THE RUN OF THE MILL


The child was thin and pasty-looking, his mouth open, drooling slightly, with a sort of snorting snuffle every few breaths; his dead shape was within the limits of normal and his ears normal. He had no teeth. He could neither stand nor sit without support, nor creep, and his head would wobble if he got off balance. The fingers of his hands were spread widely apart and back and had spatulate tips.


Three months ago a young couple stepped tentatively into my office. The wife looked like a 13th Century Madonna, thin and worn, holding in her arms a little, pallid, slanting-eyed boy of about a year and a half. The father wept quietly as he told me that several clinics and specialists had pronounced their little boy a Mongolian idiot and had said that nothing could be done for him but custodial care in some institution for his ilk. They had heard of Homoeopathy and asked me if I thought anything at all could be done for the boy.

The child was thin and pasty-looking, his mouth open, drooling slightly, with a sort of snorting snuffle every few breaths; his dead shape was within the limits of normal and his ears normal. He had no teeth. He could neither stand nor sit without support, nor creep, and his head would wobble if he got off balance. The fingers of his hands were spread widely apart and back and had spatulate tips.

He was totally unable to grasp anything. The mother said he could neither drink from a cup nor suck at a bottle; she fed him with a spoon. When I picked him up the musculature of his back and limbs was pitifully flabby, like a rag doll. he seemed perfectly formed except for the typical Mongoloid eye-casings. He did not smile or reach for bright jewellery; he frequently put his head back and rolled his eyes toward the ceiling and then flopped his head down on his chest. The parents begged me not to give them any ray of hope, if there was none. A more inexpressive and hopeless trio I have rarely seen. The child had had no colds or childhood disease, no eruption, convulsion, fright or accident.

What to do? All I could see was triple grief. I asked the mother to tell me about her pregnancy and labour. She had experienced a deep grief in the early months of her pregnancy, no nausea, easy labour, no instruments needed. This was the second child, the elder one being, they said, well and normal. No history of syphilis, convulsions, or insanity in the family. Laboratory work under the previous doctors was all negative, including Wassermann, blood count, etc. The boy received one dose of Natrum mur. 10M on the tongue which he made no effort either to swallow or to spit. I explained to the parents what homoeopathic remedies can often do in sub-normal children and asked them to give me a try for at least three months, seeing the child every fortnight. I told them it might take several years to get much of anywhere.

Two weeks later the child looked almost rosy and had a gleam of intelligence. The muscles of the back had better tone, he rolled his head and eye less. He had begun to have a thick catarrh and almost a wheeze. The mother volunteered that he could now roll in bed and that he had taken to doing the queerest thing, sleeping with his little behind, as she called his buttocks, up in the air. The father was not present this time and I asked the mother if she had at any time had a sudden, creamy, profuse discharge from the womb. She said, “Why, yes, the year before this boy was born; but it was soon cleared up at the clinic.” Medorrhinum 1M, one dose.

Two weeks later when I picked the baby up he grasped my hair. The snuffles and snorting were entirely gone, he had cut two teeth without trouble, could sit alone and was trying to pull himself up in his pen. He had a curious symptom of protruding the tongue between the lips and there was a gurgling sound when he drank. The mother told me he had been exposed to chicken pox and I found a few small spots on the abdomen. He had a short, concussive cough. I explained to her that it would do him good to have the chicken pox and have it thoroughly, but that he would need a remedy to help the vitality bring it well out, and gave him Cuprum 1M, one dose.

Elizabeth Wright Hubbard
Dr. Elizabeth Wright Hubbard (1896-1967) was born in New York City and later studied with Pierre Schmidt. She subsequently opened a practice in Boston. In 1945 she served as president of the International Hahnemannian Association. From 1959-1961 served at the first woman president of the American Institute of Homeopathy. She also was Editor of the 'Homoeopathic Recorder' the 'Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy' and taught at the AFH postgraduate homeopathic school. She authored A Homeopathy As Art and Science, which included A Brief Study Course in Homeopathy.