Was called to prescribe for C. S-, a dwarf, aged 23 years. History-This individual had been constipated from birth, the bowels having never moved spontaneously, and but twice to the present date without laxatives or enemas. On those two occasions evacuations followed the application of compresses wet with brandy during the night previous. Frequently he passed eight or ten days with no evacuation,-many times longer periods, and on one occasion I was assured by his family that the interval extended through four weeks and three days! From birth to the eighteenth year of his age various laxatives were exhibited from time to time with but transient effect. At the period last mentioned, failing by the usual methods to evacuate his bowels, medical advice was obtained and many and heroic remedies exhibited without producing the desired evacuation-but on the contrary, producing much straining and vomiting. Fearing the result of further attempts with Cathartics, enemas of various kinds were persistently used until an evacuation was effected. From his eighteenth to his twenty-third year his bowels were moved by injections alone. In character the stools were rather large-dark colored-very hard, and covered with mucus streaked with blood.
When called to prescribe for him I found him with wheezing respiration, some cough, with stitching pains in his chest; abdomen hard and extended; feet, hands and eyelids bloated; and his appearance generally most unpromising. My prescription was one-twentieth part of one drop of the Mother Tincture of Nux Vomica, exhibited morning and evening. His bowels moved, with no other aid, after having taken two doses of the medicine. The administration was pursued until the entire drop was taken, and the result was that his bowels moved as regularly as most persons' for the three succeeding months, and his general health was much improved. At the end of that period I was informed that he was threatened with a return of his former difficulty, and sent him Nux Vom. 3., directing one drop to be given at bed-time when needed. His bowels continued regular with slight intermission as long as he lived-some four years.
(a) Mrs. Y., set 45, English, of strong, healthy frame and good habits, the mother of five children, had suffered for ten years with repeated and violent attacks of Spasmodic Asthma. The paroxysms originated in a diminished density of the atmosphere, marked by a change in the weather, from clear to cloudy and damp. If she remained in this city in the immediate vicinity of Lake Michigan, our capricious climate would subject her to more frequent attacks; or if in the interior, any barometric change foretelling a storm would surely bring them on. This was the only marked peculiarity of her case:- the severity and duration of the paroxysms, being inversely to the duration and severity of the storm. They did not always come on at night, but were always relieved by a critical and most copious expectoration-blennorrhoea-from the bronchial tubes. Her general health suffered but little until, subsequent to an attack of double Pneumonia in April last, she seemed entirely prostrate, and experienced as a consequence an increased susceptibility to setiological changes. Her asthmatic attacks became very frequent and distressing, threatening at times to destroy her life.
After prescribing various remedies without any considerable relief, I discovered upon enquiring more carefully into the history of the case, that when a girl, thirty years since, she had fallen down the cellar stairs and injured her spine at a point corresponding to the superior dorsal vertebrae. She was ill but a day or two at that time, and had suffered so little local inconvenience since the occurrence as to have quite forgotten it, until enquired of by me if she had over experienced any accident of the kind. There is no tenderness on pressure, though she reports herself as better able, at intervals, to lie upon either side than upon her back, for the reason that the latter decubitus increases the dyspnea.
I withdrew my other remedies and prescribed Hypericum Perf. 2 (dec.) ten drops in half glass of water, a table spoonful every two hours. Under this remedy, with prolonged intervals, she recovered entirely; and the cure seems a radical one, as she has for several months escaped any repetition of her old infirmity.
(b) Mary, aet 6. daughter of Mr. C.-had been in poor health for three years. As often as once in a month she suffered an illness of from four days to a week's duration, of which the following were the most characteristic symptoms:-A chill, followed by more or less fever of a Continued type, with dry, parched skin, occasional headache-especially toward evening, restlessness, jactation, with a super-sensibility of the surface of the neck and of the superior extremities, great dread of motion, would not walk, and screamed outright when her mother or any person proposed to lift her from one place to another, insisting all the while that she should be held in the lap. Face pale and anxious, white around the mouth, and generally expressive of suffering and uneasiness. Anorexia, slight thirst for warm drinks, and a hacking cough which she referred to irritation in the throat, and which was without expectoration, and apt to be greatly aggravated by exposure to the least breath of cold air. Tongue whitish taste insipid, bowels natural and urine normal in quantity and quality.
