The subject of this paper naturally brings immediately to mind many uncertainties found in borderline surgical conditions. It is true that surgery has never cured a disease, yet it is one of the greatest blessings to suffering humanity and is often essential in the preservation of life.
Crude drugs, palliatives, and physiotherapy are of little value in preventing surgery. A permanent cure is possible when potentized homoeopathic remedies are applied according to the Law of Similia and where the properly selected homoeopathic remedy has replaced the usual surgical procedure.
Where surgical interference has been necessary for the preservation of life, a renewed opportunity presents itself for again discovering the curative homoeopathic remedy with a possible permanent cure. Sharply localized infections producing abscesses, when located in internal organs, usually require immediately surgical interference.
In the Journal of the American Medical Association, April 7, 1940, Doctor Alvarez of the Mayo Clinic told what he had learned from 385 appendectomies. Of these, 130 had suffered one sharp pain suggesting appendicitis, and after operation, 87 of them were cured. Of the other 255 patients, 60 were actually worse from the operation and only two were cured.
Many years ago Doctor Walter James, one of our most brilliant scholars, under whose direction I received my homoeopathic training, once said, “Bryonia is the most often indicated remedy in the first stage of appendicitis, the symptoms being characteristic of this trouble.” It was his practice to recommended surgery unless marked improvement was evident within twenty-four hours after the remedy had been given.
Other remedies of special value are:
Arsenicum: Chills. Diarrhoea. Restlessness. exhaustion. Thirst for small quantities of water at frequent intervals.
Lachesis: A most valuable remedy. Sensitiveness all over the abdomen. Stitching from seat of inflammation backward and downward into thighs.
Rhus tox: Swelling over McBurneys point.
Belladonna : Severe pain in caecal region; worse from slightest touch, jar or motion. Patient lies on back with legs drawn up.
Plumbum : These swelling caecal region, its great characteristic being, however, retraction of abdominal wall. Eructation of gas and vomiting, both having faecal odor.
Mrs. V.B., 33 years of age, had been a long sufferer of pulmonary tuberculous infection. Under the most careful prescribing, her progress was tedious and fraught with evidence of distinct focal infection. Eventually the pain became localized in the right kidney region, and there was a sudden rise of temperature ranging from 101 degrees to 104. Hepar sulph. 200 would reduce this temperature promptly but always there was a recurrence within a week or ten days.
The white count varied from 10,000 to 15,000 with the polyneutrophile count 70 to 85 per cent. Under careful homoeopathic prescribing, the patient became symptom free as well as temperature free for periods as long as five years only to be followed by relapse. Cystoscopic examination revealed a septic drainage from the right ureter. Surgery was at this time resorted to and the right kidney opened and a large abscess drained.
This was allowed to drain for some weeks following which the right kidney was removed. The patient has not only a made a rapid recovery from the nephrectomy but there is rapid healing of the pulmonary tuberculous infection.
I have been unable to satisfy myself that I found the true simillimum in this case, for in such instances as just described, it would seem that where there is ample drainage such as in pulmonary tuberculosis, there should have been no focal infection in other parts of the body. Yet the fact that there was limited drainage of the kidneys abscess evidently prevented the full effect of the homoeopathic remedy, thus the limitation of the homoeopathic remedy about a final cure.
In Practice of Medicine by Tice, Vol. VI., page 720, we find:
Medical treatment of renal calculi has only mythical value. If the patient has passed a stone, the drinking of large quantities distilled water, careful regulation of the diet and bowels, attention to the exercise, etc., may be helpful in preventing the formation of a future stone, but stones once formed will never be influenced by piperazin or any other drugs, and the consideration of treatment is that along surgical lines alone.
Quoting again from page 719 :
Efforts to dislodge the renal stone by injection through the ureter catheter of cocainized olive oil is a procedure worthy of trial. Even if the patient develops occasional attacks of colic, one can still pursue the policy of watchful waiting, as the author has seen stones giving rise to periodic attacks of colic for several months, finally pass into the bladder. There are many problems and different, situations which it may be necessary to consider in a patient who is subject to bilateral renal calculi.
If both kidneys are extensive diseased and the patient has not much pain and suffering, it may be the better part of wisdom not to subject him to the danger of an operation. If one kidney is in a good condition and the other kidney functionless, or nearly so, operation on the healthier kidney should be carried out. Nothing will be gained by working upon a useless organ, but conservation of a healthy kidney is essential.
It has been my custom for the past twenty-five years to advise my patients suffering from calculi that there was no hope of recovery other than surgery.
These conclusions I now consider with great reservation, due to what might be considered and accidental prescription base upon the symptoms of the patient himself in contradistinction to the calculous produced symptoms. Little did I realize at the time of prescribing Phosphorus for this patient that I would cause the rapid disappearance of a calculus in the pelvis of the kidney the size of a Mexican kidney bean.
This patient had been operated for a like sized stone in the opposite kidney and was convalescing from a nephrotomy done for the removal of a stone in the opposite kidney. He expected at some future date to return to the hospital for a second nephrotomy.
We have all experienced such startling results at various times in our practice when prescribing was based on the peculiar or mental symptoms of a patient and not expecting gross pathological changes to disappear.
This concrete experience I have just described brought me to a sudden realization that even gross pathology and calculi of various parts of the body may disappear when the actual simillimum has been discovered.
In a recent issue of the International Medical Digest, the statement is made that Raphanus niger in material doses has dissolved large hepatic calculi with permanent cures following.
Two of my patients now under treatment for renal calculi have been given strictly homoeopathic high potency remedies. Both have passed stones varying in size from small pass to navy beans following the use of Calcarea renalis and Berberis.
DIVERTICULITIS OF THE COLON
I wish to mention this condition in passing because it was explained to me at Stanford University as a fatal issue. Mrs. M.S. had a violent diverticulitis involving a large of the colon, the x-ray showing multiple diverticuli; the patient bedridden with at times faecal vomiting and copious bloody stools with great tenesmus; violent cutting pains lasting for hours. Permanently cured by Nitric acid in high potency.
This is the only case I have ever seen of diverticulitis with the exception of one patient-not my patient-that died at Stanford University.
FISTULA IN ANO
One of my first demonstrations of the possibility of a cure of an anal fistula was in a patient who was president of a large wholesale drug company. This came shortly after my conversion to homoeopathy, many years ago. Two prominent surgeons had recommended immediate surgery, the patient consulting me after being told that nothing but surgery would be of value. I agreed with him that this was probably true, yet suggested that a brief trial be given the homoeopathic remedy.
After careful history taking, the following symptoms were evident: Greasy taste. Aversion to sweets. Feeling of rawness about rectum. Sensation as if lime were burned in stomach.
Causticum completely cured this patient within three weeks time. The relief was immediate and the cure progressive.
Silica: With old fistulous openings and sequestra discharging a yellow creamy pus.
Asafoetida: Caries with offensive discharges. Intolerable soreness about fistulous openings. Especially indicated in osteomyelitis of the tibia.
Aurum: Especially of the cranium bones, the palate and the nasal bones. Pains worse at night. Offensive odor. Discharging small sequestra.
Platina muriaticum: Especially in tarsus (Mezereum).
Slillingia: Especially luetic of long bones; worse at night and in damp weather.
Phosphorus: Involving most of the lower jaw. In osteomyelitis of the hip it is useful after Silica. Known luetic.