Translated by Katja Schütt and Alan Schmukler
This case is based on a clinical case which was very satisfying for me due to the way in which I found the remedy and prescribed it. The aim of each homeopath is always to find the constitutional remedy which can evoke a dynamic change in the patient, and remission of the symptoms reported in the consultation.
The following story is a summary of the most relevant aspects of this clinical history.
On June, 13, 2000, Carlos C. attended my consultation to tell me the following: For a year, one of my toes gets red. I’ve consulted my physician who diagnosed gout. He also made a laboratory analysis which revealed a striking increase in the number of white corpuscles, which were 95.000.
Soon I was referred to the hematologist who diagnosed Chronic Myelotic Leukemia. He started to treat me with Interferon and Bisulfate. I felt agitated and exhausted, the number of white corpuscles varied between 200.000 and 1400 during treatment. For more than a year I took the medicine, but decided to look for an alternative, as I did not feel well. I was afraid to stop taking the medicine prescribed by the hematologist, and currently I only take Interferon.
When I asked him about other diseases he referred to the common childhood diseases. His throat was operated on when he was nine years old. He frequently suffered from headaches accompanied by difficult digestion. Carlos is 40 years old and married. He has three children and has a neon sign shop. After completing his history I ask him about his nature. He answered with the following:
I’m willing, which helps me. Work depresses me. I’m quite good, I’m not aggressive; I try to help. I have difficulties communicating with other people. I had a difficult time when my dog died, which made me very sad. Seeing a person begging, be it a child or adult, makes me feel bad. I try to help, but unfortunately I cannot do anything, which makes me feel sad and helpless. I do the homework with my children. I’m nervous internally. I feel bad if they eat with their hands. I’m honest, and ask them to take responsibility for their studies. I’m very responsible. I’ve little work, There are times when nothing intimidates me, and other times when I feel intimidated by an obstacle. I withdraw and feel unable to do my work, for which I cannot find a logical explanation. I feel bad if what I have done is not recognized. I don’t speak to people if I don’t feel comfortable.
Music affects me emotionally as well seeing my children playing. I’m affectionate but don’t show it. As my wife does not return affection, I became a hermit.I fear to have a bad relation to customers, and to leave my children alone. I try to do what I’m being asked, but I get anxious when being confronted by an obstacle, and feel unable to do my work (HE REPEATEDLY EMPHASIZES THIS FEELING). My mother is my support. When telling my father what I’ve done, I’m often reproached. He makes me feeling nervous when I’m working. I’m very active since I was a child. I got away to play and wasn’t much responsible. When my freedom was restricted, I behaved well. I organized games, and was the captain of the team. I wanted to find a solution for problems.
I feared darkness and being challenged. I sleep badly. I wake up three or four times. I often feel anxious when placing a neon sign, which is actually my regular work, to which I’m accustomed.
With regard to nutrition and climate I could not elicit important information, although he has no appetite on occasion. With regard to what he wants to change regarding his character, he answered: The timidity, and to trust more in my capabilities when working.
The physical examination only reveals splenomegalia and all other parameters were normal. The most significant values of his hematogram were:
Erythrocyte sedimentation 70
Abundant immature cells: metamyelocytes, promyelocytes, and myeloclasts
Remember that Chronic Myelotic Leukemia is characterized by an increased number of leukocytes, principally in the bone marrow, spleen, liver and blood. If the disease progresses, the leukemic cells can infiltrate other organs. The main cell types that are involved are young, immature cells.
After finishing the physical examination and interview I prescribed Lycopodium C 200. A week after the consultation I read Vijnovsky’s Materia Medica and found a medicine called Ceanothus Americanus (New Jersey Tea), a remedy with only 36 symptoms, from which only 3 are mentals. I also searched other materias medicas, but did not find more information. Due to the shortness of its pathogenesis, I list the symptoms here:
Low-spirited, fears he will become unfit for work.
Great nervous excitement, with chilliness and loss of appetite; felt as if nerves were shaken; at dinner could scarcely hold knife and fork.
Indifference, cannot work.
Leukemia: the application of this medicine in low potencies, or even better, in mother tincture, for a prolonged time, has very often been followed by a prolonged remission, thus reaching very encouraging results. Anemia with failure of spleen and liver.
Chilly; constant shivers, needs to be near the fire, fears cold. Worse when cold and humid.
Worse from movement, and when lying on the left side; from wet weather. Better in warm weather.
Great weakness when walking or standing; aversion to moving.
