Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Pain Fest!

Written by Elaine Lewis

The answer to Elaine’s quiz of last month demonstrates the importance of asking the right questions.

Mom, hello, wake up, look what time it is!

Shana, for your information, I know exactly what time it is!  What time is it?

It’s time for the Quiz!

The Quiz?  Is it September already?  What happened to August?

August ended weeks ago; we have to get going again, starting, as we always do, with The Death Report!

OMG!  The Death Report!  What a summer this has been!  We lost Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Jimmy Ellis of The Trammps, Dick Clark, and did I mention Herb Reed of The Platters?

No, I don’t think you did….

Well, geez!  What was I thinking?  The founding member of The Platters, Herb Reed, died in June.

Oh!  And you know who else died in June?  The founding member of The Coasters, Carl Gardner! 

Amazingly, they were both 83!

 Herb Reed, the bass singer, is on the left.

 Carl Gardner is on the left.

These two groups were giants back in the ’50’s!  Let me start with The Platters.  To the extent that “rock ‘n’ roll” could ever be considered elegant or grand, it was The Platters that made it so!  Their lead singer, Tony Williams

was possibly the greatest lead singer of all time, I am not exaggerating!  They had so many hits that picking one to play is next to impossible; but, here they are now, ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable, the one-and-only Platters singing “Only You”:

Oh dear! Now I’m all verklempt!  Talk amongst yourselves!  I’ll give you a topic.  Today’s music: Obnoxious or just Pathetic?—Discuss!


OK, I’m back.  Now for The Coasters.  They were the exact opposite of the Platters!  We used to call them the Clown Princes of Rock ‘n’ Roll!

I love The Coasters!

I know you do Shana; so, please pick out a Coasters song for us in honor of founding member, Carl Gardner.

Check!  Here are the Coasters with “Searchin'”, introduced by the host of Bandstand, Dick Clark, whom we also just lost:

Shana, you are so cool for a 20 year old!  And now for the Quiz!

Wait Mom, what about a fictitious name?  Let’s name her “Schuylkill” after my dorm!  (P.S.  It’s pronounced “School-kill”, after the Schuylkill Indians–or, more appropriately, a tribe of Native Americans indigenous to this area.)

So, if there are no further points of order….I bring you….at long last….the Case of “Schuylkill”:  (called “Pain Fest” because this poor woman had pain coming from all sides!  We’ll let the husband tell it since he filled out the questionnaire):


1. Describe the complaint

Excessive bleeding in menstrual cycle. Lower abdominal pain and backache. Headache in temple area.

2. Etiology–

Menstrual cycle.

3. Sensation–describe the pain or other feeling you have.

Throbbing in abdomen and temples

4. Appearance–

Bleeding is dark red.

5. Location–

Described above

6. Modalities–What makes your complaint better or worse? Don’t say “nothing”, THINK!!!!!

If she presses/holds her stomach tightly the pain reduces.

7. Concomitants

Headache and thirst

8. Discharges–

Dark red blood.

9. Generals–

Thirst for cold drinks. On a scale of 1-4, a 3.

10. The mentals:

Mentals are normal

11. What have you been saying?

Nothing. Just the normal stuff.

12. What are you doing?

Nothing different.

13. Describe your thirst and appetite–

Thirst for cold water.

Appetite is low. Not interested in eating much.

14. Fever?


15. Sweating?

No sweating

16. Odors?


17. What is most striking, peculiar or identifying about your condition?

Excessive bleeding, lower abdominal pain, backache, headache

18. Is there a diagnosis?

Menstrual cycle time

19. Describe your energy–



One hour after taking _______________30C, the abdominal pain was gone and the back pain was starting to ease up.  I didn’t hear anything after that until the next day.  By the next day all pains were gone; plus which, when the pains would creep back, they would again go away when she repeated the remedy:

“Her lower abdominal pain, backache and headache decrease whenever she takes ______________30C”

So what was the remedy?  Write to me at [email protected] and let me know!  


















Nux vomica

Look at all the people who voted!  Wow!  Thanks, everybody!  The consensus seems to be for Mag-phos, but, is that really the one?  Do we have a caller on the line?

Hi Elaine,

Hi Vamsi.

Another quiz, i am excited to solve it.

You’re here first this time!

Ok here goes the symptoms as described.

1. Cause – Menstrual cycle.
2. Sufferings – Lower abdominal pain and Backache.  Headache (Throbbing in abdomen and temples.)
3. Amelioration – By “pressure” and by “Very cold drinks”

Cramping pains during menstruation, Abdomen Pain ameliorated by pressure.  (Magnesia Phosphorica )

There was no mention of amelioration of headache – Is it better by tying up with a bandage or by warm application?  (if it goes with the two mentioned here then it would be Magnesia Phosphorica )

I guess the person said amelioration by pressure for the stomach ache, probably it applies to the headache also.

