Ferrum Phosphoricum was introduced into society by Schussler. Schussler is not very particular as to what his friends are. It’s enough if he takes a notion to them. Society, with a few exceptions, kindly welcomed Ferrum phosphoricum without question, but a conservative few, tough old acquaintances of his father and mother, were not willing to accept him without some knowledge of his life. So they began to carefully observe him. They chiefly watched him when in the company of sick people and whenever he inadvertently said. “I was sick like this once”, they put it down as a part of his history, hence it comes about that we have here and there a bit of the history of Ferrum phosphoricum with but little knowledge of him.
To know a man, one must become so thoroughly acquainted with him as to know his habit of thought, his desires, his impressions and expressions. No one ever yet came into such friendship with Ferrum phosphoricum as to be able to read his thoughts, to feel the influence of his inner life. This isn’t the fault of Ferrum phosphoricum. If his friends are satisfied on the surface he is merry and entertaining, he will never tell them of the thoughts and feelings lying hidden away in his inner self. Therefore, I say, though we may have an occasional glimpse of him through his history, we do not yet know him.
The tall slim figure of his mother, together with her intelligent face and delicate sensitive nature, reveals her partisan blood. Mother Phosphorus belonged to the psoric family, which, according to Hahnemann, counts its ancestors in a direct line straight back to Moses. The haughty, proud, dark haired father is always quarreling and blushing on every occasion, but it’s not because he was lowly born. As each can boast a long ancestral line, so each received the inheritance which a long line of ancestral sin and ignorance so often entails upon unfortunate posterity. Thus it came about that poor Ferrum phosphoricum was by no means a robust child.
Shortly after he was born, his eyes became sore. They were very red and became extremely painful. The nurse was obliged to keep the little one in a darkened room, because the light made him cry. His skin was dry and hot. He was restless at night and would start at any sudden noise. The nurse, one of those trained nurses who are always ready for emergencies, applied a wash and cured the eyes before the pus had time to form, for which she received the mother’s unbounded gratitude. Sore eyes of the worst kind, even blindness, were in Mother Phosphorus’ family and Mr. Ferrum had always been troubled with weak eyes, styes, etc. Not knowing what would become of baby if his eyes were once permitted to get a start in that direction.
The eyes were hardly cured, when it was discovered that Ferrum phosphoricum had a “weak stomach”. He didn’t seem to like the milk, and he vomited it as soon as taken. The mother knew he had taken this from her, for she could not keep even water in her stomach longer then ten or fifteen minutes while carrying him. Vomiting was such violent exercise, baby would surely die. The father said nonsense, he himself was vomiting half the time, whether anything was the matter with him or not. It was easy enough and he felt much better after it. The nurse, knowing a family quarrel might be disastrous to the mother, and that Mr. Ferrum was pretty sure to have a sick spell after an angry fit, quieted the rising tempest by saying baby’s sickness was due entirely to the abscess in the left breast of the mother and proved her statement by putting the baby on the bottle and giving lime water to correct the acidity of the stomach. Baby recovered but always afterward, that stomach was ready to assert itself on the slightest provocation. He was always spitting up his food by the mouthful. Why shouldn’t he? Pa and Ma were always doing it. One day, the mother noticed a slight discharge from the nose. That night she was awakened by the paroxysmal cough of the child. Upon going to him, she found him in a high fever. His face was flushed, his eyes glistening, the pulse was quick, the skin dry and hot and there was much rattling of mucus in the chest. Even the throat seemed to contain much mucus. The breathing was short as though a long breath were painful. The father was sure that baby had the croup for Mother Phosphorus frequently had it when a child, but the mother was sure it was asthma and wanted to know how many of Mr. Ferrum’s family could take a decent breath. The family physician, an Allopath, diagnosed bronchitis and but no matter what he gave. From that time baby was subject to catarrhs. He had catarrh of the eustachian tube, catarrh of the ear, catarrh of the chest, catarrh of the bowels and maybe more.
So the child worried on until the second summer, always suffering more less from that “weak stomach”. He would vomit when in pain, vomit when coughing, vomit after eating, vomit before eating, he would even waken from sleep to vomit. He vomited food, vomited bile, he had even been known to vomit blood, but worst of all was the sour vomiting. It wasn’t sour like ordinary food, but a pungent sour, more like the fumes of sulphuric acid. It fairly set his teeth on edge. Sometimes he would puff in the region of the stomach and hypochondrium. That came from both sides of the house. Then the neighbours were sure he was liver grown and rubbed him down with lard, etc., but inspite of all, he worried through without any more serious trouble until the second summer when cut his stomach teeth. The teeth came with a fever and the fever rushed in as usual with flushed face, dry hot skin, quick respiration and pulse, and vomiting of food as soon as swallowed. He had great thirst for much water.
