Case I. My son, Julius, a thin lad, when three years old got fever one morning and was seized with convulsions accompanied with the following aspect: unconsciousness with pale face, locked jaws, and jerking of the extremities with clenched hands.
Cicuta 30., one drop in a teaspoonful of water, was poured into the mouth; and the jerking stopped in no time.
After a couple of days his eczema, which was suppressed by “Septanillum” ointment, reappeared on front part of both the legs as before; and he began to get emaciated, big-bellied with frequent lienteric and offensive stools. The stools were aggravated early in the mornings. He ran galloping to the commode as soon as he woke up from sleep.
Sulphur 1M, two doses, completely made him wholesome.
Case II. Mr. M., my friend, came running into my office one morning in frantic haste and requested me to come and see his sons terrifying aspects, having become suddenly ill. He was so perturbed and anxious that he could not talk any more.
I took my medicine bag and off I went with him. The child was unconscious with locked jaws and open eyes. His hands were clenched and the extremities were jerking so violently that the whole bed was shaking like anything.
I opened my bag and gave a drop of Cicuta 200. in a teaspoonful of water, which, as soon as it was poured into the mouth, stopped the jerking, the stiffness of the limbs relaxed, and the eyes closed. But soon snoring and rattling breathing started. The belly, too, began to swell like a balloon, as though it was full of wind. I advised hot fomentation over the belly and to let me know the condition in about fifteen minutes.
After twenty or twenty-five minutes, my friend came in again telling that the condition was the as I saw the child before I left his residence.
Opium 200, one dose, was sent in.
He came in smiling after half an hour, as I had instructed, and told me that after the administration of the medicine the child passed flatus six or seven times with loud noises and, opening his eyes, came to his senses.
“Shall I give him some milk? He is asking for it,” he said.
“No, it may harm him, it forms wind in the stomach. You better give him some barley water, if you like,” I suggested.
After a few months the child was seized with same convulsive aspects. My friend came to me but unfortunately I was out of town. So he had to take recourse to allopathy. But later on he let me know what had happened.
Since the aura began in the head and came down to the lower limbs, I prescribed Absinthinum 6., thrice daily.
Result: no more convulsions.
Case III. Mr. C.s son, a three-year-old child, was subject to convulsive fits seven or eight times a month. This began when he was six months old. The convulsion was followed by deep sleep. Mr. C., too, had been subject to such fits in his childhood.
Concomitant symptoms of note were as follows:.
1. Keeps picking and boring into the nostrils.
2. Ravenous appetite.
3. Stomachache (once in a while).
4. Threadworms found in stools.
5. Clear fluid running all the time from the nose.
6. Dry cough, aggravated at nights.
Cina 30., one dram globules, no. 60, one pill four times daily.
The child was all right for a month and a half. After that he was seized with such violent convulsions as he had never had before.
The anxious father of the child came cycling a distance of seven miles and conveyed to me the sad news.
I, giving him sac. lac. to administer, asked him to stop the former medicine.
Result: the child has been free from convulsions for the last six months.
REPORT OF A CASE OF ANTERIOR.
Read before Bureau of Pediatrics, I.H.A., June 25, 1947.
MARTHA I. BOGER-SHATTUCK, M.D.
In this paper the writer will not attempt to give a treatise on infantile paralysis. Instead, she presents a few random notes on “polio” taken at a symposium attended recently, as well as a case which received homoeopathic treatment.
Acute anterior poliomyelitis was first reported by the British in 1789 at which time Dr. Underwood recommended the use of heat, early immobilization, and iron in treating this strange malady affecting children.
Up to and including the present time there have been developed no accurate and positive diagnostic tests for “polio”; hence the symptomatology must determine the diagnosis.
During 1946 there occurred 25,000 cases of infantile paralysis in the United States. In the six-month period, January 1st to May 31st, 1947 some 20,000 cases have been reported. This seems to indicate an even greater number of cases for 1947. It has been shown that this disease is more prevalent in alternate years. Seasonal heat seems to bear a definite relationship to it, though sporadic cases are encountered in all seasons.
