Weak constitutions often break up at the change of life, particularly if there is any great trial falling to their lot, which in this life is common enough. Such a case came under my observation in the spring of 1893.
Mrs X., aged fifty-two, mother of six children, tells me she has been ailing very much ever since the change. The womb is ulcerated. She is “nothing” but skin and bones. Chronic cephalalgia, insomnia; she retches and vomits; she complains of ” whirlings like windmills in my head.” Her physicians have practically given her up, and they all have put her on sleeping draughts and ”soothing injections.”
“My husband is dead,” said she, “and I am, as you see, not far from it, and I do not care to live any longer except for my dear children. My poor darling who has gone home, would like me to try and live for our children’s sake.” I consented to treat her on condition that she should give up all narcotics and all local messings for the internal ulcerations.
Her grief was the very first point to consider, and this, with the vomiting, more than justified my first prescription, Ignatia amara, five drops in water three times a day. This having done good, the primary constitutional blight had to be seen to, as it was this that produced the extreme emaciation. One of her sisters had died of phthisis, and hence I ordered Bacillinum C.C. Then followed Pulsatilla0, Nux 1, Quassia 0 and the patient’s digestion and general condition were much improved. But the nervous symptoms were very distressing, almost complete adynamia. Several months under Kali phos., 6 trit., and then a short course of Cyprid 3x.
September 27th. – “I am fatter, my nerves feel better, and altogether I feel stronger.”
Scutellaria 3x, six grains dry on the tongue twice a day.
October 25th. – Nearly well of all her nerve troubles; sleeps, however, very badly.
Rx Bacill. C.
After this the patient never looked back, and she is today in a good, healthy, plump condition, and humanly speaking, good for another quarter of a century.
In grave, complicated cases it is best to pick out the central points in them and start from them. Thus, in the foregoing case, there were :
From these out, the therapeutic efforts were directed. The totality of the symptoms principle was here not the best, because of the several different causations of the symptoms, which were thus of different pathological qualities.
At the change of life it is well to keep the fundamentals of the basic constitution of the person well and fixedly before one’s mind. In the second place, construct a history of what the individual has gone through and then separate, mentally, the various groups of symptoms and cure them groupwise and not altogether. Only thus is success in grave life-threatening cases possible.
From: Change of Life in Women: James Compton Burnett –1898