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[Corroborative testimony to the value or Lycopodium where the “fan-like movement of the alae nasi” is present. From the London Monthly Homoeopathic Review, May lst, 1865.]

By William Ray, M. R. C. S. E.

Dr. Bayes, in his interesting cases of “Characteristic Symptoms,” published in the March number of the Review, says: “Few men, in a case of pneumonia, would have been led, as Dr. Wilson was, to select the fanlike motion of the alae nasi' as the characteristic indication; and in this selection he was guided by the experience of many years, rather than by the prominence accorded to the symptom in the proving of the medicine. Yet here his clinical experience stood him in good stead; and I have myself cured two cases by Lycopodium30, where similar symptoms were very marked. Both were cases of pneumonia occurring in very unhealthy children, during a convalescence following scarlet fever, which had been treated allopathically.”

If I may venture to offer my mite of clinical and practical observations with others who, as well as myself, have had the privilege of witnessing Dr. David Wilson's mode of selecting his remedies, both in his private as well as in much of his extensive dispensary practice, I should think that it is always a first consideration with him, what are the characteristic indications existing when he examines a patient-an examination so searching, so exhaustive in its character -before he attempts to prescribe.

No doubt his large experience assists him in this searching investigation, in giving him confidence in any special symptom he may have tested in practice.

But his method, to my mind, is not that of a routinist, whatever his experience (and it must be enormous), as the symptoms present are always paramount, and experience subordinate.

He seems, in fact, constantly finding out new indications, to which few men with less experience and knowledge of the Materia Medica would give any heed; and when once he has made a choice of a medicine, it is most interesting and instructive to watch the firmness with which he handles their various dilutions.

It is greatly to be regretted that he has not yet seen fit to publish a few more characteristics from his MSS. volumes of most interesting cases; and in this opinion I beg to assure him there are others who share it with me.

In the now famous Lycopodium case, he has told us that such is his confidence in the fan-like motion of the alae nasi as characteristic of Lycopodium, that when marked and fitting in all other particulars, he prescribes it, no matter what the disease may be. The following severe case tends to confirm that statement, and therefore I have thought it my duty to publish the notes which I made of it at the time, and have only to regret that they are not more copious, so as to do full justice to the observations and indications of Dr. Wilson, when he took up the case of my poor child with that consummate skill, which, through the blessing of God, rescued him from an early grave, and restored him again to his parents.

On Sunday, October 6th, 1861, my only child, a boy aged 12, called me to his bed, and complained of sore throat. He had been overheated at football the previous day. I examined him and found his skin hot; tonsils slightly swollen; great thirst; continual retching; headache; red tongue, especially at sides and tip; pulse 120. I gave him Aconite 3/6, Belladonna 3/0, Pulsatilla 3/0, in alternation. At two, p.m., the febrile symptoms greatly increased; delirious; feces passed involuntarily and unconsciously; urine red and scanty; retching ceased the last four hours; pulse 150. Continue the medicine.

Monday, 7th. Spent a very restless night; talking and muttering all night. All the former symptoms aggravated; papillae of tongue more injected; glassy eyes; dilated nares; lips dry, and, together with teeth, covered with tenacious sordes; suppression of urine; pulse 160.

Tuesday, 8th. Very delirious all night; continued talking, picking at the bed-clothes, and continually feeling for something supposed to be lost; clenching his teeth firmly; desire to get out of bed; all the former symptoms are aggravated; pulse 170.

At nine, a. m., I went for Dr. Wilson, who very kindly came at three, p. m., according to appointment.

He at once said, “This is an acute case, indeed, of a very bad type of scarlet fever, threatening typhoid,” and inquired what he had been taking by way of medicine and diet; he thoroughly examined him, pronounced him in great danger, remarked on the alae nasi action, and ordered all the former medicines to be suspended, and Lycopodium to be substituted, 4/200 in half a tumbler of water, take one teaspoonful every three hours; diet, thin arrowroot and cold water.

Wednesday, 9th. Spent a better night; not so much talking or tossing about; had a little sleep occasionally, for a brief period; not so much picking at bed-clothes; more composed generally; eyes not so glassy; less working of the nostrils, and wings not so much dilated; micturates more freely, urine still red; tongue not so much injected, and looks better; tonsils better; bowels constipated; pulse 100, soft and weak.

Three, p. m. Dr. Wilson called; said “he is much better; eyes not so glassy; febrile symptoms greatly abated; more conscious; pulse better; congestion of brain less. Continue medicine; diet, milk and water.

Thursday, 10th. Had a better night; slept a little longer at intervals; no picking or looking after lost things in bed; all the other symptoms improved; pulse 100. Dr. Wilson did not call today; it was understood, yesterday, that I was to call on him and carry him my report of the case, which I did. Continue medicine and diet as before.

Friday, 11th. Had a much better night; no delirium; urine more normal; pulse 95. Dr. Wilson called today; said “he is much better, much improved; the organism has been relieved, consequently the genuine disease - scarlatina — is being actively developed, having its characteristic analogue (in this instance) in Belladonna.” He accordingly ordered 3/200 globules of Belladonna in half a tumbler of water, a teaspoonful to be taken every four hours. Diet, mutton-tea, beef-tea, and milk; “to-morrow, diet, a little lean roast mutton, if all goes on well,” he added.

Saturday, 12th. Slept better; a little restlessness, but no delirium; feels very much fatigued and sore. Takes his beef-tea and milk with avidity and relish, as also a little roast mutton. Urine less colored and more free; pulse 92.

I saw Dr. Wilson, and gave my report.

Continue medicine and diet as before directed.

Sunday, 13th. Continues to improve rapidly; slept much better; tongue not so much injected; micturates freely, not so high colored; pulse 90. Medicine and diet as before directed.

Monday, 14th. Still improving; very much fatigued and sore in his joints; appetite better; pulse 90. Dr. Wilson saw him today; said “he is quite convalescent; greatly improved since I last saw him. Continue medicine every eight hours; diet as before.”

P.S. This is the last time my son was soon by Dr. Wilson. From the moment his prescription began to act, until convalescence, there was steady, progressive, and rapid improvement in my son until the 26th, when I reported him not so well this day; a little more fever; less appetite; a discharge from the nostrils, consisting of blood and pus. I saw Dr. Wilson, who ordered Kali bichrom. (I regret having omitted to note his indications) 3/200 in half a tumbler of water; take a teaspoonful of this mixture every six hours. Diet as before.

27th. Discharge and irritation much subsided.

28th. Still better. Continue medicine.

29th. No discharge; less irritation. Continue medicine.

30th. No discharge; no irritation.

31st. Desquamation going on rapidly; bowels not moved for eight days. I reported this to Dr. Wilson, who ordered one globule of Sulphur 200, every third night.

Nov. 3rd. Cuticle peeling off in large pieces; bowels slightly moved; appetite increasing; getting from one room to another briskly.

4th. Can get up and down stairs; increasing in strength; appetite better; urine normal.

6th. Bowels freely opened; desquamation still progressing.

11th. D esquamation over; no more medicine. Quite well.


Source: The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 12, 1865, pages 568-572
Description: Case of Scarlet Fever. Corroborative testimony to the value or Lycopodium where the “fan-like movement of the alae nasi” is present.
Remedies: Lycopodium clavatum, Sulphur
Author: Ray, W.
Year: 1865
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
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