The patient, a boy of twelve years, presented the following symptoms: confusion and obfuscation of the intellect, weakness of memory, confused vertigo, a headache in the region of both parietal bones; increased pulsation of the temporal and carotid arteries, heat of the head, heat and redness of the face, dilation of the pupils, which did not contract under the sudden effect of light, the patient some times complains of seeing fiery spots; he can not distinguish small type. Nose dry, tongue coated with a thin slimy fur, taste flat, moderate appetite and thirst, stomach and abdomen slightly tympanitic; vomiting of food, of mucus and of bile frequently occurred; and there was obstinate constipation. The secretion of urine was not much altered, the urine was red but without sediment. The voice was hoarse, rough, hollow, almost aphonic; speech consequently unintelligible. Inspection of the mouth and faces and physical examination of the thorax gave no special indication of any abnormal condition.
The patient lay almost continually on his back in bed; he always required assistance when rising or standing; as soon as he raised his head, increased vertigo, nausea and vomiting ensued. When attempting to walk, he showed great weakness and uncertainty in the lower limbs. He required to be supported and led in order to avoid the danger of falling; his limbs knocked together and at every step he lifted his feet high; when his eyes were closed, his whole body tottered, and if he was not firmly held fell to the ground. Examination of the spinal column by pressure upon the spinal processes and the application of Copland's experiments gave only negative results.
Along the course of the femoral nerves there were several spots in which the skin was devoid of sensibility. The vascular system was in a state of irritation; pulse hard, 90 to 100. Some times, in the evening, a slight chill; the skin which, as a general thing was hot, was hotter on the head than on the extremities; sleep some times restless; during sleep the cervical muscles drew the head backwards. Disposition quiet and resigned.
Dr. Ruhfus gives his theory of the Pathology and Pathological Anatomy of the disease, and on this he bases a prescription of Belladonna20, five globules, dissolved in water, a teaspoonful every two hours on the first day, every four hours on the second day, and every six hours on the third day.
On the fourth day, a decided improvement was perceived in so far that the mental confusion, weakness of memory, dilatation of the pupils, impaired vision, signs of congestion of the head, the vomiting and the vascular irritation — had all vanished.
Having learned by experience the power of Phosphorus in similar affections of the respiratory organs, and ascertaining that Phosphorus produces on the healthy subject great hoarseness, bordering on aphonia as well as a paralytic weakness of the lower extremities, he gave night and morning two globules of Phosphorus30.
After six globules had been thus taken, he found the voice pure and clear so that the boy could again speak distinctly. But the weakness and uncertainty in the limbs remained unchanged. He waited eight days before giving medicine.
Then certain gastric symptoms supervened, for which, as also for its known action upon the nervous system, he gave Nux. vom. The gastric symptoms were promptly relieved and the paralysis so far improved that the patient walked with more strength, did not lift the feet so high in stepping and could walk through the room alone, supported on two sticks, although somewhat unsteadily it is true.
A further improvement was looked for, in vain, for fourteen days longer and then, as the parents were impatient, etc., he determined to have recourse to Aluminium met. which had been recommended by von Boenninghausen for similar cases.
Of a solution of five 'globules of Alum. met.30 in a half pint of water, the patient took a teaspoonful every night and morning. On the third day there was a manifest improvement, whereupon the remedy was given only at night. The improvement continued, and on the eighteenth day. after beginning to give the Aluminium, Dr. Ruhfus had the happiness of discharging his patient completely cured.
Remarks. — The treatment of this case presents some noteworthy points. Globules of the thirtieth dilution were used; only one remedy at a time was given; this remedy was allowed to exhaust its action before another was administered, as soon as amelioration was perceived from the action of a remedy, with one exception, the remedy was discontinued until the improvement ceased to progress. All this was according to Hahnemann's advice. The result was a steady and uniform improvement without aggravations or perturbations, or the introduction of accessory symptoms.
If now the doctor had based his prescription directly on the similarity of the symptoms and not another, in the first instance, at least in a pathological theory and again on clinical experience, he would have attained his successful result more speedily and with much less risk of missing it. As it stands, however, the case is most brilliant and encouraging.
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 11, 1864, pages 511-513
|Chronic Cerebro-spinal Disease
|Belladonna, Phosphorus, Nux vomica, Aluminium metallicum
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