CASES CURED WITH COQUELUCHIN
WHOOPING-COUGH, as every one knows, is an infectious disease. It is characterised at the outset by catarrhal symptoms which cannot be distinguished from an ordinary cold in the head. The catarrh is soon followed by a cough, at first irritating, but rapidly becoming spasmodic. When the disease is fully developed the fits of coughing fit terminating in the characteristic “whoop,” which announces that the air has at last been admitted into the lungs. There is another feature of the cough which is no less characteristic- the expectoration of a clear, glairy, tenacious mucus. This mucus contains the virus of the infection, and it is from this that the Coqueluchin of homoeopathy is prepared.
It is not my purpose now to describe whooping-cough and its dangers and possible consequences, which are numerous; but merely to give an account of a powerful remedy which may be used to meet it. As my practice is a consulting and not a general one, I do not have many opportunities of treating cases of this disease, and my experience with the remedy is not very extensive. But it will be found to be sufficiently striking.
I may state here that I have used the remedy in one preparation only-the thirtieth centesimal potency.
A maiden lady, verging on 60, of very gouty history, a governess by profession, continued her duties throughout the summer 1905 whilst her pupils were undergoing an attack of whooping-cough. She herself contracted a violent spasmodic cough, which the allopathic family doctor pronounced to be “not whooping-cough.” The family moved to their country house in Hertfordshire, and there Miss. H. came under the care of Dr. X. After due consultation, Dr. X. concurred, and found the cough “not whooping-cough.” However, the lady was too ill to leave when the term of her service came to an end; but after a time she was thought well enough to be sent to the seaside, but the cough continued as before. In London she saw a homoeopath, who thought there couldn’t be any whooping-cough in it after all that time. But the remedies he gave made no impression, and when I returned to town after the holidays she asked my opinion on the case. That was on September 28th, after she had well nigh coughed herself to pieces for three months. She looked completely broken down. Had violent fits of coughing; coughed till she retched; did not whoop, but the fits of coughing sometimes ended in a sob. I unhesitatingly pronounced the case to be one of whooping-cough, and set about to verify my diagnosis by the treatment.
The patient had allopathic cough remedies and homoeopathic cough remedies, she evidently now needed something fresh.
My prescription was- Coqueluchin 30, gl. iv. in powder of Sacch. lact. Mitte xxiv., one every four hours.
Oct. 3rd.-Cough nearly gone: what there was left of it was quite easy and no trouble. A thing to be noted was that since getting Coqueluchin she had very copious expectoration, which gave great relief. Before this she could hardly get anything up at all.
The improvement went on steadily under the same remedy, and as an old patron of hers, Lady——, wished her to take charge of her children for a time, said children having all had whooping-cough, I allowed her to do so.
All went well till the end of the month, when an epidemic of influenza broke out in the house, and claimed my patient for one of its victims. This cleared up quickly under Influenzinum 30; but the influenza, as its evil habit is to wake up the germs of any old malady that may be lurking about, aggravated the cough, which started again with some violence, each cough ending in a sob, or gasp, or sigh.
Nov. 12th.-Coquel.30, every four hours.
Nov. 23rd.-Expectoration very copious. Is very well in herself, but has a fearful cough, keeping her awake for one to two hours in the night.
The conditions being different, the nosode no longer had complete control of the case.
Here I may remark that the use of nosodes in no way excludes the use of other homoeopathic remedies. Nosodes form a splendid addition to our armamentarium; but if we don’t know how to supplement them with other remedies, we are just as badly off as if we didn’t know how to supplement other remedies by the use of nosodes.
I now dropped the nosode and ordered Corallium rubrum 30, every four hours. The indication for this remedy was -“violent spasmodic cough with copious expectoration.” Moreover, it was a nervous cough in a nervous patient. That was Nov. 23rd.
Dec. 7th.-The cough altered in two days after beginning the medicine. No more fits of coughing. A little short cough during the day. Expectoration wearing off.
Dec. 13th.-Cough keeps under. Very little expectoration. From this time on the cough gave no trouble.
