Introduction: Acute cases are exciting because one can experience the magic of homeopathy and be totally convinced of its power. Below are cases to help you work out your own analysis and see what remedy you come up with. Then you can compare it with the analysis and remedy given. It always helps to sharpen one’s acute prescribing skills as that’s where one can easily convince people that homeopathy works!
CAUTION is the byword for all acute prescriptions, as over the long term we have to be vigilant about suppression or superficial palliation with the acute remedy. Its important that the patient is followed up for long term constitutional treatment.
Undiagnosed Skin rash? Herpes Zoster
This is the case of a woman of about 55 years. She was actually experiencing a gall stone colic which had responded to Berberis Vulgaris. Below are the details she gave.
The rash began after severe pain from passing a gallstone. I’d applied ice packs to my skin on the affected area to numb it, and the next day I had the rash where I had applied the ice.
The rash is in three separate patches, two on my back, one over the left kidney area and another near it on the left side of my spine. The front patch is smaller, 5 cm above my beltline on the left side going toward the back. The symptoms have lasted at least four days, varying in intensity. The patches are very red with smaller pinhead raised pimples in them. The larger rashes are the size of a hand, the smaller the size of a golf ball. The affected area is raised and bumpy, deep red in contrast to the surrounding skin.
They are very itchy, but very, very sensitive to touch, yes I feel a numbness in that area. I can’t stand any clothing near them or any pressure on them. They are quite hot. They are like pinpricks, but also smarting. They are also rather sore. They seem to worsen at night, especially after I fall asleep. Worse at night. Worse for touch. Better for nothing, but water from the shower doesn’t exacerbate them. They don’t inhibit motion. They just hurt and burn all the time.
I am thirsty, drink a lot of water, especially at night.sleep very restless with vague dreams that have no plot, just bother me. My scalp is tender to the touch. My tongue has a thin, white, non-opaque coating. My mouth is mildly dry. No nausea. good
appetite. Bladder and bowels normal, but I haven’t been eating much.
For two days I was unbelievably sleepy, but not now. I’ve been getting small cramps in my right toes when I sit. Mental state is good inspite of the pain.
10 minutes (6th August): It’s 4:15am. Within ten minutes taking the Lachesis 200C I was able to stretch out my legs and lie down. I slept for two hours and will probably get back to sleep. There is now some chilliness. The pain in my left back is hot and excruciating. Throat is dry and I am thirsty. No further abatement of symptoms but the sleep is welcome. My vital signs are fine, I have no fever.
After 6 hours: I just awoke at 8am, having slept upright in a chair. I feel tired but the sleep was restful. I still have pain in the left back. The pain, however, can’t begin to compare to the unbelievable pain of this morning. I would rate it at about the same as when I worked yesterday.
The redness, compared with 3pm yesterday, is somewhat faded, although still red. The pimples inside are larger and redder. The heat is 50% of yesterday, pinprick pain is 60%, sensitivity to touch, 50% of yesterday. There is certainly an improvement and a lessening of pain. My appetite and thirst remain good, my mouth is dry, vital signs are fine.
After 24 hours (7th August): It’s 12:30am Saturday morning and the hellfire has subsided. I spent a very uneventful day. The pain is now about 20% of its most intense. Soreness is 10%. The itching is still intense, with isolated single-note high-intensity itch signals taking off without warning. The sensitivity is also about 20% of the most intense. I am still thirsty, but not as thirsty. My scalp is still sensitive. I think that the worst is fading into memory.
After 36 hours (8th August): I had more pain last night while I slept, the same hot, burning pain that I had before. It was less intense but it did hurt. It’s funny that I always managed to drift back into semisleep each time that it awakened me, because the pain never lost intensity.
I took a single dose of Lachesis 200 and the pain stopped. Stopped. I worked a little in my yard today, too, nothing very strenuous. It’s a big yard and I’ve done nothing in it for over two weeks, so it felt good. I’m fine, a little the worse for wear. So far, only a slight pinching pain. If it gets intense I’ll take another dose. The Lachesis has been a miracle for me.
After 3 days (10th August): I awoke at about 4am with the same pain, although a little less intense. I took 200c Lachesis and it seemed to do the trick. I’m sore, but the pain has never returned. Thank you!
I’m going to try to go to work today. I’ll give you a report later.
After 1 week (14th August): Two nights ago I took one more dose of 200c Lachesis because the shingles were burning. Since then I’ve taken nothing. Am I turning into a hypochondriac? Am I just too impatient with my recovery? Or do I need a follow-up remedy? I leave it to you. Heavens, I hate being ill! I hate feeling like a hypochondriac!
Analysis of the residual symptoms indicated Nux Vomica.
I took the 30c Nux V this morning, got a shower, then immediately had to go to the bathroom. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence. This is the first that my bowels have moved naturally.
I feel stronger, more energetic. I’m miles from normal but I’m also miles from where I was yesterday. I’ve lost about 12 pounds through this adventure even though I’ve been eating. I think that the pain is responsible for that. My major complaint today has been a feeling of fullness in my stomach area, my actual stomach, not my abdomen.
3 weeks since the onset of the problem (26th August): My reason for not being in touch has been that I’m doing better, also I was sick and tired of talking about myself and those malicious shingles. I’m feeling much better, about 90% of my pre-shingles self, but improving steadily.
GENERALITIES; TOUCH; agg.; slight (K1407, SII-640, G1160)
SKIN Discol red X sensitiveness to touch X numbness: acon., alum., ambr., ant-t., bufo, cham., con., Crot-c., cycl., kreos., Lachesis, lyc., nux-v., olnd., op., Ph-ac., phos., Plb., puls., Secale, sep., Sulphur, verat-v.
GENERALITIES; PAIN; General; agg.; night; sleeping, while (SII-401)
GENERALITIES; PAIN; General; night (G1136)
STOMACH; THIRST; night (K528, G450)
GENERALITIES; CLOTHING; pressure of; agg. (Covers; agg. or intolerance of)
She has been on constitutional treatment earlier for chronic depression and hypertension and was very well for over a year. She was recently found to have a gall bladder full of stones and with biliary colic, the immediate concern with this presentation was the possibility of Pancreatitis or otherwise cholecystitis. She has presented with acute pain, and she supposed it was a Gall stone colic and give me the symptoms that indicated Berberis or Causticum. The radiating and colicky pains subsided as the gall stone passed out, but one type of pain that was present from the beginning radiating to the renal area, remained constant. Two days later, the rash erupted.
The reason for the close vigilance was to rule out the possibility of pancreatitis by keeping track of her vital signs. I warned her of this serious possibility. She took full responsibility for this because she abhorred going to hospitals and had more faith in the power of the homeopathic remedy to cure. The rash was unexplained in its type of presentation. The closest I could get to a diagnosis was the possibility of Herpes Zoster!
The differential remedies were Merc, Hepar, Phos, Belladonna But the pain being always aggravated at night and the numbness along with sensitivity of the skin to clothes, pointed to Lachesis. Often in the acute state the mental state may or may not be indicative of the remedy. What is decisive are the peculiar physical modalities of the indicated remedy. Some residual symptoms remained and responded to a dose of Nux Vomica.
2 weeks later, she was given a dose of her constitutional remedy and continues to remain well.
Dr. Leela D’Souza