No, no, you can never assume that!  She simply didn’t answer for that; I have to tell you, originally, for the answer to the Modalities question, the husband said there were no modalities!  I would not accept that!!!!!!  I said, “I’m sorry, but that is not possible!”  And then he came back with the abdomen better pressure.  I am telling you, Vamsi, case-taking is not the easiest thing in the world.

Good point.

Now we have better by Cold drinks as well.  (Could be Phosphorous also, but no mental symptoms, rules out Phosphorus)

No; listen, don’t rule out a remedy because its mental symptom isn’t there.  It doesn’t have to be there if the case has no mentals!  There are no mental symptoms to match here!

No mental symptoms.

The remedy is ” Magnesia Phosphorica “.  Please let me know.

Well, it’s true that Mag-phos. is our “go-to” remedy for menstrual cramps, and mag-phos IS better from pressure; but, a very important symptom in this case is Throbbing Pain, and Mag-phos just isn’t listed for that!  What else goes against Mag-phos here?  Do you know?  The patient is better for cold drinks and Mag-phos is not better for cold at all.  Quite the opposite.  Everything about mag-phos is about warmth–better warm drinks, better warm applications.  Here, however, we have a desire for cold drinks, so, we have to eliminate Mag-phos.  Thanks for voting, Vamsi!


Hello, is the caller there?  You’re on the air at!

Hi Elaine!

Hi Maria!

My vote for this month is Belladonna.  The throbbing pains, thirst and pressure amelioration seems to fit.

Actually, Belladonna tends to be worse for pressure for the most part.  That’s because they’re so congested–hence the throbbing.  They also tend to be thirstless.  It’s a rabies remedy, remember; hydrophobia, fear of water.  Also, Belladonna acutes tend to be sudden and urgent; but, the husband reports that his wife’s energy is normal and she’s acting normal and not saying anything out of the ordinary; so…….I don’t see the urgency associated with most Belladonna cases.

If I am wrong I’ll give it another shot 😛

I didn’t get this remedy by keynote prescribing, as you just did (throbbing = Belladonna), I had to use the repertory.  What’s the most characteristic symptom in this case?  And what’s the rubric for that?

Thirst during menses?  I made the mistake and chose: “Food – THIRST, general – menses, during“, 15 remedies in it, I overlooked the “thirst for large quantities” subrubric which has only Sulphur and Nat-mur!

So in throbbing pains a 3 indeed!

So, I found the rubric “Back – PAIN, back – menses, during
84 remedies, not very helpful but only 3 remedies are in 3rd grade and Sulph. is one of them.

See how everything is falling together?

Then I found only “Abdomen – PAIN, abdomen – menses, during”
105 remedies in it, not helpful at all.

No, it is helpful.  That is the rubric!  Every rubric in a case isn’t going to be a small rubric, BUT, they can’t ALL be large, is what I’m saying; you should attempt to look to see if there isn’t something more specific than the super-large rubric.  Scroll down and check the sub-rubrics, consider related chapters, like the way the “thirst during menses” wasn’t in the “Female” chapter at all, as you might expect.  It was in the “Food” chapter (Murphy’s Repertory).  “Food: thirst, menses, thirst for large quantities”.  And what happened?  We found something very unexpected: 2 remedies! Sulphur and Nat-mur!  Who’d have thought?  And look at this:

Sulphur covers the whole case!  What are the elements of this case?

1. Headache in temples

2. Headaches, Pulsating

3. Thirst for large quantities during menses–This was the most characteristic symptom, along with the throbbing sensation and better for pressure.

4. Pressure amel.

5. Menses, dark

6. Menses, profuse

7. Back: pain, menses, during

8. Generals: throbbing

9. Abdomen, pain, menses, during

10. Food: cold water, desires

Now, this came as a complete surprise to me!  If I hadn’t repertorized, I never would have guessed Sulphur!  And how do you find the elements of the case in order to repertorize?  The Questionnaire!!!!!  Do you think your patient is going to just GIVE you this information, that if you let her ramble on she’s going to magically say, “Better pressure”, “Thirst for cold drinks”, “throbbing pain”….no, don’t be silly!  And how are you going to know when you’re done taking the case if you just let your patient ramble on?  It doesn’t sound like a very efficient way of obtaining the information you need.  You need the questionnaire for that!  Here’s a link to it:

And now, to help us announce our winner, we have Lisa Simpson on saxophone:

And the winner is……..

Vasiliki !

September 28, 2012

Dear Elaine, with a first look the case seems to need Phosphorus because of bleeding in combination with thirst for cold water.  Using my repertory I found out that Sulfur and Pulsatilla have a predominant position.  So I will vote Sulfur.  We thank you once more.  Regards.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen!  Be sure to try your luck with this month’s quiz and we’ll see you back here again one month from today!

Bye-bye, and have a safe trip!

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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