Dec. 29, 2008- 47 year old male.
“I’ve had allergies for the past 5-6 years. They’ve increased over the past 3-4 years. It’s mostly a cough  that doesn’t abate when I go outside. It’s worse in the evening. I have a stuffy and runny nose, and cough at night. The problem is worse at home. The stuffy nose is like nasal passages are being shut, sometimes for all day. The cough is an irritating feeling around the throat area. It’s better going outside, or opening the window. The cough is worse at home, evenings, and overnight. It’s an itchy feeling at the bottom of my throat. You cough to relieve it, but the worse it gets. I get phlegm, watery eyes. The bouts of coughing last twenty to thirty minutes, sometimes longer. I can hear faint wheezing. It starts like an irritation, the cough becomes intense, and then stays there awhile. Although I feel very irritated, I try not to cough. The faint irritation remains. I lost this feeling away from home. It’s a willful suppression of irritationâ€”sometimes it goes away. It takes a willful effort, or some other change to take place. I try not to cough. I try to suppress the irritation. I try to mentally concentrate on something else. It’s irritatingâ€”I try not to cough. I try to distract myself. The cough interferes with what I’m doing. It’s inconvenientâ€”I have to pause and stop. When I get irritated emotionally, I try not to react, I try to understand what’s happening mentally. I avoid a knee-jerk reaction, I suppress my emotional reaction.
My 9 year old daughter is not always rational. She doesn’t always behave. Regardless of whether I’m irritated or not I have to stop the behavior before it propagates. I ignore it for a while, allow things to calm down, try not to show irritation. At times you have to act right away. I try to approach the situation as calmly as possible, unless she’s doing something where damage could take place. You have to stop what she’s doing right away. You can’t approach it calmlyâ€”for example, she could damage the computer. It’s difficult when I have to raise my voice, or act physically, for example take the computer away from her. After I do this, I spend a lot of time and effort to calm things down. Most of the time the rational approach worksâ€”we talk about it.”
(Because the client talked about the cough interfering with what he’s doing, as well as the rational suppression of emotion, I asked about his type of work.)
“I work in design for a medical engineering companyâ€”I have to consider ‘what are the needs of the people who use the equipment’? There’s a lot of innovationâ€”it’s a creative environment. I sit back, reflect and think about how to do things differently. I like challengesâ€”they’re an opportunity. They can either be immediate needs or long-term problems. Most of the time it’s not difficult to figure out what needs to be done. It’s a whole processâ€”we have a set of tools, and have to use all sorts of different tools to make that happen. The most fun part is figuring out what to do, but the more difficult part is figuring out how to do it. You figure things out, and yet it needs to be implemented with people who don’t even know a problem exists. It’s a process of educating them about problems they’re either ignoring or don’t care about, to help them act on it. There’s a frustrationâ€”sometimes people are sitting on their hands. Unless we push and push, nothing will happen. There’s an internal frustrationâ€”the company is too conservative. My main focus is doing the right thingâ€”the customer is my focus. My goal is to understand the customer, and I also have to understand the patient. We are providing means for our customers to provide better services. The central focal point is the patient. What we do is extremely important because we directly observe what’s going on. We provide extremely solid evidence. Customer feedback is essentialâ€”the measure of success is results from studies, feedback from physicians.”
(The client also stated a fear of heights, very warm body temperature, and that his office work space is disordered).
The client adopts a very “rational” approach to problems, but in doing so suppresses a great deal of frustration and irritation. The irritation expresses itself through his cough and the cough is worse at home with an ‘irrational’ daughter. Similarly, he runs into obstacles at work, as he theorizes about problems which need fixing and yet he has to ‘push and push’ against the internal structure of the ‘too conservative’ company he works for and convincing people of the need to fix problems which they ‘don’t even realize exist’. As he said, ‘The most fun part is figuring out what to do, but the more difficult part is figuring out how to do it’.
He has a fear of heights, which is common with performance remedies coming from the periodic table. The work is very creative and he relies on feedback from customers to affirm that his efforts have been successful (creative, innovative ideas; desires to reflect well to others = silver series). The challenge is not pursued as a test of his potential (stage 8; ruthenium), nor is he desiring the “limelight” (attention) with final, detailed efforts reaching to perfection (stage 10; Palladium). Rather his focus is one of perseverance over extended periods of time to achieve his end (stage 9; Rhodium). He runs warm, has a good conceptual imagination, is somewhat disorderly and has a subtle egotism relative to issues relating to his workâ€”that others aren’t able to recognize or grasp the importance of his ideas (Sulphur).
Plan: Rhodium sulphuricum 1M single dose.
Follow-up March 2, 2009:
“The symptoms increased for about two weeks after taking the dose, then I had no symptoms. It’s a relief to not have to use anything else for my nose. The cough is gone. Even though the financial climate has changed for the worse, I’m not feeling any more frustration. Actually, new opportunities have opened upâ€”for example, using existing technology to the best of our abilities. I’m very pleased with the response. After so many years, it’s nice not to be coughing!”
Addendum: The client repeated the remedy 3 months after the follow-up, and has needed no further doses since that time.
Re-printed from the June ’09 issue of www.interhomeopathy.org