A 42-year-old male came to us with complaints of frequent cough and cold and runny nose. Cough <spicy, <cucumber, <early morning. There is also dryness of the throat. The patient is a k/c/o asthma for 5 years and has been on inhalers. Wheezing <heavy spicy meal, <fish, <late night, <evening, damp weather. Other complaints are itching in the eyes, tiredness, fatigue, and disturbed sleep.
He is a businessman and runs his business with a partner. He is married and has two children. The patient was asked to tell something about himself.
Patient: I don’t take cold water, and I don’t consume alcohol. I am unable to use deodorant as it causes continuous sneezing. I have itching and irritation in the throat. I have body pain and I feel weak too. Dust causes continuous sneezing, and frequent cough. Cough <<spicy, <cucumber. I have to carry medicines even when I am traveling as I am sure will have these complaints. I feel frustrated and can’t go anywhere without worrying. I can’t be carefree. The cough and allergies are especially aggravated when I go to my village which is in the coastal region of Maharashtra.
Doctor: Tell us about your Nature?
Patient: I don’t stay angry for a long time, relationships should be maintained. Relations are everything, there is nothing more important than that. I have to honour and respect others. I should not get angry. It spoils relations. There should be no spot on my character.
I am very choosy, I don’t buy things easily. If I have to buy a laptop, I think a lot, and make a lot of inquiries, and only then I will buy. It should be of the best quality and it should last long term. I am very picky and want the best of things.
I am very sensitive, I can forgive easily. For example, an employee who is dependent on me for his salary and running the house, so I did not fire him, despite his mistakes. Even with my business partner, it’s not smooth always, but I ensure that relations are maintained. We too have to endure a lot in life.
I started working when I was 18, now I am 42 years old. I am very hard-working and have come a long way. My father has struggled hard, I want to live up to his expectations. I want to make sure my family and I are comfortable and have enough money to live a good life without any compromises.
I work very hard and am a sharp businessman.
I just want to get better, I am troubled by my complaints.
- Thirst: Thirsty
- Habits: Nail biting
Observation: There was a lot of importance on relationships during the case. His relationship with his family, father, employees, business partner. How to maintain these relationships etc.
Another key theme that came out was his image, what people think about him “there should not be any spot on my character” The idea of being very choosy and wanting the best of things also revolves around this “image”
This is a Row 3 theme.
Alongside this, there is also a lot of industry, work, and “showiness”
Totality of his Symptoms:
Rx: Natrum sulph 200 once in a week
FOLLOW UPS: For the first 3-4 months, the patient was doing very well, but we observed that the symptoms kept relapsing. The relief did not sustain and there were exacerbations.
We changed the potencies, and gave him anti-miasmatic remedies but with partial relief.
Also, over these past few months we noticed that the patient is very money minded and avaricous. He would (rather shamelessly) ask for discounts and bargain with our assistant doctor. On one side he would talk about his business and fancy gadgets and trips and on the other hand he would find it difficult to pay the full consultation fees.
He was also very impatient about his treatment and follow-ups. If he came to clinic, he would often pace in the waiting area. If there was a delay by the admin team to send the invoice or if there were any errors in the same, he would point out and even reprimand the admin staff.
So, we realized that while Nat Sulph did something to the patient, there is more to the case than what initially met our eyes.
I am not feeling that great. My eyes are giving me a lot of trouble, watery, red eyes, heaviness, and tiredness of eyes. I was thinking about the death of my loved ones I lost in Covid. I got very emotional and kept on crying. I felt blessed that I have overcame that situation.
D: What was your EXPERIENCE when you heard about the death?
P: She was a very distant family member. I was emotional and sad. When I cry, I get sneezing or cold. If I can help others, if I can do something, if I can help them with money, I feel good. Anything which is not going well causes stress, complaints get aggravated.
We then wanted to take a tangential route in the case taking, so that we can by-pass the emotional level. We showed the patient the image below and asked him to weave a story around it. This way we intended to access the “Imagination/Delusion” level and from there reach Sensation.
WHAT COMES IN YOUR MIND when you look at this image?
P: Ray of hope. As the road ends, nature appears, dense forest
What is happening in dense forests?
