I first heard about baby Daniel from one of my patients, a next-door neighbor. Daniel was born six weeks premature, contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and was dosed with four antibiotics, and subsequently suffered from developmental delays. He was also vaccinated. My patient recommended me to Daniel’s mother, Paige, who eventually did connect with me when Daniel was 8 months old. Her immediate reason for calling was a red, itchy rash that had recently appeared on his chest.
I interviewed her on the phone, from which the following facts emerged. He is fussy, restless and spoiled. He has no problem with sleep and often sleeps in a knee-chest position. He is still breast feeding, supplemented by home-made baby food. He likes bananas and peaches.
Bowel movements are good. He has a birthmark on his spine. He has no teeth yet (the lower central incisors should emerge at 6-10 mos). He can’t stand a pacifier, spits it out. He has not started to crawl. He is small for his age.
Based on the sleep position, developmental delay, birthmark and itchy skin eruption I prescribed Medorrhinum 10M (Helios), Sept. 8, 2014.
Nine days later, the response was less than hoped for, and Paige confessed she had resorted to cortisone cream to keep Daniel from scratching himself. She took him to urgent care, where the doctor on duty said confidently that the rash was eczema, and that Paige would be battling it “for the rest of his life
I reconsidered the case. I knew I could probably get at least symptomatic improvement from Sulphur, but there was also a danger of aggravation without cure, as there were no strong keynotes. The slow dentition made me think of Calcarea, which is also listed for sleep position on elbows and knees. Scanning the rubric for eczema I noticed Calcarea Sulphurica in bold, and it also appeared in the much smaller rubric, eczema in children. Calc Sulph is known for being discontented, whereas Sulphur is usually buoyant.
Rx Calc-s 1M (Hahnemann Labs) diluted in 2 drams of water, one dropperful
Follow-up 10 days later:
“Daniel is a little better in general. The rash is a little easier to manage these days, but not entirely eradicated. We still depend on an occasional application of cortisone cream to keep the rash away, and of course that’s not our favorite product.
Follow-up 19 days after Calc-s:
“Daniel is doing so well. His rash is gone, and he’s much happier in general. He stayed with a caretaker for the first time (without ruining her day with his fussiness) yesterday. So we are thrilled.”
He woke up this morning stuffy and clingy, however.”
Here is a dilemma. There was a clearly a curative response to the Calc Sulph, and probably the upper respiratory tract infection is part of the healing process, since he had a previous infection treated suppressively with antibiotics. Often, toxins are eliminated by the mucous membranes. On the one hand, it could be argued that the proper strategy is to wait and let the infection run its course. Or, one could repeat Calc Sulph for an extra boost. A third option is to give an acute remedy.
The mother was so anxious that I did not feel comfortable with waiting. Nor did I feel that repetition of Calc Sulph would accomplish anything. So I gave Belladonna 200C diluted in 2 drams of water, one dropperful.
Follow-up next day:
“Daniel is probably 60% better, according to my unskilled eye.”
Follow-up one month after Belladonna:
“Baby Daniel is awesome. The rash has not tried to make any sort of comeback, and it seems we’ve beat it. He’s happy and seems to be developing normally, other than the fact that he still has no teeth [he is now 10 months old]. Let me know if you see that as a cause for concern, or what you recommend if anything for that.
I cannot thank you enough. It was torture hearing a medical doctor suggest steroid cream, and your support has been invaluable.”
Follow-up one month later:
“Daniel is doing great. He has two new teeth and I can see two more trying to come through. You wanted a report on other aspects of his development and behavior. I don’t know whether I would attribute all of these to the medicine, but he has really shot up in every way in the last 2 weeks.”
- Crawling with tummy off floor
- Crawling VERY QUICKLY (happily—almost like a “run” in the crawl position, usually toward me or his sister)
- Saying “Dada” discriminately, and also pointing to a picture of a baby and saying “baby”
- Laughing at “jokes” that his sister makes up—this one is crazy because he has always giggled when we tickle him, but his sister can crack herself up and he’ll now join in.
- “Cruising”—not just pulling up on furniture but also walking with support
- Obeying “no no” and mimicking a hand motion I use to explain what’s off limits; also repeating “no no” when gesturing toward a forbidden object or area.
“I’m very happy, and so thankful to see our little guy interacting so much. THANK YOU!”
Follow-up three months later:
“There are a couple of things about which I’m not sure whether to be concerned.
