THE DIRECT APPROACH.
We have long been an advocate of the direct approach to homoeopathy with patients who are unfamiliar with its beneficent effects. It has always seemed to us that they have a right to know why we act the way we do. Besides one can not expect cooperation from ignorance.
In no other field is knowledge and cooperation so important, both to physician and patient, as in those polymorphous manifestations of constitutional disturbance which we call disease of the skin. Eruptions must be carefully managed in order to obtain the best results from homoeopathic treatment; hence the necessity of “telling all” to the patient in order to secure intelligent support. The following letter, written to the mother of an eczematous baby, is an example to one method of instruction. We were pretty proud of this, feeling that it had stated quite clearly the conditions under which success in the treatment could be expected:.
” Dear Mrs. C……: I am enclosing the remedy we have worked out for Susan. Give the powder which is in the envelope before her first feeding tomorrow morning. In order to avoid spilling powder, unfold the paper carefully and sprinkle the powder in a spoon and then administer it. Give the baby one tablet from the bottle very four hours.
“It is most important that no other medication of any kind be given while she is taking this medicine. This restriction includes nose drops, preparations to be rubbed on the chest, laxatives and ointments. Do not even use calendula for the present.
“As I explained to you the other day, the skin manifestations are part of a general constitutional disturbance. The eruption itself is an attempt on the part of nature to eliminate the disturbing elements. This eliminative process must be allowed to proceed in its natural way in order what we may be assured of ultimate cure. Ointments and other applications to the skin will not reach the seat of the trouble an may suppress or “drive in” the eruption.
This would be dangerous because, in that case, the disease would be deprived of nature’s chosen outlet. Nature would have no other recourse but to seek a new pathway for elimination; this would inevitably be one of the more vital organs, probably the lungs, which mighty every well endanger the child’s life.
“You can readily understand from the above that a policy of non-interference with nature’s curative efforts is the best course to purse. Do not be surprised or disturbed if the condition appears somewhat for a while after giving the remedy. This is not infrequently the case and usually denotes that the remedy has begun to enhance nature’s own curative force, and that the first step along the pathway to recovery has been taken. There should follow in due course a gradual improvement.
“I would suggest that you keep a daily memorandum on Susan;s condition. In which you should note any change in the location or appearance of the eruption, of the child’s disposition, sleeping habits, eating habits, bowel habits-in fact any change which you might consider a change in the normal reactions of the baby.
“Please bring the baby in to see me on the 29th of October.
very truly yours,
But pride surely goeth before a fass! Some three hours after Mrs. C. had received this message, the telephone interrupted a somewhat busy office hour:
“This is Mrs. C. I got your letter-“.
“Yes, Mrs C”.
“-and I wanted to ask you: Doctor, what are you going to put on for the itching?”.
Well, we still advocate the direct approach to homoeopathy with patients who are unfamiliar with its beneficent effects!- ALLAN D. SUTHERLAND.