Two main types of acute anterior poliomyelitis are recognized, the bulbar and the spinal. The bulbar type, of course, is far more serious, involving, as if so often does, vital centers. There are five chief manifestations of the bulbar type:.
1. Involving the Cranial Nerves.
2. The infection localizes around the respiratory center. Respirations are rapid and shallow, sometimes with, sometimes without respiratory muscle paralysis.
3. Involving the cardiac center accompanied by irregular pulse and a low pulse pressure.
4. A diffuse encephalitis involving the Cortex.
5. Respiratory type.
In treating the bulbar type two objects must be kept in mind; to supply sufficient oxygen and to give adequate support to the extremities.
It is not thought that anoxemia is the cause of death in many cases of bulbar “polio”. Use of the respirator is not adequate; it takes the place of paralyzed muscles but does not supply additional oxygen. New type respirators are now supplied with an automatic, metered oxygenator. It may even be necessary to intubate the patient or to perform a tracheotomy.
The University of Wisconsin led the country in research during the past year due to the great epidemic at Milwaukee. It was shown that dry heat was equal to the hot wet pack or Kenny treatment, the disadvantage of the latter being that it requires an increased hospital personnel to keep the packs going. It was also shown that the cold wet pack was more sedative and that patients who have had both hot and cold packs prefer the cold.
In the evaluation of past methods of treatment it has been established that more patients have died as a result of the over- use of sedatives than as a result of the disease itself. This implies that the use of sedation is almost contra-indicated.
Many cases show a marked drop in hemoglobin values, hence one must be on the watch for the development of secondary anemias.
It has also been demonstrated that the so-called curare treatment is dangerous and therefore not to be considered.
Treatment of the paralyzed parts should be based upon an evaluation of the amount of destruction present in the cold cells and in the muscles affected. An important point to remember is that an attempt should be made to help the patient to overcome his fear to free himself from his mechanical devices.
In the writers opinion homoeopathy is indicated because of the accuracy of early prescribing. That it is safe, sane, and therapeutically plausible is well illustrated by the following case:.
J.H.H., a 26-year-old male, normal in all respects, returned form a four-year tour of duty in the South Pacific where he was well except for slight malarial attacks:.
A few days following a skating party the patient developed a so- called common cold. On the morning of the second day of this illness he complained of a stiff neck, reported to his dispensary and was sent home for the weekend. Enroute he stopped for a chiropractic treatment and was told that his shoulder muscles were flabby. He was later seen by the writer to whom he complained of headache, stiffness of the neck extending forward from the seventh cervical vertebra.
He was unable to extend the head. Gelsemium 200. was prescribed. He was hospitalized and the Kenny treatment begun. A lumbar puncture was done. Three hours following admission to hospital, the patient was unable to void, developed enormous flatulent distension of the abdomen and was nauseated. The respiration dropped to ten per minute.
The following morning the patient developed vomiting. He was unable to swallow and was still unable to void. Gelsemium CM was given.
During the next twenty-four hours the patient complained of extreme weakness, aching in the back and left leg and later was found unable to flex the left foot. There was throbbing headache. He remained unable to swallow or void. One powder of Opium CM in 16 teaspoonful of water was prescribed.
For the next two days the patient was very drowsy, continued unable to void and was beginning to show involvement of the right calf and foot.
On the following day, the seventh of his illness, he developed cramps in the legs with terrific pains. One powder of Cuprum CM was given with moderate relief. The next day he was more relaxed and slept naturally at intervals. He was given hot packs which further relieved.
On the ninth day a new group of symptoms appeared: Headache, irritable and nervous, pain in left ear and pains in the hips. RX. Ignatia CM, one dose.
Two days later found the patient more alert. He could read. He now could take fluids well.
The patient was discharged on the fourteenth hospital day to be treated by physiotherapy.
Seven months later the patient was completely recovered except for minimal residual atrophy and weakness of the peroneal muscles.
Since the diagnosis of acute anterior poliomyelitis is dependent upon its symptomatology there can be no specific treatment. The proper homoeopathic remedy based on a careful study of the symptoms is the optimal treatment for this disease.