He’s 14 months old now and not yet walking. We got him a stroller-type toy this week, and he pushes that around (upright) all the time, so it doesn’t seem he’ll be a crawler forever; but he sure is wobbly on those 2 legs. He looks like a 9-10 month old. He’s still smaller than his 14-month old peers by just a few pounds and doesn’t say the 7-10 words in an average 14 month-old’s vocabulary. He says “Mama,” “hot,” “out,” “hat,” but the latter three are barely distinguishable from one another. He points to many things and blabs constantly in a conversational tone. Finally, he still has only those 6 teeth that sprouted three months ago. Last month he was extra fussy.
P.S. I am pregnant again and feeling very unwell.”
Daniel was doing so well previously; why the relapse? It seemed like I was missing some important piece of information. It finally emerged that, despite my warning, Daniel had been given a round of vaccinations the previous month.
Although I had carefully explained to Paige that artificial immunity is not the same as natural immunity and in fact is really immune suppression—of no benefit whatsoever, harmful even for healthy children and devastating for the immune compromised—she could not overcome a lifetime of programming. As she explained:
“I read Dr. Sears’ book about how the threat of vaccine-related injuries are greatly reduced when preservatives aren’t included—things like mercury (not a threat anymore, I believe), aluminum and formaldehyde—and we opted for a doctor who could show us their refrigerator with an hourly check by personnel. All this to say I DID vaccinate the baby, but I thought that because there was no exposure to the preservatives, I’d gotten away with the best of both worlds.”
So what to do now?
I looked at these four rubrics:
- Walk, late: agar, bar-c, bell, calc, calc-p, caust, lyc, nat-m, nux-v, ph-ac, phos, pin-s, sanic, sil, sulph
- Talk, slow learning: agar, bar-c, bell, bor, calc, calc-p carc, caust, med, nat-m, ph-ac, phos, sanic, sil, sulph
- Dentition slow: calc, calc-p, phos, sil, sulph, thuj, tub
- Dwarfish: bar-c, calc, calc-p, sil, sulph, et al
The remedies that come through are calc, calc-p, sil and sulph.
I felt that his fussiness was best matched by Calc Phos.
Rx calc-p 30C (Boiron) qd
Rx Nux vómica 30C (Boiron) qd for Paige’s morning sickness
Follow-up two weeks later:
“I need to write you a lengthy update on the baby with details that you’ll love to hear, but I am on the run today, and it will have to wait. I did want to shoot you a quick note now, though, just to thank you from the bottom of my heart. He is doing great, and some new developments may not be attributed to the medicine you prescribed, but there have been so many changes in the last two weeks that I cannot deny it has been really effective. You probably love seeing skeptics converted.”
(Continued the next day:)
“The little guy is engaging more. I didn’t realize what kind of a personality he had until recently. He makes “jokes” without words He just has this sparkle.
He never cared much for solid food until now, and this is the biggest change. Before two weeks ago he would play with finger foods, but not much of it went into his mouth. He still ate a TON of anything I pureed, but none of the “grown up” food that the rest of the family was eating, and that vexed me. I even let him go hungry a few times to see if I could motivate him to really put away a good portion of solid food—but no, he only wanted to play with it.
The first few days were pretty weird, because his stool was especially foul. Since I’m pregnant I thought perhaps I was just being extra sensitive, so I asked Stephen (husband), and he agreed that the baby boy had some surprisingly stinky diapers.
He’s been walking much more but is not on his own yet. I have noticed he’ll let go of the couch or wall or walking toy and stand freely for a few moments, and that’s new. He’s also been happier in general and more focused on whatever he’s doing. He hasn’t been frustrated with his sister as much, and physically I’ve noticed his legs getting bigger/fatter. He’s less clingy to me in general and can handle waiting a minute or two if I can’t give him something right away.
P.S. Anything other than Nux vomica you’d recommend for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy? I’m taking vitamin B6 and magnesium oil (topically applied, plus unrefined sea salt ingested) and bone broth, but am still barely able to cope.”
I suggested that Paige switch to Sepia 30C (Boiron) qd.
Follow-up one month later:
“Daniel has doubled in size. I am still giving him his Calcerea Phosophorica 30C, and in the last 6 weeks he’s gone from the 10th percentile in weight to the 50th. He’s smack dab in the middle of all the weight charts and happy as can be. He demands tons of stimulation and interaction, but that’s his age/gender/personality, not a problem. He’s a joy. His fine and gross motor skills are great, and he walks about one step at a time now without support. That might not seem like a huge achievement, but he walks around the house holding onto the walls, and that’s great by me.
