A Case of Whooper Swan

A Case of Cygnus Cygnus – the Whooper Swan

northwest college of homoeopathy

 

             “Like filling a sand hole with water which constantly leaks out” –

I would like to share a case given Cygnus Cygnus as a remedy.  This particular patient was my third student case whilst studying at the North West College of Homoeopathy, Manchester.

The Case Background

The patient had experienced many forms of grief. Her mother had died 4 years earlier, and she had been raped at 13 years of age. When giving the case she spoke of ‘attack and defense’ and had gone on to marry into an abusive relationship. She now found herself in an unrequited love affair with two separate partners and still living with her ex-husband even though they have both moved on.

Her ex-husband was a secondary school teacher and had recently been investigated due to allegations of underage sex with a pupil. The recurrent picture and theme of victim ran strongly through this case. There was such suppressed grief. The patient has a child and the birth was extremely traumatic with both mother and child being very sick following the birth. The son was 7 years old at the time of the first consultation.

The patient outwardly expressed her  ‘blues’ by having blue hair and always having nails painted blue! She had various tattoos, one being of a lady-bird which to the patient represents her mother. She has been a practising “intuitive” (psychic) for some time.

The Consultation: excerpts

The patient begins talking about a lover who has a position of authority in local government. They have been secretly dating for a few months.

I have this clinging desperation for him, but the way he treats me, I don’t know why I want to be with him. We laugh a lot and I enjoy his company. I have issues of self-esteem & ego – don’t feel I’m good enough or for him to want me [sat with legs crossed].

We communicate in texts, but he ignores me. I’m clinging to this one extremity; don’t know why I’m drawn to it. His job makes me feel I’ve accomplished something. When I’m with him, my heart opens. I’m learning how to be ‘me’ from him. I feel worthless, not very important. Spent much of married life like that. My ex-husband is very dominant. Over years I stopped arguing back. I lost ‘me’.  I feel I’m not important and he knows better.  Then it’s not my fault when it goes wrong!  He’s said ‘it will all end in tears, so let’s enjoy it’.  I went 7 years after birth of son with no sex [with husband]. He’s been my first sexual partner since my ex-husband. I was raped at 13 years old; he [rapist] was 21. We’d met at a charity event, he was a DJ and we kept in touch after. He turned up at my house; I was thinking it was all ok. I wanted to snog him. He didn’t stop and wouldn’t. I couldn’t talk about him. He came to the house again. I hid. Then came again, & went. Finally, I thought facing him might help but it was much deeper than I thought. Spoke to Mum about it 3-4 months later for the first time. I couldn’t say the words. Not until I was at university did I tell her fully. Don’t think she ever accepted it to her death.  At the time I thought I’d led him on & so had no concept of a normal physical relationship. Only now I can deal with it.

I recently started with nightmares & flashbacks at Christmas, after my ex-husband was accused of underage sex. Don’t want to dump it on my friends. That’s where I miss Mum.  She died in 2006. My mother’s illness was fairly quick, 1 month from diagnosis to death.

[Patient begins talking about her 2nd lover] We had been together previously, but he wouldn’t leave his wife. It feels safe. It’s fun as well. Ex-husband is safe in boring, controlling way. This guy is the person I fell in love with & gave me strength & belief to get out of marriage. I was certain I wanted him forever. Now I don’t know. Last time I saw him he was going home to his wife and kids.

It’s an addiction of putting that much energy into it. My first thoughts of the day are about them both, not about me. Some deep craving for someone to care for me. Sometimes I feel really good & worthy. Then, fall down this black-hole. I’m a needy, little annoying thing pulling at his [1st lover’s] coat tails. Last night I sent text saying ‘still feeling rubbish’.

Q: Black-hole: Desperate. Dark. Ride it like a rollercoaster. Mum’s death taught me that.  Used to last weeks, now 2days/hours.

I feel STUCK. Stuck in house, in job, and getting up at 4am for work and sick of whole lot.  Stuck sums it up. Left my husband in 2009, why are we still in the same house?

[Talking of 2nd lover] I’ve got him to say he loves me, that’s fine now. Clinging at this stuff externally to fill the hole.  Almost like filling sand with water & the water seeps out.  Actually need to fill it with more sand, which is me, to keep it full. Or crystal stones!

I want [1st lover] to want me.

I have frequent nightmares, only twice a week though now.  Used to be twice a night.

