Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Stuffed Up For A Month!

Revisiting: Stuffed Up For A Month! 1

Elaine gives the answer to last month’s quiz.

And once again, for those of you who missed last
month’s quiz…


Shana, hello, it’s time for the quiz!

Revisiting: Stuffed Up For A Month! 2

Hi Mom!  Time for the Quiz already?  What time is it?

November!

Again?

If we don’t get this quiz in immediately, Dr. B is going to have a fit!

Who’s our special quiz guest this time?

Well, it was going to be you again…

Mom, I hate being the patient!

Right.  So, let’s go with
little 3-month-old Theodora instead!

Theodora?  The kid with the stuffy nose?  Mom, how interesting is this gonna be?

Hey! You try not breathing for a month!

Fine, I’ll try it!  But, can I have dinner first?

Theodora’s mom emailed me and told me her daughter had a stuffed up nose for a month and could homeopathy help?  I was hesitant about it because I don’t like to take baby cases!  They can’t talk, they can’t tell you what’s wrong with them… Plus, stuffy nose?
Please!  Who DOESN’T have a stuffy nose!  You’d think it would be
an easy case, but in homeopathy, the more common the complaint, the harder it is for us to solve!

Why is that?

Because common symptoms have hundreds of remedies listed under them!

Does that mean all of them will work?

NO!!!!!!

Oh. Well, that’s different.
Never mind!

So, I sent the following questions to Theodora’s mother and asked her to answer them:

1. Please tell me what precipitated the nasal congestion, what caused it. Did she have some sort of cold or flu that was suppressed with drugs/antibiotics that resulted in the stuffed up nose? Do you have a clue about the cause? Did you introduce a new food? A vaccination? I need some background,
some information concerning what led up to this. Maybe you could just tell me what, in general, was going on around a month ago.

[I am obviously searching here for the all-important etiology–the cause/the “Never Well Since”/the “Ailments From”.]

2. Is she ever NOT congested? For instance, when you take her outside, does the nose run freely? What about during a hot bath? Is she only congested at night? Or only during the day? Give me the details and an idea of what makes this condition better or worse.

[Here I’m trying to get the “modalities”/things that make the complaint better or worse–very important in remedy selection. Notice that even though the mom says the baby’s nose has been stuffed up for a month, I don’t take that at face value. I want to know when the baby’s nose ISN’T stuffed up! When I find that out, I will probably know the remedy.]

3. Is this just a cold that never went away? Tell me how the cold started out.

[Again, searching for the etiology]

4. Does her nose run at all? If so, what does the discharge look like?

[Always ask patients to describe their discharge: color, odor, consistency; bland or burning/irritating?]

5. Is anything affected besides the nose? Any other problems?

6. Is she on any medication right now?

[Medicines can make our job harder! They mask symptoms which might make the remedy obvious.
We’d have to ask, “What were her symptoms BEFORE the medicines were started?]

7. Also, if you could describe the child’s nature since she got sick and how it may be different from the way she is normally, that would help.

[I’m asking for the all-important mentals here. But not her normal mental state, only the mental concomitant; how she has CHANGED from her usual self since she became sick. THAT is part of the case, her normal mentals are NOT.]

8. Finally, how did you happen to hear about me?

[Normally, I’d be asking also about thirst and food cravings as well; but, since this is a baby, it’s irrelevant.]

Theodora’s mom wrote back saying….

Hi Elaine,

I was searching for a homeopath over the Internet, and that’s
how I found you. I didn’t use homeopathic remedies a whole lot,
but I am originally from Romania (Europe) where as kids, our parents
used to treat us with herbs, garlic and mud….not with antibiotics
and pills. Anyway, I am a very healthy person and I rarely take
any medication.

My daughter Theodora is a very healthy and happy baby. She was
born full term, at 7.03 pounds and 20″. She is exclusively
breastfed. She is not vaccinated nor she will be. She never took
any medication. For her nose I am using saline drops and a bulb
syringe but I am not getting much out. The congestion is in the
back of her nose. She is congested at night, which interferes
with feedings and rarely during the day, never outside or during
a hot bath. She is sleeping in bed with me, and I run a humidifier
in the room. I have no idea what the cause of the congestion might
be, but I have the same problem during the cold season. I took
her to the doctor and she told me that the baby’s breathing passages
are very small and is very common for them to be congested. The
doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with her but did suggest to
put her on antibiotics in case the problem doesn’t go away in
2 weeks. Of course I didn’t agree with that.

