To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – Another Sneezer, Another Giant Pile Of Tissues!
OK, let’s see who has the courage to come up and give an answer to this quiz!
Hi, Elaine. It’s Gelsemium.
Thanks for voting, Nola, and welcome to the hpathy quiz! I understand why you picked Gelsemium. “Otis” was dull and just wanted to lie down. But the increased thirst contradicts Gelsemium. Gelsemium is famous for being thirstless.
I have to tell you that I was feeling hopeless about finding a remedy for this case until I saw “increased thirst and increased appetite”. It’s very unusual for a person with a fever to have an appetite–especially considering the fact that he’s got a sore throat and who wants to eat with a sore throat? Normally, a fever destroys your appetite! So a symptom like this is a real Red Flag!
I went right away to the Fever chapter in the Repertory and hoped I would be able to find “appetite increased”; but, alas, no such rubric existed. So I went to the Food chapter (I have Murphy’s Repertory) and I looked up “appetite” and hoped there would be a subrubric “fever”… and there was! “Food: appetite, increased, fever, during”–8 remedies but only 1 in BOLD–Phosphorus! And what else does Phosphorus have? Increased thirst! And what else did “Otis” have? Increased thirst! So there it was, our remedy, Phosphorus!
So, in solving a case, we look for these gifts, these gems; it’s like rummaging through a cereal box looking for the little gift they’ve hidden inside–a whistle, a charm, etc. Do they still hide prizes in cereal boxes? I remember there was always a surprise in a Cracker Jack box:
So this is the scenario, you’re rummaging through the case looking for the hidden “gem”! You shouldn’t think when you have an acute case before you that your job is to repertorize every single symptom the patient has: runny nose, scratchy throat, wants to lie down, muscle aches, fever, etc. If that’s all you’ve got going for you, all I can say is, good luck!
Instead, imagine you’re in a card game and you’re dealt a hand of cards. You’re holding 7 cards in your hand, and none of them makes any sense all by themselves until you put them in order! What is your “strong suit”? Is it that you’ve got all spades? Is it that you’ve got an Ace? Is it that you’ve got 2 fours and 2 tens? In our case, we happen to have an Ace–even 2 Aces: We’ve got “increased appetite during fever” and “increased thirst”. That’s what I went with.
Last month’s case was another sneezer, remember? “Wonder Boy”? How did I solve that case? I found an Ace: “loose cough but can’t expectorate”. That’s a big red flag for Antimonium tart. Then, in looking up Antimonium tart, I found the whole rest of the case there–irresistible desire to sleep, delirium (which the mother described as “babbling”)–disagreeable mood, thirsty for sips at a time…and there it was, practically every aspect of the case fit Antimonium tart. But it all started with finding the “gift” in the cereal box–“loose cough, can’t expectorate”. That was the gift. Did you see the answer to last month’s quiz? Due to the fact that everybody thought the remedy was Arsenicum (“thirsty for sips at a time and restlessness”), I actually posted a video of an Arsenicum flu so that you could see it for yourself. Click below and the video is on the last page, I believe:
If you missed it, please click on the link above.
Thanks for voting, Nola; hope to see you again next month! Is anybody else here? Oh look, it’s the twins from Slovakia!
Mom, they’re not twins!
Hello, Elaine and Shana.
Hello Miroslav and Jitka!!!
Here we are again with our desperate attempts to guess your instructive quiz.
I’m sure you’ll do fine!
Miroslav guesses Gelsemium
In this case I was most impressed with fatigue, the whole body aches, vertigo and also nasal symptoms which suggest Gelsemium.
See, here’s the problem. None of that is impressive! When you have a virus with a fever? It’s all very common–fatigue, body aches, nasal symptoms, and by the way, there’s no vertigo here. Vertigo is very serious. He says he feels “light-headed” which is nothing and very common considering he has a virus and a fever, but, there is no vertigo, the light-headedness is very minor.
However, patient claims he was thirsty, which could virtually rule out this remedy.
Yes, it actually DOES rule out the remedy! That should have been the end of Gelsemium!
But Gelsemium can feel thirsty when perspires (what the patient did not mention)
But “Otis” had no perspiration. The questionnaire asks about perspiration (sweating) and he said no.
In Phatak´s MM Gelsemium is said to be usually without thirst, which means not explicitly without thirst.
