These few case histories that it is my privilege to submit to you today are offered as one small addition to the great mass of evidence that has been accumulating through the years, bearing tribute to the skill and genius of our illustrious master, Samuel Hahnemann.
CASE I. Mrs. W.H.R., age 61. Chief complaint, bronchial asthma, duration, 11 years; intermission two years, 1932-1934.
The condition was always bad, but < if possible from damp weather, cold air, heat, draft of air or slight breeze, and even very slight exertion.
On examination the usual physical signs were present, and in addition the heart was found to be moderately hypertrophied. Her blood pressure was 150.
It was difficult to elicit any symptoms not directly relating to her respiratory distress, but finally it was discovered that she suffered considerably from flatulence soon after food, < evenings. Sense of smell absent for 11 years. PErspiration easy all over, possibly < about head and neck.
October 4, 1935. Prescribed Calc. carb. 50M.
October 14. Much > in self. Breathing some>.
November 4. Breathing much >. Mental anguish much >.
March 18, 1936. Repeated prescription.
May 9. Asthma worse since May 3. Repeated prescription.
From May until August patient has a very trying time. Calcarea carb. produced no further benefit.
August 5, 1936. In view of the general < from change of weather; patient discouraged and despondent; and a feeling that the predominant miasm in this case was sycotic, the prescription was changed to Nat. sulph. 50M.
Kent, New Remedies, page 169: “You will find in the history of medicine, that wherever, asthma was cured, it has been by antisycotic remedies”.
From August 5 to October 7 there was a steady improvement, and a note under this latter date says: Cough now only on exertion; but now she was suffering from severe sciatica. Coloc. 50M. was prescribed; this was a poorly selected remedy, given routinely, and produced very little relief; it was followed in a few days by Nat. sulph. 50M. which finished off the sciatica and also a slight return of the asthma.
November 6. Acute tonsillitis and severe attack of paroxysmal tachycardia. Merc. sol. CM. smoothed the troubled waters, but three days later a severe pain in the right chest following the course of the sixth intercostal nerve required Ran. bulb. (Potency unknown, but probably very high from my pocket case). The speedy relief was very gratifying to both patient and physician.
There were moderately severe asthmatic attacks in the spring and fall of 1937 but none since. Occasionally a severe bronchitis (without asthma) appears but is responding well to infrequent doses of Senega 200.
I wish this were the entire picture, but it is necessary to add a few more sombre touches.
Years of almost incessant racking cough have placed too great a strain on a circulatory system which had to bear coincidentally the attacks of the same miasmatic force which produced the asthma. Cardiac insufficiency now serves to prevent active exercise. For this condition, Crataegus oxycanthus provides justifiable palliation.
CASE II. Miss M.L. age 46. Chief complaint chronic bronchitis; duration, at least 20 years.
Attacks are infrequent in summer, but almost continuous during the winter months. Cough < evenings, night and morning; < lying down, < warm room, < cold air, < change from warm to cold and vice versa. Sputum yellow, thick.
The generals of this case were similar to Puls., except in the emotional sphere, which manifested extreme irritability and a decided absence of timidity. Kali sulph. seemed indicated, and given in the 200th potency on October 15, 1937, was followed by immediate and marked relief. The remedy was successfully employed again on October 22 but a fresh cold developed near the end of November and Kali sulph. failed dismally. On this occasion the cough was accompanied by much retching and gagging, and there was a constant desire for a deep inspiration, which seemed impossible of achievement. Ipecac 10M. was given November 29 and produced a most thorough, soul-satisfying result. The entire winter passed without any further need of treatment.
The predominating miasm in this case is also sycosis, and it is still active. Only last week this patient returned with symptoms suggestive of gallstones, and “believe it or not”, gallstones are sycotic in origin. (See Kents Materia Medica under Natrum sulph).
CASE III. Miss D.M. age 21. Chief complaint, cough since childhood; cough both summer and winter.
The cough symptoms and modalities were quite similar to the previous case. Past history revealed that in infancy she slept in the knee-chest position; vaccinated at 12 years of age. Tonsils and adenoids removed when seven years old.
Examination showed lungs normal, some coarse ronchi over large bronchi. Right oophorectomy, cyst, two years ago.
