Case Quizes Homeopathy Papers

Revisiting: Case of the Flu — Client Unknown

Written by Elaine Lewis

Elaine gives the answer to last month’s case quiz.

Did anybody read last month’s quiz?  If you missed it, here it is again with the answer to follow:

Mom, let’s get moving with the quiz, we’re late again!

Not to worry, Shana, everything is under control thanks to our friend Imran from Boston who came down with the flu at the last minute!

Mom!  You forgot to change his name!

Change whose name?   Oh!  Don’t worry, Shana; by the time everyone has finished looking at my high school reunion pictures, no one will remember Imran’s name!

You said it again!

Said what?

Good grief!  Show the high school reunion pictures, Mom….

OK, here’s the first one.  Can you guess which one I am?

Oh for heaven’s sake!  You’re the second one from the left!

From left to right: Alan Meltzer, moi, Carol Polis and Ernie DiMassa.

Oh!  And here’s one of Shana!  No one else’s kid wanted to come for some reason.

Shana at FSS reunion

I look ridiculous.

You do not!  And here is the class of ’65, then and now!


Muriel Morrisey, Andy Stein, moi, Lee Troop, who’s standing behind Lee?  I don’t know, Julie Reynolds, Barbie Fitts.


Group picture FSS reunion 2010  Now.  I’m in the front row, Muriel’s to my left, Carol Polis is next to her, Margie Frank is to my right, Andy Stein is over my right shoulder, Alan Meltzer last row on the left, Erni DiMassa last row on the right….

Which one is you, Mom?  No, wait, let me guess.  From 1965, you’re the third from the left and from 2010, you’re the one in the front row wearing an army jacket!  Yes, I know, it’s your “good” army jacket, and your “good” blue jeans!  

Yeah, I got all dressed up for this!  

And now for the case of what’s-his-name: 

I told you no one would remember!


Acute Case Questionnaire

1. Describe the complaint.  

For 4 to 5 days I had a little bit of itchy eyes, felt nauseated, and felt like I had to clear my throat like there was a post nasal drip.  Then suddenly on a Friday night two weeks ago things went from bad to worse and I had a very bad sinus headache.  Then the pain in my leg came along with the pain in my arms but not quite a body ache.  That week was spent on Motrin.  Monday morning I tried to run on the treadmill but my legs were sore and I soon ran out of breath, I was exhausted and felt like I had not slept for two days (and I had a full night’s sleep).  From then on I felt feverish, tired, nauseated, constantly clearing my throat, my voice is hoarse, eyes red but not itchy anymore.  I slept 9 hours last night but this morning my boss told that I looked very tired when I showed up for work.  At times I do feel like I’m loosing my balance while sitting down, kinda like sinus.  I also feel like I’m out of breath when I walk a little bit or go up stairs.

2. Etiology-


3. Sensation-

I do feel very queasy, if I eat I get bloated or at least feel like it and feel uncomfortable.

4. Appearance – anything remarkable?  Red skin, droopy eyes, etc.?

I guess the face must look droopy since everyone tells me I “look” tired.

5. Location-where on the body is your complaint located?

See answer for 1

6. Modalities-

Cool air such as AC turning on will make me cough or sneeze and also makes me feverish and body aches come on.  If I talk for more than a minute I feel uncomfortable in the throat as if I had to clear it.  Heat seems to bother me less which is very unusual for me as I get cranky with hot weather.

7. Concomitants

Drooling in sleep, I just thought it was excess mucus but I’m glad I saw it here.

8. Discharges-

I had diarrhea for day or two but that was it.  In the morning I have a runny nose but within an hour of waking up it’s gone.

9. Generals-

I’m very low energy, I can’t even bring myself to be cranky.  I like to drink hot tea or hot beverage that soothes the throat but then I feel queasy in the stomach.  I do crave oranges and orange juice but not too much.

10. The mentals:.

Interesting I’m usually a very feisty person and get very upset when sick but it almost feels like I’m beyond caring.  This may sound good but it is NOT me.

11. What have you been saying?

Nothing just for once I don’t feel like yelling or giving lectures to my kids.  Once again it may sound like an improvement but it is not.  Almost like I have a lot of apathy.

12. What are you doing?

Just wanna lie down and do nothing.

13. Describe your thirst and appetite

I don’t feel like drinking water, I know it’s not good but it does make me more nauseated.

14. Fever?

Feels like low grade fever never took my temperature.

15. Sweating?

I do sweat if I move around, usually on the head and neck area.  If I exert myself then all over the body.

16. Odors?

I don’t know.

17. What is most striking or peculiar about your condition?

I’m usually very energetic, but now I have a very passive demeanor.  I think it’s my low energy, feel feverish and don’t want to physically exert myself.

18. Is there a diagnosis?


19. Describe your energy-

Energy is VERY low even my coworkers look at me and tell me I look tired.  I feel exhausted from the time I wake up and by the end of day I’m about to fall asleep sitting up.

