XA, a 39 yr old woman, was very ill. She was on a long spiritual trip to India and had probably eaten food that was not hygienically prepared at some point. The start of symptoms was a whole 3 months earlier (Feb ’05). From then on she developed severe abdominal problems of daily pain, diarrhea, flatulence inability to eat and weight loss. She now was having about 12 – 14 watery stools a day that were very offensive, yellow and profuse and hot. Along with this was flatulence, bloating, nausea and a complete loss of appetite. Everything she ate seems to spark off the diarrhea attack with a lot of gurgling felt in her chest and abdomen. With this she was very, very thirsty for luke warm water but despite drinking water all the time she continued to feel dehydrated and her mouth remained dry. Diarrhea was worse from fried food, better while lying down and laying her hands gently on her abdomen relieved her very much. She felt fatigued and also restless with thoughts continuously running through her head. She was thermally very hot as she always is. She had tried Aloes, Sulphur and Acid Phos in rotation, and quite a few other remedies earlier – nothing seemed to help.
She had stayed in a hostel, while studying homeopathy in one of the Indian cities, while also attending an ashram for Spiritual guidance with a Guruji. But the study had been exhausting though stimulating and she was looking forward to the next part of her trip to Rishikesh. She longed to get back to the mountains there which was always very uplifting; of being one with nature and with the ‘energy’, surrounded by spiritual people chanting and singing spiritual songs.
I realised we were working with a chronic abdominal problem (probably Giardiasis and/or Amoebiasis) that was still in its acute expression. Since she was traveling, it was not possible to get a complete chronic history from her. We decided the best thing to do at that point was to treat the acute episodes with a good acute remedy. Repertorizing the above symptoms:
Watery X yellow X offensive diarrhea: acon., Agaricus, aloe, alum-sil., Ant-c., ant-t., Apis, Apocynum, aran., Arg-n., arn., Arsenicum, ars-i., Asafoetida, asar., asc-t., bamb-a., Baptisia, bar-m., bor., bov., brom., Bryonia, Calcarea, Carb-v., Carbn-s., Chamomilla, chin., cocc., Colchicum, coloc., cop., Crot. horridus, croto-t., dig., dios., Dulcamara, fl-ac., Gambogia, Gratiola, hep., hyos., iod., ip., Iris, Kali-ar., kali-c., Kali-p., kali-s., Lachesis, lept., Lycopodium, lycps., med., Mercurius, Merc-c., nat-c., Natrum mur., nat-p., Nat-s., nit-ac., Nux-m., Nux-v., Olnd., petr., Ph-ac., Phosphorus, plb., Podophyllum, Pulsatilla, rheum, Rhus-t., ric., sanic., Secale, sep., sul-ac., sul-i., Sulphur, tab., ter., Thuja, Tuberculinum, Veratrum
STOOL; HOT (K638, G545) (RECTUM; Pain; burning; diarrhea; during)
STOMACH; THIRST; unquenchable, constant (K530, G451) (burning, vehement) (extreme)
Dryness of tongue X thirst with: Aconite, aloe, apoc., arg-n., arn., Arsenicum, bar-c., Belladonna, Bryonia, Camph., canth., carb-an., carbn-s., Causticum, cench., Chamomilla, chel., China, chin-s., coc-c., Cocc., graph., kali-bi., kali-br., kali-i., kreos., Lachesis, laur., lyc., mag-m., merc-c., mez., nat-c., Natrum mur., nit-ac., Nux-m., op., petr., phos., phyt., Rhus-t., sec., stram., Sulphur, tab., verat.
GENERALITIES; FOOD and drinks; fats and rich food; agg. (K1363, SII-240, SII-241, G1124) (heavy food – oil – pork – rich)
RECTUM; DIARRHEA; food; rich, after (K613, G524)
ABDOMEN; RUB, desire to (Pain; general; rubbing amel.)
