Mom, I don’t know how to tell you this. I can’t believe we’re starting the quiz on a sad note.
Do you remember Debby Bruck, founder of Homeopathy World Community? I believe she interviewed you in 2012 on “Health Inn”? Well, apparently she had cancer. Anyway, her friend Kavitha just announced on Facebook that she passed away on May 5th.
Shana, this is a disaster! I never got to say good-bye to her! She created that website all by herself, you know—so brave, and all those interviews she did on “Health Inn” are a treasure!
Did you know she interviewed Caralyn? You know, Caralyn of Sufficient-C?
No, I did not know that! Where’s the link to Debby’s interview with Caralyn?
Here, and Mom, it takes about a minute for the video to start:
Thanks, I really want to watch this!
Can we have a moment of silence for Debbie Bruck, may she rest in peace? ………………………………………………………………………………….
Why don’t you report on what we did last month?
We went to a show at Monmouth University where we saw Jimmy Merchant of Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers and Daddy’s friend, Gaynell Hodge, originally of The Platters, and, oh, did I mention he also co-wrote “Earth Angel”?
So listen, here is Gaynell Hodge singing lead on “Father Time” by the Turks—I really like this song:
And here are Shana and Gaynell Hodge!!!!!
So, is that it? Good, cuz it’s time for the QUIZ!!!!!
Who’s in the Quiz this month?
Mom! That’s one of the yellow properties on the Monopoly board!
Well, it also happens to be our patient of the month! So, as I was saying….This case is the case of “Marvin Gardens” who, for a month, had been unable to walk normally and was in constant pain — just from playing Tennis! But he had gone way over-board with it! And I am finding out now that you should interchange your sports activities so that you’re not making the same “moves” over and over again, which can lead to something called “over-use” syndrome; see below:
“Wonder Woman” told me to get in touch with you. My son, “Marvin Gardens”, is suffering from pain in his left upper thigh. The pain starts around his left glute area and travels down to his knee. It is more intense when he puts weight on that leg; so, walking is bad. We refrained from all physical activity from the past one month. I have seen a Neuro-spine Surgeon initally, as they were suspecting that it might be associated with spine. But lumbar spine MRI findings were normal.
We were referred to Sports specialist at Boston Childrens Hospital. The doctor there suspected some inflammation in his iliac crest. Later he confirmed the same with the MRI of pelvis.
I’ll have to ask you to fill out the acute case questionnaire:
Name: “Marvin Gardens”
Age: 12.5 years
Male or Female: Male
Weight: 139.4 lbs
Height: 5’7 “
Email Address: MarvinGardens@****.com
- Describe the complaint
“Marvin” was playing in a tennis tournament during summer. He was playing for about 2 hours in the morning and sometimes 2 hrs. in the late evening. After about 30 days of this kind of practice, he started complaining that he had pain in his upper thigh. It hurts on the left glute into the thigh and comes down along the leg to his knee.
Is it sciatic nerve pain?
“Marvin” started playing tennis when he was around 6. He started hitting with dad initially and later joined YMCA. He plays in the local USTA tournaments. He aims to be a pro tennis player and gives a tough fight to the opponent. He goes for the most toughest ball. In that process he stretches his legs and arms. Couple of times he felt the pressure doing so. To improve his footwork he used to go for an hour workout almost every day during his practices. Apart from this he plays recreational soccer and basketball during spring, fall and winter seasons.
The pain is in the left glute. It increases with running or just putting weight on that leg. After a little activity like walking a little more or taking more stairs it starts to radiate down the leg and stops at his knee. The pain travels along the leg (the side of the leg). Sometimes he feels a thud-thud kind of pain too (like someone is punching).
Nothing. But the Physical therapist said that there is a change in his gait. He is not able to put pressure on left leg. He is kind of leaning to right when walking. He grew a lot in the last one year. He grew like 4 inches and gained a good amount weight too.
- Location–where on the body is your complaint located?
