The lexicon defines a syndrome as ” a series of symptoms associated with a disease and forming together a clinical picture of the disease.” Is it ever permissible to speak of a cure syndrome ?.
Fifty years ago this summer I dropped into the office of an older physician for a friendly chat and found him most animated; he acted like a child with a new toy (so to speak). He told me that for years he had found great pleasure and profit in utilizing a few spare or rest moments by studying some unusual disease or remedy. That day he had been studying Menieres syndrome.
In 1861 Meniere described a group of symptoms which he thought constituted a separate disease entity. His description is a classic and little has been added to it since. It usually affects people in middle life and shows a characteristic triad of symptoms, vertigo, tinnitus and deafness.
The etiology is unknown, pathology still a subject for investigation and speculation. Treatment a varied one, medical and surgical. The surgical measures proposed are total section of the acoustic nerve, differential section of the vestibular portion of the nerve or a division of the auditory nerve.
The technic and results of the surgical procedure I will leave for the surgeon.
The therapeutic conclusions are that there is usually some disturbance of water metabolism not only in the ear, but the entire organism. The treatment suggested is restricted fluid intake or diet, low in salt to increase diuresis, or reduced diet with exercise massage and light therapy, to increase vasomotor tone.
What does Hahnemanns therapeutic science offer ? Is it ever possible to cure a chronic case of Menieres disease following repeated operations, local treatments and injections, all of which have proven unsuccessful ?.
Two cases may offer illustrations.
Mrs. W., of three score years and ten, has for years been an agonizing sufferer from Menieres disease, two operations and numberless sprays, local treatment and injections all of which were irritating, palliative and sedative, but of little avail. Magnesia phos. 30x. gave her great relief and comfort. For days it would seem as if it were curative but the attack would return but less frequently and much less severe. I did not cure her but she had years of comparative comfort without any sedatives.
Mr. J. I. , seventy-five, was a sufferer from Menieres syndrome and Cocculus Ind. gave him great comfort, but not a cure.
Mr. J. P., forty-five, a veteran of World War I, has been under specialist care for years, psychoanalyst, aurists, surgeons, laryngologists, cardiologist, etc. In his own words, Hepar sulph. and Kali bi. have done more for him than all of the specialists combined and he can hear “quite well,” as he expressed it. Please tell me how to cure him ?.
A few weeks ago I was called to see a tiny premature baby who was having great difficulty in getting adjusted to this terrestrial sphere.
He presented a most appalling syndrome, screaming, doubled up like a ball and greatly distended abdomen.
Totality of symptoms ? No time for or opportunity to obtain them. I found there were no safety pins pricking the childs body or other mechanical irritation. My totality was one symptom, a one-legged stool, faulty prescribing you say — yes — but one dose of Colocynth 1M. acted like magic; peaceful sleep followed, appetite returned, gaining weight, and gives promise of being a strong man.
Two months ago I was called to see a three-months-old baby girl who clinically had contracted a severe attack of the family grip cold, or cold syndrome, fever, nasal and eye discharge, wheezing, and rattling cough, a pathetic picture. I spent some time with objective and subjective symptoms and prescribed what to me seemed a very similar remedy if not the similimum. I went away from the case feeling that I had made an excellent homoeopathic prescription.
The next day and the day following all conditions were unchanged, no improvement. Just here the loving grandmother came in as she said, “Doctor, do you suppose that the nurses dropped the baby when she was at the hospital? For ever since she came home we can never lay her down even when sound asleep without her springing up and crying.” My similimum was standing on one leg, “fear of downward motion.” I gave the babe one dose of Borax 1M. with almost immediate relief of cold syndrome.
In two days the mother said the baby does not cry now when they lay her down.
How often do I think of and confirm Dr. W. J. Hawks “Characteristics” and as he frequently said, “Put a pin in it”; also Dr. H. C. Allens red strands.
These cases were given great comfort if not cured by rapid firing, no repertory. Is much practice ever justified or commendable?.
