DEPARTMENT OF PRACTICAL CASE MANAGEMENT


Several characteristic features of the remedy were apparently absent in the symptom totality of the patient. The hunger with sudden repletion was not complained of. The 4-8 p.m. aggravation, not even an afternoon aggravation, could be elicited.


A LYCOPODIUM CASE.

Female, age 29, single, eldest of five children. Occupation, secretary. Resigned position two years ago owing to failing health. T.b. family history on maternal side. One brother died in infancy, evidently from some deficiency disease. Has one brother and one sister who are very much overweight. Youngest brother (also youngest of family) very thin, pale and anaemic in appearance, but never complains. Everyone says he looks as if he were going into t.b.

History of the usual diseases of childhood. No surgery. Best weight 120. Weight at first interview 82. (April 13, 1943.).

Trouble began with a severe influenzal attack in winter of 1940 and 1941. Convalescence very slow and unsatisfactory. Had osteopathic treatments and drugless practitioners as family were afraid of strong medicines and patient was allergic to nearly everything.

Following the influenzal attack there was persistent anorexia and progressive loss of weight. Chronic constipation had been a complaint for years but after the above illness there gradually developed an alternation between constipation and diarrhoea. Finally it was discovered that onions would invariably bring on an attack of diarrhoea and their use was discontinued. The patient had always particularly enjoyed oysters and clams but she finally came to the conclusion that they would invariably disagree. One food after another was given up until the case began to develop a deficiency complex. A definitely undernourished patient it was who finally determined through the advice of a friend to try homoeopathy.

As if to add insult to injury, the menses, which had always been late, scanty and of short duration, were now becoming too frequent, too free and were lasting a full week. There was marked aggravation both during and after each menstrual period.

The patient was about equally emaciated from head to foot. The loss of weight had been slow but progressive. The abdomen was distended and definitely tympanitic. Edema of the ankles was observed whenever the patient was on her feet for any length of time.

The only time aggravation was wakefulness every night around 2 a.m. Sleep was unrefreshing and often the patient felt worse on first awakening. There was apparently no preponderance of symptoms on either the right or the left side of the body. While there was no desire for food she found that if she began to eat there was more relish after the first few mouthfuls. There were occasional empty eructations but these were not really frequent or severe enough to consider as a symptom.

Lycopodium 30 was prescribed on April 13, 1943. After a very restless uncomfortable night the patient felt more cheerful and more comfortable the next day. Aside from a feeling of discouragement and depression and very occasional feelings as if she might become hysterical the mental symptoms were never at all pronounced.

Since the prescription of Lycopodium there has been a most gratifying improvement in every essential respect. Sleep is better, appetite improved, bowels more normal, distension of abdomen has subsided and when last seen (May 25, 1943) there had been a gain of three pounds in weight.

The interesting features of this case may be summed up as follows :.

Very symptom recorded was found under Lycopodium.

Several characteristic features of the remedy were apparently absent in the symptom totality of the patient. The hunger with sudden repletion was not complained of. The 4-8 p.m. aggravation, not even an afternoon aggravation, could be elicited. The case was not a one-sided one as Lycopodium so often is. Eructations were not conspicuous and finally the mental sphere was not the field in which the remedy picture was unfolded.

It is a little premature to count too much upon the complete recovery of this patient, but so far the prospects look encouraging. There might have been much more gain in weight had we not given some dietary advice.

Eugene Underhill