Theodora has no other problems and her behaviour didn’t change
at all since she got the nose problem. She is drooling a lot and
chewing on her fingers so I am thinking she might be teething
but I don’t see any connection between this and the nasal congestion.
I am waiting for your suggestions!

I forgot to mention that during the day Theodora is congested
when she wakes up from her naps.

Thanks!

So, I asked the mom, “Does the hot bath ameliorate even at night when she’s stuffed up?”

The hot bath will loosen up the congestion for some time but
not for long.

So, I made a decision and told the mom to go to the health food store and buy _____________________30C and put one or two pellets in a disposable cup of water and just
touch the baby’s lips to it, no need for swallowing. She did that
and here’s the report I got the next day (keep in mind, this child has been stuffed up for a month!):

Hi Elaine,

Last night around 9 pm, I disolved 3 pellets in a little bit
of water in a cup and with a teaspoon I touch her lips with the
water. She did swallow a little bit, but for the most part it
dripped on her face.

Right now she woke up after a 3 hour nap (usually she only sleeps
1 hour at the time, but last night she was very restless).

[Aggravation! What if I had given her a 200C instead as so many of us are fond of doing?
Ouch! Remember, you can always go up in potency if you need to, but…how do you go down? Also, thank goodness I said to give the 30C only once!]

She is happy now and she nursed. She woke up without any nasal
congestion.

Remember, waking was a bad time for her.  So, she rebounded from the aggravation and now is fine!  In fact, here’s the one week follow-up:

Hi Elaine,

Theodora is doing great! Her nose is back to normal and we are both
so  happy.

Thank you!

 What remedy did I give her?  Write to me at [email protected]  and let me know! The answer will be in next month’s ezine.

————————————————-

Votes:

Merc-sol.
Sambucus-3
Rhus tox-4
Pulsatilla-4
Nux v.-3
Mag-carb.
Lycopodium
Nitric ac.
Phosphorus

I am going to enlarge the parts of the mother’s narrative that comprise the important parts
the case:

My daughter Theodora is a very healthy and happy baby. She was born
full term, at 7.03 pounds and 20″. She is exclusively breastfed.
She is not vaccinated nor she will be. She never took any medication.
For her nose I am using saline drops and a bulb syringe but I am
not getting much out. The congestion is in the back of her nose.
She is congested at night
, which interferes with feedings

and rarely during the day, never outside or during a hot
bath
. She is sleeping in bed with me, and I run a humidifier

in the room. I have no idea what the cause of the congestion might
be, but I have the same problem during the cold season.
I took her to the doctor and she told me that the baby’s breathing
passages are very small and is very common for them to be congested.
The doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with her but did suggest
to put her on antibiotics in case the problem doesn’t go away in
2 weeks. Of course I didn’t agree with that.
Theodora has no other problems and her behaviour didn’t change at
all since she got the nose problem. She is drooling a lot and chewing
on her fingers so I am thinking she might be teething but I don’t
see any connection between this and the nasal congestion. I am waiting
for your suggestions!
I forgot to mention that during the day Theodora is congested
when she wakes up from her naps
.

So, our Repertory rubrics, then, have to be:

night time aggravates
outside air ameliorates
hot bathing ameliorates
worse after sleep

cold season or winter aggravates

(the mom said she has the same problem every winter, so I’m assuming
she’s either passed this trait on to her baby or the baby is just,
coincidentally, worse from cold weather)

I repertorized the above rubrics and Rhus tox came out the winner!  But,
I have to tell you, as soon as I heard “hot bathing ameliorates”,
I IMMEDIATELY thought of Rhus tox! Then I looked back at the other
symptoms in the case to see if they supported Rhus tox and here’s
what I found: Open air amel., worse after sleep, ailments from cold
weather, worse at night–ALL go for Rhus tox!

