Clinical Cases

A Profoundly Humbling Case

Homeopath Carolyn Graham solves a case of identity crisis by remembering to be an unprejudiced observer.

Male, aged 60 years.

Date: March, 2011

“Neil”, an unusual man, came to my clinic for an appointment one day. He was dressed only in a sarong loosely wrapped around his hips, with nothing on his feet, his long grey hair swept back into a ponytail, and an assortment of jewellery items strung around his neck on pieces of leather. It was a hot day, so I didn’t take too much notice of his lack of attire, but it is unusual for someone to come dressed only in a sarong.  He immediately threw his arms around me and gave me a big bear hug.

For the first (at least) 30 minutes of the consultation, he regaled me with heroic stories of how he helped transform people spiritually, and how people looked up to him in this way. Every so often, he would stand up, walk into the centre of the room, raise his arms outstretched above his head, and ‘channel’ energy down into his body, taking deep loud breaths, with his eyes closed and looking very ‘serene’. He would then come and sit back down, and continue to tell his stories. It appeared to me that he was unable to finish a sentence, as he would just stop and be unable to remember what he had intended to say. When he broke off, he would just gaze into the distance for a few seconds, and then start talking again. After a while, I was becoming somewhat concerned about how I would get the information that I needed in the time that I had (90 minutes), and every so often I’d politely interrupt and ask him what his actual complaints were. He either ignored me, or started to tell me and then again forgot what he was trying to say.

By this stage, he had also started telling me that he could ‘heal’ me, and that I should attend one of his workshops.  At this point, I was becoming impatient and a bit frustrated, as I had another client coming, and no real idea of what I was going to prescribe for him! I also found myself falling into judgements about him, and thought to myself “He’s obviously smoked too much pot in his life!”

The only real symptom I could firmly decipher was his memory problem, which he admitted he had struggled with for a long time. He was convinced it was due to his mercury amalgams, which had been removed some ten years previously, but he still felt the mercury was affecting him, due to his memory issues. On closer questioning, it appeared that his memory had been an issue since he was a young child, and he only had the mercury amalgams put in when he was in his twenties.

 

Other symptoms and modalities, which were few, were a need to eat often, a lot of flatus, desire for sweets, but no real thirst. His right testicle would retract sometimes for no apparent reason.

I had simply run out of time, but I gave him Lycopodium 30, (liquid doses, succussing) to take once per day in the evenings, and to return in one month. I didn’t feel confident about the prescription, but I lacked sufficient information and I thought it would be a good remedy to ‘open’ the case.

Neil left my clinic in a sweeping movement, arms outstretched, and advising me to attend his weekend workshop to heal old pain. Again, I thought to myself that he was just deluding himself (although not because I believed I didn’t have any old pain!), and was quite glad to see him go, even though he was pleasant enough. The whole process was like trying to extract teeth. He’d talked for almost the entire consultation, non-stop, but what I was able to deduce from it all was very little. I was also considering Cannabis Indica, but thought I’d wait until the next consultation.

One month follow-up

Date: April, 2011

Neil returned, in very much the same manner in which he had originally presented himself, in the same attire, and with the same overall ‘attitude’. I knew immediately when he walked in that nothing had changed, and that the Lycopodium hadn’t achieved very much at all, but then I didn’t really expect it to!

He sat down and started telling the stories again. After about 10 minutes, I said to him, “Neil, I love your stories, but I really feel that I need to be able to understand you on a much deeper level to know how I might be able to help you. Could you please tell me what it is you feel is your main issue? What do you feel is holding you back in your life? What bothers you the most? Is there anything in your childhood that your remember as being significant? I would really appreciate it if you’ be prepared to share yourself with me on this level, as it might help me to better understand what it is that you need”.

Neil immediately got up, walked into the centre of the room again, and raised his arms in the usual manner. After the deep breathing for a minute or two, he started to talk in broken sentences about his mother. Every so often, he would break away from the story and start talking about his healing workshops again, and how I needed to attend. At this point, I started to feel frustrated again, and a bit hopeless. How was I ever going to help him if I couldn’t decipher and understand the cause of his problem? He talked and talked, and I wrote down what he was saying in the best way I could, and nodded my head as he spoke, indicating that I was listening to him, but at the same time feeling concerned and just wishing he’d get to the point!

As I sat there writing, and nodding, and saying ‘yes ok, yes, ok, yes,ok” etc., Neil told me that his father left when he was two years old. He was raised by his mother, who would apparently never commit to any opinion whatsoever about anything. If he asked her a question about anything at all, she would say “I don’t know, I have no idea, you’ll have to work that out for yourself”. He said that she never, ever listened to him, and then he turned to me and said  “just as you’re doing right now. You’re just sitting there, writing and nodding your head, but you’re not listening to me either.”  In that moment, I knew he was absolutely correct. I was listening, and taking notes, but not really or genuinely hearing him.

