I had been seeing this young lady, Sumitra, in our consultation room at Kozhikode, Kerala, since 2009. I was absent on her first visit and hence not well versed with the case. The norm is when Dr. Ajay Kumar takes the case, I meticulously record the symptoms in our case diary and finally hand over the book to him under which he writes his much-analysed prescription. (He still is a mystery and intrigue to me. He doesn’t like to use the Laptop or technology to record cases).
Dr. Ajay Kumar if alone in the consulting room never writes down a single word regarding the case except the prescription and date. To him, once he hears the patient out, the case is etched in the hard disc of his brain till eternity.
I have seen patients sitting open-mouthed when he narrates all their history even ten to twelve years later, up to the finest detail including their surnames, locality and family.
So the case sheet of this particular patient, Sumitra was limited to just the following words:
Sumitra 26 years/Female.
Date 2009 February Feb 12
Hyoscyamus 1M/ 2doses and a scribble of the diagnosis which I deciphered as MD, a short form he writes for manic depressive psychosis.
The case had been followed since 2009 to this day and to Sumitra I always remained a junior physician who would just record her presenting symptoms, report it to Dr. Ajay Sir and pass on his follow up a prescription to the pharmacist.
Actually, her symptoms were confined to occasional emotional disturbances or slight numbness or pain in different body parts, all of which I attributed to her MDP and nothing else.
Come Covid 19 vaccination campaign, and one day Sumitra calls me to ask if she can get a medical certificate to avert the Covid vaccine which was compulsory for the employees in her office; and as she is immunocompromised due to Multiple Sclerosis, she cannot have the vaccine.
I was astounded. Multiple Sclerosis?! Was this lady taking treatment for Multiple Sclerosis all these years and I never knew? But I could not disclose my unpardonable ignorance and negligence. I had misread the diagnosis that Dr. Ajay Kumar had scribbled (MD instead of MS). I gently asked her to send in her MRI and other diagnostic reports so that I can procure the certificate from Dr. Ajay Kumar’s office.
She immediately sent the diagnostic MRI of 2006 and all other medical and treatment reports substantiating the recurrent relapsing episodes of MS. The history showed periodic administration of heavy doses of steroid injections from 2006 to 2009 for recurrent relapse of the MS episodes. No more hospitalization or steroid administration after 2009 February, ie. the month she came to our clinic for treatment.
I felt both ashamed and awestruck seeing her prognosis and decided to study the case in depth. I needed to get at the bottom of her case before discussing it with Dr. Ajay Kumar.
I went back to her OP records in our case diary. In the span of all the 11 years she had been with us, I noted that the drugs Hyoscyamus and Carcinosin were given in varying potencies at very infrequent intervals, maybe once in 6 months or a year. I was intrigued and all the more curious to get at the crux of the case.
Hyocyamus and Multiple sclerosis! What would be the logic and justification for the prescription? Which textbook of Materia Medica had recorded Hyocyamus for MS? And what was Dr. Ajay’s conclusion?
I requested Sumitra for a detailed history of the case with permission to publish it for the benefit of humanity, to substantiate the effectiveness of homoeopathy in multiple sclerosis to the world.
Here is her Case History which once again testifies the unfailing principles of Similia Similibus Curentur and minimum, infrequent doses of medicines.
Sumitra was born into a dysfunctional family. Her father was a full-on alcoholic who would beat up her mother, brother and herself virtually every single night. She reminisced that he used to thrash her head on the wall , pull her by the hair and drag her body like a rag doll. She would wake up with nasty headaches every morning.
Her whole childhood was spent in terror of nights as nights meant pain and loud filthy gibberish. She was too young to defend herself or retaliate to the atrocities of her father. Suppressing her violent reactions of rage and sadness were the only options, together with fear and frustration.
Jacob entered her life as an angel in disguise as a classmate in school, supporting and understanding her like nobody did. In fact she didn’t have a good relationship with her only brother, as he was also a victim of domestic violence and had his own personality problems. Naturally, the relationship with Jacob blossomed into a romantic one culminating in an elopement and registered marriage at 21 years of age. Obviously, her father was infuriated beyond limits, thus festering all her ties with the family. Her mother the silent victim had no say at all.
Marriage was her door to some escape velocity, freedom and love. She was warmly welcomed into Jacob’s broadminded family and life took on an entirely new trajectory. She procured a job as a data entry operator, accentuating the feeling of self-sufficiency and self-worth for once. Life seemed beautiful.
In spite of all the goodness that was happening, the daughter in her cringed and craved for the love and support of her biological parents which was the most natural of feelings. Her frustration started showing up as irritability and weeping episodes for trivial things.
