“People use mental models to explain how things work. The model is not reality, it is simply one way of describing how we see reality, based upon the totality of our observations and experiences. As we add to our understanding, we often need to refine our models to reflect this new view or reality“.
To begin a story about Stramonium without having an insight into Hercus’s perspective on the remedy and the cycles would be absurd. We can’t upgrade anything without its base. Paul Herscu invites us to build further on his insights by defining a way in which we should work – to refine our models to reflect this new view of reality.
When we analyse the symptoms of the patient in order to find a homeopathic remedy, many of us fall back on aphorism §153 of the Organon, …the most striking, strange, unusual, peculiar signs and symptoms in the case are especially, almost exclusively, the ones to which close attention should be given… And by making this choice, we settle for a middle ground. We are no longer paying attention to the whole patient, but rather to a part (Herscu.P, 1996.)
So this time, in order to get new insights into the case, let’s pay attention to the symptoms that are not striking, strange, unusual, peculiar, as well as the ones that we ignored in the past just because they were hard to understand and we haven’t seen them as parts of the bigger picture, even though we see them a lot in our practice. Let’s start with the case.
A man, 62, long-term heart patient, a diabetic, for the past 20 years on insulin, asthma. Former alcoholic. Over 50 years of smoking history. His legs are blue and swollen, skinny, abdomen swollen.
Case was taken 21.1.2015. Dijagnoza je uspostavljena 28.12.2014.
R91, Pulmo ad diagnosticam abnormalis;
Infiltratio pulmonis sinistri;
Meta in LGE mediastini susp;
J44 Morbus pulmonis obstructivus chronicus alius Diabetes Mellitus tip II;
St. post IM par. Anterioris aa XVI;
St. post PCI cum impl. Stenti No I in ACXI;
Cardiomyopathia ischaemica dilatativa decomp.;
Macroangiopathia et polyneuropathia diabetica;
Nephropathiadiabetica; Insuff. Renum chr. GR 2-3;
It was terminal phase, prognosis that he has about 6 months of life left.
His son asked me for help. His wife was in the last months of her pregnancy with their third child at the moment. Their children were going through puberty. His father in the terminal phase, his mother psychotic for a long period of time, his pregnant and mentally unstable wife and 2 kids all started living together in the small apartment because the patient wanted to be near the doctors and he moved from countryside to the city. The patient rarely left the apartment and the overall situation was heavy.
When I entered their apartment, the patient’s wife helped him to come to the livingroom and sit down. He could barely walk. When he finally sat down, he harshly pushed his wife away. She found her place at the most distant corner of the room, started staring outside the window and looked like she’s not with us anymore. The patient had a voice so quiet, I barely heard his words. He was avoiding eye contact. I asked him how can I help.
Patient: “There is not much help for me. I have trouble sleeping. I spend my nights sitting and thinking, then I fall into some dreams. I feel like I’m falling. I wake up every night around 12.10. Then I take a nap for half an hour. I get up at 5 in the morning and make myself a tea. I think about the ways to fight with myself, to ignore the illness. I struggle to master psychology. I have previous experience, when I had heart problems, asthma and diabetes. I’m certain that I will win again. I don’t want to give up. It’s only up to me and my psychology how well will I manage to ignore the pain and the illness. I’m taking diclofen, they also gave me patches for killing the pain. They told me that there is no cure for me because my heart works only 25% and they can’t give me any therapy. If there is something I should try, I’ll try it myself.
I sometimes feel nervous when there is too much happening around me, like slaming the doors, a crowd… otherwise I’m very disciplined. The thing I mind the most is being in Belgrade right now, instead of being in the nature. I have diabetes, heart problems and asthma. Having cancer was a shock for me, but I didn’t alow it to make me jump out of the track. I have the power to get through this. I want to fight. I prayed to God for my health earlier, but I stopped because, if he is true, he wouldn’t let me suffer this much. Maybe I carry someone else’s sin? I’ve been thinking about my sin and I realised that it doesn’t exist. I never killed no one, never mistreated anyone, never took anyone’s property.
I’ve been explaining myself that I have to stay strong, that there has to be cure for every disease. The hardest thing for me is to be traped inside these four walls and these horrible weather changes.
I have a feeling that the cancer stoped growing, eventhough they told me that it is galloping. I stopped taking insulin. The nights are the hardest because of insomnia.I was a smoker for 50 years. When I started coughting and choking, I quit smoking easilly. There were no problems.
Beldam (that is how he calls his wife) gets on my nerves because she has troubles hearing and I have to repeat everything for a hundred times, but she’s not bad enough for me to strike her. Insomnia is killing me because it makes me nervous. Give me something that can make me sleep better”.
His son told me that the patient used to be a cheerful, friendly man, loved by his friends and was always ready to have fun, going to the bar and hanging out.
I asked the patient what he longed for the most. He looked in the distance and it was obvious that the memories were going through his mind. His look became lustfuland shameless. Although his son and wife were in the room he answered: “Women… I miss being able to have all those women“. His wife was sitting in silence, with dull expression on her face, looking through the window.
Terminal cases themselves are hard, and with a lot of pathology and states of high intensity, they add even more pressure on homeopaths by expecting them to make a miracle. Often, we will search for the remedies for palliation in the rubrics DESPAIR; FEAR; death of; FEAR suffering of, RESIGATION… Once in awhile the person has hope, searches for some rare remedy, treatment or something like that, or is trying to understand why he/she got sick.
Even though he says that there is not much hope in the first sentence, he pretty fast lifted his own spirit from that state. So this case doesn’t belong to either of those two categories. Through the entire story, we can feel the patient’s attitude towards his illness, like he is going to cure himself with the power of will, his psychology (it’s wrong to use the term psyche). He will convince himself that he is healthy, and his illness will disappear, because there is a cure for every illness as he says, ”I have to ignore it and it will go away“, his strategy for fighting. a galloping cancer… a small thing for him. The attitude ”I am stronger than my illness, I can beat every illness“, has it’s rubrics in repertory:
MIND – DELUSIONS – power – diseases; he had power over all
MIND – DELUSIONS – small – things – appear small; things
To this, we can add the rubric EGOTISM, meaning having too much belief in himself and his abilities.
MIND – EGOTISM
He claims that he managed to beat the heart disease, asthma and the diabetes all by himself, even though it is obvious that he didn’t. Neither had had done his own heart surgery, nor did he feel well after it. He regularly takes medicines for asthma. For the past 20 years he has been taking insulin injections – how did he beat the diabetes then? He claims that he can cure the cancer with the power of his will, that he feels like the cancer stopped growing, and all that he want’s from me is a remedy which will help him sleep better.
He doesn’t believe in God. He used to belive along time ago, he used to pray, and then he gave up, because if the God was true, he wouldn’t let him suffer that much. Now he decided to solve his problems himself.
“Maybe I carry someone else’s sin? I’ve been thinking about my sin and I realised that it doesn’t exist. I never killed anyone, never mistreated anyone, never took anyone’s property“, he says. His perception of sin is that if he didn’t kill or mistreat anyone, and didn’t take anyone’s property, he is clean of sins. There’s nothing wrong in him.