It is well known that the homoeopathic remedy acts more promptly and, as a rule, more completely in infants and growing children, than it does in adults. The reasons for this are obvious. The childs nervous system is more sensitive and responds more readily to both intrinsic and extrinsic stimuli its tissues are softer and more pliable; all its functions are more active; new cells and fibers are being added every minute of the day, and, what is usually overlooked, it is free from the anxieties and the worries that interfere with remedial action in later years.
Of course, in some cases, there are inhibiting factors such as wrong feeding, prophylactic “shots,” vaccination or the presence of some latent miasmatic taint. But, even here, the well-selected remedy clears the way for nature to reassert herself more quickly than it does in the adult, as we shall see later.
The following cases were selected because they are typical illustrations of our thesis, and also because they present some useful hints in prescribing.
CASE I-Many years ago, while still interning in the clinic connected with Kents Post Graduate School, I delivered a baby girl in a dark and dingy cellar. The walls were festooned with spider webs black with coal dust. A few weak beams of daylight found their way through two small windows at the level of ones head. Labor was short and not too painful for a primipara; there were no complications. The infant was apparently normal in every way. But on the morning of the third day, her eyes were running profusely with thick, yellow pus. Her face and the edge of her little blanket were smeared all over.
She seemed to like her eyes washed with cold water, so naturally I gave her a dose of Pulsatilla 1M. After warning the mother and attendant of the possibility of contagion (there was no money for a nurse), I took a specimen of the discharge at once to a laboratory. The microscope revealed the fact that it was teeming with gonococci. On my next visit, I found the amount of discharge greatly reduced. But I made many visits in the week that followed and, I must confess, spent some sleepless nights before I was finally assured that the disease had been whipped.
In the first place, owing to a marked blepharospasm, it was exceedingly difficult to get a view of the cornea. How happy I was to get a glimpse of a perfectly bright and clear membrane. In about five days the discharge became more profuse, there was more swelling of the lids and the photophobia seemed to have increased. I then gave the deeper acting Argentum nitricum which completed the cure in another week or so.
CASE II- A little girl, nineteen months old, presented symptoms resembling those of the case just described, except that the discharge was less profuse, thinner and somewhat acrid. I received the same message from the laboratory. Since she kicked the covers off at night, was always hungry and cried all the time she was getting her bath, I gave her a powder of Sulphur cc. In half an hour she had a profuse, diarrheic stool, and in five days the eyes were back to normal.
CASE III-One evening I was called by Dr. Annie Anderson of Chicago to see her eleven-year old nephew. She had carried him successfully through a severe attack of scarlet fever, but had been unable to check the nose-bleed that married his convalescence. His small face was somewhat thin, his nose bristled with numerous toothpicks which had been inserted in order to carry pledgets of cotton deep into the nose and, from the right nostril, there was a line of black blood running past the corner of the mouth almost to the chin. To me the zymotic character of his illness and the black, uncoagulable blood spelled Crotalus horridus.
I asked a few questions, put a dose of the 10M on his tongue and sat watching the results. They were soon evident. In five minutes I wiped the blood from his face and found that it had ceased to flow. In another five minutes, I gently withdrew the toothpicks and cotton. Only a few drops of blood followed. The epistaxis had ceased, never to return. When I happened to meet the doctor a short time afterwards, she told me that she had asked the boy what he thought of “our doctor.” He had replied: “He is a man of few words!”.
CASE IV.-When the apparently indicated remedy fails to act. the experienced homoeopath knows what to do. Here is a blond, blued-eyed boy two years of age. His face is a bright red; his breathing difficult and wheezing, worse on lying down; his temperature 103 degree. He has a loose, rattling cough and occasionally he raises a gob of yellowish-green mucus. He is quite thirsty. There he sits, half propped up in bed, making no complaint but placidly enduring his suffering. The remedy? Ferrum phos. of course. But the next morning he was worse. His chest was filling with mucus and he seemed much weaker.
