Female, Age 59
Stomach – vomiting daily up to 6 times. This is aggravated by all food, but especially sour. Even water can cause vomiting. If she vomits bile then she feels better. Dry food is also better. She also experiences burning in her stomach and a twisting pain. She says she has experienced these symptoms since the age of ten. She has had many tests but nothing has been found, there is no ulcer and her gall bladder is fine. When I asked her if there was any kind of stress, either mental or physical at around the age of ten, she replied no.
Rheumatism – legs, hands, back, and neck. The joints of her hands are difficult to squeeze in the evening. The joints swell and there is a sharp pain. All rheumatic symptoms are worse for draft and changes in the weather. She wears a scarf at night to protect her neck.
Desire meat +++
Thirst is normal
Temperature – prefers heat.
Menses were no problem. She is now menopausal and having flushes.
No children, due to her husband.
Sleep is good on the left side, but worse when the weather changes. She uncovers her feet since the menopause. She is unable to remember her dreams, except for one she had as a child, when her aunt came back and was hugging her – this dream recurred. On further questioning the patient told how when she was aged nine her aunt was severely burnt. The patient saw her before she was taken to hospital and she was uncovered at this time.
F’s mother died when she was aged two. She has one younger sister. Her father remarried and her stepmother was good to her. Has a half brother and sister. She was born in Srebenica, but has been living in Sarajevo for 40 years.
Other people say I’m patient. I get angry if I can’t perform the way I want. I will cry occasionally if there is a sadness in the family. People say I am a kind of medicine – I can listen. I like mostly to clean the house. Cleanliness and tidiness are the most important.
PMH – nothing significant.
FMH – Her brother is ‘missing’, from Srebenica.
Father – infarct age 74.
Cousin – breast cancer.
I observed that she was a quiet and unexpressive person whose voice often faded while she was talking.
Rx Causticum 12c dissolved in 15ml bottle of water. The bottle to be succussed ten times and five drops to be taken in a little water once a day.
First follow up, two months later.
I stopped vomiting about 15 days after starting the remedy. The burning comes only once a week or less. There is no vomiting at all. I eat everything and have put on weight. I only experience a problem if something is too sour or spicy.
The rheumatism is also much better, though still there.
‘Generally I feel easier, the whole body feels better.’
‘Also I feel better in myself, easier.’
There have been no other changes, and no new symptoms.
Rx Causticum 12c 15ml 20/5 in water daily.
The patient remained well and no further consultation was required.
The theme is clearly burning, and the inability to accept that (vomiting). It is significant that she has a desire for meat – it being exactly what she saw when she was nine. It is as though she craves what she needs to integrate.
Ailments from burns
Aggravation from sour
I used these rubrics. Although sensitive, she is somehow showing the paralytic tendency of Causticum on the emotional level. There was very little range of expression. We could speculate that the loss of her mother at the age of two resulted in a degree of emotional shutting down.
It seems to me that this remedy worked so well, not because it has a strong affinity for the stomach and digestion which it does not, but because it covers the causation exactly. It is a liberal use of the Repertory to take ‘ailments from burns’ as she herself was not burnt. But it seems the impact of that event was such that it was experienced within her ‘field’. The only proof of that is the fact that the remedy worked, otherwise it is just speculation.