Left glute to upper thigh and sometimes knee
Cold packs make it better. Also when the PT was stretching his leg, he felt it was a little better. By stretching I mean he was holding the leg by his foot and pulling it away from the bed. He sits on the bed rather than on a chair. Sitting on the chair makes it more painful.
The pain keeps getting less and more intense but nothing else comes with it.
- The mentals:
“Marvin” is in 7th grade, this is when all the school sports club starts. He is not able to participate in the clubs nor able to run in his gym class. This is making him sad but he is not emotional.
- What have you been saying?
He comes back and says that his leg hurts.
- What are you doing?
For more than a month he is staying away from all sports and activity. He just comes home does his homework and watches any tennis matches on his computer. He is sitting most of the time.
- Describe your thirst and appetite–
His thirst is normal. He likes to drink any kind of store bought juice. I only buy them rarely. He is not craving anything in particular. He drinks a lot of water.
He used to sweat a lot when he was playing sports. But as of now he is quiet, normal.
- What is most striking, peculiar or identifying about your condition?
His gait has changed a little . He is avoiding the usage of left leg most of the time.
- Is there a diagnosis?
Iliac crest apophysitis. Inflammation around the growth plate.
- Describe your energy–
He is active at home and school. He is full of energy and bubbly. He will make his sister laugh and annoy her sometimes.
- What does your tongue look like?
Pink , white and long. Most of the times he gets mouth sores. They are very painful for few days and then they go away. From my observation if he eats more cheese or outside food he gets them on his tongue and lips.
- If you have a cough…
No cough. But when he starts sneezing he sneezes like 50 times. He has been doing it every morning after he wakes up and before he sleeps.
- If you haven’t already said if you’re hotter or colder than usual…
He always puts fan just beside his bed at night. He likes it when air blows on his face. He likes it cold when he sleeps.
- I need to know what you eat, drink and “take”.
We are Hindu vegetarians. He starts his day with a glass of milk. For breakfast he enjoys traditional food dosas and idlis or two slices of bread or just a banana and juice. For lunch we usually eat rice or roti. Sometimes sandwich or pasta. He loves pizza so once in a while he eats pizza. He keeps munching on any snacks like chips, popcorn cheese-itz, apples and chocolates. For dinner again it is rice or roti. I cook lentils everyday. He hates whole grains. But we take lentils, cooked vegetables and home made yogurt in both the meals. Sometimes he gets hungry after dinner and looks for something to eat like a cookie or chocolate.
In a message dated 9/9/2017… follow-up questions:
What are the doctors saying happened to the growth plate? And which growth plate is it, as there are two on each long bone, one at each end; so, on the femur, there would be two growth plates, which one is damaged? Are the doctors saying it’s a growth plate fracture? If not, what are they saying is wrong with it? And what have they proposed as a treatment other than rest? By the way, here is a great article on “over-use injuries” in children due to sports:
Is it sciatic nerve pain?
No, it is not sciatic nerve pain. The doctor initially suspected it to be sciatic nerve pain. After MRI’s they ruled out that problem.
You can’t see nerves on an MRI. I’m just wondering how the Dr. came to his conclusion based on an MRI. I mean, he suspected sciatica, right? He orders an MRI. He looks at the MRI and says, “No, it’s not sciatica.” But nerves don’t show up on an MRI. The case has all the symptoms of sciatica. I hope it IS sciatica, because that would be easier to cure.
I had the evaluation with PT last week. He said that “this problem is pretty new that they are seeing it in children who are playing sports and over using the growth plate.” That is why it took us for a while to diagnose the problem. The doctors in Boston Childrens see a lot of patients every day, so it was easy for them to identify the problem rather than the ones in NH.
I would like you to buy or order this remedy: _____________ 30C. He should take 3 doses a day in water with 5 succussions before each dose. If there’s an aggravation, stop dosing. If there’s a striking improvement, stop dosing. And Mrs. Gardens, I just have a bit of advice for you. When a person is playing sports to the extent that your son is, he has to eat like an athlete in order to support all the extra exertion! Your son is eating like a couch potato! He needs super nutrition: a protein shake in the morning, carrot/apple juice during the day…see my article “What To Feed Your Kids”:
In a message dated 9/12/2017 7:55:30 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, ********* writes:
“Marvin” says __________ 30c has worked a little bit.
