Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Kelly’s Kickball Kalamity!

Written by Elaine Lewis

The answer to last month’s quiz: a head injury. Did you guess the right remedy?

You didn’t miss last year’s quiz did you?  Ha-ha!  It was really just a month ago!  OK, here it is again with the answer to follow:


Kelly!  You’re back!


How am I going to tell Shana?  Being co-host of The Quiz is the most important thing in the world to her, it’s given her an elevated sense of self-esteem!

Hi, Mom, whose case are we doing this month?

Shana, there’s something I have to tell you.  Kelly is back.

OK, bye.  Oh, and “Kalamity” is spelled with a “C”.

Why do we bother, Kelly?  Why do we bother?  You can’t live with ’em, and you can’t live without ’em–or is that men?

It’s coffee!

Right!  How could I have forgotten that?!  What case do you have for us this time?  Is it one of your accident-prone children again?

Remember the one who drove his bike up a bike ramp, turned cartwheels in the air, and landed on his face?

The Flying Wallenda Brother!  Oh no, what’s he done this time?

OK, here it goes:

Recently, I picked my boys up after school.  I knew something was wrong the moment I spotted my youngest walking down the hall.  He was quiet, very serious-looking and in a hurry to leave the building and get home.

He climbed into the back of the truck and immediately started crying.  The crying quickly turned into something short of wailing and he was holding his head with his hands.  I knew I needed to get home fast but I wanted to try to find out what was wrong first.
I began to ask questions and the crying escalated into full-blown wailing.  I started the truck and he began sobbing, “My head hurts!  My head hurts!”  He shouted at his brother to stop singing and asked that the radio be turned off.

What song was on?

I can’t remember but probably something “current”, I think his brother, Avery, was singing “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Yeah, that was current alright, in 1971!

Is the music lesson over? 

Please continue.

We made the short drive home.

When we got home he laid on the couch but continued to wail.  He did manage to tell me that he had hit his head on the plate when sliding into “home” during a kickball game at the end of the day.

Excuse me, but, isn’t the plate supposed to be level with the ground?

Yes but he was sliding, kinda like body-surfing, on dirt!  He may have actually started the slide with a fall, smacking his head on the plate but who knows!

See Elaine?  My kids do play other sports
besides soccer!

Right, because kickball is a game where you kick the ball, while soccer is a game where you….kick……the……ball.  I see what you mean.


He said he had a headache on the right side of his head.  This was rather confusing because he kept pointing to the left side of his head when I asked where he’d hit it.  Looking for “soft-signs” of concussion, I checked his pupils, (they were evenly dilated) his speech was clear and made sense, his gait was normal and he wasn’t dizzy so I felt relieved.  But when he complained of nausea a few minutes later, I again became concerned about concussion.

My concern deepened after finding a badly abraded bump on the left side, high into the scalp.  I’m surprised that I found the site given where he said he’d hit his head and where the pain was!

I grabbed my remedy box, found _________1M and gave a dose.  He fell asleep ten minutes later and napped for another half hour.

Good ol’ homeopathy!  The right remedy always puts the kids to sleep (sometimes the grown-ups too)!

Yes!  that’s one reason I knew it was the right remedy and the fact that he felt better when he awoke confirmed it!

Later in the evening the headache and nausea returned.  I re-dosed with the remedy in water, shaken.  Again he fell asleep but in his bed for the night.  The next morning you would never have known any of this had happened!

Who knew kickball was so dangerous?  Elaine, we’re sticking with soccer!

Right, sooooooooooo much safer!

Glad that you agree!

So listen, everybody, what remedy did Kelly give?
Here are the vote totals:


  • Belladonna-5
  • Arnica-3
  • Coffea
  • Aconite
  • Nat-sulph.-6
  • Arsenicum

It looks like most of our crack team of homeopaths knew not to go with Arnica!  Yes, the answer was: Nat-sulph.!  Some of you had a lot to say!

Katie writes:

The most important rubrics being:
* Hearing, acute
* Head, pain, noise from

I don’t think you can use this, Katie, as the head pain was from blunt trauma, and you’d use < noise as a modality–as opposed to it being the etiology.

* Head, pain, violent pains

This isn’t going to be too helpful either because any number of things could cause this pain–a brain tumor, a concussion, a migraine, meningitis…if we knew what he had, we could go to that rubric.  For example, if we knew he had a tumor, we would know not to go to the Headache chapter and give remedies like Bryonia and Nat-mur.  We would be more interested in remedies like Conium, Phosphorus and Plumbum.  You see, the symptoms are not that important or helpful.  The etiology is much more helpful and also the diagnosis, or how are you going to know what chapter of the Repertory to look in?  See, we know he has a concussion; so, I would go to Brain: concussion first and then I would go to Mind: music agg.  And having just done that I would see that Aconite and Nat-sulph. are tied for first place.  However, Nat-s. gets a 3 for concussion whereas Aconite gets only a 2.  So, my choice would be for Nat-sulph.

* Head, pain, gastric

And again, I think this rubric will lead you astray because nausea is simply diagnostic of Concussion, not a true concomitant.  It comes with the territory.


Gabi writes:

Hi Elaine,
I have looked it up and the recommended remedies do not have the sudden onset that is what I would take as the main keynote, plus the severity.  He pointed to the left but the injury was on the right?  That is the confusing part I suppose.  I guess I would give Aconite which is sensitive to noises as well,
and it has fright and shock, but I might be wrong.  All the other “concussion” remedies that are recommended do not have that sudden onset, ARN, CIC, NAT-SULPH.
Take care

Gabi, I didn’t see a sudden onset here.  I don’t think you can use sudden onset when what you mean is that a person suddenly gets injured because he dives into home plate, unless I’m misunderstanding you.  I think it applies to infections; as in, you go out in the cold and suddenly you’ve got a fever; as opposed to going out in the cold and then a few days later you come down with a mild sore throat which gradually gets worse and worse.