The stools were frequent, green, watery, bloody, scanty, face pinched, eyes half open, head rolling from side to side, moaning, starting from sleep, stool worse at night or after midnight. How he recovered, was not learned but next we find him a bright child of four; delicate complexion, light curly hair, flesh fairly firm, but he seemed weak though “nothing was the matter with him excepting his teeth.” His difficult dentition was only the beginning of trouble for the teeth though hard to come soon began to decay. Whenever he tries to eat, the tooth begins to ache. As pain always brings heat and redness to Ferrum phosphoricum’s face (so like his father in this) we see him with hot flushed cheeks, crying with pain, and running to the ice pitcher for cold water to hold in his mouth. He known that it will relieve it.
After a little we find him with neuralgia in the face. The pains are stinging, pressing, throbbing, worse from stooping and from cold air. He is inclined to congestive headaches, blinding headaches, hammering pains in forehead, rush of blood to the head, hot flushed face, headaches are made better by nosebleed. Ferrum phosphoricum’s nose bleeds bright red blood. In this, he was like his mother. His father often had epistaxis, but the blood was pale.
I might go on and tell about his measles, during which the parotids were swollen, red and painful, or about the diphtheria in which the membrane first appeared on the right tonsil or the whooping cough in which he vomited and urinated with the paroxysms of coughing.
I might speak of the engorged veins or tell of the pneumonia which came with sudden onset, high fever, short painful respiration and in which he could not lie down, coughed up bright red blood and was restless at night, but time compels us to pass on to the rheumatism of which he was so painfully sick.
With all his other troubles, poor Ferrum phosphoricum was obliged to suffer the excruciating pains of rheumatism. His Sycotic father was to blame for it. He knew when he married Miss Phosphorus that he had never been cured of that old gonorrhoea contracted so long before, but little he cared what suffering he brought to his unsuspecting wife and unborn babe – Was there ever a selfishness more cold-blooded and fiendish? -So poor Ferrum phosphoricum walked the floor night after night with rheumatism, when it was in a place that he could walk with it. His rheumatism was of the kind that moved from joint to joint and when it was in the hip, knee or ankle joint, walking was impossible. He had violent pains in the right upper arm and shoulder, drawing, tearing pains, better from gentle motion, so sensitive to touch that he could not wear his coat. The joint was red and swollen and pains insufferable. Pains in wrists, fingers contracted. One joint after another was attacked. The joints were puffy with but little redness, severe pains in the knees shooting down the legs, foot swollen, sensitive to touch, steady, terrible pain all over the foot and ankle. With all the pain, there was high fever, red face, quick pulse, increased temperature and nights made sleepless by the severity of the pain and every day, between 4-6 a.m., copious sweats, which increased the pain already so excruciating. He could not keep back the tears. Ferrum phosphoricum was very sensitive to pain. There was the sin of the father visited upon the child.
During the winter 1889 and 1890, our first gripped year, Ferrum phosphoricum was sick. His symptoms were very like his old catarrh of the chest. He was much prostrated by the sickness and never seemed to fully recover though he was able to be up and about. As time went on, it was noticed that he was nervous and was growing weaker day by day. Profuse night sweats seemed to weaken him. He was restless at night, tired and wanted to lie down during the day. There was a short, day hacking cough, vomiting of food after eating.
Instead of the pretty bright red cheeks the face was pale and sallow, excepting in the afternoon or during the pain, then the old flush returned. Remembering his old hemorrhagic nature, for he has bled from nearly every orifice of the body, we are not surprised to learn that the cough brought up bright clear blood or that on every exertion or on going into cold air, the sputa became blood streaked. No diagnosis is needed to reveal the meaning of it all. That dread disease, tubercular phthisis which so quickly killed the father and mother, was palliated from time to time in Ferrum phosphoricum, but the end was inevitable. Ferrum phosphoricum was innocent victim was surely dying. Who was the murderer? Was it the generation of ancestors whose ignorance piled up psora mountains high to await him? Was it his father whose sin cursed him with sycosis? Was it the nurse who suppressed the eye troubles or was it the physician who in stupidity and ignorance could not find the remedy though nature screamed it at him all through a life suffering.
Is not the physician responsible for all the unnecessary suffering which comes after nature has once spoken plainly the remedy? If some wise physician had given the baby, Ferrum phosphoricum – the correct remedy – the vital force would have been turned into order and he would have escaped from his inheritance. What a cry goes up from the suffering little ones against those physicians, who having eyes see not, and ears hear not what nature is telling them! When wisdom can redeem suffering humanity, what punishment is great enough for the sin of ignorance in those whose ignorance adds to the already too heavy burden of the innocent victims?.