In a message dated 9/13/2017 4:20:44 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, ********* writes:
“Marvin” is telling me that the pain is much better than yesterday. 50% better.
Oh my goodness! I am so excited! Listen, when he is more than 50 percent improved, cut back to two doses a day, and keep me posted. If he continues to improve, you can cancel his physical therapy.
In a message dated 9/14/2017 6:16:21 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, ********* writes:
“Marvin” is feeling a lot better today.
Can you give me a percentage? I believe yesterday it was 50%.
He is able to move his leg well and no pain while walking.
Thank you so much.
In a message dated 9/15/2017 5:06:43 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, ********* writes:
Today the pain is Zero. No pain at all.
Well, I guess that about wraps it up! What was the remedy? Write to me at LEWRA@aol.com and tell me, the answer will be in next month’s ezine. Bye for now!
How did we do this time? Does anybody want to be the first to step up to the microphone?
Hi Elaine ,
Not at all confident about this month’s answer. Going for Ferrum…
…as think it’s sciatica even though Doctor says otherwise, because nerves don’t show on MRI. Found Ferrum listed under sciatica, under worse sitting, worse standing and better stretching. Couldn’t find it under better cold applications though, which seems an important modality and seems to rule out Rhus tox and Ruta for complaints from over use.
Yes, “better cold” absolutely rules out Rhus tox and Ruta. In fact, “better cold” is so characteristic, I basically put two symptoms together: Neuralgia and Better Cold, and came up with Spigelia!!!!
A long time ago, I heard a lecture by Vasilis Ghegas on Trigeminal Neuralgia. He said, “It’s very simple; if it’s on the left side, it’s Spigelia. If it’s on the right side, it’s Mag-phos. If it’s better cold, it’s Spigelia. If it’s better heat, it’s Mag-phos.”
So with that information, I went right for Spigelia! This is my only Spigelia case ever!
Well it sounds simple when you put it like that. Must admit, only think of Spigelia in headaches so good to learn something.
That’s the thing with homeopathy, you’re often having to extrapolate something you know from a previous case and applying it to another one BECAUSE our Repertory is limited and incomplete, and in fact, being “complete” may be impossible, as we can never know all there is to know about a remedy! So, if you know that Spigelia’s keynote in facial neuralgia is “left side” and “better cold”, and you have a “sciatica” that is left-side and better cold, you’re within your rights to apply what you know about Spigelia to the sciatica.
My question is, can one modality carry more weight than others?
Yes, definitely! One modality might be a strange/rare/peculiar while another modality might be common and unremarkable or it may be inconclusive; like, for example, “worse sitting”; but the patient was OK to sit on the bed! So that modality is therefore confusing and inconclusive so you can’t use it. What he was, if I remember correctly, was “worse walking”–another reason it can’t be Rhus tox. So I did find this symptom: “Hips: pain, hips, gluteal region, walking”–there were only 2 remedies and one was, believe it or not, Spigelia! So, that rubric was a real gift to me, really confirmed my remedy choice!
Does Spigelia also have the modalities I mentioned?
Spigelia is a 1 under worse standing, not listed under worse stretching…however, that is also misleading because the patient wasn’t stretching his leg, per se; the physical therapist was “pulling” his leg by the foot, which may simply mean he was taking pressure off of whatever nerve was being impinged, which makes sense, doesn’t it? And you know, if a symptom “makes sense”, it’s not a “symptom”, and we can’t use it. So, we had 2 useful modalities in this case, “worse walking” and “better cold applications”. And by the way, I just checked the Repertory (Murphy’s), and Spigelia is a 3 under “Generals: walking agg”! Wow. How do you like that?!
Is anyone else here today? Oh look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane…. oh wait, it’s Sarah.
I hope you and Shana are well.
We’re plodding along…haphazzardly, mostly, but, forward, in a manner of speaking….