Similar theme – not being in control, replaying rape, still startled. Very upset by it. Upset it’s still affecting my life. Literally relive event. If doorbell goes now, I always hide, even if it’s the postman – can answer now, but if not expecting a caller, I can’t answer.  If not expecting a conversation on phone, I won’t answer it.

Physicals & Additional Brief Comments

Eczema.  – Itches at night – on fingers & palms. Right hand is worse, 3rd finger on right hand, itches in night & scratch. Very sensitive skin. Wear gloves. Had to wash in liquid paraffin for a while.

Asthma – diagnosed in school (after eczema). I’m off all inhalers now. I’m struggling with cat now – think it’s the fur. Chesty & coughing. Chesty and loose. Putting hand over/on nose helps (think it warms the air).  < cold air, > warm air.

Suffer with viruses – 3-4 a year. Once something has got me, struggle to get back sometimes. I get hay-fever in summer.

I’m taking weight loss tablets and have lost 2 stones.  Actually only thing in control of at the minute & feels good.

Nails– excess keratin since birth. Hereditary, from Father and Grandmother. Get infections in root – last one a month ago. Starts feeling hot, they throb and fingers start swelling. Use Mag Sulph ointment. Popping puss & release is amazing!  Every nail has been removed 5/6 times. A virus can trigger it. Chemicals from swimming pool can trigger. Seawater really helps. Chlorine triggers.

Had preeclampsia during pregnancy. Week 36/37. Had emergency c-section. My blood pressure (BP) was ridiculously high, there was swelling and I was in tears. Hospital wouldn’t allow husband with me whilst in labour. BP was 198/110. Injected with Magnesium solution. They cut son’s face getting him out. I couldn’t hold my baby or breast feed.  Put me on beta blockers to get BP down, that made me suicidal so I signed myself out. Did get post natal depression and had been on antidepressants before.  I think it’s something I always will struggle with.   

Characteristic symptoms

The characteristic symptoms which ran through the case were:

Raped at age 13   – couldn’t discuss even with mother, kept to self

                             – still hides from unexpected visitors

                             – blamed self

                             – nightmares and flashbacks 2x weekly still

Delusion : failed in relationship – The partner has already stated ‘this will all end in tears’

Heart ‘closed’ – she talks of her heart opening when with a particular lover

          Feels undesirable

          No coition for 7 years after birth of son

          Attracted to ‘self expressive’, opinionated men

          Dominant, estranged husband

         ‘Like filling a sand hole with water which constantly leaks out’. 

          Seeking sense of worth through others

Desires feelings of safety

Desires to be loved

Influenced by others – this frustrates and angers her

          Fear loneliness – this is huge.

BLACK HOLE – a desperate, dark place in which she plummets often.  Can be stuck there for hours now, formerly days

Themes and observations:

When looking at the presenting symptoms, the key elements were being raped at 13 years; this was STILL hugely affecting the patient. The patient was relieved at only having nightmares and flashbacks twice a week. But twice a week is a lot!  Especially when the event took place 20 years ago! The fear still remained, which was also evident in the symptoms of not being able to answer the door or telephone to unexpected calls. This has been a strong reaction. It also supported the “stuckness” that she spoke of.

There was an overwhelming sense of a fear of loneliness. The irony of it was that this had become a physical reality in her life: the death of her mother, her father living in Spain and having infrequent contact with her, living with, but not in a relationship with her husband. Also choosing to be in relationships with partners who live in the other side of the country, and who were still married or unable to be together due to conflicts of interest in employment.

The patient also defined herself as ‘a needy little annoying thing’.  This along with the clinginess was an obvious reaction to the fear of being alone in the world.

The self-esteem and worth issues were evident in the patient’s reaction of seeking a sense of worth through others. This was apparent in the area of being with one of her partners partly due to his employment status as Council Leader.

She spoke of slipping into a ‘black hole’ that seemed to be incredibly disturbing for the patient. At times she has been ‘stuck’ there for days.

There was also huge depression in the case. Suppressed reaction to the rape, suppressed eczema also. The eczema has been so severely treated by steroids, and liquid paraffin. This (according to the laws of suppression) had lead to asthma. She had recently developed a severe allergy to a recently homed kitten, which was getting to the point of having to re-home it due to the effects on her asthma.

