ZINCUM METALLICUM, A CLINICAL FRAGMENT


Many physicians fail because of not waiting, and yet the waiting must be governed by knowledge. Knowledge must be had, but where can it be obtained? To know that this waiting is right, is quite different from waiting without fixed purpose. This knowledge cannot be found where its existence is denied; it is not found with unbelievers and agnostics.


Here are collected symptoms sketching a fragment of the Zincum image, depicting conditions of Zincum manifestations as well as detailed symptoms. The clinical story precedes the schematic list of symptoms.

Mrs. M.M., born in December in 1868, lived her early life in Michigan. At the age f eleven she began having “liver pain in the back”.

When 21 years old, she had malaria. She was living near a marsh in Michigan. Marriage occurred during this year.

When 22 years old, nine months after her marriage, she had an abscess of the liver. During the next year jaundice began. This continued for two years. After the hepatic abscess she became pregnant. There was nausea which persisted the entire period. This was relieved at the delivery of the child.

At the age of 25 both ovaries were removed on account of suffering from an ovarian cyst. The left ovary was large.

About this time she was vaccinated and was sick from it all summer. The arm was sore and had an offensive odor.

About two years later she had “gall stones” and used olive oil. From this time she was under the cared of a good homoeopathic physician for thirty years.

At 34 she had whooping-cough.

At 38 she had a severe fall, striking the spine. She has had many falls, the last in 1925, when she fell down the cellar steps, striking her shoulders.

At 48 she had an acute sickness for which it was necessary to have an allopathic doctor, as her homoeopathic physician was not attending patients outside the office. When the case was described to him, after she was able to see him again, he said she had been having infantile paralysis. Another of his patients had the same trouble at the same time.

The acute illness began two days after a cold wind blew on the back of her neck. Vertigo began and continued for several days. Chills began in the back of the neck and extended down the back six days after the exposure to the cold wind.

There was vomiting, continued retching, and nausea with chills. Numbness and pricking in the feet followed. Walking was weak and unsteady. She had to hold on to some object when walking to keep her equilibrium. The attending old school doctor treated her for “liver trouble”, giving calomel repeatedly.

AT 56 she had “rheumatic tendency” manifested in the knees. The was relieved after the removal of an abscessed tooth.

She had been poisoned by poison ivy and brake-fern, from carrying the roots in her hand. Raleigh ointment was used. Laryngitis and bronchitis were so frequent that the usually had on hand some laryngeal and bronchitis lozenges.

This patient was under observation and treatment for one and a half years before receiving ZINCUM metallicum. During that time she received a course of treatment from an osteopath who found “many subluxations from head to sacrum”. This treatment helped to relax the hardened muscles, and warmth and strength in the back followed the treatment.

She was an active worker, inclined to acrobatics. When she sees so much to be done, she wants to do it. She was fond of doing heavy gardening work, as well as working indoors.

After trying for a year to reach the basis of the disorder in this patient, a morphological examination was made. These measurements revealed: Excess in the nervous system (neurotic development); exceptional thoracic development, which ordinarily indicates good circulation, but sluggish lymphatics and prominent veins on the abdomen indicated a venous and lymphatic plethora in this case. There was hepatic enlargement which might have been due purely to the venous engorgement. The short abdominal line, from umbilicus to pubis, suggested sluggish intestinal function, even though the bowels had some daily evacuation.

These features lead to the conclusion that the condition under observation was not entirely one to which the patient was predisposed by bodily morphology, but rather one developed through her life practices, suppressions and medical interferences.

The first day after she received Zincum she felt comfortable warm. Ten days later nausea a such as she had with infantile paralysis, appeared.

She said she had “been having almost all the symptoms she ever had”, and she kept a record for several weeks of these symptoms as they appeared in sequence.

The following list includes symptoms more or less present before she received the remedy, and those thought out (from relieved suppression) after Zincum was administered.

Symptoms marked (X) are symptoms of the symptoms in the text of the provings. Those not marked are submitted as clinical symptoms to be reviewed by other prescribed in comparing their Zincum patients. Can we confirm some of these from other clinical experiences?.

GENERALS.

Complaints and aggravations from becoming chilled, especially when overheated. Nervous, tired, irritable, when chilled.

(x) Sensitive to drafts; back; coryza.

(x) Weakness, lacks endurance, cannot walk far. Every piece of work requires a conscious effort. Cried because of inability to work in the garden.

(x) Weariness after breakfast.

Sensation of weakness but disposed to work.

Sensation of weakness worse in lower spine after heat in spine and all through body.

Weakness after stool.

Pulsation with weakness.

(x) Weakness with sensation of heaviness; worse in morning when waking; worse when on feet; better when lying.

(x) Symptoms aroused and increased after worry.

(x) Aggravation form wine, sours in stomach.

Sensation of looseness internally, as though room to spare; no distention, no constriction. (Probably due to disappearance of venous stasis).

