Patient was female, 27 years old, natural blonde with translucent skin. Childcare coordinator.
Chief complaints were scar tissue from burns accident, and recurring tonsillitis, sinus infections and upset stomach. The latter three complaints had been occurring for most of her life.
Eighteen months previously a gas bottle exploded causing serious burns especially to lower half of the body, but also the face and arms. The patient described this as the ‘most traumatic experience of my life’ (ailments from anxiety, fear, fright, mental shock). She had to undergo extensive physical rehabilitation and became suicidal, depressed, indifferent to life and afraid to leave the house in case something happened (delusion, he is about to receive an injury). She didn’t want people to look at her (aliments from mortification), felt she would never look the same again and started to give up on life (delusion everything will fail). Hated everyone (mind, contemptuous). At this stage she went to see a psychologist.
The scars were purple, mottled, nodular, glossy and shiny in appearance;< top of the feet. A number of skin grafts had been carried out. The skin could become very itchy < heat.
General physical symptoms included history of dry, brittle nails, ridges on nails, tendency towards slow healing, low physical and mental stamina, curvature of spine, shy stool, desire for cold food, aversion to milk, meat and cheese.
Mental symptoms before the burns accident included:
- Perfectionism (mind, conscientious about trifles) and history of strong expectations of self
- aversion to meeting new people, and new surroundings/places (mind, timidity, about appearing in public)
- aversion to interviews and exams, public speaking
- not letting people know what upsets her, because they can ‘use it against me’ (delusion, he is about to receive an injury; delusion, she is pursued by enemies)
- shy as a child (mind, timidity)
- sensitive to noise (mind, sensitive to noise)
- startled easily (mind, starting easily)
- recurring dreams of face being burnt off
Life history revealed strong expectations from parents (ailments from domination) who were often absent or preoccupied (ailments from being rejected), excelling in swimming (mind, ambition increased, competitive) but devastated when coaches with which she had formed an attachment left, and at one stage a boyfriend who controlled many aspects of her life (aliments from domination). During the time of treatment was now happily married but struggled with loneliness when husband was away on duty overseas (soldier) (aliments from unhappiness).
What struck me as interesting in this case, was that both the totality of symptoms and the scars (shiny, slightly nodulated, tender to touch) lined up strongly with Silica terra.
Silica’s core delusion (left half of the body does not belong to her) reflects independence at home, with dependency and timidity outside of the home. Secondary delusions include delusion, he is about to receive an injury; delusion, she is pursued by enemies; delusion everything will fail. All of these delusions expressed more strongly after her accident due to the significant impact of the trauma on her Vital Force.
Sankaran (Soul of Remedies) states that image is a central issue for a Silica person and, “Wherever there is a possibility of this fixed image being lost…Silica develops tremendous anxiety and apprehension with a severe fear of failure.”
The irony in this case is that the nature of the physical injury (including the face) actually did result in some ‘loss’ of outward appearance; the outward projected image that the world sees.
Silica 6C (100ml bottle). Test dose: 0 succussions, ½ tsp direct from bottle, wait 3 days.
3 days later
Scar areas 10% lighter. Coryza from nose
Silica 6C, 2 succussions, 1tsp from bottle and ½ cup water, once very 2nd day.
First follow-up (fortnight later)
– Scar tissue on legs: blue colouring decreased significantly; replaced by pale or red shade. Scarred areas feel softer and itching (< after shower) not as intense.
– feel calmer generally e.g. cope with new kids or parents at work much better
– waking up with better energy; needing more sleep
– stomach not been a problem since test dose
– dreams stopped
One month later
– skin still improving; lighter and softer
– hair changed from brittle to soft; nails getting harder
– shy stool gone
– dizziness/motion sickness (old symptom –OS)
– blocked nose (green) in morning; after 9am runs clear all day (OS)
– lots of ear wax and itchiness (OS)
– menses: first ‘normal’ period in 2 years; 5 days of bleeding then stopped
One month later
– skin faded and softened more; less itching; when exfoliation occurs skin clears better
– much calmer and happier: not upset by things as much; less irritability on waking; talking to people more and not worried about what I say
Six months later
– skin progressively improved in colour and texture (softer)
– sleep better: not as broken and waking up more refreshed
– response to situations in general is more positive
– when speaking to others can express self more succinctly and from a calmer place
– not desiring dairy anymore
– more confident in confronting husband over issues
– feels distinctly better (“Amazing new me”)
I continued to treat this patient for some time. She continued to improve mentally, emotionally and physically. She reached the point where she removed the bandages covering the scars and felt OK with this both physically and mentally.
Succussions and dose were adjusted from time-to-time according to the symptom picture presenting. We progressed from Silica 30C to Silica LM1. Eventually she was given Lycopodium as a complementary remedy, as indicated by the symptom picture. On Lycopodium the mentals and physicals continued to improve.