After running their course as aforesaid, these symptoms would gradually decline into an interim of three weeks more or less, to recur again with almost as much regularity as the paroxysm of an intermittent.
She had been variously treated, and for various infirmities. Her first physician diagnosed Worms, and prescribed accordingly, i.e. Anthelmintics ad nauseam for patient and parasite, but without the least benefit. The second thought the disorder sufficiently intermittent to call for anti-periodics and he gave Sulphate of Quinine and other drugs, but with the effect to augment rather than to relieve the symptoms. Two others had been equally unsuccessful.
On examination I found there existed a decided sensitiveness to pressure upon the spinous processes of the two inferior cervical and the superior dorsal vertebrae. Inquiring if she had ever fallen upon the part, her mother said she had, but that she was not sick at the time and had never suffered from it. She had fallen down a stairway when but three years of age, and this was my key to the Pathology of the case. I ordered a “batch” of simple, dry, uncarded cotton to be applied over the tender locality, and prescribed Hypericum Perf. 2 (dec.) to be given internally, once in three hours during the paroxysm. This plan had the effect of shortening the first paroxysm very considerably, and she never had another. In anticipation of its recurrence the remedy was for a time repented daily; but it never came, and, after an interval of twelvemonths, I am happy to report that the child remains to all appearance entirely well.
My choice of the Hypericum in the above cases in preference to other remedies apparently better indicated, was based upon the idea that “Hypericum is to injuries of the Nervous, what Arnica is to those of the Muscular system.” If, in the experience of others, this proposition be as satisfactorily confirmed, the fact is worth recording.
VIII. The Secretary called attention to the following extract from a letter from C. A. Jaeger, M D., of Elgin, III., as bearing upon the Special Therapeutics of Dysentery. “I have found this season that Mercurius Iodatus 3rd Trituration, is more active and better indicated in Dysenteries than the other Mercurial preparations. In seven cases nothing else was given, and the result was most successful. This remedy is particularly indicated in cases of frequent evacuations of green mucus, with but little or no blood. Even grass green evacuations have been arrested after twelve hours administration, but I have seen no effect whatever in case of a mere diarrhea with green stools. If much pain, colic-like, accompanied the attack, I gave a few pellets of Coloc. 3; but in the other cases gave nothing in alternation, or even as an “intercurrent.” I have never witnessed such speedy and satisfactory results from any of the Mercurial preparations, and I hope you may be induced to try it so soon as an appropriate case offers.
IX. PERTUSSIS and its most appropriate remedies. Five adult cases reported. An inquiry being made if the members had found the usual remedies less efficacious than ordinary in the prevailing Pertussis,
Dr. Seymour. I have have had two cases of Measles this season occurring the second time,-the one patient aged five years, the other an adult, a lady in whom there was no mistaking the Special Diagnosis. To the former of these cases I was summoned in the night through fear of Scarlatina, but found it to be Rubeola.
Aug. 6, 1858. Master W. A-, aged two and a half years, has been subject to diarrhea for a week or more. Discharges profuse, thin, yellowish-brown, fetid, at times involuntary, and attended with much rattling in the bowels. Thirst and emaciation. During the summer of :57 had a diarrhea similar in character which was treated Allopathically, but continued nearly unchecked until winter. His bowels now are moving as often as once in two hours. Prescribed China 1. and Mercurius Vivus 3. in alternation two hours apart, with very slight improvement during the following twenty-four hours, when Mercurius Corrosivus6. was given instead of Merc. Viv. In forty-eight hours the diarrhea was cured.
Mr. A. W-, of this city called for me at 8 P. M., Sept. 15th 1858, to visit his wife, who ho said was worn out with care and anxiety, having had little or no rest for three weeks, on account of a sick child, a little boy twenty-two months old. On the way to his house he remarked that the child was still alive but that no hopes were entertained of his recovery; the attending Physician had given him up, and he supposed he could not live many hours longer.