He then proceeded to tell me that no one ever listened to him. His mother didn’t, and he felt that no one else in his life had either. And then he said,  “You see, Carolyn, I just don’t know who I am. I have absolutely no idea who I am”. In that moment, it was as if a bolt of lightening went through me, as I realised how I’d not been fully present for my client, because I had allowed my judgement to cloud my vision, perception and understanding. I immediately felt the depth and beauty of his soul, and felt that I had let him down. It was an extremely humbling moment, and also a very significant learning for me. How easy it is to judge when, always and under whatever circumstances, we need to remain “the unprejudiced observer”!

At that point, I asked Neil if he would tell me, or clarify for me any other symptoms he had – anything at all. The only issue was some sinus congestion, with his right nostril usually being obstructed, but the left freely flowing. I noticed his nose was also very red. He suffered from a feeling of weakness and trembling if he didn’t eat when hungry.I asked him if he had drunk much alcohol in his life, or taken any drugs. He said he’d never drunk alcohol because he literally couldn’t tolerate it, and would become drunk from the smallest amount. He also added that he’d never taken any drugs in his entire life and didn’t have any interest in doing so as a younger person. His bowel motions were fine, and there was no history of any trouble with his bowels. He preferred the cooler, damper weather. He didn’t like the heat, and told me that he’d always suffered very dry skin, and never perspired, even when he was very hot.

RUBRICS SELECTED:

MIND – CONFUSION of mind – identity, as to his   (3)

MIND – SPEECH – finish sentence; cannot  (2)

GENERALS – FOOD AND DRINKS – alcoholic drinks – agg – intoxicated easily (2)

NOSE – OBSTRUCTION –right – fluent, left   (1)

SKIN – DRY – perspire; inability to  (2)

GENERALS – WEAKNESS – hunger, from (1)

 

RX: Alumina 200, dry dose, two pillules to be taken that evening, followed by two pillules the next morning.

I asked Neil to contact me in 3 months for an appointment. He left looking a lot happier, and didn’t mention the weekend workshop again!

I didn’t hear from Neil for a few months, but one day I had a message from him, asking me if he could come and see me.

 

Date: August , 2011

When Neil arrived for his third consultation, almost exactly four months had passed. I was surprised (but then again, not really!) because it was like a different person walking in the door. His step was purposeful, his demeanour more upright and bright, and immediately he started talking with me and chatting in whole, uninterrupted sentences. We sat and talked for ten or fifteen minutes, as he told me about what he’d been up to, where he had been, who he’d been talking to, etc. There was not one instance where he didn’t finish a sentence, and it was literally like talking with a completely different person. He was still wearing his sarong, with no shoes, but he looked more well kept, neater, cleaner, and he didn’t once stand up, walk to the middle of the room, and ‘channel’ energy with his arms in the air! Not once did he mention a need for me to attend his healing workshops; in fact he said he wasn’t doing them anymore. He was helping a friend on his property to build a liveable cabin. He had also reconnected with his daughter, who he’d been estranged from for fifteen years!  He didn’t mention he had a daughter or that he’d been married during his twenties in the first two consultations.

The most profound moment was when Neil told me that he’d phoned a very long-standing friend – someone he’d known since his teenage years. He said they’d had a great chat. His friend said to him, a few minutes into the conversation,  “Neil, you’re back! You’ve come back!”  (meaning that he had come back to ‘normal’ again). Neil told me he had very little trouble now remembering what he wanted to say, or people’s names. He said, “I just feel normal. I feel I can get on with my life now”.

I asked Neil about his other symptoms. He said his nasal obstruction seemed a lot better, and he no longer became weak if he felt hungry.

I gave Neil a small vial of Alumina 1M pillules, and asked him to repeat a single dose, with two pills, if he felt any return whatsoever of his memory issues, or other symptoms. I received a greeting message from Neil just before Christmas 2011, telling me he was fine, happy and having no problems. I haven’t heard from him since.

I am writing about this case, not only because of the profound beauty of a remedy that can facilitate such wonderful healing for a patient, but also because of what I learned about myself in this process. I am so grateful for this man walking into my life and reminding me to always get out of my own way, and be “the unprejudiced observer”. In this way, healing can occur, and often for both practitioner and patient!

About the author

Carolyn Graham

Carolyn Graham

Carolyn Graham : I am a Classical Homoeopath, practising on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. I have been in practice for ten years now, and owe a great deal to those who have had the patience to teach me, primarily Dr.Parimal Banerji and his group of homoeopathic doctors in Calcutta, Dr. Isaac Golden, my Advanced Diploma course teacher who inspired and encouraged me so much, and many other wonderful homoeopaths along the way, including Dr. Luc De Schepper, Dr. Shenaz Morkas, and others. I came to Homoeopathy later in life, in my forties, and will never forget the day when, inspired by the video cases and teachings of Banerji, I knew I had to study this healing art. It has consumed me ever since, as I am sure it does most homoeopaths!
Carolyn Graham Noosa Homoeopathic Clinic / Professional Member AHA
Registered with AROH www.noosahomoeopathic.com.au
AHA Advertising Coordinator www.homeopathyoz.org

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