Miss P., 20, an American, had been coughing for fourteen days, when I was sent for to see her at the Hyde Park Hotel on Oct. 3rd, 1905. The patient was a victim of infantile paralysis, and was very easily upset in her nerves. At the age of 10 she had a cough like this, which went on indefinitely; and since that time the family always got into a panic when a cough started with her, because it was apt to keep on for a very long time. On the present occasion the whole family were detained in London by it, as they dared not risk travelling, though they very much wished to continue their journey. Miss. P. had been once successfully vaccinated, but the doctors tried to vaccinate her several times before they could get it to “take.” She was subject to bad sick headaches, which she used to get at the monthly period. She was also subject to heavy colds in the head. Feet cold and dry. When she goes to bed, on first lying down she coughs, and when once she can get over this she sleeps well for a time. The cough is dry, and is brought on by motion.
I may say the family were allopaths for the most part, but they had heard of me from a nurse whom they met in Paris. Their one sheet-anchor in these conditions was Nepenthe, given in one or two-drop doses. This was the only thing that sufficed to keep the patient quiet till she could get sleep.
There was nothing very characteristic in this cough that I could then discover, and my first prescription was Stannum 3, gr. v., every two hours.
Oct.4th/-No change. Nepenthe had to be used.
Now I had to go more deeply into the case. One new symptom I elicited was “pricking in the roof of the mouth on lying down.” I was told when I first saw the patient, that she had “never had whooping-cough.” But when I came to cross-examine, I found that when she had the first attack of this cough, ten years before, the question of whether or not it was whooping-cough was canvassed, and all the pros and cons having been duly considered, it was decided in the negative. “She must have had whooping-cough many times, if it was,” was the mother’s remark. At any rate, I thought it was near enough to make a “like,” as she had “strangling fits” with the cough, as if she would never get her breath. I prescribed Coquel. 30, gl. x.; aq. 3vi.; 3ii. every two hours.
October 5th.-Cough better; not so constant; strangling fits in bed not so bad. Less pricking in roof of mouth. Very little expectoration, but much nasal discharge, which is thick.
The patient was so much better that the parents thought they need not trouble me again.
On October 8th I received a polite note from Colonel P., the patient’s father : “My daughter has improved so much since she has taken the second remedy, that Mrs. P. has decided to leave on Tuesday.”
I have no doubt whatever that this was a case of whooping- cough in the first instance, and that this delicate girl had never had the strength to get completely over it, and had never had the “simillimum”–i.e., the exact homoeopathic remedy- to help her until she got my Coqueluchin.
Since the first edition of this work was printed I have had an opportunity of treating the father of this patient, and his case will form an appropriate pendant to her own, so I will give it here.
On May 25th, 1906, Colonel P. sent for me on his own account. He was 65 years of age, and was a “martyr” to cardiac asthma, which came on eighteen months before, after a treatment at Carlsbad. He had good general health, except that he was very gouty. His mother and a maternal uncle had both died of heart disease, and his father had died at 60 of paralysis. He had been twice badly wounded in the American War. He had suffered from a delicate throat since he was four years old. His throat, I found, was gouty-looking, and he was troubled with tickling in it, which caused the cough. The cough was in paroxysms. There was some wheezing in the chest. and bronchial rales at the bases of the lungs. The heart was enlarged. There was free nasal discharge. The tongue was fairly clean, appetite good for breakfast and lunch. The bowels were regular, but for twenty years he had been liable to suffer from chronic diarrhoea. He had been eight times vaccinated, the last being at the age of 40. The cough and asthma were the trouble. In consequence of the asthma he was an exile from his native land-he positively could not exist in America. Whilst I was examining him it fortunately happened that a fit of coughing came on, and I was thus enabled to observe it. During the paroxysm the appearance of the patient was exactly like that of a person in a fit of whooping-cough, although there was no whoop. As Coqueluchin had done so exceedingly well for the daughter, and as the case of the father was so very much like hers, I thought I had very good ground for giving the same remedy. I therefore prescribed Coquel. 30 gl. vi. to aq. 3vi., a dessert spoonful every three hours.
Three days later I called again on my patient, and a very grateful patient I found him. The cough was vastly better, and the cold had all gone from the nose. He had slept well on the night of the 25th. The last two nights had been disturbed by asthma. I now gave Natrum sulph. 30 every three hours in the same way. This cleared up the case.
On May 31st there was no cough at all, except to clear any phlegm in the morning. The nights had been good. Whether or not there was an element of whooping-cough in Colonel P.’s case, as, in my opinion, there undoubtedly was in his daughter’s, the similarity was close enough in any event, and the curative action was as prompt as could be desired.
