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.