Miasm

The patient clearly fell within the Cancer Miasm. With a family history of the disease and the huge amount of abuse and suppression lead me to the miasm. There were massive issues of being controlled by others and in turn forcing (i.e. trying to control) relationships, with no apparent success – the lack of self-worth and feelings of being a burden, as well as feeling responsible for the rape. There was a desire for expression and this was supported in the personal journaling that the patient did daily, but the lack of expression vocally was expressed in the recurrent throat infections. These are all strong signs of the themes running through the Cancer miasm.

Kingdom analysis and repertorisation

I then decided to do an initial repertorisation. The rubrics I had chosen were:

Mind – Fear, alone being

Mind – Ailments from – Abused, sexually

Mind – Confidence – failure, feels himself  a

Dreams – Events, previous

Extremities – Nails – growth, rapid

Generals – Cold – air, agg

The repertorisation brought about the following results:

sep.

acon.

calc-p.

nux-v.

nat-c.

ars.

kali-c.

lyc.

sil.

hyos.

4/9

4/8

4/7

4/6

4/4

3/7

3/7

3/7

3/7

3/6

2

1

1

1

1

3

3

3

1

3

3

3

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

3

3

2

3

3

1

3

3

3

3

2

Initially, after looking at the above remedies, I felt that this case may have fallen in the mineral kingdom, due to the clinginess and need for support. Also, the overwhelming issues of self-esteem. But after careful consideration, I felt this case represented the animal kingdom. There was a huge sensitivity, especially to other animals (the cat), also the self-esteem issues as expressed in this kingdom. When you strip back the case, these issues had begun as a result of something that was ‘done’ to the patient. The symptoms were the result of an act that threatened her survival on a basic level. There were huge links to the family, and hence loss of, especially the mother. Yes, this can be seen in elements such as the Muriaticums, but I felt it was different. The Muriaticums seemed to cover the issues with the mother, but there were no real issues to do with the relationship.  This was not about loss of mother, loss of the bond.

The withdrawing reaction of plummeting into a black hole also suggested animals. Yes, again in the likes of the Calcs, withdrawing can be seen clearly, but again this was not the type of reaction that came across. It did not seem to be a withdrawal from people; it seemed to be a natural survival reaction to the treat of a potential repeated rape. This was evident in the fear of an unexpected visitor at the door.

There are huge levels of shame in the case too. The romantic relationships were ones which must be secret.  From publicity and from the second partner’s wife. This further enforced the lack of self-expression. There was also the shame of the rape, and the feelings of guilt of possibly leading the aggressor on. This led to the ultimate theme here, the predator – prey situation. Therefore, I chose to look at animal remedies.

I repeated the repertorisation, but focused only on animal remedies.  The result for the above rubrics were:

sep.

calc.

elaps

lac-c.

spong.

apis

lach.

tarent.

aster.

bufo

5/10

4/6

4/5

4/5

4/4

3/4

3/4

3/4

3/3

3/3

2

1

2

2

1

2

1

1

1

3

1

1

1

1

1

2

1

3

3

1

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Animal families

The patient is incredibly intuitive and psychically developed. There were huge issues of self-control also. For these reasons, if I had been looking at a mineral kingdom, I would not have hesitated to go for a lanthanide salt remedy. Therefore, I was lead to the Bird sub-kingdom. This was because they are most linked to the lanthanide series. They are incredibly intuitive and again have the issues of control. There are all the attributes as mentioned above in the animal kingdom.

Looking into the bird remedies, the Ring Dove looked a possibility. This was due to the link with sexual abuse, the shame and guilt. They are sufferers of abuse and filled with grief. This fit many of the aspects of the case. However, there is a very strong sense of serving others in the picture, this didn’t feel right for this patient. There doesn’t seem to be that level of responsibility to others around her. So, I looked further. The other key abuse remedies are the Swans.

According to Jonathan Shore, ‘At the age of 17, I was raped’ – That was it. CYGNUS CYGNUS was the remedy. The unresolved effects of the rape, the nightmares and flashbacks 20 years on. There was the active grief. Real grief, the loss of the patient’s mother 4 years ago, and loss of marriage. There were the abuse factors of having a domineering husband, and STILL living with him and experiencing the energy of that.

Huge affinities with the chest and throat. This was there in the case too, with repetitive chest and throat infections.  Also the allergy to the cat, which too was coming to the surface with these types of symptoms.  These remedies are strongly linked to Natrum Muriaticum and the cancer miasm also.  These were strong indicators for this case. Cygnus Cygnus is an animal of the mineral Natrum Muriaticum, to the plant Ignatia. THE grief remedy of the animals. The long set-in suppressed grief.