My next case has no connection with whooping-cough infection, but I give it to show that the Law of Similars is applicable in all respects to the use of nosodes as it is to the use of other homoeopathic remedies. The nosode of a disease will not cure, or even help, all cases of the disease from which it is derived; but, on the other hand it will cure cases of a great variety of complaints which have no connection whatever with the original disease, except that of similarity in some marked characteristics. Given this, the homoeopathic physician does not trouble himself about origin-he trust to his Law. It is the possession of Law which gives the homoeopathist an enormous advantage over his old-school fellows, only he must not except the Law of the work of itself. It needs the use of observing faculties and brains in the application. All that the old-school practitioner needs is the teaching of his blind authority, and as this is an easier master to obey, the old- school doctor has a big advantage here. But his patients do not reap the fruit of this advantage, and therefore it is to the interest of the patient-world to see that their medical advisers (who are also their medical servants) should make themselves masters of the Law of Cure, which is the Law of Similars, which is Homoeopathy.
Here is the case :-
A young unmarried lady of nervous temperament had a very bad cold, which left a cough that she could not get rid of. It was dry, irritating, and made her feel sick at times.
Now, one of the leading features of the whooping-cough attacks is the sickness they cause, or the desire to be sick. The similarity struck me as being close enough to whooping- cough to warrant me in prescribing the whooping-cough nosode, so I ordered Coqueluchin 30, to be taken night and morning. When next I saw the patient the cough had gone, and she informed me that the relief was very prompt.
The next three cases all occurred in the same family, and there was no question of the origin of the trouble- it was direct whooping-cough infection.
On October 24th I received a letter from a lady in the country. Mrs. C., saying that her two boys. John, aged 9, and William, aged 6, had bad colds, and had been coughing for a fortnight. They had been with children who had since developed whooping-cough. She described the cough, and asked if she should bring them up for me to see if it was whooping cough in their case. I told her I had no doubt it was whooping-cough, and she need not bring them.
William, the younger of the boys, was the most seriously affected. On September 18th, 1905, he had a cold. On September 29th he was in contact with children who had coughs which proved to be whooping-cough. About ten days later his cough began, and at the time his mother wrote to me (October 24th) it was very troublesome, and made him sick.
Rx Coqueluchin 30, glob. x.; aq. 3vi.; a dessert-spoonful every two hours.
October 29th.-The report is that he has now begun to “whoop” well, and is sometimes a little sick.
November 3rd.-“The cough sounds looser; he whoops, and is often slightly sick. Is well in other ways.”
November 9th.-“He coughs less; is less sick; still whoops; grinds his teeth less.”
November 14th.-“Still improving.”
Repeat, night and morning only.
November 24th.-“Seldom coughs; whoops less; is no longer sick; is very well in himself; eats heartily.”
December 5th.-On this date new symptoms were reported, but the cough was steadily passing away. This is the account I received : “Cough better; whoops a little; seems to have indigestion. Stools yellow; sometimes three a day, loose and offensive. Pain in abdomen at times. Appetite good. Irritable, but doesn’t seem poorly.”
A new situation having developed, the treatment had to be reconsidered. Coqueluchin had here completely broken the attack – had, indeed, practically cured the whooping-cough. A remedy was now required which should meet the symptoms of the internal derangement, and also, if possible, the cough symptoms as well. The remedy that I selected for this was Podophyllum 30, three doses to go over a week.
December 28th.-The report received is-“Coughs only once or twice in the day. He does not whoop at all, and seems very well.”
In the next case, the remedy got to work in a less advanced stage of the disease, and its action was more prompt; in fact, it aborted the attack.
John C., aged 9, like his brother, caught cold, September 18, 1905 and on September 29th came in contact with whooping- cough infection, and about the middle of October developed a cough.
October 24th.-“Has a hard, throaty cough.”
Rx Coqueluchin 30, gl. x.; aq. 3vi.; 3ii. every two hours.
October 29th.-“Still coughs, but doesn’t whoop yet.”
November 3rd.-“Hardly coughs at all; hasn’t whooped once; seems very well.”
November 14th.-“Seldom coughs; seems well.”
Repeat, night and morning only.
December 3rd.-“Cough better; is keeping better.”
Repeat, at longer intervals.
December 28th.-“Is very well. Coughs a little, once in the early morning, but he generally did that when well.”