Note the similarity with the other Rhus tox quiz we had recently,
“Cold Gone Bad”.  If you recall, ALL the patient’s symptoms
were better in a hot shower!  Every time I see this, my first thought
is always Rhus tox.  Similarly, whenever you have an itchy skin rash,
and hot bathing ameliorates, your first thought should be Rhus
tox.  Dr. Kent says:

Large blisters form upon the skin either with or without
erysipelas. The incessant itching is sometimes relieved by “scalding”
the parts, as it is called, by some who are poisoned with Rhus [poison ivy], by “scalding” with water as hot as it is possible to
bathe the parts in.

So, whenever you see this modality, better from hot bathing, think
of Rhus tox right away.  A lot of you made the mistake
of repertorizing “bathing amel.” when it was actually
HOT bathing that ameliorated.  Let’s see what some of our readers
had to say:

Hi Elaine,

Now, I am going to jump right in and say–
Rhus Tox.
I figure if a warm shower ameliorates in Rhus tox, a warm bath should be similar.  Also, it’s got the obstructed nose (Kent) and the “worse on waking” aggravation.  It’s not Pulsatilla because although that has the outdoors amelioration, Pulsatilla would not like getting a warm bath.  Also, the aggravation was restlessness, which would be a rhus tox aggravation.–

Eva the Picklet

 

Impressed, I asked Eva where she learned homeopathy.  Here’s
what she said:

Oh, it was from this funny lady, who’s got
a thing about music.  I think she’s some sort of rock chick in the
States somewhere.

Too bad Eva didn’t condescend to say which Rock Chick from the States!

Katie writes:

Rhus tox.
Congested at night and when wakes up from naps, but not congested
later in the day or when outside – which I take to me she is better
from motion, worse from lying still
Restless at night (aggravation)
Better from heat
Happy Thanksgiving!–Katie

Katie, a baby who is better outside is more likely better for fresh air, not motion, as she is probably being carried, and not really exercising, per se.

Rajiv writes:

Dear Elaine,

Its after a long time i am trying to solve
a hpathy quiz which i love as one of the best features of the ezine.

That is so true…

Have been very busy these days with my mainstream
career of a Management teacher. I hope you remember me as a reader
who had won quite a few of these quizzes a few years ago and was
an active participant on the hpathy forum.

Really?  Is that sooooooooo…..

I think the remedy given to the baby was
Rhus Tox. All the main symptoms and modalities of a Rhus Tox cold
are there.

Stuffed up nose,
– aggravated by rest (worse during night or early morning when the
baby is at rest or has had rest)
– ameliorated during the day and outside (presumably because of
motion?)
– better by warm bath (a classic keynote symptom of a Rhus Tox cold)

What do you say?

I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention.  Oh!  Rhus tox?  Yes!  Absolutely!

With warm regards,

Rajiv Prasad

Post script: I love all your articles and
insights into homeopathy. I also admire your wonderful, lively and
compassionate spirit.

And do you know what I admire about you, Rajiv?  You actually wrote out the word “Post script”!  I’ve never seen anyone do that before!  Wow, that is really special! 

And, finally, we have Dr. Diderik Finne:

Dear Elaine,
I would suggest Rhus-t for this baby’s sinus congestion.
There are three modalities in this case:
1) worse at night
2) better open air
3) better from hot bathing
Since the third modality is the smallest rubric, it is easiest to
start from there: anac, Ars, Hep, Rhust-t, Sil, Thuja
Sil is missing from open air amel, so that leaves five. For Ars
we would expect to see some anxiety and restlessness. For Hep, we
would expect some over-sensitiveness. That leaves anac and Rhus-t,
both in the same family, with Rhus being far more likely.
Just for the record, if I am correct, I could really use a new Synthesis
repertory.

(Hint-hint, Dr. B, are you listening????)
Best,
Dr. Diderik Finne

OK, so, congratulations go to our 4 distinguished winners: Eva,
Katie, Rajiv and Dr. Finne
. (Hopefully, our exciting prizes
will be back in January….) and thanks to all who participated;
do try again with this month’s quiz!

About the author

Elaine Lewis

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:
https://elainelewis.hpathy.com/ and TheSilhouettes.org