Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: The Choking Kind

Maria’s brother has a choking kind of sore throat, did you guess his remedy?

Happy New Year, Everyone!  And you too, Mom.

Same to you, Shana!

Well, there were some things left out of the Death Report last month.

I find that hard to believe!  We covered….

Bob McGrath.

We covered Bob McGrath!

…a very talented singer…

Yes!  We covered him extensively!

I didn’t get to include his well-known Sesame Street song!

What well-known Sesame Street song???

“People In Your Neighborhood”!

Shana, we have a Quiz to do!

Now Mom, I know you think Sesame Street is for kids….

It is for kids!!!!

But Mom, I’ll have you know that Joy Reid just made a Sesame Street reference on her show!

Ugh!  Shot down by Joy Reid!

So, as I was saying….  “People In Your Neighborhood” is a classic!  And besides, your friend Ralph Nader is in it!  You know, the Consumer Advocate?

Yes Shana I know who Ralph Nader is, he wrote Unsafe At Any Speed about the automobile industry.

But listen Mom, try and pay attention, because the main reason we have to play “People In Your Neighborhood” is because Barbara Walters is in it, and we just lost her last month at 93.

Barbara Walters died????

Why didn’t you say so!  She’s a legend!  She was the first woman to anchor the evening news!  They partnered her with Harry Reasoner and he resented it!  She later became known for her many interviews with famous people.  Oh, this is truly an end to an era.  OK, go ahead and play “People In Your Neighborhood”!

Now Shana, as you know, you can’t really talk about Barbara Walters without mentioning the ribbing she took every week on Saturday Night Live!  As you may know, Barbara had a New York accent, which meant she had trouble with her “R’s” (as they sounded a little bit like “W’s”).  Well, Gilda Radner capitalized on this speech “impediment” with an impression that dogged Barbara for the rest of her life! 

Below, we see Gilda Radner as “Barbara Wawa”.

…interviewing movie star, Marlene Dietrich (played by Madeline Kahn)…

Did you say Madeline Kahn???!  She was another regular on Sesame Street!

Oh good grief!!!!

She had a segment with Grover…

… and she was on “The Muppet Show” too, but, go ahead.

Are you sure there’s no more Sesame Street News you want to talk about?  Anyway, in this segment, “Marlene Dietrich” seems to have the same speech impediment that “Barbara Wawa” has!

Marlene Dietrich

Good-bye, Barbara, we’ll see you on the Evening News in heaven as soon as we get there!

Oh by the way, Mom, apparently Barbara Walters is the second cousin of Paul McCartney’s third wife, Nancy Shevell.

No one cares, Shana!

There’s a picture of the 3 of them on Paul’s Facebook page.

OK, I’ll have a look.

You’re right, it’s there.

Anyway, Mom, this next death is going to be very hard for you, so, I hope you’re sitting down.  Thom (“Tommy”) Bell, songwriter and arranger for Kenny Gamble’s Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) record label, died on December 22, 2022.  He was 79.

Oh no!  Tommy Bell died????

He worked as a producer/arranger/song-writer for such artists as: The O’Jays, The Spinners, The Delfonics and the Stylistics among others.  He produced/wrote “La La Means I Love You”, “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time”, “Hey, Love”, etc. for The Delfonics.

“Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time” was nominated for a Grammy.

He won Producer of the Year at the same awards ceremony in 1974, probably for his work with the Spinners.

And speaking of the Spinners…

…we can probably thank Tommy Bell for catapulting them to super-stardom!  In fact, Tommy Bell’s name is probably more closely associated with The Spinners than with anything else he ever did.

The Spinners were languishing at Motown, despite the few hits they had there such as “Truly Yours”, “I’ll Always Love You” and “It’s A Shame”.  They left and went to Atlantic.  Atlantic was getting ready to drop them!  Tommy Bell said, “Wait a minute, are these the same Spinners I used to play piano for at The Uptown Theater?”  Atlantic said, “Yeah, we’re getting ready to drop them.”  Tommy said, “Hold on!  Give me an album on them.”  Atlantic’s counter offer was: “No, 3 songs, just 3 songs.”  Tommy said, “You’re going to be sorry.  In one year they’re going to be the number-one act in the country.”  And they were!  Why?  Because Tommy gave them two #1 hits back to back!  Atlantic was caught flat-footed!  The success of an album would have been carried by those two hit singles: “I’ll Be Around” and “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love”. 

