The frequency, maltreatment and duration of this disease, renders it of sufficient importance to receive the attention given it in the following article. It is extremely common in all classes of society in this city, and its sequelae are often found complicating the symptoms of other morbid influences. Its treatment at the hands of Allopathic physicians is, by confession, an opprobrium medicandi. The disease is seldom cured by old-school doctors; and our own investigation of reported cures either in hospitals or in private practice, as well as the testimony of hundreds of patients, who have formerly suffered from clap, justifies us in the remark, that a prompt, thorough and radical cure of genuine gonorrhoea, is very uncommon.
We have asked very many patients who confess to have had clap, how long the disease existed, or rather how long the running continued. The answer is seldom, “less than a year,” oftener “more than eighteen months.” The common course is to take capsules, and injections. The injections are of Zinc, Silver, Bal. Copaiva, Acet. of Lead, and so on, down to Oak bark decoction, Tannin, and Tea. We remember what large quantities of cheap claret were used as injections a few years ago in this city, when some returned student of Ricord told us of his practice. Now even if these injections remove the discharge, which by the way I have never known them to do entirely, the disease is still in the system, and will some day show itself in some way. It is indeed a strange thing that in the face of so many risks and of so many failures, this practice of injections should be continued. It is certainly not a pleasant operation; it is even sometimes painful, but the old-school, and, we are sorry to say, some of ourselves, still continue to employ it. There may be a stage, at the very commencement of the disease, before in fact the clap discharge has fairly set in, and therefore before it is possible to say certainly if the disease be clap or not, when a cleansing injection of water with a very weak solution of Zinc or Silver will seem to arrest it. We are always suspicious of such cures, though we are not disposed to deny them. When however the discharge is fully established, and has become purulent, when moreover there is extreme pain on urinating and very troublesome Chordees,-the employment of injections is always productive of injury, either directly or indirectly; and when the discharge has become gleety, thin and chronic, the employment of injections is utterly useless.
At whichever of the three stages we inject the inflamed urethra, the great danger is lest we wash back into the lower portions of the tube a part of the morbid secretion, and by this means communicate the infection to the whole length of the canal. In this case, the diseased secretion, vehicle as it is of a specific contagion, is very likely to become entangled in the mouths of the seminal ducts. An inflammation in that part ensues, as a matter of course, and a chronic seminal weakness-a continuous prostatic discharge-a debilitating gleet, is the result. Nor yet is this all, a chronic inflammation of the basement membrane of the urethra is set up, with effusions of coagulable lymph into the interstitial substance surrounding the tube; and a stricture occurs. On the other hand the inflammation started in the lower parts of the urinary ducts by medicated injections, and the presence of the specific poison washed down from the mouth of the penis, may extend down the lining of the seminal ducts into the epididymis and the testicle itself, producing orchitis with its train of manifold troubles. These are the dangers to be apprehended from the use of injections. Excellent carefulness may perhaps succeed, by compressing the urethra half way its length, in preventing the passage of the injected fluid below the point of pressure: as this point is of course above the membranous portion, it would perhaps seem that no danger is to be feared. But even when the injected fluid does not pass below the middle of the penis, serious results may follow-as instance a case.
Some two years since, I was called during the evening to see a patient whom I found suffering with the most violent and painful orchitis. He had been troubled for some time with a clap, which he had determined to suppress at once by means of Zinc injections. He was sufficiently conversant with the anatomy of the parts to understand the necessity of preventing the passage of the injection below half way the penis, and therefore held the organ, firmly pressing the inner surfaces of the tube together. The injection was so thorough that the discharge seemed to be arrested at once. On the evening of the day on the morning of which this had taken place, the orchitis above alluded to came on; and the torture to which the poor fellow found himself subject can be better imagined than described. Pulsatilla relieved him after a few hours; but the gleet discharge returned, and was only gotten rid of by means of high dilutions of Sulphur given at long intervals.
It is thus seen that washing back the infection into the lower part of the urethra is not the only way in which disastrous consequences may be induced from injections; but the sudden suppression of the discharge may sympathetically affect the testicle. If the testicle may be thus sympathetically affected, the prostate gland, the seminal vesicles, and the bladder, perhaps even the kidneys themselves, may in like manner suffer. And this is indeed a cardinal point; the morbid influence is thus seen to remain unneutralized by the remedial agents employed: it has still force and may run riot in the system showing itself in a variety of ways. The poison of gonorrhoea, if allowed to remain in the system, will be very apt to light up the latent psora, and then the weakest organ will show most morbid results. Phthisis, chronic pharyngitis, rheumatism, old miasmatic influences which may still be hanging about the patient from previous intermittent fevers, whilom suppressed with large doses of Quinine; all these, with multiform neuralgias and dyspepsias will rear their heads, and the patient perhaps be an invalid for life; while his children are weak and puny, scabby, croupy, cross and stupid.
