Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Choking!

It’s “Mitch” again. This time he’s choking! Did you guess the right remedy?

Hi Mom!

Hello, Miss Shana, welcome to the Hpathy Quiz!

The year is half over…

Half over?  Are you kidding?  The year is almost completely over!  2022, where did you go?  It was half over in June!

Really?  Well excuuuuse me for losing track of time!  Now, as I was saying…. The year is more than half over, and with it brings another report on various topics vital to the Hpathy ezine.

This better not be about James Taylor!

It is NOT about James Taylor!  It’s about his back-up singer, Arnold McCuller.



Arnold is retiring from touring.  He’s been part of the band for decades, but I ask you… can you imagine “Shower the People” without  Arnold’s solo at the end?

I think that’s the only reason people go to this show!

No, I don’t think so.  They go to see James Taylor.

I seriously doubt it.

He’s a national treasure.

If you say so.

Oh and random fact, Arnold McCuller used to sing back up for Phil Collins.

I had no idea!  But seriously, no one cares.

And now for the Death Report.  I know we’re not big fans of Rap….

We’re not fans of Rap at all!

With one notable exception!  The theme song for the Kenan and Kel Show is performed by rapper Coolio.

Coolio just died at the age of 59.

So sad.  Coolio, we hardly knew ye.

Left to right: Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson

Besides their show, Kenan and Kel also starred in the movie, “Good Burger”.  Apparently they want to do a sequel, which I’m really excited about.

But as I was saying, “Coolio” is known to my generation for performing the iconic Kenan and Kel Show theme song.  Here he is now, starting the song off with Kel’s famous catch phrase,

“Aww, here it goes!”

Next on the death report, I bet you weren’t aware that Stax Records

had a female songwriter!  Bettye Crutcher apparently was the only female writer at Stax.  She teamed up with two other writers, Homer Banks and Raymond Jackson.

Together they created “Who’s Making Love” for Johnnie Taylor in 1968 and a number of our favorite songs, including “So Nice” by The Mad Lads:

Bettye died in Nashville at 83.  

So sad….

Finally Mom, Inez Foxx of the duo Inez and Charlie Foxx died.

Their 1963 hit, “Mockingbird”, is a classic!

Few people know that Inez Foxx co-wrote another one of my favorite songs, “I Love You 1,000 Times” by the Platters.

I did not know that.  Inez was approximately 80 years old.  Few people know that James Taylor…


covered “Mockingbird” along with his wife, Carly Simon.

What were they thinking?????  They made complete fools out of themselves!  It’s right up there with “Twist And Shout” by The Beatles in the “What Were They Thinking?” category!  

Mom, you’ll have to explain that “Twist and Shout” was an Isley Brothers song because I don’t think anybody knows that.

Now that’s what I call singing!

What else would fall under “What were they thinking????”

Grand Funk Railroad’s cover of “Some Kind of Wonderful” by The Soul Brothers Six, Chubby Checker’s cover of Hank Ballard’s “Twist”, Janice Joplin’s cover of  Erma Franklin’s “Another Piece of My Heart”….

What Was She Thinking????  Why didn’t somebody stop her?

Would that I knew!  Oh, and let’s not forget Rare Earth’s version of The Temptations’ “Get Ready”.

What Were They Thinking???


But wait, are there any good covers?  What about The Doobie Brothers’ version of Kim Weston’s “Take Me In Your Arms”?

Yeah, yeah, not bad, not bad….

Anyway, RIP Inez Foxx!

Hear, hear!  Rest in peace, and Bravo!

And to close this segment out, since this month we celebrated Veteran’s Day, it’s worth noting that World War II veteran Sgt. Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts cartoon, would have been 100 years old this month on November 26th.

MeTV (the classic sitcoms channel) is going to air “A Boy named Charlie Brown” (1969) and “Snoopy Come Home” (1972) in his honor.

Oh, and California residents, you can go to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.  I wish we didn’t live so far from it.

Maybe we should move there.

OK, now we can start the Quiz.  Who do we have this month?