Rx: _______________30C 4 times a day.

Hi Elaine,

Bad weekend in the Boston area, bad rains and flooding everywhere.  Actually had road closures for main routes. Anyways, here is my situation:

Energy is back up 65 to 70%.

The “cold”, or whatever it was, is not bothering me much, back to being cranky with hot weather 🙂 .

Post nasal drip or the clearing of throat is down 80 percent;

Eyes are not burning and have only coughed a couple of times in the past 4 days.

Do have a new problem and don’t know if it is part of the recovery, I had diarrhea on Friday and today.  Also had drooling Saturday night.

Overall, I feel great so the question is should I continue with ________________ 30C four times per day?  Or should I change dosage.


Go to twice a day for a while until you’re completely well.


Does anybody know what the remedy was?  Write to me at [email protected] and let me know.  


Nux vomica


Rhus tox



OK, and the winner is…… Gelsemium!!!!!  Yes, folks, another Gelsemium flu!  I think you can see why Gelsemium is our most often prescribed flu remedy.  Here is what alert reader, Maria from Greece, sent in:

Hi Elaine,
I think that this month’s quiz remedy is Gelsemium.

Yes, yes it is Gelsemium!!!!  Good for you!  That’s two Gels. flus in a row for the ezine!  You can see what a common flu remedy this is.  You can also go back and look at the similarities in the two cases.

The cold is slow onset


the patient is tired, thirstless and apathetic.

Exactly!  There’s the whole case right there: sleepy, thirstless and apathetic!

Also he has inclination to sleep.


Drooling in sleep made me think of Mercury, but we don’t have other symptoms.

Yes, that’s exactly right.  You may see a symptom of another remedy in a case but the question is, can you confirm the remedy?  In this case, no; there’s no confirmation for mercury.  For one thing, Mercury is thirsty and our patient isn’t.

I also thought of Bryonia, but the patient is not thirsty.


Well, I hope Gelsemium is correct 😀

Yes, perfect!

By the way very beautiful pictures!

Really?!  Thanks!



And here’s a letter from Dr. Amit Karkare:

 Hi Elaine,

My totality is:

· Apathy, indifference

· Slow gradual pace

· Dull Droopy Drowsy state

· Sensitivity to Cold, AC

· Thirstless

My remedy is GELSEMIUM


Dr Amit Karkare

Again, a perfect analysis.  Now you might say, “Gee Elaine, you overlooked a lot of the symptoms in this case!  What about the diarrhea?  What about the runny nose?  What about stomach < hot drinks?”   Well, it’s like I said last month, anyone trying to solve an acute case on the premise that it could be any one of 3,000 remedies is is just asking for trouble!  More often than not, an acute case with a common diagnosis like “the flu” has a historical record of being cured by any one of a specific set of remedies we call a “differential”.  So instead of thinking of your flu remedy as being one of a possible 3,000 remedies, think of it as being any one of a possible ten or twenty!  All you need to do is ask yourself, “Of our major flu remedies, which one does this case match the best?”

What’s our flu differential?  Roughly, this:




Nux vomica







Rhus tox

Eupatorium perf.




There is not a single remedy on this list, other than Gelsemium, that matches our patient’s case: Droopy, sleepy, weak, tired, apathetic, thirstless and cold.  He must have said “apathetic”, or words to that effect, a dozen times!  What’s our big apathetic remedy?  Gelsemium!!!!!  Gelsemium is too tired and dopey to care about anything!  He may want a blanket but never asks for one because—it’s too much trouble!  He may want the glass of water you’ve placed by his bedside but reaching for it is, you guessed it, too much trouble!  He may want to answer your questions, but….once again, too much trouble!  In fact, he may answer every question with, “Huh?” or he may start to answer, and not be able to finish the sentence while staring stupidly!

You might wonder, “Where did you get this list of flu remedies from, Elaine?”  Don’t all of you have acute prescribing books at home?  Well, for heaven’s sake, get one!  Every acute prescribing book has these lists and diseases in alphabetical order.

And now to congratulate our two winners:

Dr. Amit Karkare


Way to go, you two!  See you back here next month for another exciting, meteoric, and spell-binding Hpathy Quiz!


Elaine Lewis, DHom CHom

Elaine takes online cases.  Write to her at [email protected]

Visit her website:

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and


  • I am a amateur homeopath, catering to the acute needs of my family and friends. In more serious needs, I have access to a more experienced master. Since I do not use a repertory, my method is to fit the max number of symptoms to form a picture (with the obvious inclusion of peculiar or important symptoms) and throw away the rest. It works for me most of the times. Above case would have narrowed down to gelsemium even with this method. I appreciate this part of the H’pathy magazine very much.

  • Yes, good point; all our remedies do have a picture and, I don’t know how many times Imran needed to say the word “apathetic” but, all you really needed to hear was just that, and “thirstless” and the game’s over!

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