This case is so instructive, it will change the way you practice!–Elaine Lewis
From: Homoeopathy in Medicine and Surgery – Edmund Carleton, M. D. Boericke & Tafel – 1913
A business man, fifty five years of age, in November was under the care of a stomach specialist who, after examination of test breakfasts (gavage aggravated the sufferings) and the dejecta and physical examination, made positive diagnosis of cancer of the stomach and advised immediate operation by a surgeon whom he named, saying that otherwise death would result in six months. He could not promise non-recurrence. I have documentary evidence of the foregoing. The patient dreaded the table and was induced to try Homoeopathy.
I adopted the special microscopical and chemical examinations of my predecessor, and, having found a tumor of the pylorus, made positive diagnosis of cancer of the stomach.
Without minimizing the trouble or exciting rosy hopes, I expressed willingness to take the case, in the firm belief, also expressed, that pure Homoeopathy would accomplish more of good than could be gained by any and all other means.
His attacks of “colic” began in the stomach, extended to the left breast, then were felt in the entire epigastric region, and passed to the lower angle of the right scapula, accompanied by a sensation of a belt pressing around the waist, with nausea and pyrosis. He leaned backward to obtain slight relief from the excruciating pain. The attacks were most severe from eleven a. m. to noon, from four to six p. m., when the stomach was empty and after swallowing cold substances. Amelioration followed the injection of hot substances. There existed great soreness of the stomach, made worse by the jar of stepping. Lying upon the right side also caused pain. He had been a rapid eater and had consumed much salt. He wore a truss to restrain a hernia near the umbilicus, but neither hernia nor truss seemed to be a factor in the disease of the stomach.
Chelidonium majus has a variety of pains in the stomach which are relieved by swallowing hot substances and by bending backward. The latter clause is not to be found in the books, but has been repeatedly verified by me in practice. The same drug has a feeling as if a cord were tied around the waist, and a sharp pain under the scapula. Hence this medicine enjoyed a decided advantage over others which clamored for first place. Influenced by former successes in curing similar pains, I dissolved chelidonium, Fincke’s cm. potency, in hot water and gave teaspoonful doses every five minutes when the “colic” was on, and discontinued to give when it abated. The medicine worked beautifully for forty-eight hours and then was spent. Having given the similar remedy we were, at this juncture, rewarded with a new picture of the disease.
He was apprehensive; restless, wanted to lie in bed a short time, next to sit in a chair, then to walk the floor, then to lie on the lounge, and so on; thirsty for frequent sips of water; desired external heat and was relieved by it; and wanted two pillows in place of one. Of course, he received Arsenicum album. I gave it in the two hundredth potency, in water every two hours. This worked well for six days and then gave out.
Comfort was followed by torment. He wanted one thin pillow only; his pains were in marked paroxysms, coming and going quickly, and characterized by throbbing, especially at three p. m. and at midnight. Therefore Belladonna replaced Arsenicum.
Hitherto his diet had consisted of small portions of scalded milk, which he did not like. Learning in what direction his desires led, I instructed his wife to get the neck of choice Canada mutton, wash it, trim off the fat, if any were found, cut the meat into pieces about the size of cubes of loaf sugar; to add carrots and peeled potatoes, each equalling the mutton in bulk; to put all in a stew pan and cover the mass with cold water; to keep the pan covered and to simmer the ingredients until an impalpable porridge should be the result. Of this he was to eat all he wanted, in alternation with the milk.
Both prescription and diet proved to be well chosen. Improvement for a week was secured in consequence, followed by a return of suffering, though less severe than before. Again, a change of symptoms demanded a new selection of remedy. There was a sudden sense of repletion after eating but little, great distension from gas, and borborygmus from eating, all worse during the last part of the day and early in the evening. Lycopodium, two hundredth, succeeded Belladonna. The wife was instructed to make a pigeon (not squab) stew, similar to the mutton stew, and to serve it alternately with the milk and mutton, thus preserving a relish for all three.
“Eight days of comfort” followed, he said. Strength and weight increased. But the remedy was used up and he became worse. The symptoms were different. He had burning pylorus, saltish fluid rising into the mouth, and offensive flatus. The medicine was changed to Carbo animalis, a single dose of Fincke’s cm. potency on the tongue. It was a good prescription and helped quickly and for twenty-one days. Then came the exacerbation, but not so bad as the preceding one had been. It should be understood that during all these vicissitudes there was a real gain, each advance reaching a point a little higher than the one just before it. Another remedy had to be chosen.
