Clinical Cases

Elaine Backs into an Eczema Case

Ezine reader, Marlon, asks Elaine to help solve an eczema case, but, was that really the chief complaint?

[Regular type=Marlon]

[Bold type=Elaine]

So Elaine, despite having read all your articles for the 1,000th time….

Not too many people can say that.

I’m still having horrible trouble with figuring out what should and should not go into a repertorization; moreover, how specific of a rubric to choose for some things. Like for example: lets say we’ve got a patient whose chief complaint is eczema that is showing only on the back and lateral side of his right hand. However, after looking over all the other info I notice he has obvious signs of warts that were cauterized off, hay fever that is primarily expressing via the right nostril that is aggravated by cats, (eczema also < cats.) has wild impulses to kill people, depression problems, impulses towards infidelity that upset him coupled with lack of desire for his wife, fear of the dark, loss of appetite, right shoulder pain like a knife is stuck in it, and I can pin down NWS domination by parents and delusion that someone is behind him.

Marlon (The Confused)

Oy vay!!!!! First of all, you need a timeline. What if the eczema is very severe, the most recent symptom, and consuming the patient’s entire time, energy and attention? You would be wondering, “How did this happen? Is this the result of some drug he was taking, some side-effect? Was he given antibiotics or did he use antifungal cream for jock itch and then, lo and behold, now he’s got eczema? Was he swimming in an overly-chlorinated pool (because chlorine can cause this)?” This is what you have to find out, because, in that case, I wouldn’t care about any of the other fascinating stuff in the case, I would start asking:

“How long have you had this? When did it start? Tell me everything you’ve been doing around that time that could possibly explain this–drugs, ointments, creams, nasal sprays, vaccinations, exposure to allergens, toxins? Anything?” If nothing, then I would say, “OK, so this has been going on for [X] months? I want to know everything that happened [X] months ago, what changed in your life, new job? New house? New pet? New hobby?” Maybe the person will say, “Well…..I do remember having a relationship with a certain female who, it turned out, had a certain infection, and I remember I had to take a certain antibiotic….”

“What antibiotic?” I would say.

I would then look up the side effects of the antibiotic and bingo! there it would be–the eczema! His remedy then? Antibiotic 12C once a day for three days, then report back. Or report back sooner if there’s an aggravation. So, that’s how I would start such a case.

Now, let’s say the eczema isn’t that bad, doesn’t seem to be his biggest, most limiting issue; in fact, the biggest issue seems to be on the mental plane, and on the mental plane I hear a KEYNOTE of a remedy! Delusion: someone is behind him–Medorrhinum! (the main remedy) and I look back at the other symptoms in the case and I ask myself, does Medorrhinum fit this case? Well, it certainly does! You can see this is the sycotic miasm. Warts? Infidelity? Impulses? Extremes of behavior? It all looks like Medorrhinum to me!

You see, the delusion is the top of the hierarchy (unless you have a compelling etiology [cause] which we don’t seem to have here). Ideally, you’d like to start at the top of the hierarchy and work down. You’d like the remedy to cover the delusion and then as many of the other symptoms as possibe, rather than the remedy covering as many symptoms as possible but not the delusion or the peculiar mental symptoms. This is actually an IDEAL case because Medorrhinum seems to cover EVERYTHING!!!!!

Still, you never really know without taking a full case. All I have is what you’ve presented. What if he’s thirstless? OMG! That would certainly make me think twice about the thirsty-for-cold-drinks Medorrhinum. What if there was no night time amelioration or no amelioration at the sea, no aggravation from damp weather, no desire for sour fruit…OMG, that would make me have to rethink the whole case!

