CASE I- SYPHILIS.
A young woman had contracted syphilis in the regular way, although vaginal examination showed no ulcers on the genital parts, externally or internally. The Wasserman test, however, showed the presence of spirochaeta pallida. As she had no money she went to the City Hospital where she received two shots a week of neosalvarsan. After three weeks of this treatment ulcers developed in her throat, on the pillars of the fauces and on the lips. The ulcers were very sore, red and inflamed, causing deglutition to be extremely painful. The neosalvarsan was discontinued and treatment was instituted to control the secondary developments of the infection, but without success. Many of her relatives were my patrons and they prevailed upon her to see me.
When I first examined her I found the condition of the throat as stated above. The lips were extremely swollen and covered inside and out with large pustules. She could eat on solid food and liquids were swallowed with great difficulty. The tongue was as red as fire and the papillae so much enlarged that they had the appearance of small nipples. Half the body front and back, the legs, arms, hands and feet were covered with large pustules, even the palms and soles were covered with ulcers.
New ones were coming all the time and it looked as if the whole body would soon be covered. The entire body had very much the appearance of confluent smallpox, except that the pustules did not have the characteristic central depression of smallpox. She was unable to wear any clothing, only a gown, and that was open in front. Even her nipples were covered with pustules, threatening destruction.
The resemblance to smallpox was further carried out by the odor emitted from the eruption, which was exactly that of a severe and grave case of confluent smallpox. If I had entered the room in the dark the first time I should have pronounced the case smallpox without further investigation because of this peculiar, strong, offensive odor. Smallpox has its own peculiar odor, like diphtheria. This is the only case I ever met with in which I might have been mistaken in my diagnosis based on this one symptom alone.
Because of the foetid odor and the excessive amount of pus present in the eruption I gave Pyrogen CM, Swan. Within 24 hours there was a noticeable improvement. The patient herself felt better and the case went on to a complete cure. A month afterward two laboratory tests showed no evidence of syphilis.
CASE II- SMALLPOX.
This was a case in which I, myself, was the victim. Unknowingly, because I did not examine the throat of a patient whom I visited at night, I contracted smallpox. I had the classical initiatory symptoms and the eruption appeared on time. In the first stage I had an easy time but when the secondary stage arrived it was some thing fierce. The eruption was worst on my face. This was very much swollen like an attack of erysipelas for which it might have been mistaken except for the pustules.
The peculiar feature was an intense prickling like a thousand needles prickling the skin. It was simply unbearable the worst suffering I ever experienced. An attack of cramp colic would have been heaven in comparison. The only relief was to apply cloths wrung out of hot water so hot that only my own hands could stand the heat. The attacks came on about eight oclock in the evening and after several hours of suffering let up when I could go to sleep. The peculiar symptoms that suggested Belladonna were the suddenness of the attack, the itching, stinging, throbbing over the whole face.
After several nights of this suffering I was led to Belladonna by the above named symptoms. I was my own physician, since I did not care to expose any other physician to the infection. I presume the reason I did not stumble on Belladonna sooner was the old adage that when a doctor prescribes for himself he has a fool for a patient. Belladonna not only stopped the intense itching, burning and throbbing in my face, but it controlled the inflammation and swelling and proved to be the simillimum for the whole case.
In a short time I was well. There were no smallpox scars left.
Another peculiar feature was the relief from hot, almost boiling hot, applications. I cannot find this modality under Belladonna, but if it had not been for the relief from the hot applications I think I should have gone demented. The applications had to be changed every two or three minutes and the water had to be almost boiling to give any relief.
CASE III- EPILEPSY.
A young girl nine years of age had a pretty severe spasm with loss of consciousness, all the muscles convulsed including those of the face, frothing at the mouth, slightly stertorous respiration, face purplish, pupils dilated. She lay in deep sleep for some time after spasm subsided.
After the first spasm I gave Ignatia because the attack had followed a severe whipping administered by the mother. The child cried immediately after slight punishment or a slight injury. However, the spasms continued about once a month. I noticed that they were apt to turn at the new moon. They always came at night and sometimes after during sleep,at other times after lying down, but before sleep, I gave Silicea after each spasm and followed up with Cicuta virosa.
There were only two more convulsions and these were very much lighter. Two years have elapsed and there have been no more convulsions. Possibly this may not have been epilepsy but it had every appearance of this affliction.
CASE IV- TETANUS.