GENERALITIES; LYING; amel.; back, on (K1372, SII-356, G1131)
The choices that came up were Phos, Bryonia and Puls. I had to be precise as she had taken so many remedies over the last couple of months and nothing had helped even a little. I asked her to tell me exactly what her mental state was. She missed the ‘pure’ love she experienced through her Gurugi. This man had found his path and was so obviously at peace with himself that it seemed to amplify her own loneliness /lack of spirituality. He had found his path/way and he was a manifestation of true divine love. Even the attraction of the Rishikesh, could not make up for this. She missed the sincere love she experienced. This was her present emotional state.
The obvious choice for her now was Phosphorous (April ’05). She needed just a few doses of 200C and she felt an immediate relief that she never experienced before. She was able to continue the rest of the travel (over the next 3 weeks or so) with hardly any episodes of diarrhea but needed to be very careful about her diet. The minute she ate something that did not agree with her, she started the diarrhea again.
Chronic History and Constitutional Remedy:
There was a break of a month and a half because she was unable to keep in touch. She took the Phos 30C if necessary and then she had with a bad viral infection, fever, etc for which she was given herbal treatment at the nature cure centre. She took more than a week to recover from this. When she contacted me again she said:
“I had an emotional meltdown (angry and critical) recently (early June) and got very upset with the people at the nature cure centre. After being here so long, I have not felt any great overall improvement with their treatment. I’ve been having diarrhea 10-12 times a day, watery stools. They have been reducing in number slowly but the stools were still watery. Still sensitive to different foods. Its only in the last couple of days that they have become semisolid. I’m down to 51 kgs (a loss of 8 kgs) and I have to be careful with my diet.”
Somehow she managed to give me a complete history partly by email and partly on the phone. She first gave me a very detailed and critical description of her physical appearance (mostly negative), which I thought may be a characteristic symptom. She had a history of frequent ear infections, chest infections during her childhood and teenage years with a few episodes of pneumonia and asthma as well. She was left with a chronic type of sinusitis at present.
Her mother died of bowel cancer while in her mid thirties, and her father suffered from Polio. One brother was born deaf, a sister has scoliosis. There is a history of tuberculosis, heart problems, manic depression and cancer in her immediate family members. All this cautioned me about strong tubercular and syphilitic diathesis which had to be reflected in the constitutional remedy choice.
The details of her general complaints were: Hot +++, all complaints aggravated by heat. Also she had excessive perspiration, in the groin area, palms and soles. She drank large quantities of water lukewarm (!) and had a big appetite, but had to eat very frequently otherwise she would feel very faint from hunger. She has no sexual desire at all over the last 8 years, and is unmarried at present.
She described herself as a loner, very sensitive and judgmental with suicidal tendencies. She loved music, listening to mantras being sung always made her feel so much better spiritually. She loved to travel because it helped her get out of mundane life. She hated the routine of work and being stuck to a job, but she could do nothing about it as she had to earn for her living. She also disliked studying and working very hard.
Her relationship with her family is good but not close, because she says she is a closed person and does not share herself. Her friends say they don’t really know her. She has always had a fear of being robbed or raped. Her most painful memories were of relationships breaking up. It would take her a long time to get over a broken relationship. For the last 10 years she has not been in any relationship.
She feels an inability to forgive deep hurts of her past, which she would like to change. She also feels very strongly about injustice and abuse of power in society and it is these situations that can bring on the depression. She tends to get very critical of people and their faults just as she is very critical of herself and says this may be a projection because she does not love herself. So she does not like talking with others and much prefers keeping to herself.
Emotionally, she has a lot of suppressed anger and grief. She does not like consolation. The anger is more prominent than the grief right now. She is very angry about having diarrhea so many months and no one has been able to cure it. She has tried everything – all types of therapy in India.
She has never been able to grieve as tears were not accepted in her childhood home. When her mother died when she was 6 years old, she was not allowed to be part of this. She was not even told that her mother was ill, an uncle broke the news of her death. This was told to her near a river and she remembers her first reaction was a desire to jump into the river from shock and grief and abandonment. She was taken to live with relatives and she does not remember asking for more information again. Once her father married again, she had a pretty happy childhood as her step mother was a loving person. On reflection, from her return to her family home at seven, to early thirties she was mostly very happy, full of life, always in relationships, popular, full of energy and sociable. It came so easily to her. Now its the opposite.