P: A big creature shall appear, someone will appear but I won’t be scared. I would like to see.
You wouldn’t be scared of the big creature?
No, No. I am very strong.
The way this patient narrated this is in denial. It was also “showy” to say I am not scared of anything.
I would love to go there, experience what’s happening around me, just me and nature, undisturbed, birds chirping, the river flowing. I will take food, I am very foodie, non-veg, and fish.
The association to food came very spontaneously, which is peculiar.
I imagine there will be a river. I love water bodies. It mixes easily, whatever comes, it accepts, it is vast, and all types of creatures live in it. When I book a hotel, I ensure there is a swimming pool.
Tell more about this scenario.
I think I want to be there with someone, not alone. Would like someone to join me. I would like to cook for them, I would like to host a party. I like people coming to my home. I take care of everyone, especially the food, no one can stay hungry in my company. If I go in this forest, I will take people along, set-up a camp fire and cook for everyone.
On one-side there is a group, company that he wants. He wants to host them and take care of them with FOOD. Not that he will guide them, or give them tents or shelter. It was more about party, food and having fun.
Tell more about food?
I like to enjoy food, all kinds of food, junk food, etc. I am a big foodie. My appetite has increased, it is uncontrollable. If food is not made in a particular way, I can get very irritable.
So, here we are a few months with the patient who had responded very well with Natrum Sulph. The Natrum line themes – of love, of group of relationships with issues of strong identity and showiness are prominent.
The fear is in denial – compensation of being “Fearless” – Big creature is also a projection. Coming from a sense of being small.
The other theme which strongly came was of “food” and “party”
We know already he is industrious/busy and “avaricious”.
Which is the remedy with the “Natrum/Nutrition line themes” with egotism of “Sulphur” is “avarice” and is very FOODIE?
It was very clear we had to look at the Mammal Group – Prey Remedies.
Rx: Rattus R. 200 once in 10 days.
- Low self-confidence
- Feeling of being small/defenceless
- Dependent, need for safety, security, and someone who can care for them
- Active, Nervous and Energetic – restlessness & hurriedness
- Fun-loving, lustful
- Craving for fancy, fast, junk food
In the proving: “Fun loving : Making fun, picnics, silly sexy joking, spending money
Lust for food. I was finding everything very bland since a few days; must have everything extra spicy. [P4, 1, D19]
Insane appetite. Mind thinks of nothing but food and sex. The carving for food was so intense that when ordering food from the menu, I felt that I should not miss out any thing. I ordered a variety of dishes and also managed to eat them all! he main feeling after the meal was of envy that the others sitting on the tables around ordered more tastier food than mine. Feeling of ‘not done’, a kind of discontent. [P16, 1, D**]”
- Ambitious, wants big money.
- Looks are important glitter and glamour. Can compensate by Big Brands
Insensitive – want of moral feeling, want of conscience – stealing or lying.
There are two proving in the rodent family – one done by Dr. Jayesh Shah and other by Nancy Herrick which give some very peculiar indications for this case. Unfortunately though, the remedy is not very well represented in the repertory yet.
This case was very subtle in its presentation and the prescription. A lot of aspects in this case were in projection, denial or compensation. The animal themes were also not outright in the case and prescription of Rattus R and was based on observations that were also outside the consultation room.
Dr. Gandhi has put the Mammals in Infancy & Early Childhood hence they correspond to the Row 3 and Row 4 of the mineral chart. Dr. Sankaran has placed Mammals in Superclass 4 which is to do with Stability & Security.
From our own clinical experience with mammals, we can say with great confidence that one must think of this remedy when you are thinking of Sulphur and Nux Vomica. Especially if you see mammal themes with fear- panic, greed-ambition and themes of FOOD.
After the Rattus R. prescription, the patient recovered almost immediately. He stopped his inhaler, his asthmatic complaints were almost negligible. In subsequent follow-ups, the nasal irritation, block and dryness of the throat, and eye irritation were getting better too.
After Rattus R, he got complete relief and there were no more relapses. He was on our treatment for over a year after Rattus R and he did not need the inhalers any longer.