To cure is our highest calling. A cure is the removal of all symptoms, the annihilation of the disease. Have we effected a cure if same symptoms return in the same patient in a months time? “Similia similibus curantur.”.
Please define and give origin of similimum.
“The physician is a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease and how to remove them and restore health.”.
Is it possible to remove symptoms and cure a patient suffering from the results of an unsuccessful operation, be it the knife, electricity or radium? In other words, is the vital force amenable to cure by the dynamis of homoeopathic science, under all conditions? SPRINGFIELD, MASS.
Dr. HUBBARD: I want to thank Dr. Plumb Brown for a beautiful paper, bristling like a hedgehog with questions, and I want particularly to pick up his remark about the rapid-firing city I happen to live in, the rapid-firing New York, where you have fifteen patients a day and when I see, one, two, three new ones — I have to rapid fire, unless I give them the second remedy and send them home and study deep into the night. Really, you often do wonders on rapid-fire prescribing, if you know your stuff. I often find myself when I have given a remedy and have time and repertorize, it comes out second, so I am only second rate. I would have done better if I wanted and really studied it out.
I saw two cases of Menieres disease,so diagnosed by allopathic specialists. Neither one had an operation, but diathermy, and one of them on Conium, in a terrible state, fell right over, and the other one simply staggered on Lycopodium, and they have gotten so neither one of them knows he has it. It is only a matter of a few months duration. Time will tell, but I believe we can cure that thing with homoeopathy.
DR. DIXON: While the subject is on Menieres, I want to pass on a talk that Dr. Carl Rust, known to many of you, gave Dr. Moore and me at the State Meeting in Cleveland last month. He said there isnt a remedy in Kent or in the homoeopathic materia medica that covers the symptoms of Meniere completely. I forget the name of an allopathic materia medica book that gives a very good definition of Menieres and the picture complete in clinical work of Salicylic acid, and he said that the thirtieth potency of Salicylic acid will give an aggravation and will cure up Menieres.
Am I right, Dr. Moore?.
DR. MOORE: You are right, only you want to be sure you have Menieres. There are a lot of things that can be confused, but with pure Menieres Dr. Rust has been very successful with his thirtieth of Salicylic acid.
DR. DIXON: It is worth everybodys taking a note on because that is true. I think that we are prone to name all vertigo Menieres and it is not true.
DR. WILLIAMS: Dr. John H. Clarke, of London, said in his experience he was more successful with Sodium salicylate in potency, probably the thirtieth, two hundredths, than with any other remedy he ever tried. Of course, he was curing the disease rather than the patient.
DR. MORGAN: We all know that the old school has no treatment for Menieres disease. I have a case. It is not cured, but it is 95 per cent improved under Feldspar, in potency, of course.
DR. BROWN: What I had hoped to bring out is simply this: I firmly believed homoeopathy can cure Menieres syndrome, if you get it uncomplicated, but when it has been monkeyed over with Tom, Dick and Harry, and all kinds of conditions and operations, and they use electricity, and all these other things that is my question: Is it possible to cure them or can you simply palliate them?.
I remember several years ago when Dr. Fergie Wood, of London, was at our meeting, he made the statement that the homoeopathic remedy was able to plow through anything. If you had a mouth full of amalgam fillings, the indicated remedy, the similimum, would cure your case. As Dr. Wood said, cure the patient, not the disease.
I am not quite ready to accept that statement. Perhaps I am wrong, I had considerable experience with amalgam fillings; but my thought simply this, with Menieres, whether it is possible to cure these patients in cases where the nerves have been severed and tissues bruised and torn by people who knew very little of what they were operating for or operating with, as the doctor said this morning, with the rectal conditions– if you dont know much about the rectum, leave it alone — so with Menieres syndrome, if you dont know how to operate on it, my feeling is to leave it alone.
The other question I appreciate very much, Dr. Hubbards comment on the rapid-firing. Unfortunately, as Arnold Denny said, twenty- four hours a day is where we all stand on the level. That is all for any of us, but when you have twenty-six hours work to do in twenty-four hours, sometimes you have to do a little rapid- firing.