This patient had red hair and blue eyes and these weighed in the balance to such an extent that phos. 10M. was the first prescription on May 21, 1937.
Three months later, the report was fairly favorable, but the cough was somewhat worse again; also considerable flatulence after food, with some distention of the abdomen and intolerance of tight garments about the waist. This situation was blandly ignored, and Med. 50M. prescribed August 24, in favor of the ostrich-like attitude of the sleeping infant. However, every folly has its limits, and on October 14 Lycopodium 50M. took over its appointed task. It has been repeated three times in eight months. The winter was passed without one attack of bronchitis.
The gastrointestinal tract is now amiable, and the miasm sycosis is being eradicated from the organism.
CASE IV. Mr. W.J.C., age 60 years. Chief complaint, frequent, urgent desire to urinate. Urine passed in a feeble stream, and a sensation as though a drop remained in the urethra after urinating. Night frequency.
No history of gonorrheal infection.
Patient also complains of vertigo when rising up from a stooping position; occasional attacks of neuritis of sciatica, and lack of appetite. B.P. 96/68. Prostate slightly enlarged. Urine analysis showed: W.B.C., 18, 25 per H.P.F.; albumin, plus.
The miasm sycosis-the remedy, Thuja 10M.
The result: in one month, no vertigo since last consultation. B.P. 110/70. Urination some better in every way.
In three years, Thuja has been repeated 16 times. The genitourinary tract has now functioned perfectly for the past year, blood pressure is perfect, no night frequency; the vertigo returns occasionally, the arteries are soft and compressible. For all practical purposes he is a well man, whereas three years ago he was going down hill fairly rapidly.
CASE V. Mr. B.D.V., age 25. This case is mentioned because it illustrates the extreme rapidity with which the indicated remedy overcomes even a rapidly destructive infection.
This patients inheritance included both psora and sycosis, his wife is similarly afflicted, and their children of course also, but in a descending scale. (their first child weighed only five pounds at birth. The mother began homoeopathic treatment while pregnant, for a severe attack of pyelitis. This child died at the age of six months of whooping cough which produced an encephalitis as a complication. The second child survived, but has had a stormy passage. The third child is the picture of health, except for enlarged tonsils and adenoids; the fourth child appears perfectly normal).
In September, on holidays, their second child contracted an obscure ailment which was never diagnosed, even by the pediatrician who was called in. On later left deep ulcers. (Treated by ointment; later, mental symptoms developed requiring Zinc). In October, the father developed a similar eruption, and on November 2, 1937, developed a severe erysipelas beginning on the forehead near one of these pustules. When seen on the morning of the 2nd he reported a severe chill at 11 p.m. the previous night, he was aching all over and extremely restless. T. 103. 4, P. 104. Rhus tox. 10M. Evening: T. 103, P. 108. Headache severe. Restlessness extreme. Nausea constant.
November 3, a.m., T. 104, P. 110. Eruption forehead and scalp, elevated, smooth and shiny; heat of skin intense. Listless and drowsy. Delirium all night, as of two worlds rolling over on him; he would struggle to keep them off. Bell. CM.
Evening, T. 101.3, P. 104. Eruption extending down over forehead. Bell. CM.
November 4, a.m. Very bad night, but delirium only once. Eruption extending down over face, unable to open eyes. T. 104.2, P. 108. Sulph. MM. Aching extreme, bed feels hard.
Evening, T. 102.3, P.104. Nose about twice normal size; eruption extending on to cheeks. Feeling much better in himself.
November 5, a.m. T. 103 during night. T. 104 now, P. 100. Slight chill about 8 a.m. Erysipelas still spreading. Pyrogen CM. Evening, T. 101.3, P.98. Condition unchanged.
November 6, a.m. Feeling much better. T. 102.4, P. 87. Eruption fading out rapidly. Pyrogen CM.
This case had all the symptoms calling for Pyrogen; the discrepancy between pulse and temperature was not marked, but the aching certainly was, and when the prescriber saw the picture clearly, the remedy more than made up for lost time.
CASE VI. N.W. This male child, age 18 months, was the exact replica of pictures you may have seen of famine suffers. No words of mine could described him. His little form was emaciated beyond belief. He lay on the table as he was about to be examined, an inert, moaning bundle of bones.
