WANTS. — “It is only a notion,” or “it is a mere whim,” has been made to give the go bye many times to desires which it would have been better to have heeded. Instinctive appetite craves what the physiological condition requires at the time, and the best good is often realized only after the craving is satisfied. Not unfrequently this calls for matters which, according to ordinary experience, seem the most preposterous, but when given to the patient, only great good is the result, and this because the circumstances were extraordinary, and therefore the want could not be rightly judged by the standard of ordinary experience. It has happened that the most grave diseases have been cured by the patient eating the most indigestible substances, which he had strong desire for, and which, perhaps he attained by stealth, and ate, notwithstanding he had been told by his doctor that it might cost him his life. He could not resist the desire — and he was cured. He was convalescent from that point. This has happened more than once in cases of typhoid fever, these most absurd substances appearing to have been the instrument of cure — for instance large quantities of frozen meat. In recommending heed to actual want, there is no overlooking of the necessity of discriminating between these and mere fancies.
J. S., born March, 1863, in June was attacked by Millar's asthma, being the third infant in this family who had suffered from this troublesome and dangerous malady. The first case (under allopathic treatment) proved fatal, The second, under homoeopathic treatment, was cured. The third was relieved. as had been the second by Chlorine water, but did not improve in his general symptoms and condition in the ratio of subsidence of the spasmodic affection. He now get violent attacks of flatulent colic; passed undigested food in his feces; had frequent green and slimy evacuations from the bowels; inordinate appetite; was never satisfied day or night. In addition to nursing, he was treated to large quantities of farina, cooked with milk; and ten minutes after his indulgence with the bottle was as eager for it again as at the first. — He was constantly restless day and night; seldom sleeping more than ten minutes at a time. His food was changed several times (the supply of the mother being quite unequal to his demands), and each time with a temporary amendment of the condition of the bowels, which was soon followed by a relapse into the former pains and disordered discharges. After several disappointments of this sort, an excellent wet nurse was provided for the little fellow, and for a day or two he seemed better, and then as before he had the pains, frequent green slimy discharges, restlessness, and slept almost none.
The mother was told by her physician that her child wanted something, that she must find out what it was, as he would not probably be quiet till he had it. On visiting the patient the next day, it was reported he had slept during the night, he had lost his restlessness, the green discharges had become natural in color, and their too great frequency had ceased; in short he seemed quite well. What had done this? The mother had found what he wanted, and he had had it, and all his troubles immediately ceased. The grandmother, on the doctor's leaving, said he probably wanted ale! rather an absurd suggestion, apparently, for an infant five months old. But, after a short opposition from the mother, ale was tried. A few drops were laid on his lips, which he licked up with the greatest apparent delight. He opened his eyes the widest, smacked his lips, and wanted more. After a table-Spoonful or two, given in these small doses, he became quiet, slept two hours at one time, a thing he had not previously done, and became in all his actions quite a different child. He had ale, as much as he would take for two or three days (two or three table-spoonfuls in a day), when it was suspended. At the end of four days he became restless again, was quieted again by the ale, which he had for two or three days, when he refused it with disgust. He has been perfectly well in all respects ever since. Is quiet and sleeps like other infants of his age, which he had never done before, and has lost his voracious appetite.
Why did the grandmother suggest ale? The explanation given was that in the fourth month of the pregnancy the mother had a strong desire for ale, which ordinarily, was extremely offensive to her, and which desire lasted about three weeks, and was not gratified. At the end of this time the appetite ceased spontaneously and had not since been the subject of thought till suggested by the grandmother. There may be a difference of opinion as to whether this desire of the mother, at this time, had anything to do with this extraordinary appetite of her infant six months or more afterwards. But there can be none as to the singular benefit which followed the child's taking, what, in ordinary circumstances, would be a disgusting and injurious dosing with this bitterest of drinks. W.
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 03, 1863, page 134-135
|Miscellaneous; Asthma in 5 months old Infant cured by ale.
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