This brief reminder may be the last croak of a moribund phase of homoeopathic prescribing, but the everlasting authenticity of it is in Hahnemann, Hering, Guernsey, in the fresh and lively pages of the International Hahnemannian Association Transactions, and choicest of all for immediate use, that real invest of the homoeopathic spirit, the incomparable Yinglings Emergency Manual.
A few words about this Manual. With a practical understanding of homoeopathy and the possession of Yinglings gem the obstetrician should need nothing else to effect most of his deliveries. ( I wonder if an estimate of 98 percent would be too high?) If this little digest of materia medica and experience had been cast in the format of the Family Bible the work could not command more admiration. Every line has the definite quality of an etching,not a useless line in it. Its tiny repertory leads straight to the mark and must be used to be appreciated.
Associated with the materia medica section the two represent the heart of homoeopathic practice because their use brings out in the prescriber the faculty of knowing what is what among symptoms, for which faculty no extended repertory mechanism can be substituted. What a difference from wandering through the labyrinths and sublabyrinths of the ground-up symptoms of Kent or dragging along the farther reaches of Boenninghausen! In Yinglings little repertory every line is devoted to the individual patients need, represented in her peculiar vital expressions. To know just that, to recognize their reflection in the symptomatic records of provings, is the essence of homoeopathic prescribing, whether in obstetrics or anything else.
In homoeopathy one is nothing if not a clinician. There s hardly a section of medical practice from the psycopathia to the adjustment of artificial limbs where the similar remedy may not be used to advantage. But opportunities for the exhibition of the law in some of these corners is being ignored and in danger of being forgotten; and this is true of homoeopathic aid for the parturient woman. I have known of some instances of this neglect by homoeopaths.
How any homoeopath can prefer the pulling and hauling of instruments, the saturation of anesthetics and the artificial and often misdirected energy of crude drugging, however much in vogue, to the slick and spontaneous redistribution of vital energy, is beyond comprehension. In no section of practice is the effect of the similar remedy more immediate, positive and apparent to all than with labor, in whatever stage; and in no section of practice is it easier to spot the correct remedy.
I recall the case of a primipara who thought she was having a very hard time. I do not remember the exact character of the pains but she appeared to be much fatigued by her exertions which were really not much, although she seemed to think were. They were eased by lying down and aggravated by muscular activity of any kind, such as walking. Her hands and feet were clammy and when the pains came the upper part of the body would sweat freely, especially about the face and scalp. Besides this, a perfect picture of self-pity was on her features, so who could miss Calcarea there? The exact state of progression at the moment is not recalled but after a dose of the 50M., good, strong, comfortable contractions terminated the affair in a short time.
The writer never had a high rate of confinements, not more than a dozen to a dozen and a half a year but that was enough to augment gratitude for Aconite, Belladonna, Calcarea, Caulophyllum, Gelsemium, Ferrum, Kali phosphoricum, Kali carb., Nux v., Puls., Xanthox, Sul., Helon., Cimic., and probably others of the hundred and nine remedies edited by Yingling.
It has probably been told before, but from the time that I began to use homoeopathic remedies in 1902 until resigning from obstetrics about ten years ago, I might as well have not carried either instruments or anaesthetics, although I did make a with the latter two or three times and threaten the former once or twice. When the woman would begin to ask for chloroform she would get her powder and then say no more about it but turn in and work like a good fellow. Very often she would have a good sleep first, though, sometimes lasting several hours especially if she had “been up all night”, then the finish would be at hand.
A recent experience (an exception in favor of a relative) gave much satisfaction to all concerned. A primipara aet, 22, first stage; sharp pains like false pains in both inguinal regions, some long and cutting, others transient and shooting downward toward the external genitals or down the thighs or into the rectum. But the attracting symptom was nausea with the pains and ineffectual attempts to vomit. So Yingling was consulted and seven remedies found. None needed to be compared except Ipecac and Caulophyllum, the first in largest type and the latter in the smallest. The cutting and false character of the pains were found under LABOR and under GENERALITIES we learned that Caul. pains may appear in various places, and that, the woman may act tired and fretty, which corresponded exactly with the aspect of my patient.
So we made only an external examination (“Dreadful”, say some), gave Caul. 1M. and left with instructions to be called when the pains should become broad and bearing down in character. Four hours later we were called, the pains had become broad and tolerable and farther apart with naps between. The patient said she had “felt the medicine going all over her right away”. In a quarter of an hour more delivery was effected with but one muttered word of complaint from the new mother. That was when the advancing chin caused a two stitch tear on the pelvic floor. There was no amniotic fluid. What this session might have been without the similar remedy may be easily imagined. WATERBURY, CONN.