Emaciation, clothes loose. (Probably for same reason).

Feels better in morning, thinking less difficult.

MIND

(x) Confusion; forgets that she was has done things.

Forgets to do things that she intended to do.

(x) Concentration difficult.

(x) Disposition to scream.

(x) Thinking difficult, even of commonplace things.

(x) Thoughts wandering; concentration of difficult.

(x) Sadness when feeling not well.

Nervous, excitable, disturbed by domestic worries.

(x) Sensitive to peoples talking.

VERTIGO.

Slight vertigo, tuning in bed.

(x) Vertigo occasional, worse from bending.

HEAD.

Numbness through head; behind ears and in occiput.

(x) Pain, frontal, especially above root of nose.

(x) Constriction, frontal.

(x) Pain aching, frontal, and forward part of vertex.

Sensitive to tight far.

Dullness, forehead warm to touch; above eyes.

(x) Pains above eyes.

Pains from temple to temple.

(x) Sensation of weakness; in occiput, bending back.

Covers head in bed, after perspiration, especially of vertex.

Sensation of opening and shutting when people talk. (Cann. ind., Cann. sat., Cimic. Cocc.)

(x) Pulsation left side when lying on left side.

EYES.

Vision blurred, cleared suddenly.

(x) Vision dim with headache.

(x) Lids sensation heaviness.

(x) Lachrymation.

EARS.

Paleness.

Wax secretion ceased. “Skin came out when ears were washed.”

NOSE.

Coryza after becoming chilled when warm. Sulph. relieved.

Coryza first only night and morning.

Coryza after mental disturbance (interference with digestion).

Clear watery discharge dropping from tip of nose (Sepia).

Discharge yellow, thick, copious in morning.

(x) Obstruction; with watery discharge, side lain on.

Rose-cold followed whooping-cough.

Post-nasal sensation of rawness and obstruction. (Sulph. relieved).

Post-nasal burning.

Post-nasal discharge, copious, yellow, in morning; thick, milky discharge; thick, yellow lump.

FACE

(x) Pale when feels weak with headache.

Yellowish after hepatic abscess and jaundice, long continued.

(x) Quivering.

Red splotches around the mouth.

Brown bronze color around mouth.

STOMACH

Appetite increased in night, on waking, relieved by drink of water or crackers.

Hunger with weakness relieved by eating.

(x) Nausea late afternoon and night; nearly constant.

Gagging from mucus in post-nares.

Eructations sour after eating grapes; after wine.

Eructations with pain radiating from epigastrium to sides and back.

Eructations difficult.

Pain after sour fruit. Burning after eating oranges freely.

Pain with indigestion as though food lodged in epigastrium.

Trembling, after shopping.

Sensation weakness.

Thirst seldom.

ABDOMEN.

Hypochondria sharp pains worse in right side; sight to left side.

Gall-bladder region pains worse lying on left side, better lying on right side.

(x) Sharp cutting pain before evacuation of gray stool.

(x) Flatulence during and after stool.

Weakness after breakfast.

RECTUM.

Evacuation three times in an hour; four or five times a day beginning after eating; 4-5 a.m., several mornings.

Evacuation preceded by sudden sharp pains in lower abdomen.

Flatus during and after stool.

(x) Burning pain in rectum after evacuation.

Stools yellow, watery; gray, clay-colored, mushy, offensive odor; yellow, frothy mucus; yellow, watery, spongy.

(x) Stools first part hard, followed by soft yellow.

LARYNX

(X) Voice, hoarseness, painless, improved with talking. (Rhus tox.).

Hoarse evening, worse from talking.

Laryngitis and bronchitis frequent. Kept lozenges at hand.

Irritation to cough slight during day.

COUGH

Whooping cough. Cough at other times with whooping sound.

Cough from stomach disturbance.

Cough relieved by Sulph.

CHEST.

Palpitation on awakening.

(x) Respiration difficult, with sensation weak faintness, causing her to die down frequently.

BACK

(x) Symptoms followed chilling; after perspiring following bath and lying down, in afternoon. (Chel. relieved).

(x) Had frequent spells of torticollis.

Chilly back frequently. Chills down spine after being chilled by cold air on neck.

(x) Cervical drawing, drawing head back; extended to eyes.

(x) Dorsal drawing pain; between scapulae; extends to shoulder.

Progressed down back.

Dorsal drawing, right side, later in lumbar region.

(x) Sore pain across dorsal region, on waking in morning.

(x) Aching under right scapula (Sulph.).

Drawing inward in back, tendency to bend backward.

(x) Lumbar pain.

(x) Lumbar ache heavy physical work; worse rising from bending.

Lumbo-sacral and sacral pain, sudden, bending, (apparently a twisted back). After a day or two extends down leg; relieved sitting.

Pulsating in lumbo-sacral region when first lying, better after lying.

Coccyx, sore ache, on waking in morning (lying on left side), crackling sensation.