So, I can’t tell you how important it is to take a complete case. Dr. Luc, in the back of Hahnemann Revisited has questionnaires that you can xerox and use as your own. Generally, when you suspect a remedy, the way I suspect Medorrhinum here, you open up your Morrison’s Desktop Guide, you go to Medorrhinum, you scroll down the page and you say to your patient:

1. How do you feel at the ocean?

2. What’s your best time of day? When is your energy at its best?

3. Are you thirsty? For what? Do you want your drinks with ice? Do you want ice all by itself?

4. Is there any fruit you happen to love?

5. Do you tend to bite your nails?

These are called “confirmatory” questions. You’re asking these after you already suspect a remedy or you’re trying to decide between two or three that look good. In this case, what else would we be wondering about? Mercury (impulse to kill), Fluoric acid (infidelity, no desire for the wife), Lachesis (delusion someone is behind him, deceitful, aggressive tendencies)…. Now, you used the phrase “wild impulses to kill”. “Wild” is a Medorrhinum word. Morrison says, “wild feeling in his head”. Murphy uses the phrase, “wild child”. When I see “wild”, I think of Medorrhinum. Does this help?

YES, that does help quite a bit. Thank you.
Where I get confused here is when deciding what gets the NWS focus (the etiology). IMO, I would look at the perplexing mental/emotional issues as the big deal (esp considering these things are coming from a very devout religious man) and would pin them on domineering and abusive parents.

Now wait a minute! A Medorrhinum child is not an easy child! The parents may have been desperately trying to establish rules! You know, not every case will have a compelling etiology (NWS). Think of a case like a coconut. You’re feeling around the coconut for a soft spot where it will crack open. You’re feeling around–etiology? No, won’t crack open. Local symptom presents with a complete remedy picture? No, not this time. Exposure to a toxin? No again.  A specific diagnosis like “German Measles”?  No.   Totality of symptoms where one remedy covers every symptom in the case? Yes!!!! Finally the case cracks open! In fact, amazingly, this case has innumerable super-keynotes for just one remedy–Medorrhinum! So, this case actually cracks open in numerous locations: Delusions, remedy keynotes, totality of symptoms, single-remedy rubrics….Wow!

So the revelation of what Morrison’s is for is actually big news to me.

Yes, Morrison’s is a confirmatory Materia Medica.

Makes so much more sense. So I got it out and asked the patient the questions. The food question is tough because he’s a gourmet chef and likes EVERY food.  Plus, its been drilled into him how bad cold drinks are, so, craving cold drinks doesn’t really happen. Here are the answers:

1. How do you feel at the ocean?-“Awesome”

Great, we’ve got confirmation!
2. What’s your best time of day? When is your energy at its best? “Morning and late night”

We’re OK with that answer. Medorrhinums are better at night.
3. Describe your thirst.-“No strong desire to drink”

We’re not crazy about this answer; but, we’re not going to get hysterical about it either.
4. Are you thirsty? For what? Do you want it with ice? Do you want ice all by itself? “Not particularly, but want ice cream. Esp Mint choco chip”

OK, good answer.
5. Is there any fruit you happen to love? “citrus, peaches and watermelon”

Good, we got the citrus we wanted.
6. Do you tend to bite your nails? “I dont bite my nails”

That’s OK.

Answers from Q’s I added:

+likes unripe bananas

There’s your desire for unripe fruit Medorrhinum is so famous for!

+constant clearing of the throat (my observation)

Yep! That’s a Medorrhinum keynote!!!!!

-loves eggplant at all times (there goes the curve…)

Medorrhinum is the ONLY remedy listed under “desires eggplant”! (Murphy’s)

+has to uncover feet in bed

That’s another Medorrhinum keynote, they have very hot feet!

-not craving animal fat like usual

But apparently used to? That’s good enough.

+He goes to extremes in pursuit of things

Another Medorrhinum keynote.

+Desires to experience everything. Very adventurous

Another Medorrhinum keynote.

So it kinda looks like Medorrhinum to me (granted I havent repped this out….)

No, no, no, you don’t repertorize this case!!!!! Listen, the repertory is NOT complete! It’s not as though every symptom of every remedy has found its rightful place in the repertory! When you get this much confirmation for a remedy? Your work is done! (But, even having said that, this case would easily repertorize out to Medorrhinum anyway!)

…just engaging in the exercise. So how strong of a resemblance to the suspected remedy is strong enough?

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom. Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at LEWRA@aol.com Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: http://elainelewis.hpathy.com/ and TheSilhouettes.org

Leave a Reply to Jan X

12 Comments

  • Love this case – takes me by the hand and leads me trough all the practical reasoning we go through, so clear.
    Great exercise.
    Aren’t keynotes just such a gift!