OK, OK, here’s the thing: we can’t start picking remedies based on their exception! We would have to have a compelling reason to pick a remedy on that basis. It’s a fact that just about every remedy that’s in BOLD for a symptom is also in “plain type” for the opposite symptom! Phosphorus, for example, is Bold/Underlined for “Thirst” but it’s also in plain type under “Thirstless”! Does that mean that when we see a thirstless patient our first thought can be Phosphorus? No! We’re going to be thinking of Pulsatilla or Gelsemium or Belladonna in such a case–not Phosphorus, unless we have some compelling reason to consider it; like for example, let’s say the patient says, “I’m not drinking any water!” So naturally, we’re going to think he’s thirstless, right? But then we get suspicious because he’s also saying that he’s scared of the dark, scared of ghosts, wants company and is better for consolation. So we’re going to think, “Well, I’m not comfortable giving Phosphorus because he’s not drinking; but, most of the case has Phosphorus written all over it; and, well, Phosphorus IS a 1 under “Thirstless”, so, maybe I should go with it.” So you give Phosphorus and the patient gets better! And he says, “I’m so much better now, and that burning thirst is gone!” And you’re like, “What burning thirst?” And he says, “Yeah, I was sooo thirsty! But drinking water made me throw up, so I wasn’t drinking anything!” YOU NEVER ASKED HIM why he wasn’t drinking!!!
Always ask the patient “Why?”. “Why aren’t you drinking?” Some remedies like Belladonna are thirsty but have an aversion to drinking! The rabies remedies are like that–Belladonna, Stramonium, Hyoscyamus. As rabies remedies, you can imagine that they have an aversion to water.
But, here’s what you’ve done, here was your reasoning: “The common symptoms of this illness (which I’m NOT supposed to be prescribing on) match Gelsemium; so, I’m going to go with it, even though Gelsemium is thirstless and the patient is thirsty.” No, no, no, this is very bad reasoning! Throw OUT the common symptoms! If the illness explains the symptoms, then they’re not symptoms–to US! They may be symptoms to the doctor, but they’re not symptoms to us. So if a person has a fever and he’s light-headed, that’s COMMON, the fever explains it! Fevers will do that, just ignore it! And if a person has a headache with a fever, just ignore it, and if he has body aches with a fever, just ignore it, UNLESS there’s something peculiar about it! So really, all you’ve got so far, as a “symptom” that means anything to us, is “increased thirst”! Is Gelsemium going to be your first thought for that? No.
Here’s how you can be misled in a Gelsemium case: The patient isn’t drinking so you conclude he’s not thirsty. Meanwhile, in typical Gelsemium fashion, and unbeknownst to you, he asked for water, it was brought to him, and he was too apathetic to reach for it! Apathy is a hallmark of Gelsemium! You would assume, “Hmm….he’s not drinking, so he must not be thirsty, so it must be Gelsemium!” The fact is, if you would put the glass in his hand, he might drink it! You know what a thirsty Gelsemium is? Baptisia! When you see someone who, for all the world, looks like Gelsemium except he’s thirsty? Think of Baptisia, especially if the patient smells bad! If he doesn’t smell bad, you’re still between Gelsemium and Baptisia–unless he’s guzzling down water, in which case, you would have to go with Baptisia. So remember, Baptisia is apathetic, droopy, drowsy, dizzy and dull, just like Gelsemium, except he’s thirsty, smells bad, and seems a lot sicker!
My first thought was a routine remedy–Allium cepa, but it is ameliorated outdoors, which doesn´t fit here. Arsenicum would be very restless and have burning discharges from eyes. Also Rhus-t. came to my mind but he wouldn´t want to rest probably, there would be restlessness. It could be Nux-v. too but this remedy is very nervous, there would be a kind of anxiety.
“Nervous” and “anxiety” are a bit too general as they might apply to anyone. Nux vomica is impatient, rushed, irritable, angry, demanding, rude and hypersensitive to the least impression, whether it’s too much light, noise, a draft of air, cooking odors…everything gets on Nux vomica’s nerves!
Jitka guesses Nux vomica
Now I feel like Socrates, “I know that I know nothing.” I lingered among several remedies that are susceptible to colds and have a lot sneezing and watery discharges in their picture, but there was always something that didn´t reflect completely the complaints of “Otis”. Finally I decided for Nux v. Nux v. is very chilly and has aversion to cold. He is aggravated with cold and ameliorated with warmth. He must be covered in every stage of fever and chill. It has acrid watery coryza, a frequent sneezing. It is also in the rubric: Throat; scraping; with capital letters. I’m just embarrassed that Nux v. has no nasal discharge in the night, only during the day. So I guess something is probably wrong with my guess.