He has a gag reflex that makes every meal a challenge and still prefers pureed foods over anything else, but at least he’s TRYING other things now. I called my pediatrician’s nurse’s hotline to ask about the gag reflex, why he doesn’t seem to eat much at any of our meals, and whether it’s ok that at 16 months he only says about three words (“dog, hat, hi”).
I’ve been reading more and more about homeopathy (“Trick or Treatment” by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst). The book concludes that the power of the human brain is the most powerful medicine in history, and if we believe a medicine can help us, then it will. In a way it claims that we are in control of our own health depending on what we believe. Obviously that’s crap. A baby cannot believe himself out of a condition. I’m almost grateful for Daniel’s trouble and your solution, because our family is now 100% believers in the homeopathic approach before any other. You didn’t just fix his issue—you converted a whole family.
I feel great. When I forget to take my Sepia the nausea returns, and with it a listless fatigue that I cannot explain nor conquer. It’s like life is drained out of me, and I cannot bring myself to function. But when I remember my homeopathic medicine I’m 80% better every day. During the first week of Sepia I had periods of deep depression—but I was never out of control. Our house is a happy one, and I was surprised to find myself slamming a door once in frustration, something I’ve not done since I was a moody teenager. I had seen “mood swings” on the Sepia label, so I knew that if “like cures like” then I might need to monitor my emotions while I gave the medicine time to work on my nausea and other pregnancy symptoms. As long as I knew there was a cause behind my mood swings they were much easier to control, and I just kept my feelings in check until the Sepia began to work well on my nausea. Now I don’t have any mood swings but am feeling much better both physically and mentally/emotionally.
There’s one more thing…we’d like to set up an appointment next time you’re in Leesburg to take a look at my husband’s scatterbrain. To me, it’s his personality. But to him, something is going on, and he cannot focus. Granted, he began a business [organic chicken farm] with two small children and one on the way, so his stress level is through the roof. But he says he cannot focus on the farm, and every day he’s out there he’s all over the place mentally. A couple of people have suggested ADD, and he’d like to see our family doctor to “get a prescription.” I don’t like the conventional approach because it’s usually pharmaceutical, and I believe you may be able to offer him something more effective.”
Here is a real world situation that probably comes up in the practice of every homeopath. The husband has started a business that is still in the red, and the family is getting food from a government program. Clearly there is no money left over for a homeopath’s fees.
The husband’s ADD affects his ability to run his business, however, and may prevent him from ever getting it off the ground.
Homeopathy on the cheap is better than none at all. I suggested that Stephen try Phosphorus 30C qd and only come for a consultation if there was no result. I chose Phosphorus because it is the first remedy I think of in simple ADD without behavioral issues, and because there was clearly a strong phosphoric element in the case of Stephen’s son.
Follow-up one month later:
Stephen sent me a note:
“I wanted to thank you for suggesting the Phosphorus for what I self-diagnosed as adult ADD. I believe it has helped my attitude in general, and I have not felt as frazzled or out of control of each day.”
Although it may have been a coincidence, Paige wrote to say, “Our farm is doing better and has begun to finally pay the bills!”
In the meantime, a new skin eruption appeared on the back of Daniel’s neck, a sign that he was still in the process of detoxification. I prescribed Rhus toxicodendron 30C (he was already taking Calc Phos), but there was little improvement over the next few weeks, although his dentition was progressing nicely. Suspecting that perhaps there was a miasmatic layer that needed to be cleared, I went back to my initial prescription of Medorrhinum, though a different potency (1M) and pharmacy (Hahnemann Labs) than previously.
Follow-up one week later:
“Doctor, yesterday (and even Friday), baby Daniel began to just repeat lots of words that we are saying as we go about our rhythmic days. When his sister pretends to sneeze Daniel does too, with a completely articulated “ah-choo!” and giggle. He’s astounded me about a dozen times in the last 48 hours with new words that he just decides to repeat all of a sudden. It’s a fun development, and I thought I’d share. Before Friday I hadn’t heard a new word from him in over six months. He’s also walking a little bit more, and the rash is a light pink color, not red. It’s still there, but certainly looks less active.”
Follow-up two weeks after Medorrhinum:
At one point the rash was almost gone, but it came back and does not seem to be improving. Daniel has been grumpy and hard to console.
