,: Calcarea 2m.(F) for temporary trouble.
April 24, : Sepia cm.
May 18, : Lycopodium cm.
May 21, : Mercurius v. (potency not recorded.).
May 24, : Sepia cm. (F. C.).
June 24, : Sepia mm.
August 10,: Calcarea cm.
October 7, : Sepia cm. (F. C.).
November 6,: Sepia m. (F.).
December 9,: Sulphur cm.
And here the record ends. The polypus had so far disappeared that it gave but little trouble. Her general health was such that for good reasons she did not come to my office for some months, and was later safely delivered of a child, a thing considered to be an utter impossibility by her former advisers. Under the circumstances it could hardly be expected that the child could be healthy, and it died in a few weeks of marasmus under the care of another physician.
I have not seen the lady for about three years, but understand that there is another arrival, and that the “operation” which she underwent for the removal of the polypus at the hands of the homoeopathic remedy has been successful.
In connection with this case I wish to call attention to the necessity for a careful inquiry into the history of the case. With my limited knowledge of the Materia Medica, particularly at that time, there was nothing in the case as at first presented, to warrant the selection of any given remedy.
A careful investigation of the history led up to the fact that the development of the polypus was synchronous with the appearance of the menstrual flow, and I reasoned that if I could obtain a clear insight as to the conditions which obtained at that time, I would be able to select the curative remedy for the individual.
In this case, I found in the early history a perfect picture of Sepia in its generic character, and though I could not find anything in the pathopoesis of the remedy which indicated nasal polypus, yet in obedience to the law of remedial action, the cause being removed, the result of necessity disappeared.
The fact that out of seventeen doses of medicine given during eighteen months, eleven of them were of the same remedy, the other five being given as inter-currents for other disturbances of an accidental nature as they seemed to be at the time, and that the polypus, which was the objective point in the patient’ s mind, was removed, is a sufficient answer to those carping, unscientific critics who say Homoeopathy can not cure “surgical” cases.