Remember “Mitch”?

He hurt his back trimming the rose bushes?

Exactly!  Well, this time he’s choking.

Oh no!

Pam thinks he’s got COVID.


Here she is to explain:


Sun, Oct 23, 2022 3:22 pm


1 He is awake right now, but nodding off now and then.  Did not sleep continuously for long.  He is quietly just in bed watching tv.  He keeps saying he is fine….well, just nodding or shaking his head.  He is NOT talking.  When he does speak, he says he is fine.  Ugh.  Again, I have to just observe him and guess how he is.  Aaaaaargh.

2 The DYSPHAGIA issue is back.

That scares me the most.  He CANNOT swallow even the smallest gel cap!!

He just gags and coughs, chokes, wretches.  His eyes tear and his face goes bright red.  OMG.  It is scary.  I cannot get him to swallow any probiotics, vitamins, etc.  I did give him Sufficient C and a spray of Vitamin D.  His appetite is good … but the dysphagia is worrisome.

He eats way too fast!!!  Always has!  He won’t slow down.  BUT he also is choking on SALIVA!!

These are NOT constant issues, but frequent enough to cause me to worry about pneumonia if this continues!

He is snoring now….so maybe he will sleep longer.




Pam, give him __________.


Mon, Oct 24, 2022 8:01 pm

Hi Elaine,

He’s back to normal…just got off the phone.  And thankfully, I made it through unscathed, in terms of catching whatever he had!  I got on those remedies immediately and remembered to take Ferrum Phos right away, and the Covid nosode and Vitamin D also.

Whew.  What a scare!  He never had a fever, so maybe it was just a head cold.  Whatever it was, it was SO much easier dealing with the remedies this time around!  I had my arsenal ready.  😀  Thanks for your help!



Does anybody know what the remedy is?  Write to me at [email protected] and let me know.  The answer will be in next month’s ezine.

Meanwhile, going out, this is “Piece of My Heart” by Erma Franklin (that Janice Joplin tried to screech her way through!  OMG.) 

What was she thinking?

Yeah, that’s Aretha’s sister!

Bye!  See you in December!


Baryta carb






How did we do this time?  I see Edina is here first.

Dear Elaine,

Thanks for the new quiz.  One “beginners vote” for Baryta carb.

Why did you think it was Baryta carb?

Actually I’m not sure.  I could not choose between bar-c and merc-c. They both have the choking gagging upon swallowing, also saliva. Low hoarse voice.

I considered the choking remedies lachesis, hyos., ip., baptisia,  all  partial match but either not the behavior (no talking, everything’s fine)  or no excess salivation, and completely unable to swallow but hungry, and the voicelessness.  So although the repertory I used pointed to hyos and lach, the materia medica on these was off.  Then I accidentally came upon bar c and merc c., and found the symptoms matched better than those others.  Was I way off?

Well, Edina, you were definitely dancing around the right remedy, which, by the way, was Lachesis!  Now, how do we know?  There’s a Lachesis keynote in the case and as Robin Murphy used to say, “If you see a keynote of a remedy, give the remedy!”  And the keynote is: Can swallow food just fine but chokes on water and saliva (also known as “empty swallowing”). 

And as for the “salivation” in the case?  There was none.  What Mitch had was a failure to swallow (he couldn’t); and, you know, if you’re not swallowing, you’re drooling.  That’s just a fact.  Also, if you’re afraid of choking, you’re not gonna do a lot of talking.  So, the lack of talking can’t be considered a “behavior”, per se.  If he wasn’t choking, maybe he would be very chatty for all we know.  So, yeah, it was Lachesis.


Hi Elaine and Shana!

It’s Maria from Greece!!!!

For this month’s quiz I vote for Lachesis.

If I am wrong I will try again 🙂

You’re not wrong so don’t try again!


I think I see Wayne from Australia.

Hi Elaine,

Hope I have the right quiz this time.

I think the remedy is Hyoscamus.

