Pneumonia takes a terrible toll of valuable lives every years. The average death rate in this disease in both appalling and unnecessary. There is really no excuse for a mortality of more than one per cent.
Rest in bed is essential in any acute disease and for several reasons:.
It conserves energy, protects against taking additional cold, lessens the danger of complications and equalizes the circulation, thus relieving stress and strain on the affected parts of the body.
Suitable light weight covering is most essential. Heavy, impervious covering is unhealthful for anyone, sick or well and is very fatiguing.
The room should be kept at a fairly even temperature and one agreeable to the patient. Some will want about the same temperature as in health. Some may require a warmer room than that to which they are accustomed, others a cooler temperature. Any marked preference for a very warm or a very cool room is of considerable moment in selecting the indicated remedy.
Arsenicum, Calcarea, Hepar, Phosphorus, Rhus tox. and Silica are cold remedies and crave warmth.
Bryonia, Iodine and Pulsatilla are warm remedies and usually prefer a cool room and plenty of fresh air.
Silica (related symptomatically to Pulsatilla) is cold and yet is often aggravated by becoming even a trifle over heated.
Fresh air and adequate ventilation of the sick room is agreeable to most patients. Air-conditioning is worthy of serious thought in relation to sick room care and practise but it should admit of suitable flexibility both as to temperature and humidity control. The Bryonia and the Hepar patient must have fairly moist air in order to breath with comfort. Rumex must breath in the warm air. Natrum sulph. cases are better in a dry atmosphere.
Let nature speak to you. That which aggravates and irritates is generally harmful, that which ameliorates and soothes is often beneficial. Especially is this true in dealing with acute diseases and with children. In dealing with chronic patients the voice of nature is often stifled through years of suppression, perversion and prejudice.
No hard and fast rule can be laid down in respect to visitors. They can be either a blessing or a curse in the sick room. It depends upon the patient, the remedy indicated and upon the visitor. Patients requiring Chamomilla. Gelsemium, Natrum mur. or Nux vomica may easily be made worse by the presence of visitors. Arsenicum, Kali carb., Lycopodium or Phosphorus will likely be benefited thereby. Always adapt your treatment, orders and advice to the needs of the individual sick patient.
A high fever should never be controlled by drugs. The indicated homoeopathic remedy will take care of the fever, relieve insomnia, ease the cough, quiet the nerves and cure the patient. All other drug medication is absolutely superfluous and usually detrimental. Most pneumonia patients are either drugged to death, fed to death or both.
Why do we so often fever associated with acute disease? It merely means increased combustion, the burning up of accumulated debris. What folly to smother the fire-unless it gets out of bounds; and folly also to stroke the overheated furnace, thereby adding needless fuel to the flames.
A raging fever can be easily controlled by tepid or warm sponge baths, by giving the patient all the water the wants, acidulated, if desired, with lemon or lime juice and by the use of enemata in case of constipation.
It is rarely necessary, in acute disease, either to force or restrict the intake of liquids. Antimonium tart. Apis, Gelsemium and Pulsatilla are thirstless as a rule. Arsenicum, Calcarea, Mercurius and Phosphorus often have extreme thirst. Arsenicum may want frequent sips of cold water but the Arsenic patient often desires hot drinks and is better from heat in general, both internally and externally. Bryonia has thirst for large quantities of water at infrequent intervals. Phosphorus wants ice-cold drinks and to chew cracked ice.
Desires and aversions, aggravations and ameliorations in respect to food and drink are often are often of considerable help in finding the similimum in both acute and chronic cases, especially the former. At the risk of repetition always remember this general rule: THAT FOR WHICH THERE IS AN ESPECIALLY STRONG CRAVING THE SYSTEM MAY REQUIRE AND THAT WHICH IS REPULSIVE OR WHICH AGGRAVATES WILL OFTEN PROVE DETRIMENTAL. It is he patient we are treating, not the disease. Modify your treatment to suit the individual.
Routinism is thoughtless and unscientific. Only accidentally can it meet the needs of the particular case in hand.
To force liquids and waterlog the tissues can be just as harmful as denying water when nature is calling for it, and to prescribe eight, ten, twelve or more glasses of water a day may possibly deplete the cells of needed chemicals and mineral salts while the would-be healer is attempting to flush the kidneys.
In most acute conditions there will be anorexia, loss of appetite. In all such cases give no food until hunger returns and becomes pronounced or even insistent.
In the matter of diet the physician may have to step in and lay down some very definite regulations both in acute and chronic cases. Why? Because the appetite has been so pampered and perverted for generations that the reactions of the digestive mechanism cannot be trusted and this is particularly true in cases of chronic disease. Members of the family simply must give the patient some good nourishing food early and often to keep up his strength.
When the individual was up and around he allowed his appetite to rule him, now what he is sick mental bias in turn forces food even against a rebellious and overburdened digestion. Overfeeding and wrong eating habits have predisposed to all sorts of disease both acute and chronic. Faulty management of the diet during acute illness is one of the chief causes of most complications and sequelae, the other main causes being over- drugging and medicinal suppressions, taking cold during the attack and attempting to get up and around prematurely and before convalescence had become fully established.
Is there any danger from fasting in acute disease? None whatever in children and young people, very little in other cases except in extremely fleshy individuals and in exceedingly toxic cases, particularly where there had been the history of prolonged over- drugging. Such people might be overwhelmed by the sudden dissolving out and elimination of hitherto stored food toxins and drug substances from the tissues into the circulation.
