Clinical Cases

A Most Difficult Case

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Some time ago, a lovely lady in her early 40’s was sent to see me by her doctor as a last resort. The doctor had no idea what the problem was or what to prescribe for her. She had already been to the neurologist, the endocrinologist, the oncologist and every  “ologist” the doctor could think of. They could find nothing, so several months later and many hundreds of dollars lighter, she was still no closer to a diagnosis or relief from her symptoms. She was declared “the most difficult case we have ever seen.”

So, here she was in my office. My heart sank into the pit of my stomach and I tried to sound confident as I asked her to tell me her story.

Her problem was that she was having ‘blackouts’ which had become so frequent that she could not go out alone or drive the car. The first blackout had occurred when she was in a shopping mall with a friend. She suddenly felt  “a jerk in my head like an electric shock.” It was not painful, just like a jerk or a jolt. Immediately, after this, she fainted and fell to the floor. When she ‘came to’ a short time later, she was anxious and needed reassurance from her friend that she was alright. The first thing she did then was to ring her husband to come for her.

She was fine for a week after this episode until it happened a second time, and again a third time a few days later. The frequency gradually increased until she was having several episodes a day. Of course, by now, she was too afraid to leave the house and would not be left alone. When I asked her how she felt after she ‘came to’ from each episode, she said “I just need someone there with me to reassure me that I am alright.” When I asked her what was the worst thing about this problem, she said “I have a really good social life but it means that I can’t go out and meet up with my friends.”

I took her health history and family history – all very clear, nothing much at all.

I asked her what had been going on in her life leading up to the onset of the blackouts. She told me that she and her husband had started up a business which had been going very well and they wanted to open a new branch. A friend of theirs had fallen on hard times and so her husband had employed the friend as the new branch manager. However, things had not worked out well. The friend would not follow instructions, had become very difficult, it was costing them money and so they asked him to leave. He refused, took them to Court and the case was currently still in progress. It had all become very nasty on a personal level.

When I asked her what was the most upsetting aspect of this situation for her, she said “He and his wife were very good friends of ours but, after all this is over, we will have lost them as our friends.”

I now knew what the remedy was. This case, which was the most difficult one the -ologists had ever seen, was one of the simplest homeopathic cases I ever had to deal with.

I took two aspects of the case into consideration:-

First, she had used the words ‘a jerk or a jolt, like an electric shock’ to describe the sensation in her head before she fainted. Secondly, when asked to define the worst thing about both her physical problem and the problem with the court case, her main concern was being separated from or losing friends.

It was a clear case of Phosphorus. I did a word search in Radar on the word ‘electric’ and looked up three rubrics:

– Head, shocks electric-like

– Head, electric current sensation

– Generalities, shock electric-like

All had Phosphorus listed in bold.

I gave her one dose of Phosphorus 200c and asked her to ring me in a week. I asked her to write down how many episodes she had each day. I was anticipating a good response; the remedy was clear, the symptoms had only come on relatively recently, she had good vitality and a very uncompromised medical and family history. She rang me the following Friday as requested. Over the week, the number of episodes had reduced from five to one per day. I asked her to take one more dose and ring me in another week. She didn’t ring me.

Two weeks later, I was very concerned to know how she was going so I rang her. She answered me on her mobile but said that she couldn’t talk to me just then as she was driving on the motorway, heading for the airport to pick up a friend. “Hmmmm” I thought, “interesting ……..” She rang me back and just started to chat so I had to ask her “How about the blackouts?” She stopped and thought – a positive sign that the symptoms are not now top in her mind. After a pause, she replied, “I think I might have had a little one a few days ago.” I was happy, convinced that my client was well on the way to ‘cure.’

This case has caused me to muse over what constitutes a difficult case for the homeopath as compared to the doctor. For each homeopath, it will probably vary, but for all of us, it is very different from the sort of case that the -ologist would regard as difficult.  The case above does not fit into any of the regular diagnostic boxes of orthodox medicine. Without a credible diagnosis, no treatment can be decided upon. Individuality stumps the medics and it is not easily dealt with. However, a case like this falls easily into the homeopath’s lap. A couple of unusual symptoms is often all we need, and the stranger the better.

Since treating this case, I have ‘tried it out’ on every class from years one to four that I have taught. Without exception, all the students have come up with the correct remedy in a very short time. My heart leaps now when I hear a new client tell me that the doctor said they “are a very difficult case.” On the other hand, the cases I am least fond of are the ‘simple’ ones such as the hayfever with a clear runny nose and itchy eyes or the uncomplicated cough with no distinguishing characteristics or modalities, ie. the ‘simple’ cases that the doctor loves. Give me the cases that have stumped the -ologists any day, you know, the ‘difficult’ ones that we can solve ‘simply.’


Julie Andrews

BMus, ND, Dip Hom, ADH, RCHom

College Dean
Bay of Plenty College of Homeopathy
New Zealand

About the author

Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews
BMus, ND, Dip Hom, ADH, RCHom

College Dean
Bay of Plenty College of Homeopathy
New Zealand

1 Comment

  • A young woman in my church just gave birth. Her baby has been diagnosed with MCAT, an inability to process medium chain fatty acids. I was horrified to find out she had a Covid booster in her 9th month. Is there a homeopathic treatment for this?

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