The rubrics I used are

Mind Answers, general; mind abruptly

Answers, general; aversion to

Wayne, he can’t answer because he has a fear of choking!  You should look up “Mind: fears, choking”–there are only 3 remedies: Arsenicum, Lachesis, and Lyssin.

Voice; rough

There are 100 remedies in that rubric.  Not very helpful.

Face, red face; alternating with pale face,

All our faces would turn red if we were choking, so, a common symptom, not going to help us.

Throat,  choking, convulsive,

That’s where you got Hyoscyamus from!  It’s in Bold for this rubric!  The trouble is, were we told in the quiz that Mitch was convulsing?  No, I don’t think we were.  So, that was a conclusion you drew.  You kind of went out on a limb there; and then again, what does “convulsing” mean, exactly?  I don’t know.

Throat, choking general; on swallowing

Throat, choking general on swallowing liquid

If you go to the Throat chapter and scroll down to “Swallowing, difficult, saliva”, there are only 5 remedies listed and only 1 in Bold: Lachesis.

Wayne, just like last month (“Whole Body Screaming!”) where people were not recognizing the keynotes of Belladonna, so this month, people are not seeming to be familiar with the keynotes of Lachesis. 

First of all, “choking” is a Lachesis word!  Choking is a big issue for Lachesis, they have a big fear of it!  When you saw “choking” as the title of the quiz, Lachesis should have been a primary consideration:  They choke on going to sleep, they can’t wear tight collars or turtle-necks, they don’t like their throat being touched.  As you know, Lachesis is a snake.  The only way you can get control of a snake is to grab him by the throat!  Because of that, Lachesis is very conscious about his throat, fears the least little thing will lead to choking. 

So, here’s the Lachesis keynote:

Can swallow solids but chokes on liquid. 

Think about the snake: they swallow their prey whole!  Hence, the ease of Lachesis in swallowing food.  Did you notice that Mitch was reported to have “a good appetite” (meaning he could swallow food)?  But he choked on saliva! 

Roger Morrison says in his Desktop Guide:

“Chokes when swallowing.  Difficulty swallowing, especially liquids or saliva. … better swallowing solid food.”

So, that’s it.  As Robin Murphy always said, “If you see a keynote of a remedy, give the remedy!”


Hey everybody, Vamsi’s in the house!!!!!

Dear Elaine,

Hello, Vamsi!

As 2022 comes to a close, it surely leaves me choking 🙂  😊

Yes, I am all choked up too!  Good-bye 2022, it was nice knowin’ ya!

Here go my analysis for this quiz

Etiology :  No specific mention

Generals –


coughs, chokes wretches

Quiet in bed

Eyes tear and face goes red


– Eats very fast – Feeling of great hunger in stomach.

– Choking on SALIVA too

Eats very fast, indicating a feeling of great hunger in the stomach. States he cannot wait for it. ( Lachesis )

Choking on SALIVA too ( very particular for Lachesis ), accompanied with Dysphagia points to Lachesis.  I vote for LACHESIS.

You are correct, Vamsi!  But you made it so complicated!  All you had to see was the Lachesis keynote, “Can swallow food but can’t swallow saliva.”




I see Neil is here from the UK.

Hi Elaine

Hi Neil!

This month’s quiz is very tricky with so few pointers but I am going for Hyoscyamus as listed under cannot swallow without choking.

There were other remedies listed under swallowing and choking   like graphites and kali carb and merc but i had to go for something….

There was no mention of ability to swallow liquids only capsules so I presume could not swallow solids and I didn’t count saliva as a drink.

UK Neil

Neil, the answer is Lachesis.  Whenever you hear the word “choking”, you should think of Lachesis immediately!  They have a lot of issues with choking (See “Fears, choking”)–aversion to throat being touched, aversion to tight collars like turtle-necks, lump sensation in the throat, can swallow food but can’t swallow liquids…and remember, the snake is only vulnerable at the throat.  He can be controlled that way but in no other way.  So, snakes are very throat-conscious. 

