Neil was a five year old boy brought in by his mother. His symptoms were heavily weighted in the mental/ emotional realm but also included some occasional skin complaints.
According to his parents, the chief symptoms they hoped to address were as follows:
- Anger – Neil was quick to get angry, especially if it involved not getting his own way about almost anything. His anger took the form of loud complaining which was incessant and repetitive and could at times involve hitting. The anger could sometimes degrade into persistent whining.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviours – Neil often exhibited repetitive gesturing which at this point involved constantly blowing on his hands. He liked things to be carried out in very specific and ritualized ways and it distressed him if this did not happen. He was very specific about his food and meals. Different foods had to be on different plates or in the very least, could not be touching each other. No one else was allowed to touch his food, except occasionally his mother.
- Feeling that he was being treated unfairly at home – Neil was always demanding fairness at home particularly relative to his older sister. If she received a hug, he demanded at least a hug or more. If she received any kind of attention from the parents, he was always quick to complain and demand the same. This was a constant theme. Neil would complain about injustices whether real or simply perceived and demand some form of “equalization”
- Jealousy – of his older sister, although on watching them both together, it was apparent she was also jealous of Neil. She was and still is quite gregarious, attention seeking in her own way and very involved in drama, song and dance. Neil’s father thought that perhaps Neil felt like “he was living in the shadow of a very confident and talented older sister”.
Despite all the above, Neil was doing fine at school and flourished in highly structured environments. He was very kind and sweet to animals and loving to the family pets. He always seemed better at home, one on one with either mom or dad, but worse when the family unit of four was all together.
His mother’s pregnancy was unremarkable with no real morning sickness.
Delivery was VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Caesarean).
Birth was considered “late” and therefore the amniotic sac was “broken” by a nurse and the birthing process then proceeded very quickly according to Neil’s mother. Neil got “stuck” in the birth canal for a short amount of time and was eventually pushed out with some difficulty but without any intervention such as forceps. Neil was born with a slightly elevated temperature and slightly irregular heartbeat, was put on antibiotics and placed in the ICU to be monitored.
Neil was breastfed and ate well and without problems as an infant.
He always was somewhat “snuffly” when he slept and always had “stuff” in his throat which would cause him to cough.
He was a very happy baby.
Received all his 2 month vaccinations. Afterwards skin became scaly ….dry, red, somewhat itchy…originally on face and head.
Lots of “cradle cap” extending down eyebrows and worse on the vertex, very crusty.
Mother used “natural” creams and occasionally Cortisone cream. By age one, the “eczema” was going away and by two he was much better. Currently he still gets some scaly eruptions around the knees, worse in the summer.
Neil was a physically warm child, who kicked off the covers when he was sleeping. He lived in T- shirts and shorts most of the time. He sometimes complained of not wanting anything too tight around his neck.
His energy vacillated at times….he would often complain of being very tired , particularly after school but at other times appeared quite hyperactive.
He was not very thirsty. He craved sweets, breads and pastas, cheese, chocolate and fruit and was averse to most vegetables. He very occasionally would eat some chicken or beef.
He often wanted to be carried, especially first thing in the morning and by his mother.
Sensitive to how things felt on his skin. Did not like the feeling of things like clothing tags on his skin.
He occasionally experienced “growing pains” in his legs and he often ground his teeth during sleep.
Having been educated in the Classical Hahnemannian Homeopathic method, I chose only one remedy at a time so I can evaluate an individual remedy’s effectiveness. Lycopodium and Sulphur were both given at different times, with some limited success but they did not provide deep or lasting changes in the chief complaints. Neil then developed nightmares which came on between 9-11 pm. He would wake up shrieking, but was not awake. According to his mother, “ he seemed to be battling with something in his sleep and would be telling this something to leave him alone.”
After reviewing the entire case again, as well as literature specific to pediatric homeopathy, I selected Tuberculinum Bovinum Kent. Confirming this choice was the fact that Neil had been born with downy hair running along his spine and had the strong aversion to food being mixed on his plate. These were both strong indicators for Tuberculinum.
I limited my repertorization to six or seven solid symptoms. I also combined small but similar rubrics to make the picture ultimately more accurate and complete. In this case I chose:
- Mind, Ritualistic Behaviour + Mind, Gestures, makes-automatic
- Mind, Thoughts- persistent + Mind, Thoughts-compelling
- Mind, Injustice, cannot support
- Mind, Fear-terror, night + Dreams, Nightmares + Mind, Shrieking – sleep, during
- Teeth, Grinding, Sleep aggr., during
- Head, Eruptions- milk-crust + Skin, Eruptions, scaly
- Generals, Food and Drinks- farinaceous-desire +Pasta, desire + Sweets, desire
After the initial single dose of Tuberculinum Bovinum Kent 30C, Neil experienced a brief aggravation followed by dramatic improvement in all the chief complaints. He became much less defiant and argued much less, his hand blowing was greatly diminished and he did not get stuck in his compulsive behaviours nearly as much. His sleep improved and he no longer experienced nightmares. However, any time there was an increase in stress in Neil’s life, the effects of the remedy would wear off and the chief complaints would reappear slowly but surely. The remedy was repeated and a higher dose was given, but these too wore out quickly. Despite this I was confident this was the correct remedy.
Of course it had crossed my mind early on, that significant to this case was the fact that Neil appeared to have some reaction to his 2 month vaccines, and it was only after two years of using various creams including corticosteroid cream, that his “eczema-like” skin condition appeared to clear up for the most part. These types of interventions which are so commonly used, act to suppress the very symptoms which truly need to be cured and often lead to other serious complaints later on. Seeing the pattern of amelioration and relapse, I decided to give Neil a dose of Thuja 30C. I had also come across some information on Thuja in E.B. Nash’s Expanded Works….where he states the following:
“Hahnemann recognized three miasmas (as he called them) which complicated the treatment of all diseases. They were syphilis, psora and sycosis. Sulphur was his chief anti-psoric, Mercury antisyphilitic and Thuja his anti-sycotic. Whatever may be said against his theories along this line, certain it is that these three remedies do correct certain states of the system which seem to obstruct the curative action of other seemingly well-indicated remedies. Thuja for instance, cures or so changes the existing conditions that other remedies cure which could not do so before Thuja was given.”
After Neil’s dose of Thuja, Tuberculinum 30C was given once again, a week later. This time the curative effects were long lasting and Neil is re-dosed only very occasionally. Today he is a much more relaxed boy, doing well at school and home, and developing a strong creative side in his extra-curricular activities. He is confident and calm and doing very well in all aspects of his life.