My condolences for the loss of your friend Debby Bruck. Its always so much harder to lose someone that helped so much in this world.
I know; I know!
I hope others come forward to carry her torch and bring homeopathy back and stronger than it ever was before.
That’s my hope too!
This quiz makes me nervous, the whole physical injury thing, it seems too easy.
But that’s just it, Sarah, it’s not really an injury as we know it, like if I fell and hit my head (Arnica). This is “over-use syndrome”; I guess they used to call it “repetitive stress disorder”. Not sure. But, it’s not in the Repertory anyway!
So four major remedies for post injury, other than Ledum which is a really specific case (puncture wounds) not applicable here. Hypericum is for nerve damage and/or nerve rich areas, so not that one either. Rhus Tox we would have seen more stiffness and more of an amelioration from motion, we didn’t; so, not Rhus T. That leaves Ruta and Arnica. Now I am not sure which one. Arnica is worse for heat, Ruta is not. Ruta is much worse for jar. But I guess being that this is an injury of the growth plate, kind of where the periosteum and joints are, Ruta seems to be a better fit. Ruta is my first choice and Arnica is my second.
Oh, wait a minute, I just thought of something. Calcarea Phos has problems that are the result of “ill-effects of over-growth”, which is kind of what happened to Marvin, at least partly, he grew a ton in a short while without enough nutritional support to make his growth structurally sound. Of course there was that other major factor of over doing it with the athletics. I’ll keep Calc Phos as a third choice.
Ok. Good idea with the calc-phos. But actually, Sarah, this was not an easy case, I will have to admit. Maybe not such a great quiz case cuz frankly, I can’t see anyone getting it right; but what I like about the case was the way the patient responded so quickly and unambiguously to the remedy after being in pain for a month with no end in sight, and no allopathic treatment under consideration whatsoever (not that that should surprise any of us…) so, I liked the fact that the case was so strikingly cured! But, I sincerely doubt that anyone is going to get the right answer. It’s Spigelia, and this is my first Spigelia case ever; so, not a common remedy by any means. And how did I come up with it? Basically, it was simple: nerve pain (“neuralgia”), better cold applications; and also, left-sided complaints. So, that pretty much covered it!
Wow. Marvin had a really impressive response to the remedy. I always thought Spigelia had a really severe pain,
Yes, it does.
It is really cool to see it working on just everyday neuralgia.
What is “everyday neuralgia”? Nerve pain is always severe if you ask me. Sciatica is quite extreme, I’ve had it myself, I’m sorry to say. Here’s what his mother said:
“Wonder Woman” told me to get in touch with you. My son, “Marvin Gardens”, is suffering from pain in his left upper thigh. The pain starts around his left glute area and travels down to his knee. It is more intense when he puts weight on that leg; so, walking is bad. We refrained from all physical activities from the past one month. I have seen Neuro-spine Surgeon initially, as they were suspecting that it might be associated with spine. But lumbar spine MRI findings were normal . … The pain keeps getting less and more intense but nothing else comes with it.
What we’re hearing from this statement is that there are times when the pain, to use her words, “intense”.
Thank you for the quiz Elaine, I didn’t win, but I am going to win some knowledge instead.
Left-sided nerve pain + better cold applications = Spigelia.
Thank you Elaine for all your hard work. Wishing you health, wealth and happiness.
Thanks, I could use all of those things! Is anybody else here today?
Hi Elaine and Shana,
Hope you are doing well by the grace of Almighty.
Doing well, thanks!
In this quiz I only get this one rubric:
“legs, sciatica, pain, injury after”: Arnica, Hypericum, Ruta.
I can see why you picked that rubric but I think it’s too small. For example, let’s think of a very common nerve pain remedy–like Mag-phos. It’s not there! What about Colocynth? That’s not there either! And I think the reason why is because this is an etiology rubric: “ailments from injury”; so, naturally, we come up with “injury remedies”, right? But, are we sure this is an “injury”, per se? It’s “over-use” syndrome, aka, “repetitive stress disorder”, not quite the same as an injury as we know it, like a fall.
