THE CHRONIC CHILD



If the child survives puberty, when the hereditary taints will appear to add to the chaos, he will go on into adult life carrying an increasing burden and with a decreasing ability to participate in normal interests, unless he receives that help he so sadly needs.

Here is a boy thirteen years of age. Leonard is asthmatic, and so worn and weary by his sleepless nights that he cannot respond to the tasks laid on him in school. Directed by his teacher, who has witnessed the power of homoeopathy on her own suffering mother, the boy was brought by his father, an illiterate Italian. This was the history: Dyspnoea < night, < on lying down, < rainy weather, < winter and foggy weather, > sunny and warm weather. Always wheezing; sneezing frequently.

Coughs a great deal, with thick green sputum. Weight on chest during the attack; sweats with the attack. Thus far no spectacular symptoms have been given; the identifying concomitants are lacking. He cannot play long with the other boys, for while he is restless and active he soon tires, and this brings on pains in the arms and legs; running causes pain in the head, about the heart, and in the extremities.

His lips get blue at such times. These asthmatic conditions appeared before he was a year old; as a babe his head was covered with scabs which disappeared under the applications of various ointments. These eruptions appear only at rare intervals now, and they never thought until now that his breathing is better while the eruption is out.

A chronic child, heading for a chronic adult – if his heart does not fail under the strain! Rhus tox. 10M. on November 4, 1935, and placebo since, has made this child over into a normal, healthy boy. Some eruption reappeared but cleared of itself, without repetition of the remedy. This child belongs to that class we designate as under-privileged, but instead of a potential social problem he is a potential worker.

Seven-year-old Rita has a chronic history that dates back to first dentition, perhaps father. As a matter of fact, it dates back to her ancestors, for her grandmother, aunts and cousins all have asthma; Rita herself has notched teeth. Always sore throats as a tiny child; tonsils were removed at four years but the sore throats continued.

Continual colds since babyhood; colds in the head every time she goes out to play; these hang on for a month and run into asthmatic attacks. Cankersores in the mouth. Cries out and talks in her sleep; rubs her nose frequently, even in her sleep.

No appetite. Exertion, even a natural amount of play, brings on asthmatic attacks. It is not necessary to go into the detailed symptomatology of the attacks; it is sufficient for our purpose to point out the tendency toward a frail adolescence and invalid adult period; even now the child has the appearance of a fragile ornament. Phosphorus 9M. gave wonderful impetus toward health. Later, because of early decay of the teeth and a closer study of the remedy, Calc. phos. seemed indicated and did even better work.

This year Ritas mother wrote that for the first time in years Rita was able to go out doors and play with the other children before summer came, without taking cold.

A young woman with great courage and patience adopted a three- year-old fairy-like child. Virginias mother was dead, probably from tuberculosis; thee father, a confirmed drunkard, committed the child to an institution. Thee child was frail, slender and waxen. The new mother believed in good feeding, care, and homoeopathy, and gave the child a chance to win against the chronic background.

Yale Medical school x-ray plates, required before the child was permitted to leave the institution, revealed well defined tubercular lesions in the chest; the sputum was positive for tuberculosis. The first “acute” condition was a discharging ear. On a single dose of Sulphur she did well for several months. Then she developed night sweats, especially about the head, and Calc. carb., one dose, carried her for a year.

H.A. Roberts
Dr. H.A.Roberts (1868-1950) attended New York Homoeopathic Medical College and set up practrice in Brattleboro of Vermont (U.S.). He eventually moved to Connecticut where he practiced almost 50 years. Elected president of the Connecticut Homoeopathic Medical Society and subsequently President of The International Hahnemannian Association. His writings include Sensation As If and The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy.