I shall start with just such a case (which “will need all your awareness”). This is the child of a couple who were both MDs. They knew about homoeopathy and the child was treated homeopathically since birth. This is a good teaching case for many reasons: One is, that unless we have given a constitutional remedy to a person, they are not really healthy. I had been seeing the child all along. He was then four years old. He had developed a fever accompanied by certain pains which radiated in the abdominal region. That was all. The child developed pain and had high fever for a few days before they consulted me. They said, “We cannot get any symptomatology. He complains about pains in the abdomen, with the high fever. What did I prescribe?” You are going to be faced by such cases and I want you to know what I am going to do. I tried, of course, to get some more symptoms. There was heat, perspiration, but nothing special. Don’t be afraid to speak. I prescribed wrongly, so you needn’t be afraid of your ideas.
Response: Sometimes cases that have nothing to offer in symptoms can be given Sulph.
George: This is an idea. Are there any other ideas?
Response: Constitutional remedy repeated.
George: That is another idea, if we had found a constitutional remedy. I said that I had been prescribing all along, but I did not tell you that I had found a constitutional remedy. You will see here, as this develops, how important it really is, to have given the deeper remedy. I have been giving remedies and the child was okay. He had tonsillitis, diarrhoea, and that all along until he was four years old. I had not found a constitutional remedy. It appeared later.
Question: Had you been treating the parents ?
George: Yes, I had been treating the parents and they did not have anything special in their history. There was high fever without symptoms.
Question: What about the examination of the child’s background?
George: The parents were both MDs. They had auscultated. They had seen no rales, rhonchi, and they could not locate anything special in the abdomen.
Question: Was there a sore throat?
George: A little bit. The tonsils were not swollen and no glands were enlarged.
Question: What was the character of the pain? Did he bend double or was the abdomen irritable?
George: There were no modalities. What I ask you for, is a remedy. We suppose that you have examined the patient and have not found any’ more symptoms. So you have a high fever, without symptoms. Which is the remedy? It is the remedy which is mentioned in Kent’s Materia Medica? It starts with F.
George: Ferr-p. is the remedy which is usually prescribed when there is a fever without any attendant symptoms. Sulph. is correct also. When you don ‘t have any symptomatology, there is a paucity of symptoms as we call it, and we give Sulph. But why didn’t we give Sulph. in this case? There is always a reason for giving a remedy- at least you have certain reasons. Sulph. is given when there is a paucity of symptoms. Which means that you have been treating someone constitutionally or for a chronic ailment for the second time. And you have taken away his symptoms, but the person does not feel at all well. Symptoms which are not prominent and do not give you the idea of a remedy, may make you think of Sulph. But this is not so in an acute case. You will not prescribe Sulph. in an acute case because there are no symptoms. Sulph. is a good remedy which you may need to use appropriately later. I prescribed Ferr-p. in this case and, as you can understand, nothing happened. On the third day the parents decided to give antibiotics. They did not wait long.
I think it was one day he had the fever, the second day we gave the Ferr-p. and another two days when the parents gave the antibiotics, so this was the fourth day. We found a definite diagnosis. They gave antibiotics for four days and then discontinued it. The child remained better for a week. Then the fever and the pains returned. With a relapse there was a swelling of the cervical and sub-maxillary regions.
There was not much prominence to these glands, however. There was a shortness of the pulse, together with redness which was prominent, and inflammation. There was now thirst present. I did not find any other symptoms, and I could not elicit any from the parents. Doctors are very bad at giving symptoms for themselves or their family. Nothing! I then prescribed another remedy, which, of course, was wrong again. Could I give something? There was stiffening in the abdomen. The cervical and sub-maxillary glands were swollen, and there was thirst; the thirst was not marked, but it was definitely increased. I prescribed Bry. We have tonsillitis and thirst: Bry.! But this does not always work. (Laughter)
This did not work. The child’s fever was constantly high without remission. After Bry, I prescribed Sulph. and then Puls because they told me that the child had developed some fear of the dark. The child was red with fright. The thirst had gone away by giving Bry. and Sulph. Now the child was warm and crying, and I prescribed Puls. A few more days passed and the child was worse. The fever continued and all of the symptoms became worse. The pediatrician was consulted and said that this was mononucleosis. I do not know the logic. Penicillin was prescribed to protect. Usually in mononucleosis they don’t give anything, but this was given to prevent a possible streptococcal pneumonia or something like that.
Response: Was there a monospot test done?
George: Yes, the test did not show very clearly that it was streptococcus. The child was given Penicillin for a week. See how we mess up cases? We need the help of allopathic medicine. This is a fact attributed to two factors: first because of my inability to prescribe correctly; secondly because of the anxiety of the parents to have the child treated and become well immediately.