Desires and aversions: Craving for something sour.
Sensation as if the brain were too large. The head seems to move with every beat of the heart. Dull frontal headache, better when lying down. Headache on the right side of the head with pain in region of spleen.
Eyes feel too large: eyelids swollen, dry sensation of cornea; with a dull pain in orbital region.
Cheeks and ears feel hot, with cold fingers.
Aphthous affections of mouth. Food tasteless, unless highly seasoned.
Throat dry, raw sensation on swallowing.
Loss of appetite.
Thirst for water, but it made him sick.
Ceanothus’ centre of action is the spleen. Deep-seated pain, sometimes cutting or stabbing, in the spleen, in left hypochondria, with sensation of fullness, worse from movement; cannot lie on the left side.
Pain on the whole left side with dyspnea. Enormous enlargement of spleen. Acute and chronic splenitis. Pain in the liver, worse when lying on the right side, extending to the back. Sensation of fullness. Whole abdomen moves with beat of heart. Bearing down in abdomen, worse after eating.
Diarrhea, continual bearing down in rectum.
Bladder pain before urinating; after urinating feeling as if all had not passed.
Constricted feeling in chest, feeling as if the thorax were too small for the heart.
Insomnia. Dreams of robbers and snakes.
Reviewing the clinical history after having given the remedy that I determined in the first consultation, he told me: “I feel more depressed, I have no will, I want to go to the countryside, the work is my problem; I feel unable to do what I always did.” The rest of the consultation did not add further details.
When attending a patient I always ask myself: What is it that has to be cured. In which way does he live wrongly? As we know, disease manifests with symptoms and the repertory provides very good information, but it has two shortcomings:
A- The language of the patient cannot always be found exactly in the repertory.
B- It gives us a static picture of the disease.
With homeopathy, Hahnemann wanted us to reach a profound change in the vital economy of the patient, not only to make symptoms disappear, and this is what differentiates homeopathy from any other therapeutic method. When I read this remedy I remembered Carlos C. and tried to answer the previously asked question. I came to the following conclusion: He lives to fulfill his duty (he repeats this) and feels anxious about being unable to do his usual work. While there are many remedies which have a similar dynamic, the following symptom attracted my attention: “fear of becoming unable to do his usual work”. I found the following in the repertory of symptoms: Anxiety when working: Graphites is listed exclusively; Anxiety which prevents working: Moschus is listed exclusively; Anxiety of becoming unable to work: Ceanothus, in addition to that: Leukemia and splenomegaly. I prescribed it in mother tincture, 10 drops a day. This was the first time that I made this type of prescription, encouraged by the resulting remission of the disease described in Vijnovsky’s materia medica.
A month later the patient returned and told me the following:
My mind is better; I find more pleasure in working. I reorganized myself and recovered my confidence. I started an important work which makes me even more satisfied. I feel better, not so depressed. I started to open up; this is what I noticed the most. The relationship with my wife is a little better. I still feel timid. The improvement of mood was progressive. I don’t think constantly of the disease. The depression is much better, although I would like to have more continuity with my work. The hematologist has decreased the Interferon dosage because the hematogram got better. I’m more active sexually. I have more appetite and enjoy eating more.
Considering the marked amelioration I advise him to continue the remedy in the prescribed way. Two month later he telephoned me and reported not feeling as good anymore, especially the mind, wherefore I stopped giving the mother tincture and prescribed Ceanothus americanus 1000 (1M). After several telephone consultations he returned in August this year. Before starting the interview he showed me the last hematogram with normal values, and a few immature cells persisting.
I must admit that I felt a mixture of emotion, gratitude and joy because the laboratory values had ameliorated gradually. I have never had such results. The summary of the visit was as follows:
“I’m very happy with the analysis. I feel well and more confident. I have regained my creativity. I’m better with my wife and children as I do not demand as much as before. I don’t worry that much about work anymore.”
It would be too early to speak about cure in this patient, but what I can confirm is that his character has ameliorated considerably. He now faces responsibility in a more balanced way, and his feeling of incapacity towards his usual work has ameliorated considerably. The hematological values also ameliorated. Finally I asked Carlos what the hematologist has said. He reported that the hematologist said the treatment was effective. Carlos answered: “Doctor, I’m under treatment for a year and have not had such values.
Homeopathy often produces such results, which confirms that we are on the right track.
*Comment of the translator (KS): The pathogenesis of Ceanothus americanus can be read at http://www.homeoint.org/clarke/c/cean.htm