In this case the remedy rapidly wiped out the disease, without allowing it to develop enough to inconvenience the patient or affect his health in any way. Later on I shall give another case in which the same thing happened; but I must now pass on to the case of the mother of these two boys.
Mrs. C., dark, rather small, with a phthisical history in the family, and herself suffering from fistula in ano, but otherwise well, wrote me on October 29th, 1905, that she herself had a troublesome cough, “not very tight, but leaving a stinging sensation in the chest. Not feeling well.” Considering that she was breathing an atmosphere charged with whooping-cough germs, I ordered Coqueluchin 30, t.d.
November 3rd.-“My cough does not hurt now, but is most trying, often keeping me awake the first part of the night. Sometimes it is spasmodic, sometimes continuous. “Am not deaf yet” [she had suffered previously from deafness, which I had cured], “but inside the right ear is so sore I dare not wash it properly. My head often aches, and everything is a great trouble. Cough often causes the urine to pass involuntary.”
The remedy had done something in the case-it had eased the pain in the chest which the cough previously caused; but the case was a more complicated one than the others, and the remedy did not correspond to it in its entirety. The Law of Similars is inexorable-as soon as a remedy has changed a case out of its “similitude,” it will do no more for the patient; and if there is no similitude between remedy and case, the remedy will do nothing. Happily, in Homoeopathy, when a remedy has missed its aim, it is not likely to do any harm. There is no residuum of material drug for the system to get rid of. Coqueluchin having done all that it was capable of for this patient, the question now was, what to give next. The rule in Homoeopathy is to find in the remedy to be selected something to correspond to the most striking peculiar symptom or symptoms manifested in the case to be treated. Now the most trouble-some as well as the most peculiar symptom in this case was the involuntary expulsion of urine with each fit of coughing. There are many remedies which have produced this symptom, but there are only a few which have it as a marked and prominent feature of their symptom-list. In my experience, the remedy of which it is most characteristic is Causticum, and as Causticum corresponded to other features of the case, this remedy was ordered, in the 30th potency, to be taken every two hours.
November 9th.-“Much better. Cough not gone, but very slight and quite loose. No pain, but much less trouble with the bladder.”
I ordered the remedy to be continued; but as there was an epidemic of influenza in the patient’s neighbourhood I ordered in addition Influenzinum 30, one dose at bedtime.
November 14th.-“Cough not so well; more like it was at first, only it does not hurt.”
Again it was necessary to make a change. In the search for the homoeopathic remedy it is often necessary to go back over a case and find points of likeness in symptoms which have been present formerly. When first prescribing for this patient’s cough my choice was divided between Coqueluchin and Apis, the indication for Apis being the stinging pains in the chest, caused by the cough. Coqueluchin removed that, but it did little else, and the fact of this symptom having been present remained an indication for Apis.
I therefore ordered Apis in the 30th potency, and this rapidly cleared up the case. There was no further trouble with the cough.
I have given this case in some little detail in order to show that the nosodes cannot be used in a lazy, penny-in-the-slot method, with any hope of great success. Nosodes are an enormous help, and the knowledge of their power and use saves a very great amount of labour and trouble in symptom-matching; but the Law of Similars demands the most devoted service of its adherents, and refuses to give its best results to anything like slipshod practice. Nosodes are subject to the Law, like any other homoeopathic remedy, and it is necessary for the prescriber to know when and to supplement their action at any moment. Labour- saving devices and generalisations are of much value to the homoeopath, and are eagerly welcomed; but it must never be forgotten that “eternal vigilance” alone is the price of success in homoeopathy. This is the real reason why there are not more homoeopathic doctors. It is so much easier for teachers of established medicine to denounce Homoeopathy ex cathedra than it- is to master it; and it is so much easier for their students to accept this judgment as sufficient than to investigate the matter for themselves, that there is no immediate likelihood of a great accession to our numbers.
Master R., aged 6, a very delicate, nervous boy, with a bad family history behind him, including lupus and cancer in his paternal grandparents, was under me for constitutional treatment, and was brought to me periodically when each prescribed course of treatment was finished. His mother brought him in the usual way on December 18, 1905. This time there was something new. He had what his mother described as a “fearful cough and cold” for a week. He had also had headache, and had vomited. There was much expectoration with the cough, and I found wheezing all over the body’s chest. He had a suffused and puffy look about the face.