A young boy stepped on a rusty nail that had been soaked in barn-yard manure. The wound was cleaned as well as possible and the puncture filled with spirits of turpentine. In about a week tetanus developed. The jaws were looked and regular tetanic convulsions set in. The boy did not have anti-tetanus serum administered because a cousin who had had tetanus serum administered died of tetanus and the father said he would rather take his chances without this treatment.
The case was under the care of Dr. F. L. Griffith of Austin. Texas, and I was called in consultation. I am reporting the case because Dr. Griffith is deceased. The convulsions appeared about every five minutes and were constantly increasing in severity. The bodys body was bent backward during the convulsion, the legs and arms were rigid, and there was apparently no loss of consciousness during the convulsion. The spasm precipitated by touch or any effort to move him. Nux vomica was chosen as the remedy best meeting the symptoms and Nux vomica cured.
CASE V- SENILE DEMENTIA.
This case developed in a man 78 years of age, a man of exceptionally fine intellect, but always rather eccentric, a man of very positive convictions, so positive that it was as difficult to change his opinions as to change the contour of the rock of Gibraltar.
In conversation with him some months previously I had noticed the expression of some peculiar religious beliefs. These increased until they became an obsession, to which he gave utterance early and late. Finally an acute mania developed. He imagined people were talking to him, heard imaginary voices and believed that people were plotting evil against him. He imagined that he was Adam, or God or Moses, generally some religious character. His nights were sleepless, with very great restlessness, and he was constantly talking. He had the Lachesis symptom of great loquacity, but there was little sense or connection in what he did say.
Appetite poor but elimination, both intestinal and urinary, was good. The heart was weak, showed all sorts of murmurs, intermitted every fourth or fifth beat. There was decided mitral regurgitation. The pulse was very weak. Various remedies were given with little or no effect. A specialist gave the opinion that it was softening of the brain and that he would not live long. Finally an intense muscular and mental restlessness developed.
He would sit in a chair perfectly erect with his hands, feet and every part of his body in motion; not the irregular, unrhythmic motions of chorea, but voluntary motions, although he could not control his movements except for the minute. He kept his feet in constant motion, tapping the floor continuously. He also kept his hands moving constantly and every half minute he looked to one side under his chair, as if seeking something. At the same time he made a clucking noise with his tongue against the hard palate as if clucking to a horse.
Such constant movement would have eventually exhausted him. Tarantula met his symptoms and in thirty minutes, according to the testimony of his children, there was a notable improvement. He got some sleep for the first night in a week. From that time on there was an improvement until he was in fairly good health. There is no question but that Tarantula saved his life and also restored his reason. I purposely gave both the Tarantula Hispanica and the Tarantula cubensis at different times but could see no difference in the effect.
CASE VI- DIAPHRAGMATIC SPASM.
This is a short case. I was called in the night to come as quickly as possible. On arriving at the house I found a young man about 20 years old bent over in his chair and fairly gasping for breath, and in the greatest possible pain. He said, “Do something for me quick; this pain will kill me”. My first impression was that it was a Colocynth case, but on examination I found that he was suffering from tonic spasm of the diaphragm. He said he felt as if an iron band was around him, and no possible expansion. I dropped some Cactus in a glass of water, gave him a teaspoonful and in three minutes he said: “I feel better.” In ten minutes he was over the attack. He never had another.
CASE VII- CHOREA.
A young girl, about ten years of age had a very aggravated case of chorea. The contortions were painful to behold She was not still a second at a time. Her head, arms and hands were in constant motion. Her mother said the motions threw her out of bed at night in her sleep. I noticed on examination that she was highly anaemic. The roof of her mouth was white, her lips were very pale and her whole face was pallid, almost bloodless. I believe any homoeopath would have given her Ferrum, losing sight of the choreic movements. Ferrum metallicum in the thousandth potency. Fincke, cured the anaemia and the chorea also.
CASE VIII- ECZEMA.
A young boy, seven years old, suffered with eczema. The whole body, front and back, legs, arms, hands, even his feet, were covered with eruption. The itching was extreme, tormenting him and rendering his life miserable. The peculiar feature of the eruption was the very bright redness. I have found this a keynote symptom for Mezereum, which cured in a few days.
CASE IX- INFLUENZA WITH SEVERE HEADACHE.
A woman,about 50, had what appeared to be an attack of flu. She ached all over, was restless and had severe headache. It appeared to be the usual type of the disease and it apparently responded to Eupatorium perf., all except the headache which continued with increased severity. This indicated that Eupatorium, was not the simillimum, for improvement should have taken place from above downward.