Yeah, I guess so. It’s true that Nux v. is a big sneezer; the problem is, there are about 100 remedies under “frequent sneezing”. The coldness–he doesn’t actually say he’s cold. He says if he goes out in the cold the sneezing gets worse. Nux v is actually very cold and worse slightest draft of air. They are also very irritable and impatient when they’re sick. So, the mentals don’t match. Although I can see trying Nux vomica, I wouldn’t have much confidence in the outcome though.
You have both missed the peculiar symptom in the case; not that frequent sneezing isn’t peculiar, it’s just that there are so many remedies to choose from in that rubric, it’s not going to help us.
We are looking forward to hearing the correct answer.
Have a nice pre-Christmas time.
Thanks, same to you! And now, coming to us from the cradle of civilization…we have…the lovely and talented…Maria Theodorou from Greece! Maria, come on down!!!!
Hi Elaine and Shana!
For this month’s quiz, I don’t know what the remedy is!
Well great, that’s just great!
I thought of Arsenicum but the mentals dont match. Gelsemium fits but patient said he was feeling more thirsty.
Right, so, bye-bye Gelsemium.
Nothing fits entirely. Got any hints?
It was a peculiar symptom–and then the thirst confirmed it! What about this patient is peculiar?
Well I think it was the increased appetite?
YES! YES! That’s IT!
I can’t recall myself ever feeling hungry during fever.
In that case Phosphorus could be the remedy!
It is! You got it! And of course, the increased thirst confirms it! Good for you!
WOW Elaine, you got some awesome quizzes going on in the last months.
Really? I did? I have?
I am amazed by the way you spot the peculiar symptom.
You gotta admit, hunger with a fever? No way! When does that ever happen? So that jumped right in my face! And of course, the increased thirst is what Phosphorus is known for. In fact, I have a trick to share with you. We have a few tricks in homeopathy, a few “sure things”, “short-cuts”, you might say, that we’re always hoping to find in a case, and thirst is one of them! Thirst is very important to us, a very important clue! Once you’ve gotten down to the patient’s thirst? You can eliminate half the remedies you’re considering! If the patient is noticeably thirsty, right away you’re at Phosphorus, Bryonia, Arsenicum…! So it’s very easy: Bryonia wants everyone to leave, Phosphorus wants everyone to stay (but you don’t mind staying with Phosphorus) and Arsenicum wants everyone to stay but NO ONE wants to stay with Arsenicum! They are clingy and desperate! “Don’t go!” they say. You’re thinking, “I’ll never get out of here!”
Phosphorus will often say that they are dying for more ice water but they’re afraid if they drink it, they will throw it up within minutes. Arsenicum is thirsty, but they will take one sip and put the cup down. And then a few seconds or minutes later, they will pick the cup up again, take a sip, then put it down again; whereas, Phosphorus and Bryonia will gulp the glass down. So the thirst question is very important to us. When a patient says he’s more thirsty than usual, you should be thinking about Phosphorus right away.
Phosphorus wants company and is easily reassured. If you tell them they’re going to be OK, they’ll believe you! Arsenicum will NOT believe you! Arsenicum will want you to say it over and over again! “Are you sure I’m going to be OK? How do you know? Promise me you won’t leave! Are you sure I’m gonna be OK?” Like I said, see my video of an Arsenicum flu from last month’s quiz answer. It’s the Antimonium tart quiz but everyone thought it was Arsenicum.
I have to be more careful when I read cases. By the way, I loved the last case in Tidbits! Apis, huh?! That was a surprise! I guessed it correctly but I was thinking to myself, “No way, it won’t be Apis.”
That was my thought too! That was NOT my idea of a “swollen” knee! Here is an Apis case I recently took–a swollen knee from a bad skiing accident. Look at the size of the right knee! Now that’s a swollen knee!
But my case? I was staring at both knees after nothing worked, trying to find a difference between the two of them, feeling them for “bony-ness”, and deciding that the left knee had a slightly less bony feeling than the right knee, but it was so subtle! I was really going out on a limb–ha-ha! pardon the pun–when I decided that my left knee was swollen and needed Apis!
You can say that again! If you don’t know which article Maria and I are talking about, it’s this one:
So, OK everybody, it’s time to congratulate our winner, Maria, and all our other good guessers: Nola, Miroslav and Jitka.
See ya next year!
Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine takes online cases! Write to her at [email protected]
Visit her website: elaineLewis.hpathy.com