The spirit animating that child was magnificent. When an attempt was made to insert the tongue depressor into his mouth he resisted with a vigor that could not have come from his wasted muscles. There is no note to show how long he had been sick, when he was first seen on October 12, 1937. The previous physician has given the impression that the child was dying, and nothing could be done about it.
He coughed incessantly, a loose cough, but with a horrible tearing sound that almost made one wince. He held both hands to his face with every paroxysm. His mouth was plastered with a gluey mucus, adhering to teeth, tongue, soft palate and cheeks. No reflexes could be elicited. Chest clear-the inflammation seemed to extend from larynx to the end of the trachea. T. 104.3. P.160, R.65. Hepar CM.
October 13, a.m. T. 103.2, P.160, R.70. Nostrils sooty. Fanning of alae nasi. Entire body dusky and mottled. Ant. tart. 50M.
Evening, T. 102.3, P. 160, R.72. In desperation prescribed Bry. 200.
October 14, a.m. T. 102.3, P.166, R. 80. Sulph. MM.
Evening, T. 103, P. 168, R. 84. The respirations were so extremely rapid they could be counted only with the greatest difficulty.
October 15, a.m. T. 102.3, P. 156, R.86. Cough now dry, incessant. Rumex 1M.
Evening, T. 102. Condition unchanged. After long study, Nux 30 was given.
October 16, a.m. T. 101, P. 160, R. 80. He seemed perhaps a shade better so Nux vom. 30 was repeated. By evening he was definitely brighter although his temperature had risen again to 103.2, but the cough still continued to torture him. He refused all warm drinks, but would sip at cold water, so somewhat more hopefully he was given Phos. CM.
October 17. No longer inert. REstless tossing about, crying, moaning and coughing. On the restlessness alone Rhus tox. CM., three powders ex aqua, were given. T. 102.3, P. 170, R. 80.
Evening. What a change! The child was sleeping. Respiration 68. The doctor made up two more powders of Rhus tox. and tiptoed out.
October 18. T. 99, R. 40. Brighter, better in every way.
October 19. T. 97.4, R. 31. Sitting up in his carriage! For five full days death hovered near, and on the seventh day the child actually sat up in his carriage: what a boy!. TORONTO, CANADA.
Dr. FARRINGTON: This is a very interesting paper, and the thing I liked about it was that the Doctor didnt skin over his mistakes and the remedies that didnt do any good. He gave the whole history and then the remedy.
I dont think, however, that we can say that all asthma is sycotic. I may be wrong, but what about those cases of asthma that come from suppression of a psoric eruption? What about cases that are syphilitic or have really another miasm at the base? According to what the Doctor said, if that is true, Blatta orientalis, Anagallis and Mephitis must be antisycotic remedies.
DR. STEVENS: I wanted to speak about-I think it was-the second case, in which Calcarea carbonicum was given and gave so much relief at first and then afterwards seemed to be followed by aggravation. Isnt it rather ordinary that Calcarea carbonicum does aggravate if repeated in an adult? Isnt it considered rather a dangerous thing to repeat Calcarea carbonicum in a grown person?.
DR. CAMPBELL: I have read that too, DR. Stevens, but the Calcarea was repeated with a considerable interval between doses, and it wasnt that it seemed to produce an aggravation but it seemed to lose its effect entirely. The patient wasnt any worse. She was better, but she did stop improving.
With regard to Dr. Farringtons remarks about sycosis not causing all asthma, he said that in that case we would have difficulty explaining the cases of asthma that arose following the suppression of a psoric eruption. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish whether an eruption is psoric in origin or sycotic, except on the accompanying symptoms: and, too, as you all know, we very seldom get a case of pure psora, pure sycosis, or pure syphilis. Ninety-nine per cent. of our cases are a mixture of two of them or even all three together, and in those cases it may be that the treatment of the sycotic factor results in the improvement of the asthma, although I do know, of course, that Syphilinum is a remarkable asthmatic remedy.
With regard to Arsenicum, Kent says that you will find these cases of asthma where Arsenicum apparently relieves the acute condition but fails to clear up the case.