Something was interfering with the remedy. I asked the mother what position the boy took during sleep; she replied: “On his stomach.” This settled the matter. I placed a dose of Medorrhinum 10M on his tongue. A remarkable change took place over night. The rales in the chest had abated considerably, the temperature had dropped to 101 degree and his face was covered with a measly rash. I had not thought of looking in his mouth, or the diagnosis would have been certain. The little fellow passed through the regular course of an ordinary case of measles and made a rapid recovery with no further medication.
CASE V-Another small, fair-haired, blue-eyed boy aged twenty-one months. On the 19th of December last, his mother called me on the telephone in great alarm. She said her baby was in convulsions and she could not locate Dr. Don Gladish, her family physician. I told her that I did not make house calls any more, but would come if they sent their car of me. I got there in about fifteen minutes. The convulsions had ceased but the little fellow was unconscious. His face was flushed, his eyes wide open and the pupils contracted to a pin-point. His temperature was 104 degree per rectum. It was plainly a case for Opium.
I put a powder of the 1M on his tongue, saying to his mother that if he started to make a big noise she should not be frightened, for it would only mean that he was coming to life again and would surely get well. The “big noise” was not forthcoming, but in exactly sixty seconds, he began to cry softly and opened his eyes, looking around as if he wondered what it was all about. I saw this boy in his fathers arms, at some tableaux which were being shown at a nearby church, on December 23d! He seemed as well as he ever had been.
CASE VI-Here is one that could be considered a midnight thriller. It is that of a boy about two and a half years of age, one of twins that I had delivered for Dr. Frances B., a loyal homoeopath and skilful prescriber. She asked me to see the case with her. Dr. A., another conscientious woman homoeopath, was present when I arrived on the scene, around 4:30 p.m. They had brought in a veritable library of books, over which they were pouring with the greatest diligence, for they realised that they had a very serious case. They had Kent, Knerr, a book or two by H.C. Allen and, I think, two or three others. Little wonder that their remedies were of no effect, for the one that cured the little patient could scarcely be found on purely symptomatic indications.
The child lay in a crib with high sides, and all that was visible of him were his eyes, nose and mouth. He was wrapped in blankets up over his chin and literally packed in hot water bottles or hot bricks. He had been in a tonic convulsion with slight twitching of muscles, for over two hours. His face was a deep red, his lips quivered, and whether from the ailment or the hot packs, he was sweating profusely. Never will I forget that night! I sat watching the boy for half an hour, giving one or two remedies the names of which I cannot remember.
Then Dr. B. said: “Excuse me, doctor, I must go to see a case of scarlet fever and of course will not dare to come back.” At six o clock, Dr. A. said that her office hours would begin shortly and she would have to leave, which she did. There I was alone with the sole responsibility of the little invalid on my shoulders. Fortunately, in those days, I was very phlegmatic. The small house of two rooms was built so that it could be easily taken down. The walls and roof consisted of sheet iron supported by wooden frames. It was situated in a small back yard between tall buildings. About ten oclock a terrific thunder storm blew up.
The rain descended in torrents, the thunder roared and, as if this were not enough, the wind every now and then sucked the tin roof upward and let it fall with a loud bang! It was pandemonium let loose. Fortunately it did not disturb the poor little invalid, for he was totally unconscious. I kept my vigil until a little before 2 a.m. Then I fired my last shot. It was Tuberculinum. During the past hour the boy had develop a chewing motion, the first definite use of muscles that he had exhibited while I was watching him. Bryonia did not fit the case; Calcarea, Phosphorus and Stramonium were out. But in simple language, I had a hunch.
If you turn to page 508 of Allens Nosodes you will find that Tuberculinum has cured “clonic convulsions of the musculus orbicularis inferior,” and “convulsions in region of facial muscles, especially buccinator.” Whether this syndrome is a reliable indication for the nosode, I cannot say, as fortunately I never again met a case like this one. But it was a last straw. I gave a dose of the 10M. Then I lay down to catch a few minutes of sleep. At 2:15 a.m. by the clock, the youngster began to howl in a loud, hoarse voice and to move his arms and legs. The mother called me in great distress, “Come doctor, quickly, hes dying.” The unearthly noise of the child had already wakened me but it was music in my ears. I took one look at him and said to her, “You must not be frightened; your boy is coming to life again”.