I thought about lachesis but many of the keynotes you mentioned were absent, for instance there was no mention that he could swallow solids…

She said, “His appetite is good.”  That means he can eat!  She couldn’t have made that statement otherwise.  She’d have said, “He’s not eating, I’m so worried about him!”  Here is what she said: “He eats way too fast!!!  Always has!  He won’t slow down.  BUT he also is choking on SALIVA!!”  Implying saliva ALONE.

…as I was saying, there was no mention that he could swallow solids easier than liquids, in fact capsules are solid and they made him choke.

Neil, they maybe be “solid” but you need water to swallow them, and he chokes on liquids!  Therefore, he can’t swallow pills.  And frankly, it’s really a stretch to say that pills are “solids” when normally, when we say “solids”, we mean food.

There  was no mention of difficulty swallowing liquids

He can’t swallow pills, and to swallow pills, you take them with water.  If he could swallow water, he could take his pills.  Let’s look up “Throat: swallowing, difficult, saliva”.  There are 5 remedies, all in plain type, all weird in that you’ve probably never heard of most of them, except for one, and that one is in Bold, and it is Lachesis!

There was no mention of aversion to things being around neck either.

You’re right that Pam mentioned nothing about tight collars.  I was mentioning the throat-related issues that Lachesis has to show why, when you hear the word “choking”, you might want to think of Lachesis right away, because they have so many throat issues: fear of tight collars, lump sensation in the throat, fear of suffocation, constriction sensation in the throat, choking on falling asleep, etc.  I didn’t mean to imply that you would find them all in this case or if this were a legitimate Lachesis case, they should all be there.

So it would be nice to know why hyoscyamus did not fit.

There are 245 remedies under “Throat: choking”.  And yes, Hyoscyamus is in Bold.  But so is Lachesis, for that matter.  But, clearly, we can’t be expected to pick a remedy from a rubric this size.  What I went on was observing a keynote of Lachesis in the case: he can swallow food but can’t swallow liquids.  And yes, I came by it obliquely, because Pam didn’t come right out and say, “He can swallow food, but, he can’t swallow liquids.”  Very rarely do people talk in the language of the Repertory!  Instead they say, “He has a good appetite” or “He eats too fast!”  From that you have to infer that he’s eating.  When she says, “He can’t swallow pills,” from that you have to infer that he can’t swallow liquids because pills are taken with water.  And finally, the big emphasis on saliva is supported by that rubric I told you about: “Throat, swallowing, difficult, saliva”–5 remedies, one in Bold: Lachesis.

Have you noticed a tendency to take things literally in these quizzes?  That if something isn’t said explicitly, it’s presumed to not be there?  Or if a patient makes a statement, it’s taken at once at face value?  For example, Miranda Castro’s case about the baby that screamed for a week.

The mother told Miranda that the child was teething and wanted to know if she could give Chamomilla in the 200th potency.  Miranda could have accepted what the mother said as fact and replied, “Yeah, give Chamomilla 200C.” 

But there was no sign of teething in the gums, “no turrets”, as Miranda said.  What was Miranda doing?  She was exercising judgement, discerning, using reason!  As it turned out, the baby was dropped on its head by the 5-year-old, and the mother didn’t know anything about it!  Miranda had to figure this all out herself by questionning the 5-year-old sister!  Well, of course, the remedy was Nat-sulph, not Chamomilla!

What I’m saying is, we can’t be lazy practitioners, we have to think!  And, of course, we have to know our remedy keynotes or we’re gonna be tossed and turned every which way!  And I found out last month that only 2 people knew the keynotes of Belladonna! 

It all comes down to studying, reading, listening to the many lectures available to us online on YouTube, taking a course in homeopathy ….  What can I say?  For instance, this is right on our Homepage at

Thank you for the time explaining in such detail, Elaine.  Much appreciated.  Interpretation is key and I guess that’s what makes Homeopathy more of an art sometimes.

You are so right!  We have to be psychiatrists and detectives, as well as homeopaths.


uk Neil


I see the Gang From Slovakia is here!

Hello, Elaine and Shana,

Hello, Miroslav and Jitka!