There are many arguments for Phosphorus, not least of which it worked well for Daniel’s father.
Rx Phos 30C (Boiron) qd
Follow-up three weeks later:
Daniel’s rash has disappeared. His emotional state is good, but curiously he stopped repeating new words and is currently not speaking much. The more pressing concern at the moment is Paige. Because her last baby was born preterm the odds of another preterm birth are quadrupled, and so she has acquiesced to a series of hormone (progestin) injections. Unfortunately, Paige is depressed since starting the treatment two weeks ago, a well-known side effect. The Sepia is continuing to work for her nausea, however.
Rx Paige: Aurum 30C daily alternating with Sepia 30C on a 12 hour basis
Follow-up three weeks later:
“I can confidently say there’s been a little improvement, for which I’m very grateful and relieved. Depression really is the weirdest thing. It’s good to have the edge off, and to be functioning a little more normally. I’m still not the joyful young woman I was before starting the MAKENA injections, but at least I’m not hopeless anymore. The baby is doing well. He will run out of Phosphorus soon; should we order more for him? Also, Stephen will be running low on his Phosphorus soon, too. It really is interesting how he can tell a difference if he forgets to take it and skips a day.”
Follow-up from Stephen a few days later:
“I have been experiencing pain in the arches of my feet over the last several months. I have also noticed a bit of pain/numbness in the general area where my long toe and third toe meet the ball of my foot. Another pain spot is on the heel and slightly behind, but this is not constant like the arch pain. The arch pain feels akin to bruises but is not aggravated by touch (applying pressure with my fingers). The pain is the worst when I get up in the morning.
I ordered a pair of Happy Feet insoles hoping these would alleviate the pain. I did notice an immediate decrease in back and hip/groin pain after beginning to wear these in my work boots, but no change in the foot pain. I work on my feet (walking and active physical labor) for long durations three days a week, but then sit for long durations when we deliver to our clients two days a week.”
Although I am not a fan of polypharmacy, sometimes it is the best one can do. I wanted to continue the Phosphorus, but it clearly was not helping the foot pain. Silica is well known for pain in the instep, according to Alfons Geukens.
Rx Stephen Phos 30C qd alternating with Silicea 30C on a 12 hour basis
Follow-up two weeks:
“Just wanted to let you know that everyone here is happy and healthy and doing well. You recommended a remedy for my husband’s plantar fasciitis a few weeks ago that has eliminated all of his complaints.
I have found more and more support for our vaccine-free lifestyle, and while I do experience push-back as we plan for the new baby’s arrival, we’re confident enough in our decision (and identity) not to be too bothered by any of it. It’s a shame that it can be such a heated topic—you’d think people would choose one side and not need to be so nasty to others about their stance. But we’re finding very “animated” discussions everywhere we go. Not to mention, more and more peers and friends have said they know someone with a vaccine-related adverse reaction, and that is just affirmation.”
About Stephen, he is still taking the Phosphorus 12 hours apart from Silicea. I’ve told him the plan to wean off the Silicea once the foot pain dissipates, which I believe it already has. He is eager to tell everyone in his world how homeopathy has helped his brain and now his feet. I’m still taking Sepia and Aurum metallicum 12 hours apart each day, and Daniel is on a single dose of phosphorus daily.
Follow-up two weeks later:
“Our baby Simon arrived 5 weeks early, just like baby Daniel did. Everybody is doing fine, I believe. I might seem hesitant only because a premie can go downhill quickly with RSV, like Daniel did. But this new baby seems strong. Great appetite, excessively sleepy (23 hours/day sleeping so far), but otherwise doing well. He was born at 6lbs. 5 oz, and yesterday at the doctor he was 6lbs. even, which means he’s lost a few ounces, but not more than 5%, so that’s great.
Active labor was spontaneous, so I didn’t have time to grab my homeopathic medicines on the way to the hospital. That means I was off Sepia and Aurum abruptly, and Daniel and Stephen were also off their Phosphorus. Would you like us to start these medicines back up again? I have not felt any depression since the baby came. Also, Daniel seems fine without the phosphorus. We can certainly start these again, but I wanted to check with you first.”
Plan: stop all remedies
Follow-up two weeks later:
“Baby Simon is starting to show symptoms of RSV. He has clear, bubbly mucus in his mouth, thick like glue. He has coughed and sneezed a bit, but there is no wheezing or dyspnea. He is sleeping more than usual.
He is thirsty. There is no fever. He is a happy baby in general, not needy or clingy.