The proving reads of the ‘hole’ and being stuck, the words used are almost word for word what the patient said in her consultation:

‘The feeling of being stuck in something, can’t get out of it.  Maybe it’s important to stick to my empty feelings.  I’m going through a hole’.

Cygnus cygnus

Therefore my choice of remedy here was CYGNUS CYGNUS. I chose a split dose of 1M potency.

The bird kingdom characteristics include:

–         Conceptual organisation – unlike the rigid structure of minerals, they can take key parts of a story and fit them together to form the full events.

–         They can have a feeling of loss of time and space, as if drugged in some way.

–         Huge spiritual awareness, which makes them easily comparable to the Lanthanide series.

–         Huge empathy for others as so often are found in healing professions.

–         Huge desire for freedom or travel.  This can be evident in the prospect of abusive relationships, i.e., they are trapped in it.  Leaving a desire to ‘have freedom & fly away’.

–         Perfectionism – they are huge perfectionists. This does not come alone, often with pride and so hence a sense of guilt or shame.

–         Sense of being an outcast, especially in water birds.

–         an ability (or lack of) to see the bigger picture, ‘to rise above’

Physically, they can experience:

–         headaches, vertigo, sensation of floating

–         stabbing, stitching pains, stiffness and tension

–         urination problems

–         affinities with the neck, throat, nose, eyes, ears, stomach, chest and back/neck

There can be dreams of flying, water and dogs. There are affinities with music and arts, and this can be likened to the Argentum series of the periodic table. Due to the nature of symptoms expressed in the bird remedies, the miasms covered include all, from leprosy, to cancer to tubercular and beyond. The differing pictures between the water birds, birds of prey, birds which naturally migrate each year differ vastly. They are almost their own sub-kingdom!

The Follow Up (8 weeks later)

When the patient returned, the first thing I noticed was her new pink hair! The shift had been really quite remarkable. The patient had been to her GP for a smear test, which she had not been able to face for years. She had applied for a new job based in the North East, working within the travel industry as a train conductor, which she subsequently started. She had told her ex-husband she was relocating to the North East and he would need to make alternative living arrangements in the near future.

The patient had begun a course with a psychologist to further deal with the rape. Her love-life had improved and she had become less needy and dependent. She had lost weight and looked full of life. The big bonus too….she could have the new kitten sit on her knee each evening without any reaction!

Two years on…

Two years on, this patient is now engaged to be married to a new, loving partner.  Together they are in the process of adopting twins as an addition to the family. The new family home back in the North West of England is also home to two cats. The patient continues to work as a train conductor, traveling the length and breadth of the UK, and loves every minute of it.

In terms of patient reaction, and why I chose this case, the patient did fantastically well.  She was given a split dose of 1M Cygnus Cygnus.  She proceeded to have a smear test, which had not been done for years. Had healthy aggrevations and applied for a new job, which she later got! She has now relocated to the other side of the country and on the second consultation; I opened the door to a lady with pink hair, not ‘blue’!!  She was much happier in her self and had moved mountains. She had begun a course with a psychologist to further deal with the rape. She had told her ex-husband she was relocating and he would need to make alternative living arrangements in the near future.

Her love-life had improved and she had become less needy and dependent. All-in-all a great shift.  There were of course a few things which still needed ‘tweaking’. The remedy had shifted the patient in such a way that clear pictures and phrases were now coming out. She had lost weight and looked full of life again. The big bonus too….she could have the new kitten sit on her knee each evening without any reaction!

A great case…and it continues to unfold…. 🙂

References

Shore, J; Schriebman, J; Hogeland, A (2004). BIRDS Homeopathic Remedies from the Avian Realm. California: Homeopathy West. 146-153.

Radar Homeopathic Computer Package

Synthesis 9.1 Homeopathic Repertory

About the author

Hayley Pinches

Hayley Pinches

Hayley Pinches first discovered Homeopathy after withdrawing from an
undergraduate degree programme in Pure Mathematics. Having read one page
of a brief overview of the philosophy of Homeopathic medicine, she was
intrigued and signed up the following day to study a four year programme
in Classical Homeopathy. Hayley graduated from the North West College of
Homeopathy, Manchester, in July 2011 and began the MSc Homeopathy degree
at the University of Central Lancashire in September that year. For the
last year Hayley has been studying an Access to Medicine Diploma and has
recently been offered a place at a UK Medical School to study the 5 year
MBChB programme in Medicine.
Email: [email protected]

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