Arnica is not appropriate in this case. Between Hypericum and Ruta I will vote for Hypericum as it covers inflammation due to wounds. Though I could not find the appropriate rubric like sciatica ameliorated on stretching the leg.
But think about it. He didn’t really stretch his leg. The therapist “pulled his leg”, and that may have removed pressure from the nerve that was being squeezed, hence the pain goes away for the moment. Where do we find that in the Repertory? We can’t.
Or sciatica pain relieved by cold application.
See, now you’re getting somewhere! That and “worse walking”. In fact, here is our case:
Generals: neuralgic pain
Generals: cold, wet applications amel.
Generals: sides of body, left side
Generals: walking agg.
And the winner is……..Spigelia! See repertorization below:
I think I see Wayne charging this way.
Hi Elaine. This case is confusing because it looks so like sciatica.
It is sciatica! The doctors are not acquitting themselves well here at all! First they said it was Sciatica, then they looked at an MRI that doesn’t show the nervous system and said it wasn’t. They were completely clueless about this case, had no treatment whatsoever, made vague references to “growth plate”, let me tell you, if this kid hadn’t come to a homeopath or other alternative practitioner, who knows if he ever would have gotten better? To me this was a case of neuralgia, left sided, better cold applications, worse walking. That’s it! That’s the case!
If the problem is with the bones I would prescribe Symphytum. The unusual part of the case is that it is better with cold and this indicates 3 remedies, Bryonia, Bufo, and Iris Versicolour. Iris has symptoms which go from the left hip to the back of the knee, and seems more appropriate; so, for the case of sciatica I would prescribe Iris Versicolor. The information you supplied with the case was very interesting.
Thank you. It was actually Spigelia. Nerve pain (neuralgia), better cold, worse walking, left-sided. Very simple. Thanks for voting!
Oh, look! It’s the gang from Slovakia!
Hello Elaine and Shana,
Hi Miroslav and Jitka!
as every month, even now we send our responses to your very interesting quiz.
Miroslav votes for Ledum.
Here’s what he says (I will translate): In this case, it probably doesn´t matter, whether it is a sciatic pain or other reason. In this case, I was most attracted by two symptoms: movement aggravates and cold application ameliorates.
You’re right about the modalities, but we still have to know what’s wrong with the patient! People are forgetting all about “Repertory Round-Up, Part 4”! Please read again or you’ll make mistakes in prescribing:
What is number-2 on the “Hierarchy of Symptoms”? Diagnosis! We have to know what’s wrong! I have to be able to say, “I’ve got a neuralgia case here that’s better cold and worse motion.” Let’s say it’s a sprained ankle with the same modalities: “I’ve got a sprained ankle here that’s better cold and worse motion.” They’re two different remedies, even though the modalities are the same! This is why we have to know what’s wrong. In one, we need a nerve remedy, in the other, we need a muscle remedy. The sprained ankle, better cold, worse motion is probably Bryonia.
The second symptom excluded all “warm” remedies which I took into account whether a sciatic pain or another cause of pain. The only remedy came out of it: Ledum.
I was surprised, as there is no cold swelling and moreover, the symptoms of Ledum move from the bottom up which is not in this case. Well, on the other hand, Herscu says about this remedy (Ledum) that it’s a combination of Hypericum and Arnica.
Jitka votes for Arnica
I felt completely confused while reading your quiz. There were a few hypothetical diagnoses and and several significant symptoms. I struggled to match symptoms of left sided remedies with cold applications, which ameliorate, plus a desire to be fanned…
Whoa! Slow down! “Desires to be fanned, although a very interesting symptom, is the way he ALWAYS is and, therefore, is not a part of the (acute) case; so, we just ignore that!
…plus, an aggravation when walking, and so on. Whenever I thought I had found the right remedy there appeared something in a remedy picture that didn’t fit to Marvin’s case. So I decided to vote for Arnica, which is used frequently for muscles and limbs over-use and overstraining.