  You can probably tell that Tommy gave them a characteristic, sophisticated sound that no one ever heard before, and the people just fell in love with it!  Here it is again, their 1979 classic, “Are You Ready For Love”:

Tommy Bell was also inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2006.  I wish it had been televised.

Another cool thing was, he worked with Elton John…

Oh geez, Elton John again!????

I’m not kidding.  In 1977 there was a short album (known as an EP) called “The Thom Bell Sessions”.  From what I understand, at least 6 songs were recorded.  It was released in 1979 and featured Elton’s own version of the Spinners’ “Are You Ready For Love.”

Well, don’t embarrass us by playing it!  I wish we could go on talking about Tommy Bell, but, you know, we have a QUIZ to get out, AND we have a very special guest presenter with us today and we shouldn’t keep her waiting any longer!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you now, the one and only…you know her, you love her… the inimitable… Maria from Greece!!!! 

 Maria, welcome to the Hpathy Observatory high atop Mount Everest!

Elaine, this is not exactly a convenient location!  

It’s not?

Why couldn’t we meet at the Hpathy Golf Course like we did last year?

Because, Maria, from the Hpathy Observatory, you can see the Hpathy Golf Course!

Well, that is the stupidest reason I ever heard to be climbing 30,000 feet!

Actually, it’s 29,000 feet.

It doesn’t matter!  Can’t you see that it doesn’t matter?  I’m too out of breath to give my case now!  Here, you do it, I’m leaving!

Wait a minute, I’ve got a ladder!


Ok, let me have a look at this case.  It says here, “Your Quizzes helped me figure out my brother’s remedy.”  Oh, isn’t that sweet?  How do you like that?  That Maria is so discerning!  What else does it say?  She says her brother called her because he had some sort of virus:  Fever, weakness, loose cough, wanted to lie down all day, but the throat pain was the worst:  Left-sided sore throat, choking sensation, pain on drinking, eating and empty swallowing, but empty swallowing was the worst.  Worse during sleep, he felt like he was choking.  She says he could only sleep on his left side, any other position led to coughing and worsening of the sore throat.

Maria says she told him to take __________ in the 200C potency because it was the only potency she had, which he took that evening.  The result was:  He slept like a baby all night.  Next morning the throat pain was gone.  He could eat, drink and swallow with no problem.

He is now OK, only a mild weakness is left.

Well, that’s it folks, if you know the remedy, write to me at [email protected].  The answer will be in the February ezine.

Shana, do you know what Joe Simon said in 1969? 


He said he only meant to love you, didn’t you know it?  Didn’t you know?  Why couldn’t you, be content, with the love he gave you?  He gave you his heart, but you wanted his mind; your love, scared him to death, girl, oh it’s the Chokin’ Kind, that’s all it is:

See you in February!  Oh, and P.S., don’t forget to see “Repertory Round-Up, part 9” in this issue, click below.  It’s a case, and you might want to try and solve it:

Repertory Round-Up, Part-9





Well, well, well, look at this….  Everybody got it right!!!!!

Who wants to go first?  Oh look, it’s Pam!

Hi Elaine, 👋

Hello Pam!

My answer for the Jan 2023 Quiz is…..I think….LACHESIS?

Yes, it’s Lachesis!

I am pretty confident this remedy is correct, BUT it is showing the evidence, that worries me — after the last quiz!

