Read before I.H.A., Bureau of Clinical Medicine, June 26, 1936.
ITS USES AND ABUSES.
First let us consider its usefulness.
We have learned the disastrous results that follow a suppressed eruption and accept them as an axiom in homoeopathic philosophy. This is just as true in the case of an ulcer on the leg, or a catarrhal discharge from the nose, or a suppressed foot sweat, or a leucorrhoea. As long as these psoric patients have a “vent” they got on with a fair amount of health and are only embarrassed or annoyed by their spot of eczema, or sweaty feet, or discharging ear or leg ulcer, etc. It is when some ignorant doctor gets hold of them and shuts off this “vent” that the patient really gets sick. Of course it may be a meddlesome old grandmother that supplies the salve that has been suppressing eczema in her family and neighborhood for the present and past three or four generations, that has done the dirty work. It is just as apt to be something like that as the plausible M.D. who works his female patients for a local treatment (always of a suppressive nature) once or twice a week at about three dollars per.
You see how quickly I run out of its uses and into its abuses? But let that point register – that it is better for the patient to keep her “vent” active than to have it suppressed by local measures. Local measures are always harmful and expensive.
Leucorrhoea is only a symptom. Examine your patient carefully, especially the past history, not only her but her parents and grandparents; may be you will find a sycotic or syphilitic taint there, combined with the psora. All three are possible.
DOCTOR YOU PATIENT. It pays to repertorize these cases; it will eliminate many failures.
In taking the histories of new patients it is surprising to me how many times I find a leucorrhoea in women who apparently take a matter of course, and not worthy of mention to the doctor; and in questioning them about it I find that they are opposed to local treatments, either because of the expense involved, or because they are convinced that there is nothing that can be done to relieve the condition.
The surgically-minded doctor will find scar tissue in the cervix from an old laceration and operate, and thereby may suppress the leucorrhoea. The laboratory man will have to make tests as to whether the discharges are acid or alkaline, or what have we? But the thorough going homoeopath will repertorize his carefully taken case history and arrive at most satisfactory results.
I am not going to talk to you about a list of remedies for leucorrhoea. What I want to impress upon you is that you should not select your remedy just because it fits the type of discharge present in this given case alone. You should doctor the patient that has, for one of her symptoms, a leucorrhoea.
Now for a few general rules that I give my patients: The most important one of all is the stopping of all local measures. This may include the removal of a pessary worn to support a misplaced uterus, or another kind of pessary used to prevent conception; or the stopping of a dangerously strong antiseptic solution that they may be using as a douche after intercourse. The only local measure I will allow is tepid warm water as a matter of cleanliness. Or your patient may be using strong cathartics for a constipation. Stop all drugs; clear the track. That is the only way you will be sure that failure is due to a poorly selected remedy.
Again: Caution your patient that there has to be order – LAW – in the disappearance of the symptoms, and that her leucorrhoea, unless it is a very recent symptom, will not be the first to disappear; and if it is the oldest symptom it will be the last to clear up.
Most patients are intelligent enough to follow you when you talk your homoeopathic philosophy, if you take pains to teach them; and once you get them interested in the real homoeopathic philosophy and practice they make fine patients and real boosters for homoeopathy.
DR. MCLAREN: For the benefit of the younger members here, I am going to relate a case of suppression which occurred when I was working in an allopathic hospital as an intern. One of the finest looking specimens of manhood I have ever seen in my life came to the hospital to be operated upon for a fistula. He was about six-foot-two, and weighed about 220 pounds. Osler tells us that about forty per cent of all tubercular people have fistula. This is a big percentage.
This man was operated on for his fistula. Six months afterward I was sent out in the ambulance to bring in a patient to the hospital. I walked into the room, and there was a very, very emaciated man lying on the bed. He said, “Hello, Doctor, how are things up at the hospital?”.
I said, “They are doing very nicely up there, but who are you? I have never seen you before.” He said, “You certainly have; you gave me an anesthetic six months ago up there.” I said, “I did not; I never saw you before.” He said, “You certainly did.” I said, “What was the anesthetic for?” He said he was up there being operated on for a fistula. I said, “You dont mean to tell me you are the man who was in such-and-such a room in the hospital and you had a fistula?” He said, “I am the same chap, Doctor.” I said, “What seems to be the trouble now?” He said, “The doctors tell me I have a tuberculous hip”.
We took him to the hospital, and I forget whether he died in the hospital or whether he went to a sanitarium and died.
Had that mans fistula been left alone, he probably would be going around today the same as I am. So whenever a person comes to you with a fistula and wants to be operated on, you want to think that over very carefully, and you want to warn him that it is possible, first of all, that the operation wont be a success, because a very great number of these fistula operations are not a success. I have seen them go after a fistula three times without any success, and it is a good thing for that patient when that happens.
I dont mean that all cases of fistula are tubercular, but a great many of them have a tubercular taint, and if you close up that vent, it is just too bad for that patient in the future.
DR. STEARNS: That point needs emphasizing. When I was an intern at the Metropolitan Hospital on Blackwells Island I was allowed to operate on two cases of fistula ani. Both died of tuberculosis of the lungs within a year. This was a hard lesson that I have never forgotten. A fistula remains a fistula because something constitutional prevents its healing. Otherwise, it will heal spontaneously. Frequently it is tuberculosis and if operated on the infection becomes active in another more vital part.
No one who is at all schooled in natural philosophy will for a moment admit that anything ever happens by chance; and whatsoever change occurs whether development to full fruition or decay to complete disintegration, does so in accordance with the definite and fixed laws of its existence. Our living, breathing, nourishing, and all the functions of organic life as well as those of decay are mandates of law, and the inorganic as well must obey its behests. Law is force: regular, consistent, sustaining, and its phenomena are manifest everywhere throughout nature awaiting our careful observation. – JAMES T. MARTIN, M.D., 1893.