OK, but wait. If we can agree that this is “nerve pain”, and we go to the rubric for that — “Generals: neuralgia”– Arnica is only a 1 in that rubric and there are 8 remedies in BOLD. Remember how you once said, “Elaine, I will always remember now: first find the ‘City’, then find the ‘Streets’!” But you and Miroslav have gone for the streets and ignored the city; and remember, in almost every city, there is a “Main Street”, a “Broadway”, not to mention “Oak Lane”, “Pine Street”, “The Parkway”, and maybe even “River Drive”! We have an East and West River Drive here in Philadelphia. So the first thing, if someone’s trying to find the “East River Drive”, is to find out what city he’s in! Right? Because if every city has a “River Drive” or “River Road” or River Parkway”, then saying to someone, “How can I get to East River Drive from here?” isn’t going to get you very far unless you first say that you’re in Philadelphia! So, in that context, we have to first say that this is a case of Neuralgia (the “City”) that is left-sided, better cold applications and worse for walking. When stated in this way, the remedy is…….Spigelia! Spigelia is in Bold for “neuralgia”. And it is better for cold applications.
Thank you for your review. I didn’t think that my answer would be right, it was just an emergency solution. I just want to say that I didn’t forget about your “city-first-then-streets” strategy, but the “city” I picked was “Legs, sciatica”, and there was no subrubric for cold applications amel. Just cold agg.
Yes, I see that. This is why the “better cold” modality is so important, because it’s so peculiar! We don’t expect sciatica to get better from cold! But, when you can’t find your modality under your complaint, which happens a lot, go to “Generals”!
I found a rubric “cold application amel.” in the “extremities” chapter.
I can’t find it. But you can always go to “Generals, wet applications, cold, amel.” 27 remedies.
“Extremities, limbs; pain; better cold applications”. In this rubric there are seven remedies
Oh! Well, that is very under-populated if there are 27 remedies in Generals that are better cold! Also, “pain in limbs”, is not quite accurate. Marvin actually has hip pain (“left glute”, as his mother says); the pain only extends to his leg when he walks. So, I went to the “Hips” chapter in Murphy’s Repertory, scrolled down to “pain”, scrolled down again to “gluteal”; so, “Hips, pain, gluteal” and under “gluteal” was “walking”. Marvin’s mother made a big point of saying the pain was much worse on walking. So, there were only two remedies in that rubric–Spigelia and Tabaccum, and Tabaccum isn’t in the “neuralgia” rubric at all, while Spigelia is there as a 3; so, the remedy clearly is Spigelia.
I tried to assign symptoms as “left sided remedy”, “walking aggr.”, “walking crookedly“…
That’s not a symptom either. It means he’s limping because of pain. If a symptom “makes sense”, then it’s not a symptom. You can’t use it. We’d all be limping if we had hip pain.
…and Guaiacum was the most similar of all, but I was not persuaded fully about it. That’s why I deleted all my findings and I took into account only the etiology when Marvin over-used his muscles and tendons; so, I choose Arnica as an emergency remedy.
Right, but our etiology is very shaky here. Better to go for what’s peculiar and characteristic in the case. You know, to tell you the truth, Miroslav came closest with his vote for Ledum, because the subrubrics under “Legs: sciatica” include “Sciatica, walking agg.”–13 remedies with Ledum as a 2 (there are no 3’s) and Ledum is famous for being better for cold applications, so, in that sense, Miroslav did well with his choice. The problem here is that once again, the Repertory has shown itself to be defective! So, you chose “Legs, sciatica” as the “City” while I chose “Generals, neuralgia” and it turned out that the winning remedy was there. It should have been under Sciatica too! I think you came very close.
Well, we didn’t have any winners this time, though I didn’t really expect any as Spigelia is a very small remedy; but, now maybe you’ll think of it in left-sided Sciatica, better cold; and Trigeminal Neuralgia, left side, better cold.
See you again next time!
Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine takes online cases! Write to her at LEWRA@aol.com
Visit her website: www.ElaineLewis.hpathy.com