Good grief!  Pam, in the last quiz (“Pain In The Neck”), people were picking Rhus tox as a knee-jerk reaction to hearing: “I couldn’t rest, I couldn’t lie comfortably,”  They thought “can’t rest”, must mean Rhus tox, when there was actually no evidence of restlessness in the case at all—no pacing, no moving of the head back and forth, up and down, round and around….  It was like the case Miranda Castro once presented (“The Baby Who Cried For a Week”) where  Miranda was told by the mother that her baby was teething and, therefore, needed Chamomilla but Miranda said, “There’s no evidence of teething!  There are no turrets in the gums.”  The moral of the story is that “saying something” isn’t always proof that something is there.

But in this case, what are we to question?  Are there any facts in dispute?  I did a straight-forward repertorization.  I looked up everything Maria said as you can see in the chart below.  The rubrics are: Throat, pain, swallowing; Throat, pain, swallowing, empty; Throat, pain, left; Throat, choking, sleep; Sleep, position, side, left.

And there is Lachesis in the #1 position.  But, do we really need to repertorize?  What do we have here: 4 keynotes of Lachesis: 1. Left-sided sore throat.  2. Pain on empty swallowing.  3. Sleep aggravates.  4. Choking.  What more do you need to know?  You can go on with your report now.

OK.  Keynotes:


–Worse during sleep

–Left sided complaints

–Difficulty swallowing liquids and saliva, —BUT Maria didn’t say DIFFICULTY swallowing.  She said he had pain when swallowing, so…?

And she said empty swallowing was the worst.  The rubric is, “Throat: Swallowing, difficult, saliva”.  Only 5 remedies.  Lachesis is in bold.  The only remedy in bold.

I mean, I can surmise that pain would make swallowing difficult,

Yes, that’s a good possibility.

but I think you will say that it isn’t EVIDENCE.

Oy vey!

Also, in my case, Mitch was able to swallow with food, but not with liquids….so…?

Ok, Apparently we don’t have an exact replica of Mitch’s case here, but there are similarities.  In both cases, “empty swallowing” was the worst thing!  I don’t think we can expect that all cases of Lachesis will be the same or will all be “textbook” or “classic”.  Sometimes you will find yourself prescribing, believe it or not, on only ONE symptom because everything else in the case is gobbledygook!  A mish-mash, a hodge-podge!  I had a case like that recently where the only coherent symptom I could find was “right-sided complaints” as everything was on the right side, so I prescribed Lycopodium.  And it worked, thank God!  Every case isn’t going to be a “gift”.  But, in fact, Maria told me that it was because of Mitch’s case that she was able to find her brother’s remedy!

I think Lachesis is the right remedy in Maria’s brother’s case, but……?  Your last quiz (December) scared me off!  You kept saying THINK!

 Yeah, I’ll have to stop doing that ….

 and “where is the evidence?”  (Sigh)  So….I am questioning my reasoning on this case, but given that I know CHOKING is a keynote of Lachesis, I am standing by my answer.  *Crossing fingers*

If you want to see a treatise on “Not Thinking”?  An “Idiots Guide To Not Thinking”, as it were?  Look no further than Mitch’s Quiz Answer:

Revisiting: Choking!

Who wants to be next?


Hi Elaine,

Hi Neil….

I am thinking this month’s quiz remedy was, again, Lachesis.

You’re right!

It is bold under sore throat pain.  Left sided throat pain and worse swallowing.  It is known for being worse after sleep too.

For Lachesis, the keynote is “sleeps into aggravation”.

The desire to lie down and weakness made me a first  think of Gelsemium.

Neil, in a fever, it’s normal to feel weak and want to lie down.  We couldn’t select a remedy based on that.  We would want more information; for instance, we might want to ask, “HOW is the patient lying down:  quietly and still or tossing and turning?”  If the answer was “Tossing and turning”, it might make us think of Belladonna, Aconite, Arsenicum, Rhus tox, maybe Arnica, Pyrogen, Baptisia and Tarentula.  But just hearing that the patient wants to lie down really doesn’t tell us much.


UK Neil


I see Edina is back!

Hello Elaine,

Lachesis….again?  I feel like we had Lachesis a few times lately.

Left sided complaints,  esp. ,throat.