So, all I see here is a concussion with the modality “worse from music”.  Do you see anything else?

So, I think you were right to go to the concussion rubric.  Arnica has confusion and I don’t think the Arnica patient would care about “Imagine” by John Lennon being on the radio, he probably wouldn’t even pay any attention to it.  They tend to be confused and out of it.  Cicuta has convulsions and the “brain cry”–kind of a high-pitched, ear-piercing scream.  So, I would go with Nat-sulph. which is our main head injury remedy, which is also in the < music rubric.


Barbara writes:

Hi Elaine,

I thought it was Belladonna.  I see what you mean by the music!  And it definitely worked ( ! ) so this bit is purely academic at this point but would love your feedback:

I know that Nat-s is considered the least sensitive and most closed of the Natrums.

Don’t get into that!  This is strictly Nat-sulph as a first aid remedy.  It’s just like, Barbara, when we give Phosphorus for electric shock or lightning strike, we don’t care if the patient is open or closed, loves company or hates it.  If we give Phosphorus for nosebleed, we don’t care if the patient is out-going or reclusive.  It is simply the “ailments from electricity”, or the “hemorrhaging bright red blood” remedy, and, in the context we are dealing with here, Nat-sulph. is simply the “ailments after head injury” remedy.

What we’re looking for here is some way to distinguish Arnica from Nat-sulph, as there aren’t many other good choices.  Belladonna is more of an infection remedy, it’s only a 1 under “concussion” whereas Nat-s. is a 3.  Also, a child crying after an injury really means nothing.  They cry all the time for nothing!  If an adult was crying, maybe we’d repertorize it; but, when you think about it, maybe we SHOULD be crying if we’ve been injured!  So, if a symptom is normal, it doesn’t really help us that much.

The only distinguishing element in this case was that he was aggravated by “Imagine”, a song that’s really rather soothing, when you think about it.  It’s not fair to say “noise agg.” in my opinion.  (And I hear that his brother has a beautiful singing voice; so, I would hesitate to say that his brother was butchering the song!)  Would Arnica have “music agg.” in its presentation?  I don’t think so.  Arnica is known for its confusion after head injury.  They say irrelevant things, incorrect things; they’ve been known to nod off.  I think Arnica might cry in the beginning but as time went on, they would start nodding off, saying, “I’m fine!” and making other strange remarks.  Here, in this case, some time has passed after the accident, and the patient’s got a bad headache apparently, as he’s holding his head and he’s in pain (see “concussion, headaches after”–only four remedies, Nat-sulph. is in Bold).

Look up “Mind: music agg”.
Arnica isn’t there, Belladonna isn’t there. Nat-sulph. is a 2.  I don’t know why Nat-s. doesn’t like music; but, you could actually make the argument that “Imagine” is such a soothing song that perceiving it as aggravating is so peculiar that a remedy would have to cover that!

That being so, I pictured this poor boy wailing and holding his head and not liking noise and it just didn’t fit the picture for me.  True, that the sensitivity and withdrawal are more from emotional hurt, but I couldn’t picture Nat-s wailing like a banchee.  Belladonna, oh yeah.

Now, remember, “etiology over-rules symptomatology”!  The wailing or screeching or whatever, is not as informative as the CAUSE of the symptom.  The cause here is blunt trauma.  First and foremost, we need a remedy for blunt trauma.
Does Belladonna fall in here?  Not very well, it’s kind of a stretch.

Also, isn’t the aggravation from music for Nat-s due to emotional feelings coming up for them?  Lennon’s “Imagine” could do that, but in this boy’s case (conjecture/assumption on my part!), it was probably because it was noise to him, no?

You know, maybe we should look at it as “sensitive” to music.  Natrum, in health, is “moved” by it, in bad health, it may be perceived as irritating to the nerves.


Pat says….

head injury
head pain…music aggravates, nausea, must hold head

injury on left – pain on right….this sounds like consequence of blow to left side pushing brain to right

I’d say Arnica isn’t a bad choice to give for any trauma.  Arnica is in same rubrics on head injury/ concussion as Nat-s, but the modalities make Nat-s the more specific remedy.

Arnica is used for head injury and stroke.
Physiologically it stops hemorrhage, absorbs blood clots in tissue, reduces pain and swelling….not bad attributes for healing a blow to the head.  I have no experience with doing this, but I’ve read where folks alternate Arn and more specific remedies for traumatic injuries.

From Millenium repertory, Nat-s, head pain

General: motion: agg. {58> 177> 0}[1058]

General: motion: agg.: arms, of. {0> 12>0}

General: motion: agg.: head, of. {27>74> 0} [1058]

Above rubrics, especially last regards motion of head, led me to probability holding head would ameliorate.



Preeti is short and sweet:

Hi ! Elaine,

It is Natrum Sulph.

It covers:

Ill effects of falls and injuries to the head.

Worse music.



That sums it up nicely! Congratulations to our winners:

  • Preeti
  • Pat
  • Julius Fernandes
  • Anonymous again!
  • Helen Sebastian-Pace
  • Elham Elahi

See you all in February!


Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

Elaine takes online cases.  Write to her: [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

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