Jacob being the most understanding spouse would tolerate those tantrums with equanimity but the intensity of her mood swings increased day by day. It reached to such proportions that she would throw and break things in the vicinity during the height of the outbursts, then beat herself and breakdown uncontrollably for hours
Jacob knew that she missed her mother, though she refrained from any reference about her family and the years of pent up emotions were finding their vent in this way.
One year passed in a jiffy. One morning while having breakfast before leaving for office, she sensed her lips getting pulled to the left side of her face, and unable to chew food, the tea dribbled down her chin. The local physician was consulted who diagnosed it as Bell’s palsy which got resolved within three days of his medication.
Two months later she got a similar episode but this time the weakness extended to the whole of the right side of the body. This time the same physician was doubtful of his earlier diagnosis and referred her to a neurologist for a thorough investigation. MRI of the brain revealed infarcts which may have been the after-effects of trauma or could also be attributed to Multiple Sclerosis, a differential diagnosis.
She got better with steroid injections and anti-coagulants in a week. From then on the episodes started occurring periodically on alternate sides of the body once in every 4 to 6 months. Further investigations at the Sri Chithra Tirunal Medical Centre, the apex body of Medical care in Kerala, confirmed the inevitable diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis which they said is a disease she has to live with.
No permanent cure is available in modern medicine and each episode could be managed at their local hospitals with steroids. She needn’t return to Sri Chithra medical centre anymore.
It was like a life sentence to exile and suffering. She lived with it for another three years, the episodes getting more frequent and severe, affecting her career and personal life on a day to day basis. All of this only added on to her frustrations and mood swings. Amidst all the chaos she got pregnant and gave birth to an underweight premature baby, that too through a complicated C section.
Life was becoming one big set of seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Yet, she was determined to live, at least to show her insensitive father that she had made the right decision by marrying Jacob. They tried different neurologists and hospitals, all of which gave the same verdict. Later she tried various Ayurvedic medications all to no avail.
It was at this desperate stage that one of Jacob’s colleagues who was a patient of Dr. Ajay Kumar, suggested Homoeopathy. They were sceptical and outrightly refused it but this good samaritan begged them to just try it for a few months and abandon it if not effective. After all what was the harm in trying out a system which practically has nil side effects?
They consented to visit Dr. Ajay just to keep the goodwill of their well-wisher in 2009 February, which turned out to be the best decision in their lives. From that serendipitous interlude on February 12th, 2009 to this day, August 1st 2021, she has never had to take a single steroid injection nor had a relapse of the MS episodes.
She occasionally gets slight numbness or pain in different parts which pass off within one or two days of Ajay’s sweet little pills.
She is now an ardent believer of homoeopathy and that’s why when her office insisted that she take the Covid Vaccine, she refused and asked us for a medical certificate. She was taking homoeopathic preventive medicine since February 2020 when the pandemic broke out and she was going to the office every single day. To date, she has not contracted Covid and she knows that the same preventive is equally or even more effective than the Covishield vaccines.
After hearing her incredible story, it was my rightful duty as Junior Physician to put forward the request for her medical certificate to Dr. Ajay. I also needed to get deeper into the case to add it to my chronicle. I immediately called him and probed to get at his interpretation and justification for the drugs Hyoscyamus and Carcinosin. This was his explanation:
“I have only adhered to the totality of symptoms as Master Hahnemann has advocated. You just go through the Materia Medica of Hyoscyamus and can’t you see it’s symptomatogy? The violence in the temper and all other characteristics? Have you ever seen me prescribing to pathological symptoms alone? It is the totality of symptoms. And Carcinosin is the intercurrent medicine that covers her miasmatic background.
Both her paternal aunt and grandfather died of Cancer and you see her evolution as a child. The battered childhood she had and the emotional and physical trauma of years. Go to the symptomatogy of Carcinosin and you can see the picture.”
I could only bow before the greatest of physicians of the millennium, Dr. Samuel Friedrick Hahnemann, and to my eternal teacher who shows the audacity to prescribe single minimum doses of medicine even in such serious conditions like Multiple Sclerosis and lead the patient to a total cure.
Here was again testimony that homoeopathic medicine has answers to any disease under the sun if only you would scrupulously observe and learn from the annals left by our greatest stalwarts and also to inquire in-depth into the patient in front of you.
Aude Sapre said Master Hahnemann. Dare to be wise. I see the personification of the metaphor in my eternal teacher Dr. Ajay Kumar Babu (who works as Superintendent, Government Homoeopathic Medical College, Kerala, India.) Thank you for allowing me to be your companion for 28 long years is all I can say to him.