After prescribing for the mother, I was requested to see the child and informed that the Family Physician (Allopathic) had been in attendance for about three weeks; the first few days assuring the parents the illness was so slight that the child would be all right very soon; but the prognosis proved deceptive. The illness daily assumed a more serious and alarming character, 'till it was pronounced a congestion or inflammation of the brain. The day on which I was called a consultation had been held, consisting of the attending and two other Physicians, the result of which was a very unfavorable prognosis, so much so as to deprive the parents of all hope of the recovery of their darling and only child, especially under the present mode of treatment. I hesitated on the principle of non-interference with other Physicians' patients in their absence, and suggested the propriety of first sending for the attending physician, but was assured it was unnecessary inasmuch as he had told them to do what they pleased and call for whom they pleased; and more than this, they had known him for years to be a most kind and considerate man; therefore it was finally dispensed with, with the understanding that he should be notified early the next morning of the change of Medical treatment.
On examining the child I found one of the most distressed little objects I ever saw,-a mere living skeleton covered with a shrivelled colorless skin,-all the flexor muscles and tendons of the body, (excepting the left arm-which was constantly in motion, sometimes passing in a circular manner on the left side of the head and face, and then picking and grasping at the bed-clothes and at vacancy,) were in a state of tonic spasm or rigidity, which could not be resisted without greatly aggravating the suffering already too painful to behold,- although the Doctor had declared the child unconscious of suffering. He was taking large doses of anodynes, oft-repeated, which instead of mitigating, only seemed to aggravate the suffering. Great dilatation of the pupils and considerable strabismus were present. Head hot, while other parts of the body were cold; constant nausea and retching; bilious diarrhea; and sleeplessness, which had existed for a week or ten days past. The above were the most prominent features of the case. The afflicted parents most beseechingly requested me to give something to allay the suffering and procure sleep. Belladonna and Chamomilla in hourly alternation, and warm baths were prescribed.
16th, 5 A. M. Found the patient in a quiet sleep, having fallen asleep within an hour after the first dose of the Bell., and rested well all night. Bowels moved less frequently and character of the evacuations much improved. Same remedies continued, but less frequently repeated.
Dr. M-, called earlier than usual this morning, before he was notified of the change of treatment, and on being informed manifested much dissatisfaction, and to the surprise of the parents, much less amiability of temper than they expected. He said the child was no better, that the more comfortable night was notattributable to Homoeopathic remedies-they were deceived. he would be no better; he might live several days but they need not expect his ultimate recovery; the brain was too much affected to warrant any such prognosis, etc.
17th, 6. P. M. Has had a comfortable day and night, dilatation of the pupils less, strabismus about the same, stomach and bowels much better, rigidity of the muscles somewhat less, less picking at the bed-clothes, and left arm lying most of the time still across the chest. Belladonna and Cuprum alternately every third hour. Warm bath once a day.
21st. Invited my friend Dr. Ludlam to visit the patient with me, and found him decidedly improving. Having occasion to be absent from the city a few days, Dr. L. kindly consented to take charge of my patient.
Returning home on the 25th, I was much gratified to find the little boy doing well. Pretty much the same course of treatment had been pursued most satisfactorily. A little strabismus still remained, but the spasmodic rigidity had all disappeared, and but little medicine was required afterwards; now and then a dose of Coffea for sleeplessness, and Cina occasionally on account of worm symptoms, were administered, with happy effects.
For the last two weeks (now Nov. 6.) no medicine has been given, and nothing remains but the debility consequent upon his long sickness and the violent Allopathic treatment. In short the child is now “all right,” as talkative, bright, cheerful and happy as need to be.
Although I do not view the case and its result as very extraordinary under Homoeopathic treatment, still it is by the parents and friends considered a miraculous cure, almost equal to a resurrection from the grave. I report the case merely to encourage the practice of presenting something from our clinical records at each meeting, expecting for myself to reap more than I shall sow.
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 03, 1858, pages 134-137
|TRANSACTIONS OF THE CHICAGO HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICAL SOCIETY.
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