I suppose every man, who has undertaken to practice the art of healing, feels at times a want of satisfaction in the use of remedies, and a sense of uncertainty as to the curative action of drugs, such as lead him sometimes, perhaps often, into a condition of skepticism in regard to medicine which makes his daily labor a weariness to the flesh. Sometimes, however, he is permitted to witness such brilliant and indubitable effects that he gets courage and strength on which he labors for many a common day. And not only does he find encouragement from such cases in his own experience, but it is an aid to his hope and a stimulus to his industry to get authentic reports or such cases in the experience of others. It is this consideration which leads me to give you today a report of such a case from the records of my own practice.
Great irritation, with excessive paleness and dinginess of the skin; dry hacking cough; dullness on percussion, quite marked over upper part of right lung, complete over the base and slight over upper lobe of left lung. Bronchial respiration in upper part of both lungs, very marked in the right, with perfect silence at the base. Respiration hurried and performed entirely by the chest muscles; hectic chill every day followed by considerable fever; most profuse sweat on sleeping, day or night; listlessness with no disposition to play like other children; tongue clean and pale; appetite variable; desire for acids; bowels regular; urine scanty and high colored with whitish mucous sediment on standing; pulse 124 and very small; nails hooked; the fingers looking as if terminating in balls, very marked. A symptom, by the way, which is always regarded as certainly diagnostic of confirmed phthisis, and which I never before saw cured.
After a considerable study of the case I prescribed Ars. 6 and Phos.6 in alternation once in two or three hours. The next day, the sixth, continued the same. Visiting her again on the seventh and finding no improvement, I gave her Sulph.30 once in six hours for two days, followed, on the ninth, by China6 once in two hours for two more days, when the Sulph.30 was resumed and continued till the fourteenth, when, still getting no positive mitigation of the symptoms and feeling that the indications were, if possible, to control the excessive prostration and sweating, I went back to Ars. once in two hours. This was continued, with a relief from the chills and perhaps a little mitigation of sweating, up to the twentieth, still there was no such improvement as to give me any encouragement and with a feeling that the case was almost, if not utterly, hopeless, I carefully restudied it and concluded to give her a single dose of Sulphur150, followed by Sac. lact. once in two hours and await the result. In a very few days I had the satisfaction of seeing a most marked improvement. The sweats ceased, the lungs began to be cleared out, and all the symptoms were so much improved that on the twenty-eighth she walked to my office, a distance of at least half a mile, and back. Continued the Sac. lact. till June 1st when, the improvement seeming to have ceased, she got another dose of Sulph 150 with Sac. lact. till the sixth when, complaining of some return of the chills, she had a single dose of Ars200, which was repeated on the eleventh and was the last medicine she had. About July 1st she was discharged cured. Her cough gone, her respiration perfect, flesh restored, fingers tapered off nicely, nails straightened, and she is playful as other children of her age. I have frequently seen her since, and today she is as healthy looking as any child you may meet.
This case seems to me beautifully to illustrate the wisdom of allowing remedies to exhaust their action before repetition in such chronic cases, as well as to demonstrate the efficacy of high attenuations, even when the lower have failed. It is to such cases as this that one can always look back in hours of despondency and doubt, and find encouragement for renewed application and labor. If it shall give like encouragement to any others, the object of this writing will have been fully accomplished.
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 05 No. 03, 1864, pages 116-118
|Case of Phthisis Pulmonalis (tuberculosis)
|Arsenicum album, Phosphorus, China officinalis, Sulphur
|errors only; interlinks; formatting