When the boy was well enough, a lady osteopath and homoeopathic physician was called in because his bowels were not moving. She soon detected an accumulation of feces to the left of the umbilicus. Careful manipulation removed what seemed to be lumps of feces, but there was one small object that resisted all her efforts. It seemed to be about an inch long and an inch and an eighth wide. It had two little protuberances, one at one corner and the other diagonally from it. It was about a quarter of an inch thick. Then the mother remembered that a little cow was missing from a Noahs Ark that the boys were very fond of.
Dr. C. Edward Sayre was asked to examine the child. He confirmed the size and shape of the little object and the mothers conclusion that it was from the Noahs Ark. However, he said that the boy was rather too young to be operated on and that it would be best to wait for a week or two. In about two weeks it disappeared, probably due to the dissolving effect of the intestinal juices. Whether it had had anything to do with the convulsions is problematical. A well-known pediatrist said that the boy had had a cerebral hemorrhage, which was probably true, for there was a slight paralysis of the left arm, which disappeared slowly over a period of three months. A bizarre case with an equally bizarre ending. The last time I saw this boy he was a husky grownup, twenty-one years of age. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.
DR. A.H. GRIMMER [Chicago, III.]: This paper illustrates what the homoeopathic physician sometimes must do, and it is only a master homoeopath that can take positive symptoms, and sometimes in dire emergency, arrive at the remedy needed.
The ability to read between the lines in a given case, a case presenting mostly common symptoms, common to so many remedies, then to pick out that which is best in an unconscious case or in a case with just a few pathological symptoms, there is where it really is a test of what is in the subconscious mind of the physician. You may call it intuition is only stored up knowledge that has been acquired by years of use and application.
This is a very nice paper, Dr. Farrington.
DR. H.A. NEISWANDER [Pandora, Ohio]: A number of years ago, perhaps twenty-five, I was called upon to see a certain lady to confine her. She had had two girls that were normal. This was the first time I had taken care of her in delivery. She had lost two or three boys.
The delivery was normal. She was a very nervous individual. The baby seemed normal. On the third day I made my return call, and this baby had a temperature of 103, maybe 104. It was rather jerky, had a somewhat flushed face. I loomed at it a minute. I said to his mother, “Can I take this baby along home with me?”.
I no sooner got that out of my mouth when she said, “Yes.” I thought I stuck my neck out a long way that time. I took the baby along and let my wife take care of her. For about four days we worked with that baby. It had one convulsion after another. We gave that baby Helleborus. Today that boy is a husky chap. I think he is in the Army. I am sure she would have lost him if we hadnt taken him home and worked with him. [Applause].
DR. O.O. SINK [Smithfield, Ohio]: I wish to confirm the Doctors use of Crotalus horridus. I delivered a mother of a nice baby. Just the next day we has a severe hemorrhage in the auditory canal. I took the fathers blood, made a serum and injected it but with no result.
The next time I called, I got there just as the babys bowels moved. They were black, watery blood. Crotalus horridus 200th cleared that up nicely.
Another case, a man about forty-five, and a tooth pulled, and they called both me and the dentist about three oclock in the morning. After working about three hours, we finally got it stopped, but about eight oclock they called me back, and there was that black, watery blood coming out at the mouth. A few doses of Crotalus horridus saved the case. [Applause].
DR. A.W.HOLCOMBE [Kokomo, Ind.]: It is a pleasure to take in a discussion of this kind. It is not often I have the opportunity. I hope you folks dont get bored over what I say. I like this kind of paper. It shows that homoeopathy is dependable. One does not have to depend on a lot of surgical knowledge and surgical interference and manipulation and a lot of those things. If one gets the right homoeopathic remedy, things ease off and everything is all right.
I have a case that I want to relate. It wasnt an emergency case, and it wasnt a case of acute trouble. Up in our part of the country a great part of Northeast Indiana is settled with Amish people, originally from Pennsylvania, of German extraction. They dont go very much for medicine. They have a lot of simple remedies that they use themselves. They wont be vaccinated. I have an office full of them every once in a while.