    I also have found when there are such clear keynotes jumping out at me, that the modalities do not need to fit. It’s still a Bingo.

    Thanks for that Elaine!

  • DEAR DR
    THE ARTICLE IS VERY NICE. ACCORDING TO ME SKIN DISEASES ARE MOSTLY DUE ALLERGY FROM ANY THING THAT A PERSON EATS AND IS NOT LIKED BY THE BODY AND THUS IT REACTS. I GIVE A DOSE OF HEPER SUL 1M AND ANT CRUD 1M MIXED AND ASK HIM TO AVOID NON VEG EVEN EGG. NEXT HE IS REQUIRED TO CLOSELY WATCH THE THING THAT GIVES HIM ITCH/IRRETATON TO HIS BODY. HE IS TO AVOID IT PERMANENTLY THAT THING AND ONE DOSE OF HS 1M AND AC 1M MAY BE REPEATED. THESE TWO REMEDY GIVE CURE TO ANY SKIN DISEASE IN MY EXPERIENCE. ANT CRUD AFFECTS ON DIGESTIVE SYSTEM AND HEPER SUL AFFECTS THE SKIN SYSTEM MOST. ANY THING THAT WE EAT WHICH IS NOT TOLERATED BY OUR BODY FIRST EFFECTS OUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM AND THEN EFFECTS OUR SKIN. SO IN MY OPINION THESE TWO REMEDY ARE VERY EFFECTIVE. IT IS FOR DRS TO EXAMINE IT AND GIVE FEEDBACK
    THANKS
    DR SHEKHAR

    \

    • I am very sorry to say to you sir that you are misleading the new homeopaths!!
      Hahnemann did not teach us to mix this or that and give to any patient without proper case taking. If we do this, then where has the individualization gone?

  • Dr. Elaine,
    My eldest son had eczema on his left cheek when he was 6 (he is 44 now). I was against the “sweet pills” and took him to a skin specialist. He gave some tablets and an ointment. The eczema disappeared but left a bad scar. Within a year it was back again and the old routine followed. When it reappeared again, I went to a homeopath who gave him the customary globules. It dried up within a few days. After many years it reappeared but alas the homeopath was no longer alive. I consulted Kent’s Repertory and gave him Belladona 30C and it cleared up permanently! I also noted that while the suppression ointments left a scar, homeopathic medicines keep the skin clear!

  • When I first went to a homoeopath way back in 1985, he insisted on my visiting him personally every time and assured me that h’pathy would work better if taken regularly for all complaints and if not mixed with any other system of medicine. I took it as the usual sayings of any practitioner. Soon, I got interested and started studying homoeopathy and now, when people complement me on my good health (after 26 years of only and only h’pathy) at the age of 65, I know he was absolutely right. I have not had any investigation or procedure of any kind performed on me nor am I on any regular medication of any kind.

    What I mean to say(sorry, I got carried away) There is no fixed remedy or a way of treatment. Only the right feedback from the patient at all stages of ailment is the guide to the homoeopath while treating.

  • Sujaya Prabha,
    Congrats! you are 65 enjoying a good health without allopathy, but you are a kid to me. I am 88 without the allopathic stuff since 1962. I am quite fit. No old age problems. Perfect figure. Walk erect. No wrinkles. Recently I had lumber problem at L4&L5. A few doses of Cimicifuga 30 did the trick.
    Thanks to Hahnemann and his Homeopathy. Keep on doing the good job of practising Homeopathy
    on self and on others. Crude chemical stuff in allopathic drugs spoils the biochemistry of the body and results in chemical imbalance that ultimately leads to diseases like cancer. Wish you all good health!
    Dr. Avinash Agnihotri

  • This has been a very useful article and very relevant these days with most of the working class involved in money-making exercises ignoring the rituals to maintain good health, getting a rude shock when eczema appears.
    Comments following the article also are informative.
    Humbled by God’s creation of the human body and the great Homeopaths who found ways to maintain their vitality.

  • I just want to say one thing. Currently there is an ad for eczema cream at the bottom of this article! Good grief! Needless to say, I have nothing to do with the ads that get dropped here; but I hate that it looks like I somehow endorse the eczema cream–I don’t.