“I was referred to you by a friend when I told her that I have a ganglion cyst in my wrist. She told me that she had a very positive experience with you when she had a cyst. This is at least the 2nd, and perhaps the 3rd, such cyst that I have had.
I had one surgically removed last summer from the same wrist, although not in the same location. I also believe (looking back) that I had one about 10 years ago in college that went away on its own.
The current cyst is not painful, but my doctor told me to wear a splint in hopes that it will go away. He also said that if it doesn’t go away, the only treatment is surgery—it cannot be aspirated because it appears to be coming directly from the joint.
I am wondering if this is something that homeopathy would be helpful for. I am hoping to get pregnant later this summer, and I am a nursing student, so I would much prefer to avoid surgery if this does not go away on its own.”
Notes from a Zoom meeting one week later
The ganglion cyst is on her right wrist. It appeared two months after the previous cyst was removed surgically. She has had three wrist surgeries in total. The first two were for tenosynovitis of the wrists on both sides. (Tenosynovitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath—called the synovium—that surrounds a tendon.)
She broke her right wrist as a child. She is the mother of three small children. After the last pregnancy she had post partum hemorrhage. She is not emotional but matter-of-fact. She has a boyish quality. She describes herself as extroverted and driven. She likes to garden, walk with the kids, to keep busy with projects. She currently attends nursing school full time.
She has a good relationship with her husband, although they got off to a rocky start. She never actually intended to get married, rather liked being single and independent. Her mother was a fervent Christian, forgetful, disorganized, smart. Janette was not particularly close to her.
“I’m a pleaser,” she says. “I was quiet at home. I like to be around people. I’m a believer; my first priority is to align with God. I want to be a good wife and do as well as I can.
“I’ve always slept well, although lately nerve discomfort is bothering me. “As a child I had bad dreams about being separated from my parents, getting lost in a busy place. I had a pleasant dream of riding a whale through the sky. I had a nightmare of being covered by crawling bugs. “I have a fear of insects. I found one in the dishwater when I was 7 years old, a small brown cockroach.”
Food aversions: fish. Her mom made catfish, which Janette hated.
She feels thirsty all day long and will drink a whole cup at a time. She prefers her drinks room temperature. She is almost always cold and greatly prefers hot weather to cold.
Here was a woman in excellent health generally, with a single point of weakness and vulnerability. I was struck by how many problems she had experienced with her wrists, even beginning in childhood. Accordingly, I began with the rubric,
Extremities, ganglion, wrists:
am-c, aur-m, bac, BENZ-AC, CALC, calc-f, carb-v, kali-m, lach, mag-m, phos, puls, rhus-t, rhus-v, RUTA, SIL, sulph, thuj
I could not see any confirmations for Benzoicum acidum, Calcarea carbonica or Silicea.
Looking at Ruta, I reflected that it had a definite affinity for problems of the tendons, as well as for ganglion cysts in general. Banerji classifies Ruta miasmatically as psoric++, sycotic+++, syphilitic+, which agreed with my perception of the case as primarily sycotic, a problem of overgrowth.
Rx Ruta graveolens 30C qd (Boiron), July 12, 2022
Follow-up email, July 26
“I wanted to give you an update on my cyst. I have been taking the Ruta as prescribed for about 2 weeks now. So far the cyst is no smaller and may be slightly larger. I still have no pain in my wrist. The first week that I took the medicine I had pain in my left ankle, but that is gone. I’m hoping to see some improvement soon!”
Follow-up email, Aug. 26
“I took the Ruta for 5 weeks and then went on vacation and forgot to bring it along. Up to that point I noticed no change in the cyst. I am now wondering if I should go back to taking the Ruta or do something else.”
At this point I scheduled a follow-up consultation, to see if I could find a better remedy. From this follow-up the following information emerged.
She doesn’t like exercise.
She gets a rash of tiny bumps every summer on her left arm.
She likes sweets and loves dairy. No particular desire for eggs.
She considers herself stubborn.
She has cold feet and hands.
She is not afraid of mice.
There were a few generalities and mind symptoms that seemed reasonably certain. I selected the rubric, Delusions, insects, for example, to represent her childhood dream of being covered with insects, as well as her fear of them.
I took Thirst for large quantities, which is a reliable general characteristic.
I chose Industrious because of her desire to be busy with projects, and Religious affections, because both she and her mother seemed to have a strong feeling about religion.
From this representation the usual polychrests emerged, but I noticed that Medorrhinum also appeared.
I quickly sent off an email asking Janette two confirmatory questions:
- How do you feel about fruit?
- How do you feel about the beach, swimming in the ocean?
- I love fruit and eat as much of it as I can, especially in the summer when it is in season.
- I like the ocean and I enjoy swimming in it, but I don’t like to go very far out because the cloudy water makes me nervous.
I then asked if she liked fruit to be fully ripe or slightly green, but she prefered ripe.
Nevertheless, the strong desire for fruit is a Medorrhinum keynote, and so is the fear of something unknown in the water. Paul Herscu writes, “The child may not be able to force himself to swim in the ocean or even in a large lake, although swimming in a pool can be very enjoyable for him. This fear is connected to the fear of eerie, unseen things. While some talk of sharks and snakes, others fear something scary under the water that may come up and snatch them.” (The Homeopathic Treatment of Children)
Rx Medorrhinum 1M diluted in water, one dropperful every two days (Hahnemann Labs), Sept. 5
Follow-up email, Sept. 22
“I have been taking it as prescribed, and I believe the cyst seems to have gotten a bit smaller. So that is good news. I also found out earlier this week that I am pregnant – does that change anything about how I should take the medicine?
I assured her that the medicine was safe for pregnant women and would actually benefit the baby.
Follow-up Oct. 1
“The cyst seems almost entirely resolved. Is it ok to stop taking the medicine now?”
I told her she could stop.
It took only four weeks for the ganglion cyst to disappear!