DIET IN ACUTE DISEASES.
Plan 1. Nothing whatever except water until convalescence has become firmly established.
Plan 2. Nothing but water acidulated with lemon or lime juice.
Plan. 3. Nothing but fresh, raw, unsweetened fruit juices: orange juice, grapefruit juice, freshly expressed apple juice, pear juice, grape juice, lemon juice, lime juice, plain tomato juice, etc. This diet is more than adequate in nearly all cases of acute disease.
Plan 4. In addition to fruit juice: buttermilk, lemonized milk (juice of half a lemon in a tumbler of raw milk), unsweetened grape juice and unpasteurized milk, equal parts.
Plan 5. Hot foods including hot unsweetened lemonade or limeade, oyster or clam broth, mushroom broth, fresh vegetable broth, hot tomato juice. MEat broths are not recommended.
Ice-cream, preferably home made, will refresh many a parched mouth. (It should be made of raw cream or top milk sweetened with honey and flavored. Commercial ice-creams are not suitable.).
Times of feeding: only at regular meal time and only if the patient is really hungry, and not too sick nor the fever too high. A mono-diet is advised, only one food at a meal. If very hungry between meals allow only raw freshly expressed fruit juice.
Danger from constipation is greatly lessened by excluding the heavy proteins from the diet. Meat and meat broths, eggs, fish and cheese are mischief makers in the presence of bowel stasis. If the gastrointestinal tract is once thoroughly free from putrefactive material and the diet is entirely non toxic, nothing serious would happen if the bowels failed to move for a week or so. Cases have occurred where the bowels failed to move for an entire month and still recovery came about. If people were half as particular in watching their diet as they are in regulating the bowels the health and vitality of the race would improve to a truly remarkable extent. If causes are corrected results will give little concern.
If constipation is due to trouble in the sigmoid or rectum the use of a glycerine or a gluten suppository may be all that is necessary. If the trouble is a little higher up an enema may prove effective. Enemata should never the given hot, 100 degrees Fahrenheit is about right. Always avoid all forms of irritation and trauma to the tissues and organs of the body. Plain enemas are often satisfactory. Baking soda or table salt may be added to the water in the proportion of one level teaspoonful to the pint of solution. Lemon juice is useful many in the proportion of one half lemon or even a whole lemon to the pint of water. Soap enemas are not advised except in more stubborn cases. A bland unmedicated soap should be insisted upon.
The high colonic irrigation in the hands of experienced careful technicians is a very valuable therapeutic modality. Laxatives and purgatives will seldom be required if the right methods of case management are completely carried out. The indicated remedy will overcome many cases of constipation. Diet will correct other cases. Enemata and colonic irrigations will cover most of the remainder. All combined there will be little for other means. Laxative drugs have incidental of side effects not sufficiently evaluated. Usually these side effects are detrimental to the general well being of the patient.
If all of the foregoing is carefully observed in all cases of pneumonia and other acute diseases the death rate will be well under five per cent with no medication of any kind whatsoever.
However, the death rate in pneumonia should be kept down to about one half of one per cent and with the aid of the correct homoeopathic remedy is suitable potency this can be absolutely and consistently achieved.
REMEDY INDICATIONS IN PNEUMONIA.
The exactly similar remedy in suitable potency will abort or cut short the course of pneumonia, typhoid or any other acute disease. If the medicine fails to accomplish this purpose the prescription was incorrect.
Always confine your medication to the singly remedy selected in full agreement with the symptom ensemble of each individual case.
It is well night impossible to become a really expert prescriber if one allows himself to administer two or more drugs at a time or if he alternates remedies, either of which may or may not be homoeopathic to the symptoms. This method of prescribing leads to carelessness and finally to a weakening of the discriminating faculty. Routinism is almost the inevitable but into which any physician who pursues this left had path will fall.
Prescribe the single remedy in the single dose, having in so far as possible removed all obstacles to recovery by means of thoughtful and intelligent case management.
The selection of the potency when using the single dose should be confined within some reasonable limits until long experience and careful observation warrant an attempt at individual potency selection for each patient. The potency range suggested is from the 30th to the 1000th centesimal. Below the 30th, repetition is more often required. The very high potencies may unnecessarily aggravate sensitive patients and in case an emergency should require a stepping up of the remedy a still higher potency might not be quickly available. A very satisfactory medium potency is the 200th centesimal or the 2C. as it is sometimes called.
In all acute conditions, if the remedy fails to hold after satisfactory initial action, it is well, after checking the symptoms, to repeat in a higher potency, as for example following the 200th with the 1000th or as is often termed the 1M. potency.
A single dose of the 200th potency of the similimum will cure the vast majority of acute illnesses, pneumonia not excepted. If more than two doses of medicine in ascending potency are required, rest assured the remedy selection was in error.
Do not think of remedies in relation to any particular disease. Phosphorus is not a remedy for pneumonia but it will cure any curable case of illness which presents symptoms essentially similar in general to those produced in the provings of Phosphorus on healthy persons. The same is true of every other drug in the vast materia medica.
Study the materia medica and learn how to use the repertories and be ready to prescribe for the sick, be the disease what it may. To think of a lost of remedies for pneumonia and a list for some other disease is to run some risk of prescribing on the diagnosis rather than on the symptoms of the patient.