A week ago he went from having a bowel movement every hour to having one large one every four days. His stool is the right consistency and smell.”
I looked at the following rubrics:
- Expectoration, transparent: ARG, NAT-M, PHOS, SENEG
- Expectoration, thick: phos
- Expectoration, frothy: phos
Of course I could have made a case for other remedies, but since Phos covered the symptoms it was my first choice.
Rx Phos 30C qd
Follow-up three days later:
“Simon seems to be fighting the virus. He’s able to feed and that is encouraging.”
Follow-up two weeks later:
“We have minor fleeting complaints like mastitis (me) and the occasional recurrence of Stephen’s plantar fasciitis (or whatever it was in his foot), but we have the tools to combat these small things, like hot compresses for me and occasional Silicea for Stephen—which by the way has continued to be effective.
New baby Simon is great, nothing to report except some trouble nursing now that I’m battling mastitis, but we will keep at it.
Daniel is still growing, and according to standard weight charts, he’s now in the 80th percentile for height and weight, which is miraculous to me. I’ve begun having a nearby in-home daycare keep him for 2 hours, 3 days a week, and he’s adapted very well to that. He loves the change of scenery and interaction with the two other toddlers there.
Follow-up a week later:
“Oh, Doctor, I don’t know what to do. I think I saw worms in Daniel’s diaper today. Of course then I remembered seeing how often he’s been scratching and trying to get his hands into his pants lately, and I realize he probably has an intestinal parasite. I am panicking. Of course I spent the last hour online looking at the most common kids’ parasites, and that didn’t help my anxiety. This seems to me a thousand times worse (just so gross) than any other condition. Please help. I’m heading to the drug store to clear their shelves of everything anti-worm that they have in about half an hour when Stephen gets home to stay with the children. I’m sorry for the fire drill but I am a hot mess.
Given that Daniel was making such good progress on the Phosphorus, I was inclined to see the elimination of a worm as a positive sign of self-cleansing. In fact, I judged the mother’s anxiety to be the greater problem. To reassure her I sent a bottle of Teucrium marum verum 30C, however.
Follow-up 5 days later:
“We received your parasite remedy and are administering it, even though I haven’t seen any symptoms since I first freaked out. Will continue it until we hear otherwise from you. It is a tremendous comfort to me that homeopathy is in our court with this!”
Follow-up 5 days later:
“I have not seen him scratching, and I have not seen any more parasites in his stool, either. We stopped the Teucrium.
I believe the rest of us are doing well, which is remarkable! Baby Simon is growing fine; he’s two months old tomorrow (although his premature condition has him a little behind that mark).”
Follow-up two weeks later:
“Baby Simon began coughing about an hour ago and is showing that thick, bubbly mucus (in the mouth), which is indicative of RSV. I have phosphorus with us for Daniel, and I remember that it helped Simon a lot last time he had a cough. May I administer it again, or do you recommend something else?”
Rx Simon: Phos 30C qd
Follow-up two days later:
“Baby Simon is doing well on the Phosphorus. Will continue on it for now.”
Follow up one month later:
“I know it’s redundant, but we’re doing well. A wonderful report!! Your favorite patient, Daniel, turned two a couple weeks ago and is happy as can be. Well, he’s as happy as a two-year-old can be. He loves to whine to get his way, and “whine” is an understatement. I’m happy to be having these very normal struggles instead of health-related issues with him.
Stephen, Simon and I are all doing well too, and we don’t take it for granted. None of us are taking any homeopathic remedy at the moment, although I have been reading lots and lots about homeopathy. We are sticking with the no-vaccine schedule, and it is working for us (until, of course, we are required by law to immunize, which will open a new can of worms—we will cross that bridge when we get there, even if it means homeschooling.)
Thank you for our new life full of health and hope. We are healthy and we know that when we do fall ill again, homeopathy will be our first line of defense.”
Follow-up one month later:
Everything is going well except that meal times are a continual battle. His mother writes: “Nothing makes Daniel happy—except of course cake or other sweets, which he only gets about twice a month (maybe less) when extended family visits. And even then, he cries immediately after his piece of cake or whatever is gone. I have always chalked it up to his age developmentally—after all, he can’t understand at age two that his sister “earned” her grains by eating her proteins and veggies. So of course he’ll throw a fit. Or he wants to use his fork, but that frustrates him (motor skills), and we offer to “stab” something for him, at which he flips out crying uncontrollably, even when we back off.”