How long we ought to wait to be satisfied of the specific appropriateness of the remedy, is a very difficult matter to decide, since this point depends upon the intensity of the disease and its consequent danger, and upon the physician’s capacity to discern the first signs of an incipient improvement. In sudden attacks of very violent pains, or in other more or less dangerous affections that cannot well continue one or two days with equal intensity without prostrating the patient entirely, I sometimes do not wait three hours or even less, and in sudden attacks of toothache, colic or abdominal spasms where, if they are violent, I sometimes resort to olfaction, I often change the remedy in half an hour.
I may mention the case of a girl who, in consequence of a bitter and mortifying insult to her feelings during the catamenia, was attacked with violent abdominal spasms, during which she cried, moaned and fairly howled with pain. The cause of the attack induced me to let her smell of my vial with Ignatia globules, and I remained to await the result. Half an hour after, the pain, so far from being relieved, having rather increased in intensity, (which is scarcely ever the case in such violent attacks without any simultaneous indications of an approaching amelioration, provided the medicine is administered by olfaction) I gave her Cocculus 30th to smell of. Already ten minutes after smelling of this remedy, she began to grow more quiet, the spasms gradually abated and, before another
half hour had passed by, she fell into a sound sleep which, as I learned on my next visit, lasted three hours and from which she woke perfectly free from pain and not only remained so, but her usually profuse catamenia, which had only been diminished but not entirely suspended during the attack, continued to flow as freely and profusely as before.
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