Today scientific medicine considers most of the ills that flesh is heir to the result of infection of some kind, and in the zealous hunt for the cause often overlooks the individual idiosyncrasies of the patient, his reactions to outside and inside influences, and the fact that if he, in himself, were not ill first, all these outside things would have little effect upon him.
This does not in any way decry the removal of whatever existing cause there may be, whether an abscessed tooth, foreign body, diseased appendix or gall bladder or the evacuation of an abscess in any part of the body. But in spite of this and in spite of the most careful aseptic surgery, excellent nursing and good food some individuals do die and some develop symptoms which are at times most difficult to relieve. Almost without exception so far I have found nothing in the line of medicine that can compare with the carefully selected homoeopathic remedy in these conditions.
The following cases are in no way unusual, but show some of the accidents and problems that may occur in any surgical or obstetrical practice.
Mrs. R.L.G., October, 1928, age 38 years. Six days before consultations, patient had been curetted for rather persistent uterine flow. On third day following, patient had hard chill, temperature reaching to 105, severe aching of body and limbs, some pain in lower abdomen and profuse sweating. The following day another chill in the a. m. with the same high fever and general symptoms. On the next had a hard chill early in a. m. and another about noon. She had become very weak, could not eat, was intensely restless and still complained of the aching and soreness all over, now most marked in abdomen which was distended and very sensitive to pressure, most noticeable over uterine region. There was the usual slight flow following curettage, of very little odor.
Vaginal examination disclosed much tenderness all through the pelvis and a rather large uterus. There was no history of gonorrhoea.
Two days before, a previous consultant made a diagnosis of perimetritis, some infection of the pelvic veins and peritonitis, streptococcic in origin, with a bad prognosis and very little to suggest for treatment except streptococcic serum, morphia for pain and to force fluids. These remedies had been given with no relief and patient steadily grew worse. While her temperature had never been below 103 since the first chill and over 105 during and after the chill her pulse remained 90 to 100 and fair quality.
Pyrogen, 50M, three doses in water at 4 hour intervals, starting about an hour after the last chill, was administered and all other medications stopped.
The next morning there was a slight chill at 7 oclock, some shivering in the afternoon and the temperature rose to 101. That night she slept well and the following morning awoke hungry with no general pain, but still some soreness over pelvis, and that afternoon her temperature was normal. For four days after there was a slight afternoon rise, but at the end of a week patient went home feeling perfectly well.
Mrs. X.One week before and Caesarean section. Following that for four days went along fairly well, then had sudden rise in temperature, nausea with much straining though little expelled, and slimy brown diarrhoea, much prostration, coldness and sweat. On the day I was consulted, she had commenced to cough, rattling in character, could not breathe while lying down and had rales at the base of both lungs. Temperature 103 and pulse of 120, respiration 38. Her tongue was white, she was thirsty but nauseated from drinking water, face pinched and head sweaty and cold. The uterus was too large for on who had been operated the week before, more sensitive to pressure and the flow was scanty but not offensive. There was some tenderness in the right groin and she complained of pain in the right thigh.
Ant. tart. 6x in water was given every 2 hours for one day, then, as there was a slight improvement, every 6 hours, and discontinued on the third day.
First of all, her breathing and cough was relieved and she could lie down and sleep; next she had a rather profuse bloody uterine flow for 24 hours without clots or much odor and the uterus became smaller; then her nausea stopped, temperature became normal and she made a good recovery. Me. W.J., May 1926. Patient stuck an ice pick into palm of left hand about one inch proximal to web between little and ring finger. Though it was carefully dressed the pain was intense and a red line soon appeared on the inside of forearm.
As I was out of town the next night, another surgeon saw him at his home, gave him morphia for the pain and incised the wound, almost always a mistake in these cases, until pus has definitely localized, and usually, too, about the first treatment most of these patients receive.
Swelling of the hand continued with much pain extending to shoulder with the customary red streak up the arm and swelling of the glands on the inside of elbow. Continuous hot fomentations reaching from the shoulder to the tip of the fingers were applied and Ledum 10M followed b Hypericum CM was given.
Though the pain was somewhat relieved in a short time, the whole arm remained swollen and the patient was very ill, restless, chilly and ran a temperature as high as 104 at night, 100-102 in a.m. On the seventh day there was a little less swelling of the upper arm but more of hand had forearm, much tenderness now at the base of the little finger, and the dorsal surface of the hand was hard, bluish and there was evidence of pus over the metacarpal of little finger. Incision here and on the palmar surface in the web between little and ring finger evacuated a small amount of greenish pus which increased considerably the next few days.
The patient improved very little: he could not eat, was restless, cold and thirsty, fluids were vomited soon after taking, particularly cold water; was delirious at night, crying out or talking about his business or his family and was extremely difficult to care for.
After Ars. 1M improvement was prompt and steady, though it was over two weeks before the wounds stopped discharging. The distal phalanx of the little finger became flexed nearly at right angles in spite of splinting and has remained so, otherwise he is none the worse for his accident.
Mrs. W., age 26 years. Twelve days before consultation had had a low forceps delivery, did well for three days, then had a chill, rise in temperature and developed septicaemia.
When I saw her she was somewhat improved but delirious most of the time. Slept very little in spite of bromides, opium, etc., and took little food or drink except champagne in small amounts. She was lying on her back, frequently raising abdomen and buttocks and saying over and again, “If I could only urinate”. On inquiring about her bladder condition was told she had had constant involuntary urination for days and also frequent involuntary stools. However, I catheterized her and removed only 60 ounces of urine, which of course gave her great relief.
Then on further examination. I found a large abscess extending from just below shoulder nearly to inside of elbow which was opened under local anaesthesia evacuating nearly 4 ounces of green pus which on culture showed staphylococcus.
That night she slept and next day had a little appetite, but had to be catheterized twice, though had constant involuntary urination, and seven hours after, she urinated normally and continued to do so.
A few days later, because she had two or three loose brown and very offensive stools around 5 a.m., complained of burning feet and had a most offensive odor about her body and form the lochia, Sulph. 50M was given with rapid improvement.
Many years ago, while on a hunting trip, was asked to see the wife of a lumberman who, ten days before, had given birth to the first child.
She was in a little cabin many miles from any village and had expected to go out for her confinement, but during a heavy snow storm labor had stared and she could not be moved. Her husband was in the woods and did not return until she had delivered herself with only the assistance of a younger sister.
I found a very sick woman, unable to move, except occasionally to raise one hand, with a distended abdomen, scanty lochia, a most offensive odor; moaning occasionally; having frequent hiccough and vomiting or retching as soon as she took the smallest quantity of food or drink; involuntary stools and urine.
Though the temperature in that room must have been well over 80 degrees she insisted on being covered with many blankets.
As I had no thermometer could not take her temperature, but her pulse was high, very weak and thready.
She had a deep median laceration of the perineum, the edges of which were intensely red except where covered with a grayish slough, and her skin was dry and withered looking.
I thought she was going to die and having no medicines with me gave her a little whiskey and hot water, did all I could to get her warm and said I would stay until it was over.