We have also to protest against the enormous doses of Bals. Copaiva, which are frequently crammed down the throat of patients. Such large doses of this drug have pathogenetic effects. Some of the most prominent of those are a chronic inflammation of the posterior nares and fauces, a weakness of the kidneys, and a derangement of the stomach. The brain also is dragged into the general category of suffering; and the mind moves slowly and dull, while the memory is confused, and the reflection and judgment visibly impaired.
Let it not be thought by our readers that this picture of the results of badly treated, uncured gonorrhoea is over drawn. It has been our fate to deal largely in the treatment of this disease both in and out of Hospitals, and after the methods of both the schools; our experience teaches us the truth of the above statements.
It is now time to speak of the proper means to be employed in the management of this affection. In the inflammatory stages Aconite, Cannabis, Cantharides, and Mercury, are the well known and generally sufficient remedies. These are very properly administered in low dilutions, but usually the 3rd potency-when the inflammation is somewhat less, Sulphur Nitras Argenti; Nitric Acid and Copaiva, are very efficient. Under this treatment, at the end of about the third week, or perhaps not until the middle of the fourth, the pain on micturition has entirely ceased, the chordee exists no longer, and the discharge is from four to six drops per diem, thin and watery, or perhaps about the consistency of cream. The patient is now to be treated with potencies. Antipsorics are to be preferred to other remedies, if the totality of the symptoms admits their exhibition: Sulphur, Nat Mur. and Sepia, are our favorites. The patient is kept on Sac Lactis mainly, taking only two or three doses of medicine (perhaps only one) per week. The length of this stage of the treatment varies with the constitution of the patient. If the man is essentially psoric, its duration will of course be much greater than if he be free from dyscrasia. As it happens, our last case, is perfectly well and has been so for ten days or more, after a treatment of less than two months. We have the extreme satisfaction of knowing that the general health of this patient is better now, than it has been for years. He is heavier, brighter, happier and altogether better, than at any time since our acquaintance. When his present condition, free from all sequelae, is contrasted with the hang-dog look, the dingy complexion, and the slowly moving step, of most allopathic patients who have had a two months clap, our decision is much in his favor.
We confess ourselves perfectly satisfied with such a result as this; at the same time however, it must be allowed there is little brilliancy in a case which requires two months for its completion. But we are convinced that very few genuine gonorrhoeas are cured in less time.
Patients having become tired of Doctors, and Doctors of patients, at the third stage of the disease, generally cease attention to the slight gleet which stains the linen, and the Doctor calls the case cured; while the patient goes his way, with an incipient stricture, or an impending impotence.
It is the number of such cases, which fall into our hands which has prompted us to publish these remarks. Old gleet, stricture, and chronic enlargement of the testicle, the result of badly treated gonorrhoea, very frequently present themselves for homoeopathic treatment. Time and high dilutions will certainly cure them.
We cannot in justice to the subject lay aside the pen without particular reference to Condylomata. These tubercles are the result of mis-managed, suppressed or ill-cured gonorrhoea. They are dependent on the specific virus of that disease for their origin, and will remain about the patient until that specific virus is antidoted or removed. The oldschool plan of treatment is to cut off, burn off or tear off these troublesome appendages. By this means the morbid manifestation is prevented; while the morbid element, the disease itself is not interfered with. It soon reasserts itself in some other; perhaps in the same direction. The condylomata are burned off again and again; and they return as often as they are removed, unless constitutional treatment is resorted to.
It has been said that Homoeopathists can not cure clap; and that there is a necessity to resort to Allopathic means. This is utterly false. The Homoeopathic is, in fact, the only safe and sure plan of treatment, and taking all the cases together it requires less time for a perfect cure than does any other.
We all understand that clap patients are exceedingly restive. They must always be urging a rapid cure; and are quite apt to speak of the very remarkable recovery of some friend, which is very likely to be no recovery at all. The wonderful promises made by quacks, and the fact that many laymen think themselves able to prescribe for this seemingly simple disease, contribute to render the patient dissatisfied, unless he sees a daily improvement. It seems however to be our duty to encourage him; and to protect him against his own foolish experiments; holding before him the promise of ultimate radical recovery, and at the same time, the fearful results which may follow any other than a purely homoeopathic treatment.
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 04, 1859, pages 173-178
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