This time the patient was thirsty for cold water, but water no colder than the room, produced nausea soon after reaching the stomach, followed by the ejection of sour gas and liquid. This mighty indication for phosphorus reminded me of his propensity to eat salt, already mentioned, another indication for the same medicine, and led to questioning, which elicited the fact that slight wounds bled freely. The painstaking Hahnemannian knows with what a feeling of certainty I shifted to phosphorus, two hundredth, each dose to be exhausted before another should be given. It did good work for seven days and ceased to respond. This long-acting medicine, in showing exhaustion so soon, bore eloquent testimony to the strength and rapacity of the enemy with which we contended.
I now suspect that greater results would have been gained from a single, very high dose of phosphorus than were obtained from the repeated two hundredth. The case seemed to revert to carbo animalis, the first reversion that I had seen. However, it transpired that the flatus was hot and moist as well as offensive, which made the decision in favor of carbo vegetabilis, and it was given in the two hundredth potency. For twenty days it worked handsomely. Then improvement ceased and an important change occurred.
The symptom, a “faint, sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach, akin to hunger, at eleven a. m.” was reported. Aha! Had we, by dint of hard fighting, at length forced our antagonist into the realm of the great antipsoric remedy? Let us see. In early manhood he had been troubled, several winters in succession, with suppurative tonsillitis. His throat had been swabbed and gargled with powerful drugs, and he had swallowed much strong medicine in the endeavor to get rid, by contraria, of the throat trouble. His elongated uvula had been amputated when he was thirty-two years of age. The wound bled four days before the haemorrhage could be stopped. Ever since that operation he “wants to swallow and cannot; hems and hawks.” (Food for reflection for throat specialists and others.) He had had bleeding hemorrhoids and prolapsus of the rectum at stool, abolished by local applications. Observe a whole catalogue of suppression, followed by metastasis. What a demonstration of the truth of Hahnemann’s teachings! On the twenty-second day of February, 1906, I gave a dose of Sulphur cm. (Fincke).
Improvement followed and continued to increase for a number of weeks. His complexion cleared, the tumor disappeared, sleep became natural and refreshing, and the bill of fare was successfully lengthened. He seemed to be well, though not yet strong.
Then came an entirely different attack, in the guise of neuralgia, which the patient informed me was an old enemy. The original centre of this malady had been at and near the left occipital protuberance, so violent as to impair vision for the time and unfit him for business. A monument, in the shape of a wen, erected by nature over the protuberance, marked the spot. The neuralgia had been suppressed by injections of morphine. This statement was confirmed by numerous scars. Nature had taken revenge for all this abuse by establishing a worse disease in the stomach, as recorded at the beginning of this history.
How many times will it be necessary to show that no cure is ever wrought by contraria. That palliation by contraria is sure to be followed by a return of the disease in a greater degree than before and that complete suppression is inevitably followed (if the patient be strong enough to rally) by metastasis to a part more important than the original one and with an increase of suffering and of hazard to the patient.
Under the influence of homoeopathic medicine my patient’s cancer of the stomach had just disappeared, and his neuralgia reappeared at the original location, in ancient form, with increased fury, and accompanied with cerebral and nervous exhaustion. Sleep was impossible. I discovered that he could not keep his feet still, they were so fidgety, especially in the evening. He presented a striking image of the action of zinc upon the healthy, which every homoeopathist will recognize. Without delay I gave him, on April 6th, a single dose of Zincum, Fincke’s cm. potency.
Improvement began in a few hours and steadily increased. His health became firmer than ever before. Six months after taking the dose of Zincum, nothing wrong with him could be found, excepting two external hemorrhoids, one red and the other blue, which itched and did not bleed, and prolapsus rectum at stool which was easily replaced. This last relic of a long sickness — much of which had been produced artificially by allopathy, which brought the victim to the edge of the grave, was soon cured by a single dose of Sulphur cm. The patient remains well.
Let me add that my predecessor, the specialist, was greatly interested in the result, and took copious notes of my treatment of the case. Question, will he be influenced thereby to study Homoeopathy?