One morning a man brought a baby in there, about two years old. It was about an hour before my office hours began, and I was up filling the medicine case to make calls. He came in and had the boy all wrapped up in two or three blankets. He said, “I want you to wait on this boy”.
I said, “What is the matter with him?”.
He said, “He got a mastoid. I am on my way up to the surgeon to have operation. It will cost dollar 350”.
“All right,” I said, “open him up”.
There was a large swelling back there, very tender, red, swollen, painful. The kid would yell if you touched it. He said, “What do you think?”.
I am going to give him a dose of medicine and you can do as you please. You give him this medicine and you wait until tomorrow before you fulfill your surgical appointment”.
I gave him a dose of Capsicum. The surgeon never did see that fellow. The point of the story is that doctor wont speak to me to this day. [Laughter].
Another peculiar case I had, and I never saw one like it or never heard of one like it. You probably think I am springing a lot of extraordinary cases on you folks, but this one gave me more satisfaction, for personal reasons, than any one I think I had.
An Amish lady brought in a female baby about eight months old. Her speech was broken; I could hardly understand her, although I used to speak German.
That baby had no vagina opening. The opening from the rectum and from the urethra were perfect. The baby was small and couldnt talk, so I couldnt get subjective symptoms. I had to prescribe objectively. I was up against it.
As Dr. Farrington says, I was behind the eight-ball. I didnt know what to give her but I happened to think of how old H.C. Allen, in his lecture on Graphites, spoke of its effect on scar tissue. “I think I will try it,” I said to myself.
I gave her a dose of Graphites 50M and told the mother to go home and I would see the baby in a month. I Knew it wouldnt die. It wasnt until two weeks that she had a normal vaginal opening. [Applause].
DR. FARRINGTON [closing]: Thank you for your discussion. Dr. Grimmers remarks are especially to the point. I feel as if Dr. Holcombes case goes me one better. [Laughter] I would give a great deal to know what kind of a condition that actually was there and what was the structure of the closing of that vagina.
DR. HOLCOMBE: I couldnt find out. i just short at her in the dark. [Applause].
Read by title before the Bureau of Clinical Medicine, I.H.A., June 27, 1952.
DAYTON T. PULFORD, M.D.
1. Mr. D. acquired a typical Lachesis sore throat last winter. He received three doses of the 200th in the afternoon and by morning was feeling enough better that he returned to his work as an automobile mechanic. being required to lie on damp floors he received a setback and the symptoms returned. A second prescription cleared up his throat but was shortly followed by a left-sided sciatica which finally kept him home. The most characteristic thing about this sciatica was that he could find no relief in any position.
On this indication he was given Natrum sulf. 30X which brought him great relief. However, his legs began to swell and he became puffy about the eyes and was heading for a general oedema. When I tested his urine for albumen it nearly dropped through the bottom of the test tube. Arsenicum in ascending potencies cleared the albumen steadily and completely along with complete general recovery. Since then I have wondered if Arsenicum might not have been the remedy instead of Natrum sulf. As a rule he is of the restless, impatient type.
2. A lady was kept awake one night and suffered most of the following day with pain and swelling in the right knee. She could get it into no comfortable position. particularly, she could not extend it and when an attempt was made to stand on it, it was so weak that it gave way. A usually well-controlled person, she complained bitterly. Sepia 200th brought about relief so rapidly that it surprised me more than it did her.
3. A lady in her sixties, who had a drunk a lot of beer and who was considered by her friends an alcoholic, developed typical Lycopodium symptoms. Under the action of occasional doses in the 200th she began to feel better generally and her weight began to decrease and has gone down slowly from 180 to 135 lbs., her former usual weight. She went off the deep end only once during the treatment and now says she has better control over her desire for the brew.
4. Mrs. W., a rather rotund young woman, came into the office with a necklace, the like of which I had never before seen. I looked several times to make sure I had not been hitting the jug. Most of it was fiery red and extended to some extent to the back and chest and toward the shoulders. Closer inspection showed it to be a mosaic of ringworm rather uniformly placed in rows. This condition rather rapidly and surely cleared up under the influence of Sepia 1M.