(x) Sensation of weakness in back as though a vertebra shifted; with incoordination of legs.

Heat and cold alternately down back, night and day, worse in lower part, relieved by applying heat.

(x) Heat in spine and all through body, followed by weakness, worse in lower spine.

Sensation resembling the sequellae of her “infantile paralysis”.

ARMS, ETC.

Numbness of arm not lain on, in bed.

(x) Right arm dull ache when writing, some days when not writing.

Arms weak, holding them raised.

Hands cold after rising in morning.

(x) Hands blue when cold.

Bend of elbows itchy red pimples; itching relieved by scratching.

Axilla few red pimples not itching.

LOWER LIMBS

(x) Sensation lameness across nates.

Aching across nates and down thighs.

(x) Left hip tension; interferes with laying left leg over right when lying on right side.

(x) Hips, sensation of obstruction as though pinned together; sometimes better after walking awhile.

(x) Left hip, sticking sensation, legs and ankles.

Stinging pains right ankle.

Limbs heavy when walking on street, awkward.

Weakness of legs then standing; must sit.

Incoordination with pain in spine.

(x) Left leg drawing, extending from spine. Not as strong as right leg.

(x) Knees stiff.

Left leg sharp pins down shin and in dorsum of foot.

(x) Joints stiff.

(x) Crackling of knees, descending; in other joints.

Sensation as of sand in soles of feet.

(x) Feet numb, prickling, extends above ankles to knees; day and night.

Weak ankle joints; turn easily when standing or waking; something has fallen.

Feet, prickling when sitting.

(x) Restless, fidgety feet, sitting, lying, better walking.

(x) Coldness at night, sometimes in day.

Shins cold.

Cold internally when not so externally.

Chills through hips and legs in warm room.

(x) Feet cold in bed (from indigestion?).

Feet cold internally, pale, late afternoon, lying; not easily warned.

Limbs, cold when thinks much, in bed.

Transient pains in legs when they are cold.

Chills upward in shin, sometimes in calf, when sitting; become warm moving about.

Feet dorsum cold, extending to ankles.

(x) Feet cold, perspiring, sometimes with numbness.

Soles burning, one morning.

Usually cold, feet sometimes too warm, uncovers them.

(x) Heat of feet and ankles, sometimes with perspiration, sometimes between the toes, of sour odor.

(x) Skin pale when cold.

Skin of legs mottled.

First reaction, after Zincum was prescribed, was improvement in circulation in lower limbs; old discoloration from bruise cleared; shocks felt in legs, when walking, at night.

HEAT, CHILL AND PERSPIRATION.

Heat, especially left arm (lain on), waking at 6 a.m.

Heat and cold alternating, night and day; begins in back, extending downward; relieved by heat externally.

Heat spells upper part of body.

Cold in bed, better after exercise; followed by eructations.

Cold crawling over entire body, cold to touch.

Chills with nausea, vomiting, retching.

Cold, on motion, when awakened, perspiring.

(x) Cold, lying on back.

(x) Perspiration during sleep, after numbness of legs.

Perspiration during sleep, ceased on waking.

Perspiration with alternating cold and warmth.

Perspiration copious after bath, especially head. From exertion.

Perspiration below mammae, acrid.

SKIN.

Itching “from strawberries”?.

Hering, middle of upper lip.

Red blotches around the mouth.

Itching red pimples, bends of elbows, relieved by scratching.

SPHERE OF ACTION

(x) Nerve poisoning.

(x) Fag, nerve fag, muscle fag.

(x) Poison from suppressed eruptions, discharges; vaccination, ivy poisoning.

(x) Suppressed sexual functions; ovariectomy.

Emotional disturbances.

In this case Sepia followed after Zincum brought to light the details of the manifestations in the nervous system; it led to the malarial suppression and pointed out Sepia to uncover what was hidden in that disorder. The patient gained in strength, weight and composure, and has worked in her garden more than during the whole preceding two years.

BALTIMORE, MD.

Aggravation of existing symptoms may come on with general improvement of the patients, which means well; but if aggravation of the symptoms is attended with decline of the patient, the cure is doubtful and the case must be handled with extreme care as it is seldom that such patients recover perfectly.

If amelioration follow the prescription, to what does amelioration apply? It may apply to the general state or but to the few symptoms. If the patient does not feel the elasticity of life returning, the improved symptoms are the facts upon which to doubt recovery. The knowledge that the disease is incurable is often obtained only in this way. In such cases, every remedy may palliate his sufferings, but cure does not come. The symptoms that are the expressions of the debility are there, and hence the totality of the symptoms is not removed.- KENT.

Many physicians fail because of not waiting, and yet the waiting must be governed by knowledge. Knowledge must be had, but where can it be obtained? To know that this waiting is right, is quite different from waiting without fixed purpose. This knowledge cannot be found where its existence is denied; it is not found with unbelievers and agnostics.- KENT.

Julia C. Loos