We send our solutions of your  interesting  quiz.

Miroslav´s answer is as follows:

What interests me the most is that he says he’s fine when he has obvious problems.  By no means can I find this rubric.

I wrote a whole Quiz on this topic called “I’m Fine!  No, Really”.  I guess you need to read it again–or maybe read it for the first time:

Revisiting: I’m Fine! No, Really.

But I know that Arnica definitely has this symptom and Apis too.

But, you know what?  Apis is only a 1 for that.  Mind: obstinate, stubborn, headstrong, declares there is nothing the matter with him–Apis (1) Arnica (3).

Considering the red face and inability to swallow, regurgitation… I’d try Apis.

Red face only because he is choking.  We don’t have any information for whether his face is red in the absence of choking.  If a symptom would be “normal” for all of us, we can’t use it.

Jitka´s answer  is as follows:

I originally didn’t even want to answer this quiz, I couldn´t find the rubric “dysphagia” in Murphy´s.

It just means trouble swallowing.  “Throat: swallowing, difficult”.

In the chapter “Throat”  there are rubrics  on “swallowing – impossible” or “swallowing difficult”  but there are many remedies to choose.  To be sure, I also looked in Boericke’s MM+Repertory and there in the chapter “Throat”, there is a rubric Dysphagia, a sub-rubric – swallows food and drink voraciously – 8 remedies.  Of these, I like Belladonna the most-

I think you may have picked the wrong sub-rubric?  Because he’s not swallowing food and drink voraciously, just food, according to Pam.  You know, she made a very big point out of saying he couldn’t swallow saliva; so, if you could find a rubric that expressed that, like, “Swallowing, difficult, saliva”, that might be a good place to start.

– red face

I think if all of us were choking, we’d all have red faces.  So, if you went for Belladonna because of that?  We can’t use it.  Anything that we would all be doing is unusable.

– sensitive to  touch

I did not see that and I just read the case over.

– eating too fast.

He always eats too fast, says Pam; so, eating fast isn’t part of the case; but, it does tell us that he’s eating; which is an important piece of information!

I don’t think I’ll be the winner, but as we say here, I won’t give anything for a try.

As the last holidays of this year are upon us, we would like to wish you and Shana peace, health, happiness, and prosperity in the coming year.  Merry Christmas.

Thanks and same to you both!  OK, so, here’s the thing….  Once again, we have a keynote of a remedy here.  And as Robin Murphy always says, if you see a keynote of a remedy, give the remedy!  Do you know what the keynote is?  Here it is:

Can swallow food, but not liquids. 

Now, we know he can swallow food because Pam says his appetite is very good and he eats very fast.  We know he can’t swallow liquids because he can’t swallow his pills, not even the gel caps, and we all know that pills are swallowed with water.  If he could swallow water, he could take his pills. 

You know, it’s not enough to just hear a case, you have to interpret the case too!  Patients often imply things without coming right out and saying them!  So, by interpreting Pam’s words, you come up with a remedy keynote that I just mentioned above.  Which remedy is it?


Hi again, Elaine.  We are sending our revised views on your case of “choking”.

Miroslav now thinks that the right remedy would be Ignatia, because it is famous for that symptom.

Ignatia does have paradoxical symptoms, it’s true.

Jitka says – based on your clues that she can’t swallow liquid and the expression “I AM FINE” fits Lachesis, that’s why Lachesis is my second choice.

You’re right, Jitka!  And Lachesis DOES say “I’m fine”!  Jeremy Sherr said so, it’s in the rubric Mind: well, says he is, when very sick, see the Complete Repertory.

OK, everyone, it’s time to congratulate our 2 winners!  Maria and Vamsi, come on down!  You’re the winners of the November Quiz!


Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

Elaine takes online cases. Write to her at [email protected]

Visit her website:

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and

About the author

Shana Lewis

Shana spices up the Hpathy Quiz with her timely announcements and reviews on the latest in pop culture. Her vast knowledge of music before her time has inspired the nickname: "Shanapedia"!

Leave a Comment