The mother had seven months before given birth to her third son via planned caesarean section. Since his birth, and completely unlike his siblings, he had become severely constipated, passing stools only once every 10 days. Even those with very little imagination can easily see how much discomfort and uproar such a state must bring about.
This infant wakes frequently throughout the night and his crying often disturbs his brothers, causing frayed tempers the next day. He is restless, miserable, cries easily without tears (day and night) especially when alone.He cries and kicks his legs between mouthfuls of food which make mealtimes quite difficult. He is often miserable and requires constant stimulation. His attention is not held for long, though he does enjoy watching his brothers play and will smile and giggle when entertained.
This baby naps for very short periods throughout the day and wakes in a miserable state 3 or 4 times a night and is generally fed twice. Recently he has been holding his head a lot, sometimes banging it against his cot and his mother thinks he may be suffering from headaches. During the day, he constantly fidgets and arches his back at times when he seems in discomfort. When breastfed, he was restless and frequently came off the breast and would regurgitate during feeds and vomit after. This response to feeds worsened after he was switched to dairy formula and when a specialist switched him to a non-milk formula. At 4 months his stools changed from small hard round dark stools to lighter coloured stools which were more loose, though the frequency has remained unaltered and occurs every 10 days and there is fruitless straining to pass stools in between passing stools. The vomiting response continues with non-dairy feeds and his mother must keep him very quiet and still after meals to limit vomiting.
A paediatrician prescribed Renitadene (for suspected stomach ulcer), Lactulose and Infant Gaviscon in large feeds as well as a non-dairy formula, Nutramigen because of failure to thrive, vomiting and feeding problems and constipation since birth. The child received only 4 doses of Renitadene and Lactulose because his vomiting increased and it made no impact on constipation.
As a fourth year student about to qualify that year, my head was full of the various methods that might apply in this case,though the remedy for this problem seemed plain to me, as the etiology was related to the Caesarian which was the fundamental difference between the birth of the youngest child and his siblings. The Tubercular miasm was also apparent in the family history.I believed that the anaesthetic used during childbirth and the remains of same in the mother’s breast milk was responsible for paralysing her infant’s bowels.The chosen remedy might also turn out to be his constitutional, keeping in mind his red hair.
What follows is a testimony to the brilliance of Hahnemann’s genius:
I prescribed Phosphorus 6c in water and during the night the infant produced 2 ‘normal’ nappies for the first time in his little life.
His mother rang me excitedly the next day to thank me profusely for this outcome, saying that I had returned the little boy she had expected to give birth to, because for the very first time the following morning his miserable disposition had been replaced by a happy, smiling one. I still recall the hairs going up on the back of my neck on learning of this marvellous turn-round in this infant’s health.
Apart from raising the potency to 12c nothing more was necessary for this child as the constipation, vomiting and misery all stopped once his bowels started working properly.
Interestingly his mother highlighted the following fact:
Prior to receiving the homeopathic wet dose her son had always turned away when she offered him water to drink but now, it was as if he wisely knows that what is in the water is good for him and so he drinks it gladly.