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[Read before the Homoeopathic Medical Society of the County of Cayuga, N.Y., September 18th 1864.]

By E. R. Heath, K. D., Palmyra, N. Y.

Having just prepared some tincture of Phosphorus, I took five drops about five o'clock in the afternoon. Thinking no more about it, I finished my business for the day and retired about ten, p.m., but was unable to sleep. The desire to sleep was very great but I could not find a comfortable position. Felt an uneasiness accompanied by drowsiness which was unusual. My mind was greatly oppressed with melancholy. Tears would start without cause. A feeling of dread, as if awaiting something terrible, yet unable to resist or move, overcame me. Sometimes it seemed as if I was beginning to bloat, and then I could hear a multitude of voices saying, in high glee, “fill him up a little more and he will burst,” followed by demoniacal laughter which made the cold chills run over me. Darting, cutting pains gave me much distress, starting from one point and flashing over the whole abdominal region, each one having a separate starting point. — I imagined myself an Aurora Borealis, and could distinctly hear voices shouting, “beautiful! oh, was that not splendid !” as the pains became more severe and lasting. Soon, however, the agony became so great that it threw off in a measure the stupor that clouded my senses.

Springing from the bed I hastily attired myself and set down to collect my scattered and various thoughts. My fingers were all thumbs; I felt a numbness of the whole body accompanied by a pricking sensation, as being encompassed by innumerable needles that just touched and, on the slightest motion, entered my body, at first severe then followed by vibrations of less distinctness. My throat felt dry and parched; it seemed as if a flame of fire was passing through me. Rising, I attempted to walk; my feet and limbs seemed swollen and glued to the floor. The slightest motion caused great pain. With great exertion I reached the vessel; the moment the bowels began to move the pains assumed the form of cramps. The passages were like the scrapings of intestines and almost constant, attended with tenesmus for upwards of two hours, at the end of which time I lay down upon the bed weak, sore and almost helpless.

Abdomen sore, but not tender to the touch; thirst intolerable; drink did not quench it, but caused drops of cold clammy sweat to exude from the pores of the skin the moment that water entered the stomach. My wants were numerous and changeable; my lungs felt clogged up; dyspnea troublesome; pleuritic pains through the thorax extending into the throat and down the right arm; vertigo; cephalalgia; sense of suffocation and involuntary passages on the least motion. Urine suppressed with a constant desire to urinate. I lay in this condition for nearly eight hours when the passages changed to mucus and mucus mixed with blood and slime, still involuntary. The muscles became flabby; the skin dry and wrinkled; tongue coated with a thick fur, dark centre and red edges; sordes on the teeth; breath offensive, even to myself; at no time was I free from pain; could not extend my limbs but lay with them drawn up; motions involuntary and uncertain as one attacked with palsy. The exertion or an attempt to move my arms, hands, or even turn myself produced great prostration; countenance peritonitic.

At the end of twelve hours, passages began to become periodical at every half hour and then every hour, still involuntary with tenesmus at least an hour after each passage when they became as far apart as two hours. The rectum lost its sensibility; the sphincter became paralyzed, and I had a slight prolapsus ani after each passage. About six, p.m., or eighteen hours after I began to be troubled, the passages of urine became frequent, copious, scalding, high colored with a strong ammoniacal odor. Dull heavy pain in the region of the kidneys. After this the symptoms began to abate. Appetite ravenous but the smallest quantity of food, the moment it entered the stomach produced vomiting and passages from both bowels and bladder. My mind now became very clear. I could remember with the utmost distinctness my past life. Orations delivered during college days, I could rehearse word for word and tell the day and circumstances attending their delivery. Lectures I had heard years before came before my mind. As the darkness of night began to enclose the earth, my peace was disturbed by the most frightful visions and thoughts. Constant fear of death, with an almost uncontrollable desire to commit suicide. — Pulse intermittent, thready and varying from 53 to, 135.

During the night I was compelled to use the vessel a number of times, making my calculations to have a passage every two hours, as they were involuntary the moment anything entered the rectum. This condition lasted me for two days, obliging me to go to stool as often as every three hours. The next morning, about thirty hours, I dressed myself with difficulty and went to my office. I was as weak as one suffering from a long and severe fit of sickness. I then took eight pellets of Camphor3; this being the first I had taken, the attack being so sudden and prostrating, I was not able to help myself to medicine or call assistance.

During the whole time the passages were odorless, except a slight mouldy smell. At the expiration of three days the pains seemed to leave my bowels and settle in my joints, producing a crackling noise on motion. Every time I went from a warm room into the open air my bowels would move. Could eat but little food, as a few mouthfuls satisfied my ravenous appetite. I was not able to assume an upright posture while walking or endure much fatigue for some time, nor did I become free from the effects for more than two months. I regained my strength very slowly and could eat nothing but the most easily digestible food. Spiced food and pastry invariably producing looseness of the bowels.


Source: The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 04, 1864, pages 215-218
Description: Poisoning by Phosphorus
Remedies: Phosphorus
Author: Heath, E.R.
Year: 1864
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
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