Great weakness.

Much mucus.  Choking, suffocating esp. while sleeping.

Worse from sleep,  liquids, empty swallowing.

Found it in Nash’s Leaders.

You’re right, Edina!  Yes, Lachesis again!  But, I don’t plan these things, it’s just random, the way cases come in.  But anyway, “great weakness”—this won’t help us too much.  There are 142 remedies in that rubric, with 29 of them in Bold.  Yes, Lachesis is one of them; still, it’s a common symptom; same with “much mucus” (Generals: mucus, increased) there are 155 remedies listed, 18 in Bold, and yes, Lachesis is one of them, but still, a common symptom at that.

Try and imagine if I said to you, “Edina, I’ve come down with something; I’m very weak and I’ve got lots of mucus, what’s my remedy?”  You wouldn’t know!  But if I said, “Edina, I’ve come down with something, I have a left-sided sore throat, it hurts to swallow but empty swallowing is the worst, and I’m worse during sleep,” you would know immediately; “That’s Lachesis!!!”

This is why Hahnemann said in The Organon that the only symptoms worth matching are the ones that are striking, strange, rare and peculiar (characteristic, in other words); and anything of a more common nature we should just ignore.  See Repertory Round-Up, part 4 for a discussion of “Characteristic Symptoms”:

Tidbits 50–Repertory Round-Up, Part-4


Dr Misba Siddiqui wrote in saying simply:

Lachesis is the remedy. 

Got it!


And I think I see the gang from Slovakia….

Hello Elaine and Shana, here are our answers to Maria’s brother’s case.

Miroslav says:

What interests me the most about this case is that he feels like he is suffocating while he sleeps.

It looks like Lachesis.  The other symptoms also fit, it is  just disturbing for me, that he can sleep only on his left side and on his back.  Position, body, side, right: LACH, and the same rubric…side, impossible, Lach – in italics.

I choose the rubrics:

Throat, pain, cough, on

Throat, pain, swallowing, on

Throat, pain, swallowing, empty

Sleep, falling asleep, suffocation with

Sleep, interrupted, by suffocation

I choose Lachesis.


Jitka thinks:

Lachesis was the first thing that came to my mind while reading your quiz.  I tried to repertorize it in Murphy’s translation, but the number of remedies in the individual rubrics did not give me a clear answer. Since I don’t have RADAR, I used the online repertory, where I got the following results:

throat; pain;                                                                 3

throat; pain; while lying down;                                    2

throat; pain; swallowing; on swallowing;                    2

throat; pain; swallowing; swallowing empty;              3

throat; pain; swallowing; food;                                    1

throat; pain; swallowing; liquids;                                 3

I forgot to add symptom the left sided troubles and suffocation during sleep, so I looked it up in my notes and there it was:

– the symptoms of Lachesis are worse on entering SLEEP

– troubles affect the LEFT SIDE

So my idea is Lachesis.

You’re both right!  But you agonized over it when it was so simple!  Left-sided sore throat, worse empty swallowing, sleeps into aggravation.  All keynotes of Lachesis.


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

Dear Elaine,

The prominent symptom of the condition was Cough with associated


Generals and Particulars

– Left Sided Sore throat

– Choking feeling **

– Pain of Drinking and Eating

– Empty Swallowing more painful. **

– Aggravation in Sleep

*** Very special to Lachesis, and empty swallowing causes more pain than the bolus which presses upon the sore throat.

Looks like a pure Lachesis Case.


It is, Vamsi, purely Lachesis!  So many Lachesis keynotes, it’s hard to miss!

Thanks Dear Elaine, 2023 seems to be a lucky one for me 😊

The moment I read the case, I did not need to see the Repertory, I wrote the answer straight away.

You shouldn’t feel obligated to repertorize all the time; the Repertory is incomplete, everything that ought to be in there isn’t.  If you see keynotes of a remedy, give the remedy!



Congratulations, everybody, you’re all winners!!!!!!

Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

Elaine takes online cases, write to her at [email protected]

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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"!

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